Innocence Restored: Becoming the Girl I Used to Be

Innocence Restored: Becoming the Girl I Used to Be

By: Susan Deborah Schiller  

Today our activation takes us into all the places of our childhood where our Light shined brightest! This is where you take those photos we've been collecting and start to write a little story for each. This is preparation for establishing our identity statements, which will be used in creating a self-portrait, once we have everything in place!

The world has a built-in tendency to conform us to its own expectations. Women, especially, tend to lose our true identity as we immerse ourselves in the lives of our husbands and children. We grow weary! Sometimes we drop out. And that's when we need to be reminded of who we really are.

We write because sometimes we need to be reminded of our heart's song when bad things happen and nothing makes sense. Because in the confusion our identity can be stolen, lost, or forgotten. Because without our soul, we are sub-humans and most capable of hurting ourselves and others. Because when our innocence is restored, we become comfortable in our own skin, not comparing ourselves to others, not allowing the voices of others to derail our authentic voice.

We become "real" as we sing our heart's song. We need all of us, not just a few. We need more dread champions, not victims. We need heroes who use their authentic voice, not just an echo of someone else's doctrine, theology, or ideas.

It begins with innocence restored. Getting naked and being unashamed, as in the Garden of Eden. We must become like children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The way forward is the way back, as we peer behind us to remember the main themes of our lives – our true identity – and in remembering, we push the "restore" button.

As we sing our life's song, we are becoming the girls we used to be. Using "I AM" statements gives me the power to create my world – my words become prayers and prophetic decrees that form the transcript of my life.

You don't have to do this in the same way – this is just what came out of me when I sat down to write. I don't normally write this way. Just be YOU and let your words flow from your heart, as you look at the photos you've collected. So here's my life song… the words I'm using the reclaim my true identity – because we all need to be reminded every now and then!

 

My Life Song

Who is she with her chubby toddler palms pressed to the window pane, her nose smushed against the glass?

Her gaze is heavenbound as sparkly wonders fall down.

Cascading in swirls and whirls, diamonds and pearls fall from clouds above.

Woven into a dazzling, white blanket now wrapped over her boots.

Who is she in such rapturous bliss, who toddles and falls, slipping and sliding in the icy delight?

I AM a risk-taker, one who dares to believe, for the sheer wonder of nature and the joy of adventure.

I nurture this toddler girl in me by entering the "Holy Hush" and exploring nature.

Who is this sky-gazer, now age three, enthralled by the black-green sky where a tornado churns maliciously overhead?

In the front seat, her father is driving very fast. Her mother prays, "Dear God, keep us safe!"

"Mommy, don't be afraid! Jesus is nearby. We don't need to be afraid."

I AM fearless. I whisper a doxology in the dark.

Who is this child, now age five, pedaling her legs round and round,

to keep up with her father, a pilot, who must beat the clock.

Through a maze of hallways, bright lights overhead,

they arrive at the hangar and up in the air they fly.

Like a rocket the plane shoots up into the sky.

Tearing through the clouds, the sky-ship chases the sun.

"Susie, do you want to fly?" Dad asks.

He puts her hands on the controls, and the joy of flying has begun!

I AM ready to try new things, no matter my age. There's nothing impossible and I can do anything.

Who is this young lady, full of sorrows and shame beyond her control?

Why do bad things happen to little girls?

What is wrong with her, she wonders. Can God see her under the covers?

No answers from the adults. No one believes her words.

She hides under the blanket and pretends it's the sky.

Can You see me, she pleads.

A voice resounds from within.

"I see you, my friend."

She asks, "How can I know You better? I want to be Your friend."

Let's play a game, you and Me. What are you thankful for?

Her face brightens and she throws the blanket off.

Imagination ignited, she bursts into praise.

For turtles, magnifying glasses, and caves.

From her lips flow oceans of thanksgiving and praise.

Happiness, she discovered, is in being found

In the midst of tears and anguish and shameful remorse,

To discover you are welcome in the Home of your Lord.

I AM Papa God's royal daughter. I believe He loves intimacy with His kids, and in Him there is no shame.

I nurture this child by living naked and unashamed, walking in the Light.

Who is this girl who at age 11 wrote her first book

about an orphan who finds a real home?

She learned to ask God questions

and in asking questions, discovered God enjoys talking to us!

No one believed her; no one read her story,

So I nurture this child by accepting her into my heart's home.

I AM one of God's heart scribes. I am writing myself into a better world!

