It’s Love Calling

It's Love Calling

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

From the series, "Escape to Freedom: Diary of a Battered Preacher's Wife"

Previous Chapter: Moving that Mountain

Intro: For those who have been following my blog, you know there have been times when I've slipped off the map and disappeared for months at a time. I want to briefly summarize what happened during those months… to let you know all is well… and to bring you up to date with a little story…

The red sun tottered on the tips of the mountains burnished golden in the orange glow of sunset, and the whole hillside looked to be ablaze. A warm breeze stirred the knee-high meadow grass, which undulated in gentle waves in the direction of our white Jayco 5th wheel parked in the driveway.

A soft wind moaned musically through the Ponderosa pines creating a symphony of nature's praise, accompanied by the sounds of meadow larks and squirrels. I often thought this quiet evening walk was what kept me from shattering into a million pieces.

Sometimes God answers our prayers in strange ways. Wierd, unthinkable things happen. The ground under our feet shakes, our foundation crumbles, and we stand in the rubble of our deconstructed lives. But love is still there, unmoving as a mountain, the real foundation under the mess.

There are some messes God doesn't want to reform and remold. He wants to build brand new. Sometimes it seems like the craziness is external, but in reality God is messing with our lives to get to our hearts. The dark places are shaking as the Light of dawn awakens our souls.

It's love calling.

Suddenly the sacred notes of wind and bird-song stopped and the whole scene froze as Time stood still. The door slammed open and out of the trailer jumped my husband, a short, barrel-chested man, whose parting words wrenched an electrified jolt of fear down my spine.

"It's your fault! You're holding me back from doing God's work!" He opened the door of his pickup truck, climbed in, and slammed the engine into reverse, switching gears and punching the gas pedal as he careened down the mile-long driveway to the main road. A cloud of dust rose to the tree tops, marking his hasty departure.

He was on his way to town to prepare to take a church youth group on a trip the next day. I hadn't been accompanying him for quite some time. A swollen, painful abdomen had grounded me, producing a blood flow that had continued unabated for seven months. Walking down the driveway was as far as I could go, most days. I was close to dying, the people around me thought.

It was Spring of 2009 and we had been ministering on the road for nearly two-years, after selling our house on the Vermillion. Having spent all of 2003-2006 nursing my husband during 10 surgerical operations, giving him 24/7 care, including suicide-watch, my body, soul, and spirit were spent. In 2006 the Lord healed his body and took away all his pain and I was glad for him. But as for me, I had nothing left to give. I was spent.

The bleeding in my body was trying to signal me it was time for me… time for radical self-care.

No one seemed to understand my need for peace and rest. I was judged as "selfish" and "unsupportive of my husband's desire to be in ministry". I didn't realize the stories he was telling everyone to explain my absence would later become the basis for the church shunning me. Physical and emotional isolation can destroy your soul.

In the solitude of the mountains I began to realize I had sacrificed my identity once again to build someone else's dreams. Have you ever thought that about your life? Have you, too, shrunk your dreams to fit a paycheck… or worked overtime like a crazy person to fulfill someone else's desires?

Even then, love was calling me.

I loved being a wife. I loaded my bookshelves with marriage and self-help books. I listened to personal growth seminars and applied all the lessons I could… but it didn't change my circumstances. Only love can transform our lives, and it takes two to create a life together.

Love was calling even more persistently.

The phone rang. It was my friend Leslie, a busy college professor in California. She told me she was booking a flight to come see me and could we pick her up at the airport on June 4th? A few moments later, an email flashed on my screen, from my friend Rennetta in South Africa, an extremely busy business woman. Her letter said, "I've got a flight scheduled to arrive on June 4th and I want to spend time with you in Montana. Can you come pick me up on June 4th?" Coincidence?

Yet again, it was love calling.

A solitary woman standing on a mile-long driveway in the mountains of Montana, unable to go anywhere. Isolated in nearly every way, battered in body, mind, and spirit but not forgotten. Was it coincidence that two busy friends, independently and separately, without the other knowing, planned a trip to my area on June 4th, to see me?

Love was calling.

