Breaking the Silence, Part 1

Silent No More: Fighting the Good Fight

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

I've been silent for too many years. Because our lives were public, I believe I need to speak up using our real names, even though I wish I could write a better story, a more pleasing story, a funny story… anything other than this. Too many people have been begging me to write this story… and so I begin.

An overpowering darkness slowly engulfed our lives during our busiest ministry season which propelled us across nine Midwestern states, organizing and ministering in dozens of weekend conferences. A movie was filmed by the international ministry sponsoring us and suddenly we were planted in front of camera lights and put up on stages.

We didn't know it then, but we were about to be smashed to pieces by the very system that was patting our backs.

A palpable dark shadow stalked us everywhere we went until finally it completely overtook us. Randy and me, crumbling to pieces even as we were encouraging the crowds and seeing many people healed. Behind the scenes no one could see our pending demise. We were survivors trying to be warriors; we seemed to succeed in being strong on stage but at home we were falling apart.

"Can anyone hear my silence? Can they hear my tortured screams behind closed doors? Do they see the bruises in my soul, so painful I am crying every day?" These words were penned in one of my recent journals, following a particularly difficult season.

We can't afford to bury our pain or to hide our scars. Lives are at stake here. Life and death are in the power of our tongues/pens. It's as we share our stories that the treasure of our life experience  is poured out like the finest wine for those who need it most…. our own families and friends.
 
I am compelled to write my own story, yet there are ones who have threatened me, even blackmailed me, to be silent.
 
But that's just it – if you don't tell your story, other people will (and most likely are!) telling your story. No one can tell your story like you. There's a time for silence and solitude and there's also a time to break silence.
 
Not to air dirty laundry. Not to rant and rave. But to SHINE light into the dark places of our souls so that real healing can begin and the toxic shame can be removed.
 
Even if you feel like broken pottery, writing your story can help bind the missing pieces together.
 
I hear my Father laughing in Heaven… not at me, but with me! I hear Him saying:
"My Little One, the world only has a voice when my children are silent. You have been waiting for Me to move and to change the world, but I've been waiting on you to walk in what you already know. Once you begin to act in what you know, the power to achieve the change will be given to you. And the world will change with you...
"Singing and rejoicing are the bookends of faith. Just as children 'make believe' so are you to do, until what you hope for is manifested on earth. Cancel your plans for tomorrow – make them TODAY. You have inherited tomorrow TODAY. Own in the present what is not yet. That is faith."

I am believing that in sharing my story it may give you the courage to share your own story.  Writing this story helps me to love even more. I feel like it's dug a deeper well of compassion in my heart. Always remember, your story matters!

 

My Full Story     What I Believe    Contact Me

With all my love,

Sue

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 abuse survivors write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into the future, creating new family legacies.

Copyright © 2010 to 2016 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

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth March 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Oh Susan…such a brave, powerful post. You inspire! <3

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Susan McKenzie March 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm

You’re so very kind, Beth – thank you for coming by!

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Esther March 28, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Wow, Susan. I'm so grateful to witness a bit of this. Congratulations for getting free and speaking your heart for healing! 

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Susan McKenzie March 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Ether, thanks so much for your encouraging words! It means a lot <3

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Tanya Marlow March 26, 2013 at 9:37 am

Wow – there is real power in breaking the silence – looking forward to hearing more of your story

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Susan McKenzie March 26, 2013 at 9:42 am

You’re very kind, Tanya… thanks so much for being here!

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Jeanne C. April 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Thanks Susan for sharing your heart and breaking the silence…it takes a lot of courage to do that. It gives me courage to sometime write my story. I didn't suffer abuse but much rejection. May you have the grace to just tell it like it is and this way help others be honest and real about what happened to them. You have always been a power of example to me and I really admire you. BTW you are an amazing writer.

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Susan McKenzie April 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Dear Jeanne, your story is already changing so many lives! And just seeing the photos on your Facebook page – WOW! – I can only imagine what a gorgeous life story book you will have to share with you family. When you’re ready, just let me know – it’s a lot easier when we do it together. Thanks for sharing part of my story with me 🙂

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Kim April 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Courageous, and faithful daughter of the Most High, your heart and motives are pure and your offering is going to go forth and bring fruit in the lives of women that you will never know of. God provide on earth through earthen vessels, willing, emptied and available. Thanks for being available for God's filling and pouring out.

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Jill April 19, 2012 at 8:28 pm

You make me eager to write! Wonderful piece!

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Linda Honea April 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Glorious is the first word that comes to mind.
His ways are glorious and the glory is now spilling out of you through the brilliant light of Christ!

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Susan McKenzie April 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I thank you so much for stopping by to read and comment, Linda… I know you are a true princess warrior who shines brilliantly! Thanks, thanks so much 🙂

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Susan McKenzie April 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm

This article is an introduction to what I call the "Love from Papa" letters… the same letters that have carried me through the darkest years of my life. This series is not about dwelling on "dark" topics, but instead, about shining the BRILLIANT Light of our God into these dark places and seeing them transformed.

I welcome your thoughts and comments, questions or concerns. It's not easy to share one's heart in public, but so many readers are expressing a desire to do just that, that I felt the need to demonstrate how it can be done without making anyone look bad. There's enough shame in the world – none of us need bear any more!

May God receive more glory and praise… until it floods the whole earth with our stories of His rescue!

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