Redemption through Meaningful Suffering

Redemption through Meaningful Suffering

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

"Does the hurting ever end?" I often asked. It had been decades of intense psychological torture. Every time I went to God he gave me words and images of such incredble beauty and truth. I recorded them, and as I did, they began to paint a picture of my future, and gradually I began to shift to God's version of my story, not mine.

Today, the pain has meaning. It was the Spirit of Truth that surgically rooted out my duplicity. I played my role as victim. Without a victim, a predator has nothing to abuse. 

To shift from victim to survivor meant seeing a different image and believing a different way. The only counselor who could tell me the way out was God himself. I had traveled the country, attended conferences, bought all the books, listened to all the audios I could get, but when it all boiled down to the reality of getting my life back, only God had the Truth that could cut through the heavy chains binding me.

The Truth is like a double-edged sword, capable of separating spirit and soul. (Hebrews 4) The enemy within is the first who must be disarmed, by wielding the Truth against our fears, worries, and doubts… and mostly against our false self – the person we pretend to be to please others. Once you've defeated the enemy within, you carry the authority to speak into situations and people around you.

"He has nothing in me," Jesus said of his ancient foe. Therefore, even death could not detain or overpower Jesus. Jesus had no problem with duplicity.

He laid down his life willingly, even to the point of being tortured on the cross. He could have saved himself, but he chose a better way – the way of suffering. He saw beyond the pain and Scripture says he saw his great reward, and for the JOY set before him, he endured the cross. 

"Your dignity can be mocked, abused, compromised, toyed with, and even badmouthed, but it can never be taken from you. You have the power today to reset your boundaries, restore your image, start fresh with renewed values and rebuild what has happened to you in the past." – Shannon L. Alder

The spiritual doctors and nurses who healed me were God-sent messengers in the form of torturers. Christian leaders who silenced me and covered up the crime. They blamed me for my abuser's actions. It was they who caused me to dig deeper, into solid rock, to build my foundation on Truth.

I'm not condoning abuse, nor am I calling what was done to me good. No way. But what God did was to use even the psychological torture to make me bigger, better, and stronger. This is my revenge, and it's God's way of making things right. He's grooming me to grin in the face of disaster, to run to the battle, and to be part of setting things right on earth.

Maybe you have a heart for justice, for healing the earth and all it's creatures. If so, perhaps you know what it's like to endure the pain and to find meaning from your suffering. Even Jesus found meaning in what he suffered, and for the joy of the vision he saw in the future, he gladly paid the price. He went ahead of us and showed us a better way.

I want to ask you… have you looked beyond your trials and asked the Spirit of Truth to give you an image, a word, or a sense of what our Father is up to in Heaven, in the midst of your predicament? It's this image that will help you to find meaning in your suffering and a promise to stand on as you rebuild your life.

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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 2016 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

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Grace March 16, 2016 at 1:23 pm

I love this


Susan Schiller March 16, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Hugs <3


Susan Schiller March 30, 2015 at 8:15 am

What can be more important that our faith!


I hear the Lord saying, with a tremendous smile, "I am well pleased with you, My people, in this season.   You are willing to listen to Me and willing to line up in accordance with that which I speak.  You are learning and growing, and you must allow faith to arise to new levels within you.  For, it is by faith that you shall survive the times that are ahead.  It is by faith that you will continue to prosper in hard times–sometimes filled with great tragedy and dire news.  Even in these seasons My people will rise up in faith and praise Me.   Trust Me to bring you through all things to a position of victory."


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