That was the day the bleeding stopped. Coincidence? Love overcomes all evil.

Erv & Sally York

A month later, two of my dearest friends from Michigan traveled all the way to Northwestern Montana to see me, camping in their van, next to our RV. Since I couldn't go home; they brought home to me!

It was Love calling.

A short time later my husband and I went back on the road, ministering again. Although the bleeding had stopped, my blood still needed months to rebuild itself to full strength. But the show went on and I had to Cowgirl Up real fast, as we landed on a ranch in Pavillion, Wyoming.

Isolated in a rural town on the edge of the vast Wind River Reservation, love was still calling.

My friend Amy Gilhouse, a woman I grew up with, and her husband arrived to visit. It was a strategic time, a renewal of friendship that would bridge the gap between Wyoming and Michigan in so many ways. I needed a touch from home. Amy and Gilly, in opening your own home and hearts to me in Michigan, you also saved my life!

A few days later my mom and step-dad joined us for a few days, traveling all the way from Michigan to Wyoming. Mom and Jerry have loved me through thick and thin, and whether near or far, I feel their love every day!

Love was calling yet again and again.

My husband was restless and began traveling on extended trips, leaving me in charge of the ranch. Throwing hay to 100 cows twice a day, feeding 30 horses, and trying to figure out all the ins and outs of ranching all at once, was a severe endurance test for me. My body was still very weak.

There were days when I'd hammer the ice off the water troughs, start haying the cows, and only get half-way done before I felt like collapsing. My blood was still low and I was anemic. I had fibromyalgia, too. But I'd look at the hungry cows and tell them, "I can do it!" and I always did. I never missed a feeding. I got stronger.

My husband's family warned me to be quiet; to not let the public know my husband had left me alone on the ranch. Well, I didn't broadcast it, but I didn't keept it secret, either. That didn't go over well.

A few months later, he left with no intention to return, declaring, "God told me I had to choose between him and you, and that he wanted me to minister." On that very day, a dear friend who I hadn't seen in many years, Cindy, traveled from Illinois to spend a few days with me. She had no idea how strategic her vacation was, but her presence kept me from falling completely apart. Cindy, you saved my life!

That was Love calling, in disguise. God knew ahead of time I would be abandoned in the middle of the wilderness.

All through this "valley of the shadow of death" God pursued and wooed me in the wilderness. He usually used people.

I wonder how much we realize how powerful our simple actions of picking up the phone, sending an email, clicking "like" on a Facebook status, using Skype, or making a trip can save a life!

Around 8:30-ish each morning Pastor Mark Kuntz would Skype me with all kinds of weird and whacky emoticons to make me smile. He'd always ask, "How're you doin' Sis?" Knowing all the intricate details of our lives, Mark's advice helped me sort through the confusion of living with a sociopath.

Facebook became another lifeline, as a former pastor named David Grant discovered I was sinking in the stormy sea of "deconstruction" as not only was I losing marriage and home, but also most of my ministry network. At one point, I told a friend, "I'm shipwrecked – I think I'm losing my faith!"

David's Facebook header is a graphic of a lighthouse shining brightly in a dark, stormy sea… and his insightful questions arrested my attention off the towering waves and onto the solid ground of "what God really said," as witnessed by my own heart. David patiently answered my groping questions, not by telling me what to think, but how to think for myself. I began to think for myself! David was one of the ones who noticed my online absences and called me on the phone to make sure I was okay… not once or twice, but many times.

I had been in a copywriting class with Sandi Krakowski, and several of my online friends caught a whiff of my internal struggles the year that my husband left me. My husband had told our marriage counselors that he was intentionally trying to sabotage my online business efforts, so finally I did quit that phase of business building until I could learn to calm the stormy sea, like Jesus taught us. One of my classmates, Sharon O'Day, stuck with me, never letting me go through an online withdrawal without calling or emailing me to find out how I was doing and to let me know she was there for me. She is passionate (for real!) about helping women take control of their finances and their lives.

