What I Believe

I Lift Up My Eyes to the Hills

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.…Psalm 121:1

I believe I am God's beloved child, and that He's been close by my side every day of my life. He's promised He will never leave me, and He's proved Himself True. I cannot help but trust Him, by giving my all.

“I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age”  — Matthew 28:20

I am from a Christian background, but I have left traditional Christianity. Well, let's say they pushed me out, and God met me in the wilderness where I began to painfully unlearn most of what I was taught. I've been told I'm a "dangerous" person, so if that sounds scary, you may want to run.

Freedom often means more problems, greater trials, and fewer friends.

Free people aren't rebels; in fact, they become even more obedient, even willing to take up their own cross. Free people lay down their lives for others. The distinguishing mark of a free person is that they don't bow down to fear. They still experience fear, but they don't base their life decisions on fear.

Free people are "dangerous" because they think for themselves. They don't blindly follow their leaders. They love God too much for that nonsense. Free people are persecuted, intensely… exiled, shunned, and sometimes murdered.

They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. — John 16

I believe in Love. Love is a Person.

I believe Love overcomes ALL evil. I believe my Creator has held me since the Day he created earth's foundations. I am in Him and He is in me. (John 14). We can never be separated. It's not based on my faithfulness, but His. 

I live a magical life. All of life is sacred. That doesn't mean I worship creation or that I've become a New Ager or anything else. I'm just comfortable in being myself. I'm so happy I don't need to play the game anymore, the game of having it all together.  The Truth has been setting me free.

I believe in Truth. Truth is a Person.

He's revealing all the lies I've ever believed. My constant prayer, since a child, has been, "I want to see as You see, hear as You hear, speak as You speak, walk with You, go where You go…"

He has honored my prayer. He used my enemies to cut me, break me, and expose the lies. I just kept looking to the hills. I kept searching for the Light.

I am blessed with His intimate presence.

I am covered by His banner of Love.

He is beauty and truth.

If you want to know what I believe. Look at what I do.

We are to examine ourselves, too, to see if we truly are in the faith. Money can be a great tool for measuring faith. If you want to know what anyone believes, look at their checkbook. Who do they support? I'm not talking about tithes and offerings. I'm talking about what they do when no one else is looking, and what they spend their money on.

There are lots of good preachers out there speaking messages of love – good sermons – but when they get home they beat their wives with demeaning looks, degrading words, and ungodly threats.

More than half our pastors are addicted to porn. Where do those tithes and offerings go? Into their wallets to be spent on addictions?

Do they practice hospitality to strangers and the people most Christians are afraid to touch? Or do they treat the least ones as if they were a disease? Do they send a support check to a global relief organization or do they get down in the dirt with their suffering neighbor next door?

I have learned to trust. 

I believe in Love so much that I'm no longer afraid of the New Agers, the Indians, and all the people my leaders tried to scare me away from. In fact, I have learned so much from them, even if I can't agree on every point. I choose Love. I trust God to keep me safe from lies and ungodly beliefs, so I'm not afraid to associate or even to worship and pray with others who live in a spirit of Love.

Separating myself from the world, to me, looks like avoiding division, not creating factions or elite groups.

I'm beginning to see the Light, and it's just before Dawn.

"Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. "For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you.… — Isaiah 60

I could recite the Nicene Creed for you and tell you that's what I believe, but seriously? Big deal! Demons can do that too! 

I'm just glad my little story is included in His grand ballet. I want to be a friend of God, like Abraham whose faith was commended by his Father, God. I want to be a lover of God, like David, who was a man after God's own heart. I want to be a child of God, like Jesus, who walked and talked, calling the Creator "Daddy" and was obedient. He even learned obedience through what he suffered. 

I trust God to expose darkness in me and to make me like Him. I believe in Love and I believe in Truth. I desire mercy and grace, and justice and righteousness, too. That's just me. I could add all my dozens of favorite Scripture verses, but I'll save that for another day. I love God's Word, but I take it for what it is … mainly poetry, wisdom literature, and stories.

I now see the written word as the gateway to the Living Word.

Most of all I like to read God's heart, by exploring His nature… in people, animals, and the whole wide world. My identity is discovered in Him. My inheritance is secured in Him. In Him I live and move and have my being. I believe Love and Truth are shaking the world right now, and that all that can be shaken (lies, ungodly beliefs, all that is based on fear) is being shaken.

We don't need to be afraid. Nothing of love and truth can be destroyed. God's hearing and answering our prayers… Let your kingdom come, let your will be done, here on earth as it is in heaven…

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

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine Shephard January 1, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Oh my goodness! I've just read 'What I believe' and was stunned to know I'm not the only non-church attending believer! Cool! I too am considered and treated like an outsider. Don't quite fit in. I too love to spend time talking n walking with God. I too believe the bible is a pointer to the true Word. I too recognise leadership within the church as the 'evil workers'…

God bless you even more Susan! And I only asked God just the other day "am I the only one who isn't religious?"lol. Delighted to know you sis.xxx

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Susan Schiller January 2, 2017 at 5:10 am

There are so many of us, Christine, who love God passionately, and have embraced this journey into His heart. He guides us in paths of righteousness although it may look “ungodly” or unbiblical to others. You sound like a woman who loves Him so very much!