I write so that orphans find families and widows get new homes!

Who is this young woman, all grown up now, at age twenty-one?

She's lived in the Third World and has flown her own plane.

Still, she hasn't learned the ways of the world.

She will lose more of her innocence in a year, you will see.

I AM choosing to live with an open heart and mind.

I nurture this young woman in me by dancing in the dark and leaping into the unknown.

Who is this woman, now in her third decade, who dares to teach school at home.

How dare she write curriculum and illustrate her own books.

She dares to believe that mothers have a unique understanding of their child's needs.

Who is this youth pastor and church staff worker?

I AM a leader. I AM a woman. I believe women can lead.

I nurture this 30ish me by becoming a radical homemaker.

Another decade passes. She's still a sky-watcher, gazing heavenbound.

Yet, dreams are discarded. Illusions lay shattered.

Abandoned. Broken. Rejected. Despised.

Innocence lost.    Broken trust.

The sky still beckons but there is silence there, too.

She dares to go deep within – in the solitude, in the silence, in the waiting.

Alone in the wilderness, far, far away.

I AM experiencing pain as a purpose, even a gift, and embracing the mystery that it brings JOY!

  

Who is this who dares to believe she can thrive in the wilderness?

She once started her own business in the wilderness of Montana, replacing her former income.

She once fought for seven years and won three settlements, totalling three-quarters of a million dollars for her disabled husband, who did not share a single penny with her.

She once worked in a boarding school for troubled teens.

She once was a school bus driver, transporting a football team in the city of Chicago.

She once was a great heavy equipment operator, co-superivsing a hazmat site in California.

She once was the regional coordinator for ten Midwestern states

and helped to plant churches.

She healed people with signs, wonders, and miracles.

I AM a healer. I am created to empathetically listen to people's life stories, to help bear their burdens, and to find joy in the adventure of freedom and fullness.

She stretched out of her comfort zone, more than once.

She cowgirled up and became a rancher, even a lone rancher.

She rode horses and fed cows.

She climbed mountains and drank out of the fresh river streams.

I AM wild! I have tasted freedom and I can never go back.

 

Who is this woman who says, "I do" to love and to cherish until death do us part.

Yet her husband abandons her, after threatening words of her death.

Razor words that slice like a knife, her soul bleeding and her spirit dying.

I AM a lover of the broken and lost. This often means heartache but I will never suffer loss – all that was lost is being restored, double.

I nuture this 40ish me by reclaiming stolen destinies, my own and others.

 

At death's door, a small band of Lakota picked her up.

She lived among the Indians and beaded pretty things.

With each bead stitched, she gazed in wonder as the cross of torture turned to glory and awe.

Death, oh where is your sting? This time in the desert is truly Heaven-sent.

I AM always right on time. It's never too late to live your best life!

Who is this young girl, now in her 50's, who climbs mountains and sits by streams?

Oh death, there is no victory here.

Not while she's singing her life's song.

This little rose hip seems to be saying that its life is sweetest and the most rich here at the end of the season.

It's dry, withered leaves still support this valuable treat.

That's how she wants to be at the end of her growing season. Alive, vibrant, and sweet…

ready to share her life's food to the ones who need it most, even if she's wrinkled and sagging

I AM a mother, at heart. I feed and tend sheep!

I nurture this 50ish me with body love and writing the book I began at age 11. I dare to believe I can live naked and unashamed, fearlessly rewriting myself into a better world, creating a new family legacy and establishing abuse-free zones.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is my story. This is my song.

I'll praise my Savior all my life long.

With a voice of thanksgiving and praise,

I will speak life into everyone I see.

I dare to believe the best is yet to be.

So I will keep on gazing heavenbound, counting the stars.

I focus on the horizon, chasing the Light.

I'll become comfortable in my own skin.

Life is about love.

Loving God, who loves to spend time with us.

Loving my newlywed husband, who loves to love me.

Loving my children and grandchildren more and more each day.

Loving my sister and brothers, my mother and her brother.

Loving my Facebook and Twitter friends.

And especially, loving me.

Sharing life with each other.

Many times it means saying no,

So that we can say yes to our destiny.

Never choose the easy path. It always leads nowhere.

Choose to leap off the cliff. Leap into what you love. Follow your passion.

Know the Kingdom of God is within you, as near as your own heartbeat.

You are ALWAYS safe in His loving care.

Live economically simple so that there is equality.

