Beauty in Brokenness
By: Susan Deborah Schiller
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
… an object of dread to my closest friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery... An excerpt from Psalm 31
I once wrote, "It really is unfair. He gets the comfort, the comradery, the condolences… from the church. You get exile. But you are blessed. He only has the praise of Pharisees. You have chosen abundant life!"
On the day I laid it all down – my ministry, my job, my life… God said to me "From this day on, I will bless you." (Haggai 2:19) I know this promise personally, and have stood on it for over two decades, seeing it come together, like a beautiful mosaic of my life story.
What you write is what you will become. What you speak is what you get. This is walking in the Light, that we remember who we are and who we are walking with. If we really knew who walked beside us, we would not dwell on our negative circumstances. We would be world changers. Evil has no real power.
Those who walk in darkness are not monsters so much as ignorant people who create chaos with negative thoughts and words. I believe we could rid this world of evil in a single day if realized the power of walking in the Light.
"Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people. But these oppressors know nothing; they are so ignorant! And because they are in darkness, the whole world is shaken to the core." ~ From Psalm 82:4-5
Could it be that "being blessed" is linked to justice?
- Being and doing good sometimes looks the opposite of "blessed". Sometimes it looks like a homeless couple who lost their main paycheck because one of them spoke up about the pastor, her employer, making sexual advances to their daughter.
- Maybe it looks like a woman getting fired from her job as a motel housekeeper, her paychecks withheld, because the Christian owner didn't have enough money to pay her and felt she could get away with lies, accusations, and exploitation of a low wage earner. The housekeeper cried out to God because it's the third Christian employer who has intentionally exploited her.
- Maybe it looks like a loving mother suddenly leaving her home and children because her husband threatened to mutilate her body and no one believed her, even though she spoke up over the course of many years.
In each of the above cases (and dozens more) the victim cried out for justice, asking for help in escaping her abuser… but the church sided with the abuser in each case. In each of the above cases, the abuser was a church elder.
I believe our world is in chaos not because of evil so much as because those who claim to walk in the Light are knowingly and unknowingly on the side of the oppressors.
Why have we fasted, but You have not seen? We have denied ourselves, but You haven't noticed!"" Look, you do as you please on the day of your fast, and oppress all your workers.~ Isaiah 58:3
What is the mark of being a true Christian… is it not that we cry out for justice and do something to protect the widows and orphans? Is it not that we love each other extravagantly?
So let it begin in my own heart and in the hearts of others who have a like mind. Don't be afraid to be broken, to suffer, and even to die in your effort to speak up for justice.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
I believe God is offering all of us "love tests" – opportunities to BE His body here on earth. He's searching to support those who have real faith, not the kind of faith expressed in words, but in action.
As my husband often says, "Don't listen to people's words; watch what they do."
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock…." Excerpt from Matthew 7
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – James 1:22
What have you done in your pursuit of justice and righteousness that has broken you? Were you exiled, shunned, lied about, and dishonored?
"I will protect your honor," God reminds me today. It's one of my promises. "I will surround you with a holy wall of fire," He once told me, as well. He is my shelter, my stronghold.
Don't be afraid to write while still broken. You're not writing about what happened so much as what you learned, and from what you learned you are creating a new legacy – you are rewriting the future. Your writing is full of Light when you write from the place of His promises and the Truth you are walking in today and onward.
"FROM THIS DAY ON…." God says _______________."
What are your promises?
You may be writing while in exile – shunned by family and friends. Don't believe what anyone says about you, whether it's good or bad. Write your promises. Evil has no real power. There is nothing to fear. From this day on…. write what God says about you and then watch it come to pass! See all those broken pieces made into something beautiful!
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.
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