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Susan September 24, 2016 at 10:12 pm

Hi again. I don't want you to feel sick to your stomach with this advise but please don't quit church. you know, God has been showing me that he DOES want to work through the local church. It took me three years of searching to find one, but with hundreds to choose from, isn't it worth trying each weekend? I am not implying that you aren't a Christian without going (i know yyou've been hurt), but if you can trust God to protect you from Pagans, don't you think he can protect you from His own?

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Susan Schiller September 26, 2016 at 6:37 pm

Hi Susan,

I went to church this past Sunday, in fact – good people. Mostly everyone ignored me, or shook my hand while looking at the next person they were going to shake hands with…. no one really cared I had showed up. Prior to going, I was thinking that I really wanted to go out into the woods and just be alone with God. I work so hard all week long and barely have any time to myself. But I went.

And the pastor preached on how important it is to experience God, to just go out in the woods and be alone with God. 

And so I agree with his sermon and I wished I had just gone out into the woods….

Because realistically “fellowshiping with the saints” just doesn’t happen in any of the churches I have been to, for over 50 years. I haven’t “quit church” so much as I have quit playing church. I have good Christian friends with whom I share deeply, and they with me. We pray together, believe together and I minister to people outside of the church walls every day. My church outside of a building just looks a bit different, but it’s still the “church”. 

I don’t mean this to be defensive. I feel your heart is to reach out to me, to be kind and gentle toward me. I don’t feel sick about your comment at all. 

I do face reality more than I used to, though. If you’ve ever been in a grocery store on a Sunday afternoon and just watched…. you might understand what I’m going to say… that Christians, especially after they are just out of church, are the most difficult customers. They treat you as if you don’t exist. They are often rude.

The people who haven’t been in church smile and look me in the eye, the majority of them, that is. They care about me as a person.

These are just my current and ongoing observations. 

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Tamara November 11, 2014 at 1:39 pm

You are a great inspiration.  I wanted to know if you & your husband ever got back together.  I also have this guy interested in me and I suspect him to be a sociopath or have those tendencies.  He certainly exihbits those traits. It's too long of a story to explain but he will come around profess his love for me and then gets cold feet and kind of disappears but if I ignore him he will come back around.  He is very attracted to me and vice versa.   I know when he is playing music on a social site and they are usually love songs they are for me.   Even my Christian friend that I believe is honest thinks they are for me too from him.  He is very attracted to me and vice versa.  I am just waiting on God's timing to see what happens.  Yes there is "baggage" on both sides but I am patient and trust God too.  Any thoughts?  Thanks for being an inspiration.

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Susan Schiller November 12, 2014 at 5:38 am

Hello Tamara,

Thank you for your kind words! The question you ask is a common one, and certainly one that is always on our minds. As for me, I loved having a family and being married – and a driving force in my life was, “I want to know what it’s like to be a wife who is loved by her husband.” I deeply desired to have a loving marriage and family.

I will give you a quick answer here, and then I will return with a more detailed answer later. I was married to sociopath #1 for 20 years, and #2 for 9 years. Including engagement period, that was 30 years of sociopaths. Most of the survivors I know who have had a long-term pathological relationship have had more than one sociopath in their lives. So the quick answer is no… I did not get back with my husbands. I would be dead.

One common mistake we make, Tamara, is to ignore the red flags. You say you have a suspicion your friend may be one…. but then you are quick to point to the “love” and the sweetness of his songs. Even a “cold-hot-cold” kind of guy is a red flag, just in general. 

The best advice I ever received was from a happily married woman, who had previously been the wife of a sociopath for over 20 years, and she looked me in the eye and said to me (when I was considering a guy much like the one you describe), “Sue, you deserve someone strong – a hero – a champion – who will take good care of you.”

I’m glad you’re waiting on God, Tamara, and also aware of baggage on both sides. And yes, we must trust God, especially in our relationships. Those of us with so much love to give, so much natural patience and mercy, are the ones who are the perfect prey… so be extra careful, and don’t dismiss the red flags. Take every precaution you can to find out what his reputation is, even a background check.

I am happily married today, because I took the advice of my friend. That story is at http://heartscribes.org/love-calling/. But it’s not without bumps in the road. It’s true, we need champions, not just husbands. We need husbands are willing to be Christlike… not in words, but in deeds. 

Always remember who you are, Tamara – God’s royal daughter. You deserve a good man who is made from Heaven. Don’t fall for the trap that if a man has weaknesses you can be his strength, support, and inspiration to rise up. It usually doesn’t work out. You deserve to be loved by a man who faces his fears head on and overcomes them with love, faith, and hope. Not a perfect man, but one who trusts God in deed, not just in words.

Thank you for your kind words, Tamara… I’ll be back with more specifics soon.

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laura August 9, 2014 at 7:52 am

I have a question that tormented me for a very long time.After we die,will we be reunited with our abusers? In my case,the abusers are my parents.They are my only family,even though they are toxic.In my religion,family stays together even after death.Does this mean i'll have to suffer the abuse for an eternity and there's no end to it?? I mean,even a lifetime of abuse feels unbearable.But an eternity?