Talk to people and truly listen to what they say.

Most of us just want to be seen, to be heard, to be known.

And so does God.

Isn't that what life is all about?

This journey has brought me Home.

We need to see the full picture.

On one page or ten or a hundred.

So that's why I help people write their life stories.

So they can hear their own heart's song.

I needed these words today.

I needed to sing my life's song.

For in some ways, my journey is just beginning.

My innocence has been restored.

I am becoming the girl I used to be.

Comfortable in my own skin.

I dare to believe the best has just begun!

Thank you for reading this far. I don't know if it's helped you, but it has encouraged me. Many times, especially during hard times and change, we need to be reminded of our heart's song. You are born with a heart song, just like me. It's your life song. It's part of your story; it's who you are. It's who you are becoming.

Words are powerful. They create our world. We can't change our past but we can write ourselves into a better future and give our children a living family legacy. What are you speaking today? What are you writing? What are you creating today?

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

Copyright © 2014 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

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Schiller April 14, 2016 at 2:40 am

In the bud of innocence awaits the bloom of Truth.

My favourite aphorism. It conjures up great beauty.
We are all born with this Truth. It is part of our Being.
This Truth is not external to us, it is within. When we
seek it we create the illusion that it is elsewhere; it is
not. When we live from the heart/soul, we live in a
place of innocence. There is no struggle, no failure
or victories . . . we are at peace. A childlike state of  
innocence is often described today as being gullible,
or naive, this is a cynical viewpoint. Be childlike, open
and naive . . . experience the birth of your innocence.
In the fresh and open breeze of life, innocence and
Truth hold hands.
I am naive and I . . . choose Love!

Michael J. Roads

Reply

Susan Schiller April 8, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Hi Pat,

I’m sorry you had difficulty with the comments. New commenters are moderated, but you should have no difficulties now!

Thanks so much for writing – I’ve sent a reply via Facebook ๐Ÿ™‚

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Pat Balvanz March 14, 2014 at 9:43 am

Susan, once again you have touched my heart with your beautiful, poetic story. It has helped me connect with my own young and younger life. I salute you for the work you are doing to help others.

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Susan Schiller March 14, 2014 at 11:54 am

Thank you so much, Pat for your kind and encouraging words. I’m so glad this story helped you to discover your own story! I want to read yours! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Jessica Marie March 10, 2014 at 8:56 am

Susan, stories are powerful.  Especially the personal stories.  Thank you so much for sharing this; I truly felt as if I was living with you through your journey.  

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Susan Schiller March 10, 2014 at 9:09 am

Jessica, I’m glad we could share a journey together – thank you for your presence and your grace!

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grace Nathan March 9, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Your life has been such an adventure so far! I loved reading this…reading about your unstoppable courage and determination to continue on no matter what! So inspiring.

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Susan Schiller March 9, 2014 at 2:12 pm

It’s been a ride, hasn’t it… For all of us that really want to know God’s heart, we’re invited into the adventure of life. It’s scary, risky, and requires more daring and stretching than we feel comfortable with, but it’s worth it. I have no regrets, except I wish my mistakes had not hurt other people!

Thank you so much, Grace, for your compassionate, thoughtful words ๐Ÿ™‚

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Debbie March 9, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Love your journey!

 

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Susan Schiller March 9, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Thank you, Debbie, for reading such a long story… I’m humbled by your visit!

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Gayl March 9, 2014 at 10:14 am

Wow! Susan, what amazing experiences you have had.   It's great that through each you can see God's hand.  I think all the experiences have been used by God to give you that compassion, that mother's heart, that realization that with God all things are possible, and that total trust knowing that God is love and will always hold and keep you.  "She dares to believe that the right people will always show up at the right time."  This has been true in my life time after time.  We moved a lot in our first years of marriage and in every place God provided just the people we needed for that time.  Thanks for sharing! 

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Susan Schiller March 9, 2014 at 11:04 am

Your words, Gayl, are Light and Life, healing right down into the bones. It’s life-giving to drink from the streams in our own hearts and the fountains that spring up in each other’s hearts, through the sfaring of our life stories. You are a life-giver! Thanks so much ๐Ÿ™‚

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jamie March 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm

mmm she dares to believe she is a mother at heart. yes, i see that. thank you for opening your heart and your story up here. there is so much hope in the small resurrections you are experiencing <3

"I am becoming the girl I used to be.

Comfortable in my own skin."

may it be.

