The Most Beautiful People are Formed by Trials

The Most Beautiful People are Formed by Trials

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

When he peers at me from the pillow next to mine,  his merry blue eyes melt me from the inside out – all the icy trials, the numbed fingers of pain that claw and clutch at the last vestiges of my faith, my integrity, and my identity let go.

     I feel new warmth generating from within.

          The old is passing.

Like a newborn baby, I am being created anew. Born again – it's so different than my old doctrinal programming dictated. Being born again makes me think of puppies, kittens, fawns, lambs, and leaping calves! Joy is the only emotion that can properly describe being born again!

"But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture." – Malachi 4:2

Joy, like a muscle that has atrophed, buzzes and burns into that torn up place in my gut – that place where the grenade of betrayal, rejection, and abandonment exploded in the spring of 2011. 

Twinkles burst like sunbeams refracting from the light of his shining eyes. Some might call them wrinkles, but I call them twinkles. He has weathered many storms of his own, and each season finds him stronger. He bends with confidence into the stormy gales of my shipwrecked season of life.

minstrel storyteller once spoke of this man finding me and raising me up from death into life. Are we not to be Christ's eyes, ears, voice, hands, and feet in this world? For me, Christ came in the form of a man my kind were trained to avoid – he was of a different brand of faith, who didn't adhere to the same doctrine I had been taught. Most of my kind would call him "unsaved" and "worldly". Yet, he is of the very spirit of Christ, to me. 

He is a righteous man, yet most of all he is loving and compassionate. Most of what he does is never noticed. He does not need the applause of men. But I notice the countless small things he does, to make our world a better place!

"For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the LORD of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch." "But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. "You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing," says the LORD of hosts.… – Malachi 4

What might Christ look like today, if He came in the form of a man? What does the word "man" mean to those of us who have married sociopaths, whose two-faced reality only became apparent after we said, "I do"?

Where is Christ in this world today? Why do women – so many women – in our Christian churches today say, "Men are such PIGS!" And with good reason, I might add. 

More than half of our Christian pastors – pastors! – are held captive to a porn addicition. Sex addicts abound among our church members, men and women both. I personally have known church leaders held in high esteem for their anointing, for the signs and wonders and miracles that follow them, who secretly harbor desires to molest children and rape women.

It's okay to be broken, even to lead while broken, but if you have an addicition that exploits our most vulnerable ones – women and children – let's expose it so it can be healed! You need a healer, but if it's kept hidden – whether your own secret or a corporate secret – it can't be touched by healing hands.

Christ touched the lepers, the misfits, the sinners, the tax collectors, the adulterers, the demon possessed, and the infirm. He came, like a doctor, for those who needed a healing touch.

Do you need a healing touch? Are you safe in approaching a healing minister today? Over and over, I kept returning to the church. I felt I needed to be surrounded by believers. Everyone kept telling me, "You need to find a good church!" No more!

God is a Divine Madman, you know… He led me into churches where He knew I would be exploited, trapped, and threatened with bodily mutiliation and death. Well, maybe it wasn't God. Maybe it was just the "nice Christian woman" in myself who felt she was supposed to not neglect the gathering of the saints, the fellowship of the Body of Christ.

Don't be afraid of the solitary walk in the wilderness!

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19

I have been listening to the life stories of abuse survivors since 1999 and one common denominator of these beautiful people is that their lives have been formed by trials, beginning as children. Some of the most creative and sensitive people have been raised by a pathological parent, or have encountered pathological love relationships their entire lives.

I hear some of them say, "I feel like I was born to be exploited." Their lives are filled with unspeakable horror and degradation, and yet they have the most radiant spirits!

They may struggle with strongholds of fear, lust, anger, etc, but down inside – untouched by the volcanic induced tsunamis of their chaotic lives – they hunger and thirst for righteousness. They are meek, not proud. They are peacemakers, not peacekeepers. They are royal children of God, not losers!

Long before I understood abuse dynamics, I had this sense that these beautiful people just need to be "loved to life" – that is, they need to be housed NOT in a woman's shelter, but in a family home – a beautiful, safe place. They need non-pathological people to invest time with them in the ordinary daily events of life. Meals, chores, homework, grocery shopping, vacations, movies and popcorn.

So many ministries try to help by casting out demons or putting us through any number of programs designed to break addictions, upgrade our mindsets, or install a particular religious doctrine. I have been part of that, on both sides. I have seen some good come out of it… but it's never worked for the people I'm talking about – those who have lived with a sociopath.

Like the slim, black yucca seeds tinkling within the dried blooms as the breeze sends them into the moist ground, so your life stories will be planted and yield much fruit. Let the winter take you into a time of rest. It's a productive time, this time of rest!

If you have lived with a sociopath you may need 1-2 years of rest time in the company of non-pathological people who will simply allow you to experience a new kind of "normal".

These beautiful people have endured the worst kind of monster you can imagine, and they simply need to be loved to life. Most of them already manifest the fruit of Matthew 5-7 and Galatians 5. You can learn from them! They are often the smartest people you'll ever meet, and they have deep rivers, lakes, and streams of wisdom, prophetic words, and strong discernment.

They are like the Grand Canyon – formed by the trials running rampant across the entire expanse of their lives, beginning to present. Most of them have never known any type of normal. 