Kimberly and Josh Dimick spent hours helping me to adjust my mindset regarding spiritual and marital abuse. Many Christian wives have a false belief system, perpetuated by the church, about "submission" and "long-suffering" and they become "standers" who pray and hope for change, but with that mindset change is usually for the worse instead of the better. The Dimick's loved me back to life, wooing me with the love of Jesus, and changing how I viewed myself. The process took several years and is ongoing. Kimberly and Josh have the most pure love in counseling I've ever witnessed!

Love calls when you least expect it, in the most surprising ways.

Koleen, Linda, and Christine came to my house, sat in my living room, and we traded stories… stories that literally broke the spiritual chains that were binding me to a cross that was not mine to carry. It was the power of your stories that healed my broken wings and gave me courage to fly again. I might have drowned in a sea of self-blaming and shaming if it weren't for your stories! But most of all, I cherish your unconditional love! You also opened your beautiful homes to me during my time of homelessness, but more than your homes, you opened your hearts and made me feel beautiful.

In a neighboring state, Ken and Donna, beckoned me to come their way, offering their home as a resting place. There are some people who have seen so much tragedy and darkness in the world, but it's like they just come through shining ever brighter… and that's Ken and Donna. I began to realize where home really is – it's in our hearts, right in those places where all your forever friends and family reside!

Love calls us Home.

Andrea and Lloyd also know pain and suffering, and when they saw what was happening, they gave me a key to their house and told me I was welcome anytime, for as long as I needed. Andrea's cowgirl up stories inspired me to dig deeper and to climb higher. Their daily visits to the ranch in Pavillion were like a ray of sunshine that kept my little bloom open to the Light. I treasure how they treasured my granddaughter and daughter, and through the shared tragedy of the death of their young horse, we learned to cry together as well as to laugh again with the new filly.

Love calls us with tears and laughter.

Dick and Joyce said the healing words that broke a choking layer of shame and guilt, that was acting like grime on the motor of my heart. They said to me, "Sue, we find no Truth in your ex-husband but we know the Truth in you. We've worked alongside you and have always felt peaceful with you." Dick, who needs to know how powerful his words and ministry really are, I hope you know the power of that blessing! You saved my life πŸ™‚

Love calls with a life-preserver!

Kara and John Paul, whose open arms and hospitality are as big as the wide open fields of Wyoming, invited me with unconditional love into their home, letting me know that they saw through the scams of my ex-husband, but they did not judge me.

Do you realize the power of validation? For victims of sociopaths, validation – that you see behind the clever deception that hardly anyone else sees – is worth more than millions of dollars!

Barbara and Joann and Jill are women who know this "emotional gold" – this immeasurable valuable form of encouragement: validation. Each of them, even in the midst of their own deep pain, reached out to me via private messaging on Facebook. Anxious for me if I was absent from Facebook, their prayers and loving words of concern blessed me deeply – forever!

Did you know that Facebook hugs really work? Try it today… it goes like this (((( my dear reader )))) … and then to make a heart, type in <3! It really works πŸ™‚

Love calls even when you don't expect it.

Denise and Craig and Marilyn and Lynnette, all from a church I was part of in its inception, each went out of their way to love me even during my time of being MIA from church.

Love calls when it knows it has no chance of receiving anything in return.

Shane and Suzan are ones who show this kind of love all the time, in every way, shape, and form. I had the courage to be a lone rancher for weeks at a time, knowing this capable and generous couple were only a few miles away, if ever an emergency should arise. They knew I had no transportation and even volunteered to leave a truck for me. They loved my daughter and granddaughter, even gifting them a colt and a cat. This is the kind of couple that would gladly give you the shirt off their back, and I'm sure they are much taken advantage of. Listening to Suzan's story gave me the courage to keep dreaming big dreams.

While most pastors and ministry leaders stayed far away from me, never calling or asking how I was, Brent Hanson did not shun me, and for that, I thank God for him…  Linda H is another ministry leader who ignored the shunners and embraced me.

Many times people back off, simply because they don't know what to think or say when faced with a divorce. In the case of a sociopath, most Christians choose the side of the sociopath, for reasons I will be sharing in my upcoming book, "On the Way Home".

Love calls when everyone else is silent, even if you don't know what to say.

