Big Girl Dreams

Big Girl Dreams

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

I remember being fearless. I lived in a day and age when children played outdoors, rain or sunshine, snow or high humidity. Nothing stopped us from the make believe games that were setting the course of the rest of our lives.

We were never bored, because it was part of our culture to create our own happiness. Roller skating, building snow men, sandboxes, passes to the pool, splashing in the creek looking for frogs, writing stories and plays, coloring, painting, sewing costumes, riding bicycles and ice skates… there was never a moment of time wasted. 

From sun up to sun down, we mastered our world. We created happiness. We didn't avoid taking risks. Sometimes our fun landed us in the emergency room. We all took turns getting stitches.  

We learned from our mistakes and became fearless.

Fearless. Always challenging ourselves to be more, do more.

Having my granddaughter with me for the summer causes me to remember when I, too, could leap across the rocks, climb boulders, and do endless pull ups!

As I spend time with this spunky little lady, I listen and I hear her heart beat. Her 9-year old friend comes over to play and I listen to her heart, too. I watch their make believe games. I hear the same songs I used to sing to myself. 

What do our children really want? A $400 Iphone? An Ipad? A good school? Brand name clothes? A bigger house? More games, videos, and sports?

I believe it's much simpler than that.

Our children's heart cry is for Home – a Home centered on love and acceptance. 

"Let's get you ready for a date, Gramma!" says my granddaughter, pulling out my meager make up, nail lacquer, and hair brush. "Now, sit down," she orders, brushing on six colors of neon polish. 

"Okay, this is going to be hard, Gramma. Don't you have a dress?" She's thumbing through the clothes hanging in my closet, discarding them one-by-one. 

"You want me to wear a dress?" I am a bit increduous. We do live in the country, you see, and it's a very hot day to be wearing cosmetics!

"You're going on a date with Grampa!" 

This is her fantasy she is living out, I realize. A little while later, her friend comes over and pretty soon the girls are giggling together downstairs. I can hear them talking.

"Yeah, I try to put make up on my mom and get her ready for a date with dad, but she always says, "I don't have time for that!"

As I listen, amidst the giggles, I discover the biggest dream we girls have – it's a universal dream – is to have a happy marriage, a healthy home, and unfailing love.

Every one of the women who have survived sociopathic abuse, that I know of, has shared this very same dream!

Like a game of make believe, our children and grandchildren are trying on our lifestyles and pretending they are us. They are creating their core beliefs, and charting their course.

Let's listen to their hearts. Let's give them a taste of romance, of extravagant love, and endless smiles and hugs.

I don't know about you, but I am challenging myself in a different way, these days. My knees can't absorb the shock of leaping rocks and climbing boulders anymore. But my toe nails are shiny gold, turquoise, violet, and ruby. For a little girl, I will challenge myself – I will dress up and hug my husband. That's easy, but instead of hiding affection, we can show it in a G-rated way. We will have a date. The cuddles and caresses my granddaughter witnesses cause her to giggle, but more than that, they make her feel safe. They give her dreams and feed her soul.

It's never too late to dream big dreams. It's never to late to re-design your life. You're not too old. You're not too ruined. You're not too much

What can you do today to have that childlike faith? To believe for big things? To get your life back? To move on? To save your kids and / or grandkids?

A woman wrote to me today:

I am in the middle of a sociopathic bond….. I am in dire need of breaking free and getting myself & my precious children.out of abuse and fear. Please help.?

It always breaks my heart to hear of another family in trouble, another mother in need of escape. There is no easy answer, no simple solution. 

As I look back on my own escape to freedom, I realize it began with an act of reckless abandonment into the heart of God, an act of childlike trust in my Papa God. Like so many children, I first had to beat through the blockade of abandonment and rejection issues. The mental escape is so much harder than the physical escape, but they go hand-in-hand.

It takes a family, even a family online. People who are willing to simply be there for you, friends who will check up on you, and brothers and sisters who will provide a secure shelter for you. Extended family and friends who will offer life-giving words. I'm not talking primarily of blood kin, but of heart kin.

As I listen to stories, more and more I realize that extraordinary, extravagant, empathetic love is the answer to life ailments, including abuse. Many of us simply need to be loved back to life. We need the intimacy of family, with Papa God giving to us what we missed out on with pathological parents or abusive spouses. 

