Who Am I to You?

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.

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

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Glory Lafrance July 10, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Susan, you certainly have a way with words and have gone the extra mile time and time again to help people come out of their prison wether in the church or the secular world. You have walked the walk, talked the talk and are genuine and so honest! You are the real thing and that's what people are looking for everywhere. Acceptance, love, and no condemnation! I am sl glad our lives have connected. Thank you ofr being you and for shoing us all that there is no hurt, wound too deep that his love can't heal. Bravo Papa and Bravo madame!

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Susan Schiller July 10, 2014 at 5:02 pm

There’s a beautiful ray of light radiating through your words, Glory – and I, for one, am warmed at the hearth of your storytelling! Thank you, dear heart!

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Carolyn Hughes June 21, 2014 at 2:51 am

Who am I to you? Such a little question, but loaded. Because when we ask that question we know exactly what we want the response to be, yet in our hearts we know that the answer won't be what we want to here. I'm thinking of the times I was in an abusive relationship and would want to ask 'What do I mean to you? What is our relationship all about?' But I never did ask ,because I'd already answered my our question inside. 

But when we reach out to God that question is a gift! Because God replies 'you are my special one' And you know deep in your heart that He means it.

Your writing always stirs up the emotios in me Susan. If you asked me 'Who am I to you?' I would say ' You are my spirit-filled connection in the virtual world that I would love to meet in the real world. You are my inspiration. You are a blessing to me.'

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Susan Schiller June 21, 2014 at 3:23 am

Carolyn, you always reach in with your pen to inscribe the most beautiful, loving words on my heart. Your gentle yet courageous voice reverberates kindness and compassion in the halls of my soul. You are one of the people I could sit at your feet and just listen for hours, for the spirit of Christ shines so brightly through you! I don’t just say these words, my friend – I truly mean them. If only a huge ocean did not separate us physically, for I truly want to visit you in Ireland one day!

To me, you are the compassion of Christ, his very heart!

Thank you for the gift of friendship and sisterhood!

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Pat Moon June 13, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Susan, I constantly marvel at your way with words. It is as though you are truly speaking and bringing more meaning to God's Almighty Word. I also marvel at how you are able to be so open and honest as you speak these words. You are an encouragement to me in this journey of life I am traveling through. Your open heart and home is such a blessing.

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Susan Schiller June 13, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Like a salmon swimming upstream, it’s hard to live counter-culturally. I know you do in many ways, Pat, as you pursue living a wholesome life and teach others to do the same. We’re both just trying to live the best we can, following God’s ways. Thanks for being such a great traveling partner! I love your company – God bless you and your family, Pat!

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Jessica Stone June 12, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Wow, Sue!  I love the heart of this article and the way in which you reveal the difference between judging people in need and genuinely helping them in that need.  May we all take steps in our own lives to be Jesus' hands and feet when we are called upon and not so easily dismiss others, even in our own hurts, pain, and healing.  Time and time again, it's while I'm going through the healing that God will send me those in need of help.  It sharpens our iron even faster!  God will show you the way… continue to trust Him as I know you do.  And in the meantime, share, share, share.  The world needs your story.  You touch my heart every time I read an article of yours!  xxoo

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Susan Schiller June 13, 2014 at 7:46 am

Your words are such a blessing, Jessica – thank you!

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Marvia June 12, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Susan, this is so powerful!  It is holy and broken.  It is jarring.  It is eye opening.  It is truth that stings. Thank you for sharing this and your heart.

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Susan Schiller June 13, 2014 at 7:49 am

“Truth that stings” – I have felt the sting, for certain. It reminds me of the medicine my mom used to splash into our cuts, to prevent infection. 🙂

Your words are like honey, Marvia… sweet… but honey is also used for preventing infections and is powerfully antibacterial. I want to aim for more “honey” and you are a wonderful influence in my life – thank you!

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Sharon O'Day June 12, 2014 at 5:44 pm

I don't know what to say, Sue, except that you are doing the right thing … for you.  It doesn't have to make sense to anyone else.  Know that you are loved and that there is a support network of women who are in awe of what you take on.  Know that we are here.

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Susan Schiller June 13, 2014 at 8:06 am

Thank you so much, Sharon, for I treasure your words of wisdom. Thank you for saying that it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else – thank you so much for being present, for being YOU, for demonstrating real love in action!

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Joyce Lagana June 12, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Sue, truly you have the Father's heart — to love the unlovable, to cherish the uncherishable, to breathe life into the lifeless.  May God continue to richly bless your life and your ministry.  Like you, I feel this is my last year.  Perhaps it is the last year for all of us and we need to get busy being the heart of Christ before He pulls us out of here!  Bless you my sister, my friend.  Joyce

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Susan Schiller June 12, 2014 at 3:19 pm

It’s so good to hear your voice, Joyce – I treasure hearing your unfolding story, for you are one of the brightest of lights 🙂

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Susan Schiller June 12, 2014 at 12:05 pm

We can learn of each other, and of ourselves through spontaneous moments… A drive somewhere, a walk together, a combined effort towards something. We learn so much in just doing life with one another, and others who may brush by along the way. We can miss so much if we do not see the profound moments in casual existence. — Robert Ricciardelli

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Susan Schiller June 13, 2014 at 8:11 am
SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by MARSHA BURNS:  
 
Take care to treat others with the same respect you expect.  Weigh your criticism of others to make sure that what you say is not only valid but helpful.  My kingdom is not about critical judgmentalism, but about exhortation.  I call you to extend love, peace, and kindness, says the Lord.  Be a vessel of goodness.  
 
Luke 6:41-42  And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, "Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye," when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye.

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