It's kind of funny, but at my weakest point, living alongside the Big Horn River (my yard in photo above) in a Winnebago, a Korean man from Seoul named Sang-dae began following my blog. He asked me to interview him over Skype and we made plans to record his life story. Nearby, at the same time, a missionary asked me to record his life story. I thought to myself, "I have no running water, just an outhouse for a bathroom, and no home to call my own (the Winnie belonged to a friend) but here I am doing business alongside a gorgeous river!" It helped me, more than either of them imagined, to be involved with my passion (listening to and recording life stories)!

Many people don't realize that whether you leave a sociopath or the abuser leaves you, that the first two years are a very vulnerable time. Up seems down, and down seems up. You have to re-invent yourself from the inside out. It's like you're wounded and naked and lying by the side of road… much like the victim who was robbed in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Women, in particular, need the protection of brothers who are safe… who will affirm their worth but not take advantage of their weakness. If you are a man, never try to rescue a wounded woman unless you are a whole person, yourself. You can easily do more damage than good, as well as hurting yourself in the process.

The missionary/business man ended up tricking me into a job and a place to live as onsite manager, and then attempted to seduce me. When I didn't do as he wanted regarding his personal wants, I lost both my job and place to live. The "Rescuer" is the most common predator and we need to be wise to his methods, if not for ourselves, for the women who are recovering from abuse!

At the same time, a young couple just starting their family were connected to me via our ministry network. They are the same age as my youngest child and yet despite their youth, they have been across the world, serving with a large ministry that cares for orphans in several African countries. The wife has written a powerful book and the husband had joined the same business opportunity I was in. We were friends who had not yet met in person, but we had known each other for over a year. In a surprise move that literally knocked me off my feet, when the wife learned I was "single" she forbade her husband from ever having contact with me again. She sent me a scathing letter about how inappropriate it was for a SINGLE woman to be in business with a married man! It was a "hit and run" letter, as she refused to allow me any time to address her issues. She simply wanted to nail me for what was happening in her head. We each have to take responsibility for our own decisions, and for me, I laid down that business and let it, also, die.

There were heavy losses that year, in business and ministry and life. I was beginning to feel like Job in the Old Testament, but I knew it wasn't God who was forsaking me. In fact, it was Love calling me OUT of business and ministry and taking me into the wilderness to be wooed by a God so much bigger than my small mind could then conceive. It's been happening to a lot of other people, I was soon to discover.

What I heard God whispering to me, was that He was grooming me to grin in the face of disaster.

Love calls you out for your good!

I did leave Wyoming, after two years, with the favor of God and the generosity of Jeanne and David Costello, who mailed me traveling funds. They did not know I had a need. Jeanne is a friend from a ministry we both worked in, and although we live world's apart, she's never left my side. We believe in each other and there are some connections that the storms of life cannot sever. Those are the relationships that really matter, don't you think? I hope you have friends such as these!

Deb is another such friend who sent me funds that were put into this website. Hosting, domains, and all the little necessities of owning a website can be costly. She also has a powerful story and has given me permission to write it… so you'll get to hear from her and many other ladies, very soon!

Love calls to ask about practical needs, as well as emotional and spiritual.

Lastly, and most importantly, for my Mom and Jerry… my brothers, Mark and Gregg; my sister, Cindy; my children, Jill and Sara and Rob; my nieces and nephews… how can I begin to say thanks for the incredible love and support you've given me! How many times you've volunteered to come pack me up and move me to a safe haven… but I wanted and needed to make it on my own. I wanted to see God's face shine in the darkest of places. It's in the wilderness that God so tenderly wooes us, and I would never trade these years of hardship and agony for anything!

Love called tenderly via phone, Skype, Facebook, email, and face-to-face visits.

Sometimes God answers our prayers in strange ways. Wierd, unthinkable things happen. The ground under our feet shakes, our foundation crumbles, and we stand in the rubble of our deconstructed lives. But love is still there, unmoving as a mountain, the real foundation under the mess.

It's love calling.

