Focus on the Light

Escaping the Traps

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

From the series, "Dream Parables"

The following dream was a setup for my entire life. In that, I discovered that we are the directors of our own life stage. When we allow God to direct us, we can change our circumstances for the good. When we follow our own understanding or "fate" or even evil, it doesn't go so well. But even then, God is standing by to change the set. No darkness is too deep for him.
 
Usually our dreams paint a picture of our reality and may show us what will happen, if we continue on that path. This particular dream was the life I was to live for the next 40 years.
 
The room was quiet and peaceful. This tiny house had been my home for as long as I could remember. I had few needs and far fewer wants, but it was lonely.

From above the plain kitchen table, the eyes of a man looked down, as if he were beckoning me to follow him. It was a framed picture of Jesus. There were no other pictures. As I looked around my one-room cottage, I wondered, “Isn’t there something more?”  Something was sparking and sputtering inside my soul. It felt like butterfly wings and I wondered, what was this strange, wild stirring that caused me to feel restless? I knew there was something more to life than I had previously experienced.

Desire opened my eyes to see a door, where there had not been one before. It was a portal into a new place, where I was to discover both the deepest darkest place in the world as well as the highest, brightest place of Light and Beauty.

With heart racing, my fingers clutched the smooth doorknob. Before I knew it, the hinges opened softly, the door swept open, and deep blackness engulfed me. At first, I felt smothered by this tangible, inky black substance but it gave way as I pushed forward. The warm light from my open cottage door quickly diminished as I entered what appeared to be an underground labyrinth of clammy tunnels and echoing caves.

Accustomed to only the peace and quiet of my solitary cottage, I was startled to hear the groans and cries of people who seemed to be in long, deep suffering. Their haunted cries echoed back to me from the depths of this lifeless place. Compassion and outrage rose up within me, causing me to run forward. Who would dare to make people suffer life this?

I forced a door open and crashed into a cavernous room. In the dim light I saw hundreds and thousands of people – as far as my eyes could see – had fallen into deep pits of quicksand and were hopelessly and endlessly stuck. They were in various stages of sinking and free fall and had no one to help them out.

It took only a few minutes to process what I was seeing. The pits were unavoidable in this dark place. It wasn’t the victim’s fault for getting trapped, but there must be a way out, I thought to myself. And just then, I saw the Light. It was far in the distance but straight ahead. From a place deep within me, I just knew that if I focused on the Light and ran “blind” without looking down or to the sides, I would make it.

I tore my focus from the pits and started running as fast as my legs could carry me. Hope was all I had but it carried me though the darkness as if it were full of light. My feet never stumbled – it was as if the darkness parted, as I plunged through toward the ever-growing beacon of light.

Suddenly, my feet touched thick, green grass, and a beautiful meadow with trees and flowers opened up. I joyfully fell into the soft, lush grass and relished the warm rays of the sun comforting my clammy skin. Birds chirped cheerfully in an atmosphere charged with life. The longer I soaked in the warm sun and drank in the beauty of this amazing place, the more charged with life I became. There was no longer any question of “something more” – this was the place I had always longed for. It was a place of abundant, vibrant life!

A whole new world beckoned me to explore the fullness of this exciting place. I wanted to know everything about the meadow. But from behind me, the cries of innumerable tortured souls could still be heard from the dreadful pits and I could not leave them behind. What if someone went back to tell them about this amazing place so close by? I quickly retraced my steps and re-entered the cavern. It seemed like a daunting task to pull each one out, but I began the work with a heartiness of spirit born out of my experience of soaking in the life-giving and life-sustaining meadow. The sun had warmed me and healed me from the inside out. The meadow had put a new resilience and boldness into me that brought the determination and the strength to get the rescue job done.

Recognizing the faces of some of the tortured ones – family members and friends, I shouted to be heard above their cries. I explained there was only one way out and that they needed to focus on the Light. But these poor souls had been smothered in the cold, clammy muck and mire of unbelief, doubt, and fear for so long that they could not see or hear the truth. They could no longer see – their eyes were blind and their ears could not understand my words. I realized it was my story that would cause them to trust me to gently lift them up and guide them out.

One by one, I pulled and dragged the victims out, and each time I deposited the weary soul on the life-giving green grass of the meadow under the healing rays of the sun. They would lie on the grass, listening to the music of the birds with the comforting warmth of the sun to heal their tortured minds and bodies and souls. Many of them went on to live in the meadow, exploring the depths of the richness of that world. But I kept returning to the cave, over and over again, bringing more victims out, one by one by one.

Some of the victims screamed at me, others blamed me for their plight, and once in awhile some would try to pull me into the pits with them. It seemed that my freedom to come and go created a fire of jealousy and made them feel worse! Their condition left them weary under heavy loads of guilt and shame, which seemed to become heavier whenever they witnessed me, clean of the stench of the pits. I worked more and more feverishly, trying to please them – trying to help them to see that they could also be free.

I grew weary, and spent more and more of my days and nights in the cave than in the meadow of light. I thought I was the only one and that there were so many to be saved. So I just kept working, until the joy of rescue turned into a nightmare of duty and obligation. And then I would wake up, glad that so many had been rescued, but very tired.

I began having “The Pits” dream over and over at about age 9.  Night after night, I experienced the same dream. Until one day, it dawned on me that I had the power to stop the dream. One night I determined in my mind that I would NOT open that door. I would remain in the quiet room. It worked. The dream never returned after that decision. But the message was woven into the very fabric of my life. And that is exactly how my whole life turned out to be!

At age 5 I learned how to hear God's voice, at age 12 I asked God to send me to the gates of hell to rescue people. In my 30's, I asked God to give me His hardest tests. I'm not sure those were good prayers, but they do explain a lot about how I became known as "the most abused woman" my counselors had yet met.

It's the reason I share the "hellish" stories of my life. It's why I keep going back into the dark places. If just one person will hear my story and trust me, I can help them find peace. I wish so much that someone had been around to talk to me, during my struggles in the pits. There were so many days, I record in my diaries, that I just wanted an older woman to talk to.

I'm in my 50's now, so I guess that qualifies as "older". I want to give to younger women what I wish I had had… just someone to talk things out with. Someone who will tell the stories that need to be told. Someone who will say, "Enough is enough, let's get you out of this pit!"  You may not have been abused but you probably know someone who has. I hope you will help me spread the word that there is no pit too deep that God will not bring escape.

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 her way out of hell to a rich and satisfying life. In her lifetime, Susan has served in duties ranging from home school mom – to pastor –  to full-time deliverance minister – and to Midwest regional prayer coordinator for a large international ministry. These days you can usually find Susan soaking in her favorite hot springs pool, reading a book (or several), blogging, baking bread, or hanging out with her family and friends. You can get a free copy of Susan's upcoming book, "On the Way Home" by registering here.

Copyright 2014, Susan Schiller, http://TeamFamilyOnline.com.  For reprint permission for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebekah Hope May 6, 2014 at 9:52 am

With every journey back to those pits I see another jewel placed in your crown. What treasure you will have to lay at the feet of Jesus. 

Thank you for coming back for us. 

 

Reply

Susan Schiller May 6, 2014 at 11:08 am

Tears, Rebekah… you’ve made me cry! And you give me hope, too!

Reply

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