A Lakota Rescue – Secret Heroes, Part 2

Part Two of the "Secret Heroes" Saga: A Lakota Rescue

For Part One of "Secret Heroes", click here

For Part Three of "Secret Heroes", click here

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

It was New Year's Eve in the middle of a freezing cold Wyoming winter and I was recovering from a particularly traumatic episode in my life story, which came to a crisis point in Secret Heroes, Part One. Our life story had been filmed and released in a DVD that has traveled around the world and is still being sold in stores, but the real story remained yet untold…

Just before everything turned upside down in my life, I was interviewing a member of the Lakota tribe and recording some of her life story in "Touching the Future". Ever since, I have not been able to get her out of my mind! My heart still yearned to learn more! I had a burning desire to go to Porcupine, a little tiny town in the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota, where a pastor named Bill was ministering.

That's when life began to get really strange.

I had been working at a Wyoming hotel in a popular tourist destination. A woman with dark, flowing hair breezed into the hotel rolling a small backpack. I checked her into Room 222 and gave her a map to her room. Fifteen minutes later she appeared back at the desk, saying to me in a very authoritative voice, "God told me to come back downstairs. He wants you to know that you have closed your heart and He wants you to open your heart because an opportunity is coming your way. If you open your heart this opportunity will change your life. If you keep your heart closed you'll miss it completely! God wants you to love again."

She was a stranger to me, but in checking her in, I learned she was from a reservation down in Oklahoma. That was it… just that message. But a few months later this man walks up to me, a co-worker who I usually never saw because he worked a different shift, and out of the blue he shows me his beading projects and in answer to my curiosity tells me he was from Porcupine and was part of the Lakota-Sioux tribe!

Fast forward a few months, and this man, who happened to be a former Navy Seal, along with his uncle, also with the Navy Seals, and their friend, a former Israeli Defense Forces soldier, in addition to two very powerful women, showed up in the front yard of the house I was renting. They had heard that I needed to move and could see in the spirit that I was in a vulnerable position, recovering from traumatic stress, so they scooped me up and transported me to their ranch, where I was assured they had experienced success in helping people recover from traumatic stress. One of them was a Lakota holy man.

In Christianity today we are not often taught the value of suffering. But set against the backdrop of our deepest trials and tests, emerges a portrait of a God whose love is fathomless and reaches to the outermost limits of life and death. We see the sovereignty and majesty of our Creator in trails of blazing glory like never before in the midst of these dark nights of the soul.

We discover there is no pit too deep, no mess too stinky, no trap too deadly for the Love of God to rescue us. My childhood dreams about these rescues began when I was just a little girl. In one such dream a little girl of about 7-years of age was trapped and held captive deep inside an enemy bunker. She was held captive deep inside enemy territory and her Father knew her only chance of survival was a "special forces" rescue mission.

The dream, from my journal: One dark night, as the guards were sleeping, the special forces blazed their way into the enemy bunker and captured the head prison guard. With strong fire power they defeated all of the enemy guard and pulled the little girl out of her prison. She was dressed in a flowing white gown, transparent enough to see a red rose tattooed on her back.

She had no further need for the special forces. Once she was free she knew her way Home and ran lightly and confidently through a maze of hallways and staircases until she safely reached her Father's house. End of dream.

Years later, in 2012, that dream was to come to pass.

Whatever you're going through right now, God already made provision for you a very long time ago – and it will come at just the right time!

I kept hearing these new friends, who had "adopted" me into their family, saying, "We think she's 'The One'." Two of them had just traveled from Florida and Denver, apparently, to verify if I was "The One." It was all very mysterious, especially when I was told that Indians from more than one state had been praying about me being "the one" or not.

Being a life story writer comes in handy, because it's natural for me to ask questions and to be a good listener! One-by-one the visitors came to my side and quietly began sharing their stories. One was a Catholic-turned-Baptist, one was a former Baptist, one was Baha'i, one was a Jew, and the other was a Messianic Jew… but all of them held to the Lakota faith.

They planned to "sweat me." It was a very cold night and they took me to a sheltered area where a round dome-like structure had been erected next to a huge bonfire. Dressed in hospital scrubs, I hugged the flames, nearly setting myself on fire. Out of the darkness approached a huge man, dressed in black leather. Although his figure towered over me, he had the most gentle eyes and compassionate expression. Throwing wafts of tobacco into the fire he began to pray in Hebrew and for many hours that night he taught me about the Hebraic roots of the Lakota nation and many more things.