I spent two years in Wyoming, following my ex-husband's departure. He sent divorce papers to me from Illinois, warning me not to hire an attorney. I didn't. I wish I had.

I lived part of that time along a river bank, part of the time in a hay field, and part of the time in a rented house. Yet, I wasn't alone – God brought three friends into my life (Michelle, Bodie, and Michael), for whom I'm forever grateful. I was adopted into a family who worshiped the Lakota way, while most of my friends continued to shun me.

After two years of radical self-care, God brought an amazing new friend into my life… Wayland. We met in the hot springs on a day I'll never forget – and today we are together forever.

It's Love Calling!

Today I am remarried and my heart is healing every day. Wayland nurtures and nourishes me, body and soul. And I'm getting very serious about my writing. I hope to have the long-promised book, "On the Way Home," in your hands very soon!

It's you, my reader, that I cherish as much as all the names I've put into this story. There's no way I could possibly name everyone here, but in this link, there are many, many more people who are the face, hand, and voice of God to me!

Some of my blogging friends who have encouraged and inspired me to keep on writing:

Love is always calling us to a higher path – a path of honoring, of shedding our illusions and awakening to a love-based reality, of empowering ourselves and others… and it takes a team of people in your life to bridge the gap between fear-based living and love-based living. And that's why I'm here…

I am writing to show God's grace and mercy can hold us steady when everything around us begins to crash and crumble. Love is always calling, even in the darkest of times. And now that I've brought you up to date with my own little life story, how about if you share a bit with me? There's a comment box a little ways down, if you scroll a bit… I'd love to hear from you!

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 © 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

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol Giambri August 17, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Susan,

What a story!  It is breathless!  It is a story of hope and encouragement to women, but surely not being the male voice, I'm sure some have their own story too — even from the male perspective in the ministry of their struggles in their marriage.  But, in the opposite way you shared here.  Another words, your story being their story as the male speaking theirs out.  You have a new life in Christ that you and Wayland are living happily, married till "death do you part."  I'm sure there are several ministry women who can relate to your story which is a rare niche of being so transparent too.  It is a colorful story of what can come with "mustard seed faith" and how God works in HIS own mysterious ways.  I am very excited to read this story and be a small part of it when the struggles were very high.  You are a survivor!  I am very proud that you didn't quit on life but kept pursuing whatever God had in store for you.  Susan, I am glad to call you friend. Loved the video.  Can't wait to read more about your continued journey as it evolves.  Thanks for sharing the personal part of your life that you could have kept silent, but through it all, I'm sure you will impact all women in one way or another. Probably men too.  Great vid and picture of your both.  Very excited that you can be real and not have to do a "cover up" story and live with it buried in your heart. You came out of the "woods" too!  Hope we meet before Heaven!  God bless you both!  Let's continue to stay in touch. 

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Susan Schiller August 17, 2014 at 7:53 pm

I hope we meet before Heaven, too, Carol, for I so love your sweet spirit! Thank you for being part of my life, sweetening and spicing it up.

Thanks so much, sweet friend!

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Marvia August 13, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Susan,

You are such a beloved treasure.  Thank you for extending grace and opportunity to join the story-voices of women of grace and beauty.  I have learned and grown so much as you each have spoken life to me.  May God's rich blessings continue to overflow you!!!

πŸ˜‰

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Susan Schiller August 13, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Dear Marvia,

It takes a community, doesn’t it… to feel our combined strength and energy to release our voice. I am glad you are releasing your voice, your story, in your own timing and place… it’s a beautiful treasure because you are beautiful… thank you for your encouraging words!Β Β  xxxoooxxx

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Pat Moon August 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Oh, Susan, my heart aches for what you have endured but than, my heart rejoices in how you have endured and conquered. I am so thankful to be priviledged to be called a friend through the bonding Love our God has given us. He has given us the ability to allow love to lift us to higher ground. It is encouraging to me to know you feel the love through your facebook and internet connections. I, too, have met so many very special friends whom I have never had the opportunity to meet in person. We live in a fairly isolated location. Right now we are not connected to a particular church group so much of my communication with the outside world is through the internet. I thank God for it. Thank you so much for bringing us up to date with your life story.
 