When you bring them into your life, it's like inviting the Grand Canyon to be your front yard – you are blessed in creating a safe, beautiful place for them. It's not a one-sided deal. These people are fountains of blessings.

They have plumbed the depths of God's great heart.

Yes, we will dine in honor while our enemies watch as we are anointed with oil and our cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES and we shall dwell in the presence of our God and King forever!

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With all my love,


Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.  
Today Susan helps people write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into their future, creating new family legacies.

Copyright © 2010 to 2015 Team Family Online, All rights reserved.   For reprint permission or for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebekah Hope July 30, 2014 at 11:40 pm

I wish so much that you were not hundreds of miles away! Because in this moment, words are stuck in my throat, and I just wish I could hug you. 

I'm beginning that solitary walk right now, into a brand of faith that I was trained to avoid. And it's terrifying, but wonderful all at the same time. I am rediscovering the ZEAL and passion that once burned so brightly for Jesus. I'm finding it in the most unexpected place! I'm finding healing in the most unexpected place. 

I've been captivated by your story. But I love that you paused here to add to the beauty. You are right – it is healing and necessary in so many ways. I love the way that you see. And can I tell you something else?? I'm in awe of the way that you love. You give of yourself without measure, and it's so clear that you pour from the well of living water that bubbles up from the deep. But more than that… I'm in awe of the way you allow yourself to be loved. I'm in awe that you have received with joy the healing love of a man, a gift from our Papa. 

These words of yours.. Susan, they are confirmation in so many ways. Straight from the heart of the Father, proof that I am seen and I am right where He wants me. Last week I had a nightmare that I hardly remember now. In it, I was walking through that valley of the Shadow. But suddenly, the nightmare was overshadowed Shepherd was there. I hid behind his legs like a little girl, and He recited the 23rd Psalm to me, reminding me that I am safe, that goodness and mercy are mine. He told me that He will never leave me or forsake me, even in my dreams. I woke up with a pounding heart, amazed that He would even redeem a nightmare. He's going to redeem it all. 

Thank you, Susan, for sharing your life and your heart with us. I WILL somehow find a way to hug you on this side of paradise. 

Much love to you..


Susan Schiller July 31, 2014 at 4:14 am

I treasure the moment, even the thought, of when we meet, Rebekah. Thank you so much for traveling with me on this part of the journey!

Your story is incredible, and all the more so, knowing you are still so very young. Oh how I wish I had traveled this solitary path when I was your age! I know it’s painful at times, going through that Valley of the Shadow of Death, but what you just described about the Shepherd of Psalm 23 showing up to protect you – WOW! That is just it! He makes it all worthwhile, even preferable, to what we had before.

How could we ever look back? Oh Rebekah, I love your heart and soul!

Thank you for the blessing of your words here today 🙂


laura July 30, 2014 at 11:38 pm

In biblical times,martyrs and saints emerged from trials.Today,trials shape survivors.7 years ago,i met a great friend,sensitive and delicate like a rare flower.For our first 3 years of friendship,she acted normal.One day,i accidentally saw her on the street,and she was strange.When i went near her,she looked at me.Her eyes were not human.She started saying things that had no logic.That day,i discovered she had schizophrenia.She was hospitalized many times,she was raped and fell prey to sex traffick.She was held hostage in an apartment,but managed to escape.In the rare moments she comes out of the fog,i am amazed by her continuous faith in god.She doesn't let go of god's hand.

Other people have become atheists in less difficult circumstances.Exquisite people ARE formed by trials!


Susan Schiller July 31, 2014 at 4:20 am

Laura, your wisdom and insights are deep waters, thirst-quenching waters. I truly enjoy hearing what you hear, seeing what you see!

Most of us are so occupied running away from pain, avoiding pain, or trying to recover from pain… but what I love about what you say here is that trials help to shape us. When you speak of your friend with schizophrenia, my throat constricts and tears well up and I just want to weep for her! Not because of her pain, but because of her joy… her faith, her hope, and her love! To be able to trust God, even in such complexity, it makes me weep just thinking of her.

I want to be like that, Laura…. I am so grateful for the pain, but not many people understand. When I hear from you, Laura, I know we have walked a similar path in recovery – it’s good to walk alongside you today – thank you for being here!


Joyce Lagana July 30, 2014 at 3:03 pm

UP…down…UP….down  … Riding the roller coaster of life this weekend and early part of the week, I find this post is making me cry as once again the reality of perhaps never being normal or even knowing what 'normal' is begins to seep into my soul.  I pray for more twinkles … for you!


Susan Schiller July 30, 2014 at 3:36 pm

You are one of the most beautiful, extraordinary people I’ve ever met, Joyce…. thanks for the Twinkle prayer and the blessing of your words. You are always on my heart, my sister and friend. Always. 

I ask Papa right now to smooth out the tension, to fill in the missing pieces, and to bring you into the Secret Place of the Most High. I picture you sitting at His banqueting table, even though your enemies are near, and anointing your head with oil, filling your cup that never fully empties. 

I ask God to give you peace, rest, and to fill you with increasing joy. Let it be Christmas in your heart right now, I’m asking Papa… and for all of His gifts to be received and opened. Oh Holy Spirit, may there be a fresh wind… and lightning to charge the darkness with negative ions and ozone. Fresh wind, room to breathe… Mama God, please bring this child even nearer to your breast. 

I’m praying, Joyce… and sending you hugs!


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