They prayed for me that night, and I didn't even know they were praying… but afterward they told me, "We see half of your heart is missing, and we are going to keep praying until you are whole." Just before leaving for Wyoming, back in 2009 (3 years earlier), some very trusted Christian friends were praying, and this is what they said, "Sue, half your heart is missing…."

So I opened my heart….

I'll continue this story, if you're interested, in my next post with Part 3 of the Secret Heroes saga. (I'm trying to keep my posts short!)

It's daunting to live life with an open heart, to be vulnerable in sharing your life story, so I welcome you to share your comments below. Sharing our life story is a lifelong journey which bonds families better than super-glue. More people than ever before are writing their life stories, and I hope you'll join us!

I'd truly love to hear from you! Have you ever felt like half your heart was missing? Has God ever seemed to have delayed an answer? Have you ever been "adopted" by a family that just wanted to love on you? What would you do if someone wanted to "sweat" you? Have you ever been in a sweat lodge? You see, I'm a curious person who loves to listen more than talk… so here's your chance! Visit the comment box below – thanks!

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

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda Honea June 18, 2012 at 9:33 am

Yes, I agree with Sharon, don't make us wait too long between episodes.
If 'sweating' opens your heart, we in Texas are so open, it's ridiculous!  lol
But seriously, could you expand the connection between the sweat lodge and the heart?   What happened?  What made the difference? 
I  believe there is an anointing on land which releases God's purposes on the earth… whether revelation, or peace, or deliverance or healing.


Susan McKenzie June 22, 2012 at 6:45 am

You’re so very kind, Linda. I’m grateful to you for taking time to read and to provide feedback. In all my life I never would have thought I would be sharing these stories – or living them. We all have a “life message” I believe. Sometimes we don’t know what it is until we simply begin to share our stories. Some people like to write and others like to speak. Some draw pictures and others create music. In whatever way, shape, or form it’s “in the journey of storytelling” that hearts heal, bond, and shape a new way of life for those sharing the journey with us. I know you have incredible stories to share, and I hope that my own stories will simply be a spark to ignite you to begin telling your own tale, as only you can do it!


Sharon O'Day June 13, 2012 at 11:18 am

Anxiously awaiting Part 3, Sue!  Meanwhile I'll share my sweat lodge story with you.  (You KNOW I must have one, right?)  A few years ago, my friend Marta asked if I'd accompany her to take part in a ceremony.  Some local Lakota followers had come to her stone business to buy the stones to be heated up and used in a sweat lodge they were building nearby.  A Lakota chief and "Grandma" were coming to South Florida specifically to perform the ceremony the following weekend.  Always a good sport and eternally curious, I joined Marta.  We spent that Saturday afternoon sitting on the ground under the trees, preparing small gifts to be offered.  By nightfall, 12 of us women were going through ever-hotter rounds in the lodge, sitting in a circle around the fire as water was thrown on to create steam, and chanting along with Grandma.  Within minutes in Round 1, Marta became claustrophobic and did not come back in for Round 2 or 3.  So while I chanted in the heat, she sat outside, under the stars having a deep, enlightening conversation with the chief.  I'm thrilled that I got to experience the ceremony, intellectually, but have to admit I did not know enough about it to truly appreciate it spiritually.  Hopefully, that will be for another day.


Susan McKenzie June 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm

You never cease to amaze me, Sharon! As for me, I was Ms-nose-in-the-ground. I made it through all the rounds and really enjoyed the rich singing but my face was in the dirt! Fortunately they had “open door” time often and we all got out into the fresh air at least twice.

It’s interesting that they were Lakota followers in Florida, as that is where the leader grew up. He only came to Wyoming a year or two ago. It would be interesting if they were connected.

I’m looking forward to your book-in-progress when it’s complete – you are a true treasure house of wisdom with so many life experiences. It would likely take a whole bookshelf to house your stories! Thanks so much for reading and sharing, Sharon!


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 8 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post:

2010-2016 All Rights Reserved. No information on this website has been evaluated by the FDA. The information presented is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your physician before undertaking the suggestions on this site. Actual results will vary depending upon the individual and their commitment to the steps set out here. Testimonials are from real persons who are readers of this blog. Before using this site, please read our Website Agreement, which contains terms and conditions, plus our privacy notice. Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this site are “affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”