This is not only my problem.Many people on this blog come from abusive families.If abusers are not parents,they may be husbands.It's easier for people who don't believe in god because,from this point of view,eternity IS scary.

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Susan Schiller August 9, 2014 at 8:47 am

Hi Laura,

That’s actually one of the first questions a victim of abuse will ask, because it’s so hard to imagine always and forever being unsafe.

My faith has been shaken, due to being victimized, but at the same time it’s growing in Love and Truth. I don’t have all the answers, but what has been coming together for me, is a growing, reckless Trust in my Creator. I trust He is Love and Truth, Just and Righteous.

I believe our eyes will be opened, once all this world is stripped away from us. Who we are on the inside will be what we look like on the outside. In the Bible, there are many verses about being “blind, naked, and poor” even though outwardly a person is marked by success, popularity, and adulation.

Some of us have been exiled, shunned, and kicked out of churches. It’s like we were thrust into “outer darkness” – and we felt like outsiders looking in. We missed our friends, we missed the fellowship, and we wondered if God had forsaken us, too.

When all is stripped away, who am I? It’s a question can ask in that place of outer darkness. Jesus speaks of such a place of “outer darkness” in Matthew 7. It’s a place where false believers – the ones who were preaching, teaching, and casting out demons, building their ministries and getting paid to play the game – were ejected. I believe it’s a place of mercy and grace.

Some of us call the “outer darkness” a wilderness. I have lived there, spiritually and literally. Once you find your footing, it’s a beautiful and wonderful place. A place of mercy and grace. You get to meet yourself – that self that plays the game of life – and you see yourself as you really are, with all the worldly baggage. You get stripped of it. It comes off easily in that place of solitude and silence.

I believe it’s a process that goes on past our time on earth. We will always be learning and growing, for that is the essence of life… 

Personally, I believe our abusers will see themselves as they really are. Philippians speaks of a time when EVERY knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God our Father. I think of that often, for the only power these wicked people have is the power we have allowed. I’m speaking collectively…. that it’s mainly because believers who understand that Jesus gave us ALL authority on earth to bring Heaven to earth, that we’ve missed the mark… Instead of doing what we’re supposed to do, we create factions and form cliques. Gossip and slander on our tongues are consumed with our daily bread.

We hoard our riches. We starve the poor. We ignore the cries of the wretched who stumble past our own door. Sodom and Gommorah were not destroyed for homosexuality, as many assume, but they were destroyed for not attending to the cries of the poor right outside their door.

We live in a time where good is called evil, and evil is named good. 

But once our eyes are open to our own true condition, we will run for the wilderness to hide our shame. We will have nothing to boast about! Laura, I just trust God’s heart more and more. I trust that He loves me forever, and that these enemies are simply being used to refine me, to purify my heart, and even to beautify my spirit.

I trust that my abusers will go through this refining process, too, and they are really going to be surprised, once their eyes open to the Truth of what they really are: sub-humans and crawling with demons, as a wild dog might be filled with fleas.

So the desert is a place of mercy and grace. All of God’s great one were trained in the desert: Jesus, Paul, Moses, David, Abraham….

Jesus himself learned obedience through what he suffered. I can, too. We all will, sooner or later.

My friend, you will not always be abused, oh no! My heart hurts that you are still under the same roof as the ones who mock and insult you.

I pray for your early release. But no, I don’t believe you will be troubled by them for all eternity!

There are circles of friendship in Heaven, and here on earth, too. http://heartscribes.org/dream-parables-bride-christ-circles-love/   The link here will show you what I discovered in a dream, that changed my life. All I know is that our God is coming help is on the way, and justice is here.

The more I hear of your story, Laura, the greater my admiration of all you have come through, and I’ve only heard just a little bit here and there. You are special. You are loved. I treasure learning from you, my friend!

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Linda August 7, 2014 at 9:42 pm

I always said and believed that it should become simpler and simpler.

Our "to do" list can be gotten rid of.  Getting graded on performance or jumping through hoops is null and void.

I don't even have to strive to obey.  I just love; and I am loved.

Beloved…
beloved
Beloved…
beloved

and so goes our conversation…
 

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Susan Schiller August 8, 2014 at 7:28 am

Freedom….

All that you spoke of, getting graded on performance, the to-do lists, striving to obey…. it was never-ending, wasn’t it?

What a joy to be with you, Linda, on such an amazing adventure! You are one of the best traveling companions and all I can see ahead of us is this vast expanse of beauty and truth – so amazing!

Thanks, my friend! 🙂

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Joyce Lagana August 7, 2014 at 1:32 pm

There is such peace here and love too.  That is what I see most in you, Susan.  I see the love of God shining out of you like a beacon, calling others to come in from the cold and experience His amazing love.  You are so full of Him it overflows to others.  That is a cry of my heart — to be that full of Him.  I so enjoy what your write and how you share.  Bless you my friend.

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Susan Schiller August 8, 2014 at 7:29 am

You speak the words of my heart, Joyce…. I feel like we are twins of the same parents, somehow!

Children of God…

Thank you, dear sister!

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