The King's Bride
By: Susan Deborah Schiller
Many women, much like holocaust survivors, ask me the same question, after having lost everything to their absuer: What is ahead of us as we are so close to retirement? We are widows, having lost both husbands and church.
We fell through the cracks of institutional Christianity.
We are the lost ones in Ezekiel 34 and our friends beckon us, "Just come to our church! Our church has the answers." But the reality is, we are too broken to come. We are the lost ones. We are the ones in Ezekiel 34 who Jesus leaves the rest behind to go find.
And when He finds us, it's usually in the form of a person who has known rejection. A "wrong" person like the ones who found me…
I was a stranger with no family or friends nearby. You treated me as one with your family, mentoring me in the natural rhythm of abundant life. You taught me to follow the Ancient Path. You didn't count the cost or charge me a fee. I gladly contributed voluntarily!
I was preyed upon and exploited everywhere I went. You reminded me who I was. You knew my pain. You walked and talked with me through and out of my living nightmare.
I was starved for affection and you gave me intimacy. You listened to my story and shared yours. You saw my broken heart, the messy wounds, and you told me, "It's going to be all right. I'm going to stay with you until your heart is whole."
I just needed a hug and a place to bare my heart, to cry freely. You held me. You touched me, even though I had been treated by the church as a social leper. You cried with me. You got angry on my behalf. You awakened my own numbed heart to feel again, by mirroring to me the emotions Father God has for me.
You were Jesus to me. He spoke through you, hugged me through you, fed me through you, housed me through you. You are so much like Christ, although you attended no church; only your family altar. You showed me the heart of love, mercy, and grace – our Father's heart.
34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’
Provision follows passion, and it's in being utterly convinced of His Love that we receive this provision. It's a reckless abandonment into the heart of God.
It's a free fall into the Fire of His Love. It's a knowing that you are perfectly helpless, but in that helplessness the fiery love of God is refining you – making you stronger than you could have made yourself in the ways of this world.
No amount of Bible studies, worship services, and prayer meetings could have taken you this far. You feel hopeless and helpless, abandoned and in despair… but maybe, just maybe, God was hoping you would get there: Base camp.
As for me, I can't return to meetings, meetings, meetings… busy, busy, busy Christianity. I am done rushing to conferences, hoping for the anointing of the Big Names, and being told what to be and do. I was crushed in the rush of modern Christianity. I was pierced by words of judgment and condemnation. I was exploited, exiled, and exhibited as one who had gone astray.
…4Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.… – Isaiah 53
He was crushed, bruised, abandoned and broken. This is the man who has come to rescue me. I am on my way Home. I am secure in this time of insecurity. My only possession is the Hope of being my Abba's beloved child. That is my passion, and in that passion is my provision. It's a mystery, and that mystery is the love of God for a world that went so wrong.
You ask me what to do when you've lost everything and you're nearing retirement and have nearly nothing, not even Social Security? When the enemy holds your family captive? When no one else understands?
There are no worldly solutions that make any sense. You're a lost one. You're an Ezekiel 34 sheep, bleeding and dying, even alongside the busy road Christians use to get to church. You're sick and helpless and you don't know if your body can take another day.
To them, you're a monster, but yet you're pure in heart. You are a peacemaker. You love mercy. You are a quiet one, not seeking to be seen and noticed, yet you are powerful in prayer. You have gifts to share. You are a blessed one, of whom the world is not worthy.
I want to share what my friend Kimberly Dimick once penned:
So often I look and look for God's justice. I ask Him, "Lord, when, when will Your Justice prevail in the Earth against all unrighteousness?" God reminded me that He IS JUST and a God of Justice. His righteousness HAS gone forth. Being just is not only seeing equity prevail or even that the laws of our land will somehow rescue us but it is believing in our own hearts that JUSTICE is WHO God IS…..it is His very nature. It is His VERY NAME. He is the Lord our Righteousness. He gets it. He sees the injustice because it goes against everything the Father is!! God has to continually remind me that His JUSTICE (or righteousness) is ALREADY a done deal...
I pray God steps on the scene, as in a Courtroom and His decrees override every single injustice and accusation over your life! I pray your enemy is defeated right before your very eyes and you are raised up as His Beloved. I pray that men will tremble before the great and mighty Judge and seek His forgiveness for all they have done to you. I pray that your enemies come trembling out of what they thought was a stronghold over your life and wave the white flag of surrender. In Jesus Name! Amen.
Help is on the way!
"Who am I to you?" a survivor once asked me. She is the King's Bride and she is rising up, awakening to her true identity as Abba's beloved daughter, and beginning to rule in the midst of her enemies. She is being groomed to grin in the face of disaster.
that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. – Ephesians 5:27
Any maybe that's what all this suffering has been about… it's the refinement of the King's Bride. And as we step into our true identity, as God's beloved daughters – princesses, in fact – we discover how to turn our hopeless, impossible situations something beautiful. We learn to create instead of react. We are learning to choose Love, and love overcomes all evil.
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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.
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