Fully Alive, Fully Human, Fully Me

Fully Alive, Fully Human, Fully Me

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

Can we pick and choose which parts of the life of Christ we want to manifest in our lives?

Can we choose the miracles, walk on water, still storms, and heal people without the betrayal, abandonment, and rejection? In short, can we eliminate the stress and suffering?

Back in the late 90's, I kept hearing God's whispers, "Sell everything," "Pick up your cross," and "Abandon yourself to God".

"What does that mean?" I wrote in my journal.

"I want to give you everything," he said. "To have real fellowship with me, you must enter into my sufferings. To dine with me you must accept humility, not wearing a cross but bearing your cross. My table is fit for royalty and its full of laughter and rejoicing. Be glad, for you are inheriting everything! All you must do is exchange your tickets for mine – you'll like what I have planned for you."

"Whatever it takes, Papa, please make me humble, soft, and fully alive. Even if it means having a bad reputation."

Note to self: Did you really have to pray that last part?

To date, I have been ridiculed, shunned, betrayed – rejected, misunderstood, and excommunicated. All that the enemy threw at me, Christ turned around for my good. He gave me intimacy. He gave me comfort. He made me become fully human, fully alive!

Coming alive and becoming fully human – comfortable in my own skin, naked and unashamed – for me, has happened simultaneously with betrayal, abandonment, shunning, and public humiliation.

I think of Jesus, when the crowds were growing and everyone was clamoring to see another miracle. Jesus surprisingly thinned the audience by saying, "If you want to follow me, pick up your cross."

To a young ruler who wanted to follow him, he said, "First, go and sell everything you own and give it to the poor." To the religious leaders, he called them "white-washed tombs" and to the ones who took advantage of true worshipers, he overturned their tables with a whip. Jesus, clearly, was not seeking popularity or to be politically correct.

Yeshua is not a tame man. Clearly, the inheritance is not to be spoiled, like pearls given to swine, until we've turned around and come Home, like the prodigal son!

It always involves a radical lifestyle change.

Lifestyle changes have accompanied all of God's counsel in my life. 

I went to live among the homeless, in the homes of the Lakota, and among the hard-working ranchers of the West.

I have learned most of what really matters from the simple and poor – from people whose quiet, nearly invisible lives, have intersected with mine. In listening to their stories, I have seen the face and heard the voice of Christ!

For me, giving up the world meant giving up all that I previously knew about church and my addictions to the position, praise, and power it offered.

Sometimes old addictions turn into new addictions. For me, the transformation is entering a new stage. I became addicted to being a martyr. I forgot there is RESURRECTION AFTER THE CROSS! 

My new goal is not to be the endless martyr, caring for others 24/7, neglecting myself day after day. My new goal is simply to be free, to tell my story, and to be fully me – fully alive, fully human. And that means saying "no" and disappointing, even the people I love, at times.

It's abundant life or bust.

Don't forget to love yourself well. Sometimes that looks like ending even good relationships, jobs, and geographical places in order to pursue the BEST. 

There's a difference between being GOOD and being REAL. Take a deep breath. Is there something or someone that you've been laying down your life for that is killing you?

Are you "standing" or "staying" out of a false sense of guilt? Maybe that crushing guilt is crushing your spirit. Maybe you need to endure a few moments in time outside of that box that's hemming you in. 

Can you pick and choose the parts of the life of Christ you manifest? It's the ordinary decisions we make on any given day that add up to a life fully lived.

  • Today may be a day to multiply resources when you're down to your last dollar.
  • Today may be a day to confront evil by calling it what it is, even if it means you get blacklisted. Tomorrow may be your crucifixion, but if it is, watch out for the Resurrection. 
  • There's a time for healing, too. There's a time to take your closest friends and climb a mountain or sail a boat across to the quiet side of the sea. There's a time to sit down to dinner and listen to each other's stories. 

There is such a Time – a Kairos Time – for everything. Sometimes you have to look beyond the Chronos Time and the world's systems of control to see the Real Life waiting to be lived in you. 

God said to me, "Saddle up your horses and get ready to ride – the ride of your life!" That meant leaving behind all that I knew before and unlearning my Christian religion to become the King's Bride!

My Full Story     What I Believe    Contact Me

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

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Caiobhe April 1, 2014 at 8:26 am

thanks for sharing the story of your liberating, hard, choices. I love " I survived by curling up in Papa's arms like a lamb and listening to his voice". Best place to be. 


Susan Schiller April 1, 2014 at 9:18 am

Thank you, Caiobhe, for your encouraging words – in Papa’s arms is the BESTest place to be!


Carly Gelsinger March 31, 2014 at 9:09 am

This is so sad and beautiful. Thank you. I'll be thinking what it means to "unbuckle my Christianity" this week. 


Susan Schiller March 31, 2014 at 9:38 am

Hi Carly,

I didn’t mean it to be sad, because of so much resurrection happened, as a result – but I’m glad you found some of the beauty in it, too – thanks so much for reading and sharing! 🙂


Caris Adel March 27, 2014 at 4:44 pm

"To date, I have been ridiculed, shunned, betrayed – rejected, misunderstood, and excommunicated."

How painful 🙁 But what a redemptive story you have to share. Too bad the people who have rejected you probably aren't open to hearing how God's worked in spite of all of it.


Susan Schiller March 27, 2014 at 7:03 pm

They will, one day…. I believe God’s redeeming all of us, every bit of our lives… there’s so much good news 🙂


newell hendricks March 26, 2014 at 2:06 pm

"Coming alive and becoming fully human – comfortable in my own skin, naked and unashamed – for me, has happened simultaneously with betrayal, abandonment, shunning, and public humiliation."  That is a powerful statement – so real – so painful if we hang on to cultural values – such a stark equation if you don't keep going back to the beginning, fully human, comfortaqble, unashamed.  And it rings so true coming from you, one who knows this trught from personal experience.  Yes Jesus live all of this; the betrayalo, abandonment, shunning and public humiliation, and we can expect to live it too.  Thank you for reminding us in no uncertain terms that we can expect to live it too.  But we will be dining with Jesus when we do.  thank you so much for being part of this community.



Susan Schiller March 26, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Thank you for accepting me in all my messiness, Newell!


Emily Heitzman March 26, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Wow, Susan.  This is beautiful.  I am sorry you went through so much.  And yet, I am so happy to hear that in all of it, you were able to find comfort, intimacy, and be able to live fully as you were created to live.  I agree, that when we begin to live more simply and counter-culturally, we will experience life much more fully!  

I hear so much of my own story in yours.  Thank you for sharing it!


Susan Schiller March 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Thank you for your kind words, Emily. I’m grateful for the pain and suffering, for without those lessons I would have lost my soul. There’s so much goodness in store for us, now and in the future – I”m fixing my eyes on Jesus because He extends His hand to me – it’s such a great adventure!

I’m glad we can share part of the adventure together, in this “Spirit of the Poor” roving band of writers! 🙂


Susan Schiller March 25, 2014 at 10:02 am

“What gives light must endure burning.” – Viktor Frankl


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