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Susan Schiller August 8, 2013 at 6:09 pm

I can relate to living in an isolated area, Pat… what part of the country are you in? I’m in SE Montana, in an Indian reservation. Thanks so much for your kind words! πŸ™‚

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Gertraud Walters August 8, 2013 at 9:26 am

Oh dear Susan, I feel so honoured that you mentioned my name. I can hardly imagine how hurtful and abusive some of your experiences have been, but I do understand the full impact of others as we have been though similar seasons.

Nothing happens by coincidence, our Life has been divinely mapped out and I do believe that part of our Restoration comes through the Social Media Channels. Weeping may endure for a night but Joy comes in the Morning.  Much Love from across the pond πŸ™‚

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Susan Schiller August 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm

When I look back on those years, Gertraud, I see only joy and happiness now. Whatever darkness there was has been filled with glory… the essence of love in and through so many forever friends and family. I know you know what that’s like! ((( Gertraud ))) πŸ™‚

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Jessica Stone August 8, 2013 at 7:01 am

What a treasure you are!!!  You make me cry and smile at the same time.  I know that I know that I know that God used YOU in MY life at a very crucial time for me to hear Him through the static of everyone else's opinions and beliefs.  He was giving me direction that could have only come through Him – you were one of the vessels He used.  So, even though you have been through hell and back, God has used what He's taught you – healing from the inside out – to speak into my life and have a dramatic, profound, positive, Godly effect that I wouldn't trade for anything.  May He bless you RICHLY – more than you can ask, think, or dream.  Lots of love!!!  xxoo

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Susan Schiller August 8, 2013 at 7:56 am

Jessica, I felt so honored and privileged to read part of your story. It’s humbling to think that something I could share might lift you up, and I’m glad it helped. There is so much static, isn’t there, when we listen to everyone’s advice. It gets so very confusing. When the dust settles, if we can get very still, we find we already known in our hearts what to do. God never abandons us and His spirit not only comforts but guides.

The path to recovery is usually longer than we predict it will be; but that part of the journey is sacred, too. We must not think we have to rush, to move on before we’re ready, to “be okay”. You make me smile, Jessica! πŸ™‚ I’m glad we can weep together, laugh together… and to love, to care, and to heal, as your website is all about!

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Cyn Rogalski August 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Oh dear Susan I am in tears reading these parts of your story; my heart aches for the hurts you have endured yet LEAPS with JOY over God’s Hand in each and every occurrence! You have indeed experienced His unending supply of ‘Honey From the Rock’. I am honored & privileged to have had my path cross yours. Sweet sister, know I will continue to pray for you!
Cyn Rogalski recently posted..All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name!My Profile

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Susan Schiller August 7, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Hi Cyn, you are certainly one of God’s mighty warriors – and I’m so glad we’ve met! Your “honey from the rock” sculpture sits on my desk next to my laptop! You’re such an amazing artist, writer, and prayer warrior!!! πŸ™‚

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Kimberly August 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Susan and Wayland (too), πŸ™‚

Seeing as Wayland is the Lord's perfect gift woven into the tapestry of your life, beloved Susan; I wanted to include him in this response to your poignant and inspiring story of courage and raw honesty. I want to acknowledge and thank Wayland for loving you as Christ loves His own Bride. There are lesser men who would have walked by a woman who had been ravaged by the abuse and reproach of others. Most would not stop and bend down to bring God's love to you. This is what a true love story is all about. In the perfect time, the Lord sent to you a man like Jesus, a kinsman redeemer, who God entrusted, to bring you down the homestretch to God's promise of  restoration ( waiting up ahead for you the whole time!) πŸ™‚ 

Some of the most beautiful words in all of God's Word are, "….And it came to pass".  I love that you were "on your way home" and instead God surprised you and brought you a man who loves God and would provide that safe place to dwell,…..a house of love.  I love that God hit that one out of the park!  I applaud Wayland for being a man of God. When he came upon you he did not realize what a glorious gift he had found. He found a great treasure buried underneath the rubble of life and struck GOLD! I pray blessing and honor over your lives and ask God to make your marriage reflect the greatest love story ever told!