One member (Laura) of the "Write to Freedom" mini-memoir writing eCourse says this, in her story, CHOOSE LIFE:

I went to school and dreaded coming back home. What if this time my mother took enough pills and was dead? What will I do without her?

I never knew what to expect, but I knew what I wanted. I needed to feel loved. My greatest wish was to see my parents laughing, holding hands, spending quality time with  me.
Laura didn't have anyone to help her. Aunts and uncles remained silent in the open face of abuse. For many years abuse was her "normal" and she thought every family was like hers! It took God to rescue her and now she is choosing life and encouraging all of us, that we are never alone.
Your story matters! How your story intersects with all of our stories matters. You can make a difference, simply by breaking the silence (nationwide, worldwide, churchwide silence) – silence that has helped abuse to grow. Together, we can turn it around and create abuse-free zones!

Family is the backbone of society! As for me, I have been dreaming some Big Girl Dreams – of creating abuse-free zones not just in my own life, but all across the world. 

Let's write ourselves into a better world!

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 her way out of hell to a rich and satisfying life. In her lifetime, Susan has served in duties ranging from home school mom – to pastor –  to full-time deliverance minister – and to Midwest regional prayer coordinator for a large international ministry. These days you can usually find Susan soaking in her favorite hot springs pool, reading a book (or several), blogging, baking bread, or hanging out with her family and friends. You can pre-order a free copy of Susan's upcoming book, "On the Way Home" by registering here.

Copyright 2014, Susan Schiller,  For reprint permission for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Joyce Lagana July 11, 2014 at 8:01 am


I love your big girl dreams!  Just as God is birthing this desire in your heart, I know He will bring it to pass.  I am so excited!  A place — no, multiple places — where victims came come to escape from their abusive environment and find true healing.  Awesome!  Praying for your dreams today!



Susan Schiller July 11, 2014 at 8:17 am

Yes, multiple places – thanks for believing with me, Joyce!


rachel July 11, 2014 at 5:36 am

To be young again x


Susan Schiller July 11, 2014 at 5:43 am

Thanks, Rachel, for reading 🙂


Sophie Bowns July 11, 2014 at 5:09 am

This was so sweet!

Your Granddaughter sounds like a character! 😀


Susan Schiller July 11, 2014 at 5:43 am

Thank you, Sophie, for coming by 🙂


Jeanine Byers @ The Faerietale Coach July 10, 2014 at 8:56 pm

What a beautiful post! I love being reminded of the fearlessness of childhood, and the unsquashable belief that anything was possible.


Susan Schiller July 10, 2014 at 8:59 pm

It’s great to have good memories – thanks Jeanine for stopping by!


Fred McMurray July 10, 2014 at 8:38 pm

I've been thinking back to those carefee days and it is difficult to remember. Softball in the street, riding bikes, setting off firecrackers, lightning bugs. Amazing times.


Susan Schiller July 10, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Thanks, Fred 🙂


Glory Lafrance July 10, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Susan, thank you for leading me towards freedom and helping me in that journey. You have been the biggest inspiration to me. I knew you when you were being abused and now I see the amazing free woman you have become in the midst of trmendous opposition. I'm so happy to know your summer with your granddaughter is wonderful. Yes we didn't have ipods iphones etc. when we grew up and always entertianed ourselves…I am one of these. Life was simple then. I didn't have parents who would let me loose and let me experience much, always felt like I was on a leashe. I admire your boldness and honesty. Sendings you a big hug. Miss you



Susan Schiller July 10, 2014 at 5:05 pm

We walk hand-in-hand, Glory – this journey is one without end, no limitations. Freedom is just vast expanse. We are learning the rhythms of real life. I’m so glad to have you as a fellow traveler! Thank you for your kind words, Glory!


Cyn Rogalski July 10, 2014 at 5:10 am

Oh Susan,

I remember those days of carefree summer…playing stickball, going fishing, riding my bike for miles…leaving before 6AM and not coming home until dark…having skinned knees, weeds in my hair and popsicle stained shirts and not caring about any of it…Thank you for this glimpse of happy times in my childhood!  -Cyn-


Susan Schiller July 10, 2014 at 3:42 pm

I would have loved to play with you, back then, Cyn… and one day we will play, we will write, and have fun together. I just know it, for the desire is deeply embedded in my heart!


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