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Susan Schiller March 9, 2014 at 1:29 am

Jamie, thanks so much for being here – I love the phrase you used, “small resurrections” – may we all have lots of them this year! Yes, “may it be” …. thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

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Adela Just March 8, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Susan, this is breathtaking.  I just want to sit across a table from you and drink in your story.  I want to read this post again and again.  Your life song is beautiful.

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Susan Schiller March 9, 2014 at 12:43 am

Adela, thank you for your kind words, and for all of us, I believe what you’re describing is a resurrection prayer song… that as we scribe these stories we are creating a way to become the girls we once used to be, and more… thank you for your kind words ๐Ÿ™‚

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Anna March 8, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Susan,
Your brave is inspiring – Your life is extraordinary. I'd love to sit over a cup of tea and hear more of your stories, more of your wisdom, more of your hope.

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Susan Schiller March 8, 2014 at 6:03 pm

I’d love to have tea and listen to your story, as well, Anna. I have feeling we share so much in common. Thanks for your blessing here today!

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Beth March 8, 2014 at 11:20 am

Oh Susan.  This is so, so powerful.  Thank you.

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Susan Schiller March 8, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Hugs, Beth – thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

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Brittany Michelle March 8, 2014 at 10:48 am

Oh Susan. I love this. I feel like I just traveled with you toward my own heart's song.

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Susan Schiller March 8, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Your words give me courage, Brittany – to hear your own heart’s song in the story of a sister is a spirit-to-spirit connection. I’m glad our lives have touched today and I look forward to hearing your story… and your song ๐Ÿ™‚

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rachel lee March 8, 2014 at 7:41 am

this is so beautiful, Susan. sing His song…oh that repeats a glorious refrain. 

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Susan Schiller March 8, 2014 at 6:01 pm

I wish I had a singing voice, Rachel… but even though I don’t I still find myself singing, and in the singing, creating. Thanks for being here, Rachel ๐Ÿ™‚

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Joyce Lagana March 5, 2014 at 9:35 am

Dear Sue — I have taken you advice and started to write my life song.  It is much harder than I anticipated, and the going is extremely rough emotionally.  This is going to take some time but I am ever hopeful!  Thank you for caring enough about others to share your insights and your journey.

With love, dear friend.

Joyce

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Susan Schiller March 5, 2014 at 10:41 am

It might be a project that you pick up, like knitting, every once in awhile…. The threads and pattern will still be there later on.

Write only when something pops into your heart, Joyce. Take it slowly and care for your heart in the process. Holy Spirit will guide you and comfort you along the way, but too much can be too much. Don’t feel pressured to finish.

For me, it’s been a project that has taken years, so I’m glad you’ve brought up how challenging it can be.

When you can get that eagle’s vision of your life, from birth to present, it really does make such a difference in feeling “whole”. Don’t rush, and stop when you feel tired. Nourish your soul and be gentle, my brave-hearted friend!

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saida January 29, 2014 at 5:56 am

Hi Susan. by acident or guided by the hand of God I just found you blog and as I read it I cry because I do identified with you I have a simular story is to long to tell you all now but im greatful you puplish this, few day ago a friend told me that I coul write a book. Im kind of aprehensive since english is my second lenguage but you blog encourrage me. I hope I could get the resources I need to accolplish this dream.

be Bless recieve a warm hug

Saida

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Susan Schiller January 29, 2014 at 6:34 am

Dear Saida,

I’m glad you’re here and thank you for connecting! I’d love to hear your story. You sound like a brave, kind-hearted soul. I’m sure we could help you find editors that can help with the English, so let me know, and I’ll see how I can help in any way, okay?

Warm hugs right back!

Sue

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Carolyn Hughes January 18, 2014 at 11:07 am

This post totally touched my heart and soul Susan because I'm very much at the start of the journey to dare to believe. As frightening as it can be, I know that God is with me and reading this has confirmed that I need not be afraid. 

Even as I write this I am full of tears, because I connect with it so much. Thankyou!

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Susan Schiller January 18, 2014 at 11:14 am

Not everyone is able to connect, Carolyn, so it means so much – vastly so much – to me. I’m weeping here, too, because I can visualize your story in my imagination, and one day I hope to read it/hear it. God has done so many miracles in your life. Your family is a living testimony of grace, love, and HOPE! You are a champion – you are a hero!

If you ever need a friend to chat with, I have phone and Skype… I’ll cheer you on <3

Reply

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