Tell your Story, Create your World

Out of the heart the mouth speaks, and what we speak we create.

By: Susan Deborah Schiller

How you tell your story creates your world.  It's your story, and if you're not where you want to be in life, at any given time you can say, "This may be my story, up to now, but this is not how it's going to end!" 

What happens when shock and trauma, pain and loneliness intrude? Sometimes it's all you can do to get out of bed, let alone make it through a day. Many times the emotional trauma turns into physical disease.

Professionals tell us the same trauma hits us repeatedly and the pain does not subside until we can rewrite our story. How we perceive what happened, and more importantly, how we perceive ourselves can speed recovery.

Why so many of us remain stuck: The pain keeps cycling because we use our minds to recreate the event. We focus on the problem. Or we hang out with friends and family who reinforce our victim mentality with sympathetic words instead of overcoming words. It feels good, at the moment, to receive sympathy… but sympathy alone will lock you behind bars and throw away the key.

The key to unlock the prison: How you retell your story will resurrect either pain or hope. How you listen to others tell your story dictates how long your pain will continue. How you rewrite your story will create your identity as either God's child or a prisoner at the mercy of the next cycle of chaos and trauma.

I'm not a mental health professional and I'm not here to give medical advice. I am one who has escaped prison, recording the journey in my diaries. My diaries listened to me as I struggled and anguished through:

  • Repeatedly being told for two decades by my husband that I was stupid, worthless, and unable to succeed in life;
  • Being threatened by my husband that my body would be mutilated and then murdered;
  • Being intimidated, threatened, and shunned by church leaders, abandoned by everyone in my spiritual network;
  • Losing everything: family, friends, home, business;
  • Getting up, starting over, and then getting kicked back down again;
  • Rewriting my story and watching as God changes my world, as the Kingdom of heaven invades my life… a resurrected life.

My life isn't perfect today and in many ways I'm only just getting started. But there is peace, new growth, and happiness. I know I don't have to repeat the same old cycles of trauma and chaos. More than that, I'm creating a new family legacy for my children and grandchildren.

It's a written legacy, because there is power in writing your family's future. And each member of the family gets to contribute to the legacy!

God is bringing us all Home. The family is the backbone of society. He wants us to be healed and whole. I love how the Old Testament ends with a stunning picture of complete restoration! This is what we have to look forward to here on earth… not just after death!

 “Count on it: The day is coming, raging like a forest fire. All the arrogant people who do evil things will be burned up like stove wood, burned to a crisp, nothing left but scorched earth and ash— a black day. But for you, sunrise! The sun of righteousness will dawn on those who honor my name, healing radiating from its wings. You will be bursting with energy, like colts frisky and frolicking. And you’ll tromp on the wicked. They’ll be nothing but ashes under your feet on that Day.” God-of-the-Angel-Armies says so... ~ Malachi 4

Our Creator hovered over the chaos and with His WORD he created the earth… right out of the void of chaos! He painted an earthly paradise with His Word. He's given us the same authority to impact our world, using the brush-stroke of our words. 

We are created to dream big dreams, not to shrink our dreams to fit our paycheck. We are meant to shine brilliantly, confronting and overcoming the darkness… not reacting as victims. God wants us to write these stories down, for ourselves and to bless the next generation.

For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17

It's time to wake up, to rise up! Suffering has a function. Sometimes it's meant to wake us up from our illusions, but the shattering of our illusions hurts only momentarily. One we've awakened, we can truly begin to create a new future.

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 2016 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

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

William OToole April 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Great blog.


I think if your not happy with your life…

Then you can do one of two things…

Do something or…

Do nothing…

Everything stays the same or..

You change your life.

Which is it to be ?




Susan McKenzie April 26, 2013 at 6:11 pm

What do you think it may take to choose change, William? In my experience, it takes pain… or the fear of loss… to make a change. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!


Lydia Brown April 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Susan thank you for sharing your journey with us. I believe in the power of self disclosure and have promoted the value of it for years. I can identify with your story my first husband for 29 years told me how worthless I was and the first years of my life my father told me I was stupid and I believed him. It wasn't until later in life after some tragic events and recovery work that I learned what I needed to do to heal because my every actions were founded on believing this men when I really had thought I had moved on.  I admire your courage you help many by sharing it. 


Susan McKenzie April 4, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Lydia, thank you so much for your encouraging words. Those of us who have survived and escaped an abusive place understand the journey goes level by level… and the deeper we have been, so much more the compassion flows from that deep well! It is good, isn’t it… to be on the other side. To be able to encourage and lift up, even as others have inspired and supported us.

Thank you so much, Lydia – (( hugs! ))


Yetunde April 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Wao, Sue, thank you for sharing your story . Tears well in my eyes as a read your story – some parts sound familiar, some parts are another woman's story. I praise God that you are out of that valley and your story will definitely impact the lives of others.
I usually tell people that the things we go through in life are not only for us but happen in order to equip us to mentor and support those who will go through similar experiences. Its definitely being naked but not ashamed.
Once again thanks for sharing your story.


Susan McKenzie April 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Yetunde, thank you for your kind words. You remind me of 2 Corinthians 1:4, where Paul says “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

I look forward to hearing more of your story, Yetunde – thanks so much for coming to my blog today!


Sue April 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I admire you so much for what you have written.  Although I didn't suffer abuse in the same way, I was in a difficult marriage for many years and put up with it because I thought it was better for my children to have two parents.  It was such a relief when we split up and I have not looked back since then!  I look forward to hearing more from you.


Susan McKenzie April 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Dear Sue, thanks so much for sharing! It’s especially meaningful to me, having seen a little picture of your world today… the joyful world you have created for yourself! You are an inspiration to me and many! Thanks so much for stopping by <3


Mike Ashfield April 1, 2013 at 11:06 am

Wow, what a story you have Susan. Such a strong, respectable woman! I will be sure to follow your blog and come back regularly throughout the 30 Day Blog Challenge.


Susan McKenzie April 1, 2013 at 11:11 am

Thanks, Mike – it’s an honor to be connected with you through the Challenge!


Trish Jones April 1, 2013 at 11:02 am

Wow Sue, your story spoke directly to my heart. Though the abuse I suffered was in my teens, it took 2o years before I told a soul. I was afraid I would wreck my life, but instead God used my mess and turned me into His messenger.
I am so touched, I still have tears in my eyes … thank you for sharing.


Susan McKenzie April 1, 2013 at 11:10 am

Trish, you have really blessed me – thanks! I wish so many did not have to suffer in silence. I’m so glad you are His messenger – I’m looking forward to hearing your message!


Bruno Buergi April 1, 2013 at 10:26 am

Interesting blog post Gertraud. It reminds me how careful we must be how we communicate with other people. Most people are not aware how they drag down people only with their language.


Gertraud Walters April 1, 2013 at 9:20 am

I don't know you but I do admire you for what you have written. It takes me back to the promise of the gospel of Love, Power and a Sound Mind.
I'm sure we'll get to know each other more through this 30Day Blog Challenge.


Susan McKenzie April 1, 2013 at 9:27 am

Thanks so much, Gertraud – I look forward to getting to know you. The Blog Challenge is a great way to connect – thanks!


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