I am speechless, Susan that you would include Joshua and I in that company of those who blessed you.  Funny thing is that if God in His deep, deep love for YOU, used our imperfect and ordinary lives to even bring one ounce of Jesus to you…then we are the ones who are honored and blessed beyond words.  We stand back in awe of your love for Jesus and the perseverance, courage and faithful response of your heart toward Him throughout that time of enduring the night……"On Your Way Home."  What praise comes from our hearts as we rejoice at all the great things the Lord has done. To see JOY come as God brought you THROUGH, …to really know Jesus' heart of love for YOU and to receive His gift of love from Wayland, a blessing just for you. It is amazing that God got you through that 'deconstruction' of your life, and helped you navigate through those fearful places, to bring truth to your confusion and set your feet on His high places. I pray the best is yet to come and am certain it will be because the most beautiful and perfect parts of this life, on this side of eternity are that we can not un-know His love once we have given our hearts away to Jesus. We can not undo that even when everything around us falls apart. It is through surrendering our lives to Jesus every moment, of every day, through every season, even when we feel like the best parts of us are dying…. that we live, truly live. 

LIFE to you and Wayland! 

We love you sister, really, really love you.

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Susan Schiller August 7, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Kimberly and Josh, I treasure your words and your hearts! If I could pinch the thousands of miles between us, I’d step right over and give you the biggest, warmest hug – to both of you at once! Your prophetic words have created life inside of me… like a mama and papa, as well as a sister and brother, you’ve spoken the words over my life that have ignited faith to believe I could create a new life. Whatever good I’m able to do in this world is in large part due to your influence – I love you with all my heart!

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Carolyn Hughes August 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Your story is hard for me to read in places because your writing is so real and so raw. Only God could heal you and restore you from such dark depths. And I am so glad that you met Wayland. You deserve all the love in the world. God is so amazing!

Thank you for the mention too Susan. I really am honoured to be counted as a friend. God Bless You!

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Susan Schiller August 7, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I love reading your stories, Carolyn, at the Hurt Healer. We’ve walked down similar paths and the beauty that emanates from heart has enriched my life immensely!

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Sharon O'Day August 5, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Sue, I've had glimpses these last few years, but am so moved at seeing the whole picture presented as a symphony, both written and visual.  May the loving and nurturing be the only thing you know from here forward …

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Susan Schiller August 6, 2013 at 7:45 am

What a beautiful blessing, Sharon… both your words and your heart… thank you so much! πŸ™‚

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Sharon O'Day August 9, 2013 at 10:37 am

Sue, now that I read it again, with names filled in, the pieces fit a little tighter.  I never knew what my role was, only that my heart "told" me to reach out at different times to reassure you that you had a safety net, both financial and emotional.  Wayland is on the front lines now, but know that … way, way back … I'm still standing there with my little net in my hands.  Not that I ever expect to have to use it for you.  You're where you belong.

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Susan Schiller August 9, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Today, I was threatened once again, to remain silent… pushed back, pushed out… When I took time to visit the places in my heart where my true friends reside, it made me a whole new person. Yet, as I awakened in the middle of the night last night, I discovered there are still “rooms” in my heart where there are sick ministry relationships. For those people, as much as you don’t want to, you just have to cut them out and love them from a distance…. or they will make you sick from the inside out with their toxic issues.

You are always a “front stage” person, Sharon… I visit your website as much as I can because you are like a compass needle pointing toward personal independence, financially and more. What I’ve come to discover, is that without personal freedom and especially financial independence, women (men, too, but far more women) are in positions where predators can easily make their mark.Β  Financial independence, for me, is a matter of necessity because my deepest desire is to see cultural change in the way women are treated in society. I thank you, Sharon, for your motherly presence – so very much!!! <3

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Gertraud Walters August 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm

It's Love Calling. Amen and Amen.

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Susan Schiller August 6, 2013 at 8:29 am

Thanks for taking time to read and comment, Gertraud – I love your heart!

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rachel lavern August 2, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Your story reminds me of how God will show us how to use what we've gone through for good.  We do not need to waste your sorrows. God has a perfect plan for us to turn the ashes of past hurts and mistakes into a thing of beauty.

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Susan Schiller August 3, 2013 at 8:03 am

Absolutely, I agree with you Rachel!

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Marvia August 2, 2013 at 6:10 pm

WoW oh WoW Susan.  Love this story of redemption.  He makes beautiful things on our leaves – even the dusty broken pieces.

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Susan Schiller August 2, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Hi Marvia,

We have so much to learn about redemption, don’t we…. how there is no place too dark, too deep, that the Love of God doesn’t shine all the more brightly! Thanks so much for your lovingkindness to me, Marvia – have a blessed weekend!

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Princess Shimari August 2, 2013 at 5:08 pm

What impactful and insightful reading. You certainly have a gift. God's word says that the gifts he deposited in us will make room for us. 

Great to have come across this writing. 

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Susan Schiller August 2, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Hi Princess,

I really like your name, by the way! Thanks so much for sharing πŸ™‚

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Keri Kight August 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Susan, you truly are a strong woman!  I love your writing style; it's beautiful.  Thank you for such a lovely story.  It's wonderful to hear that you have a happy ending.  πŸ™‚

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Susan Schiller August 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Some of the strongest women I’ve encountered are people like you, Keri, who have their whole lives in front of them… and yet seem to have already lived a whole lifetime in the amount of wisdom they’ve gathered. I truly wish I had learned as much as you have in my first two decades! Thanks so much for taking time to read and share, Keri!

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Luke Blower August 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I spend most of my time online surrounded by biz opp offers, campaigns, spammers, etc.etc. so to come across this really touching story early on a saturday morning was a real breath of fresh air. Thank you and so lad you found happiness.

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Susan Schiller August 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Hi Luke,

It’s Friday afternoon here, and you’re already into Saturday morning – wow! It truly is amazing to navigate the online waters and you never know what will appear in front of you. I’ve found so many delightful surprises in this diverse group of bloggers! Thanks so much πŸ™‚

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Rachael August 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Wow Susan what a great story. 

Wishing you all the love and happiness in the world. 

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Susan Schiller August 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Thanks so much, Rachael! πŸ™‚

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Leanne Chesser August 2, 2013 at 10:55 am

Wow, Susan! Beautiful writing. I also when through a period of time when I lost everything. I call it my year from hell. However, what seemed like the worst year of my life ended up being the best as well because of what I learned and what came out of it. Thanks for sharing your story and I'm so grateful that you have a beautiful new life :). 

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Susan Schiller August 2, 2013 at 11:05 am

Leanne, that’s a beautiful way to look at it. I agree… there is so much beauty that God has brought out of the “year of hell” and I’m truly grateful for the hard times! Thanks so much for visiting and sharing a little of your story. I look forward to hearing more of your story πŸ™‚

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Merle Gibbins August 2, 2013 at 10:24 am

Loved reading your story and glad you found love everlasting.  Loved the video.  Thanks for sharing.

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Susan Schiller August 2, 2013 at 10:43 am

You’re very thoughtful and kind, Merle – thanks so much! πŸ™‚

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ruby August 2, 2013 at 9:16 am

Brought tears to my eyes while reading this. You are a very brave.
 

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Susan Schiller August 2, 2013 at 9:33 am

You have a huge heart, Ruby – thanks for your kind words πŸ™‚

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WILLIAM O'TOOLE August 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Susan…

 

How do you do that? Do you fingers type when your eyes are shut? Your writing is just so pure…energy.. i can feel it… You are one great person and I am so very glad that you have managed to find love and that you are healing.. It might take a while but you will get there.

 

WIlliam

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Susan Schiller August 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Hi William,

Life is quite a journey, isn’t it. Your words have encouraged me and I thank you! Have a great day πŸ™‚

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Marty Simons August 1, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Susan, Your story is so well written and inspiring. We all have challenges in our lives and your words will be inspiring to those who read them.

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Susan Schiller August 1, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Hello Marty – your words are encouraging and thoughtful – thanks so much!

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