On soul stickiness and surrender…


Sometimes, we get stuck in our thinking. Or at least I do.

And as a woman thinks within herself so is she. What we think determines how we feel and often our choices will follow.

Closing our minds, we become hesitant or unwilling to accept that perhaps God is showing us something new. He is shedding light on an area where He may want us to grow in a different direction from the one we have habitually traversed.

Sometimes unforgiveness gets us stuck in a miry pit of quick sand which can prove to be our downfall in the long haul.

I once knew a man who had been hurt badly by his parents when he was little. And he held a grudge against them and let it fester. Only it poisoned him on the inside and he turned it outside by hurting others around him. His relationships and marriage ended. He lost his business and his home. And lost his life when cancer struck him stage four because his bitter unforgiveness was already a cancer that had eaten away at him for years. He lingered miserably before he died choosing not to forgive his mom and dad. Very sad.


Sometimes viewing our relational life in the review mirror keeps us stuck from moving forward.

We miss new destinations and traveling companions He has reserved for us. I have mentored several women {myself included} that the “one who got away,” is no longer there for a very good reason. He wasn’t the one! At least not for you.

But months or even years may be wasted when we choose to pine over a man who was not for us, regardless of the reason. And in looking back and longing for “what could have been” we may miss or reject the gift of love God is providing in our present reality.{This scenario applies equally to men.}

We can also get stuck in a rut as we relate to God.

Busyness and distractions relegate God to being one more thing to check off the never ending to-do list. Time spent with Him becomes a chore. A matter of duty. Cut and dry.

Cutting His heart to the core.

And who wants to have a love affair like that when the Lover of our souls is alive and living, vibrant with light and color and passion, waiting to whisk us off on an adventure that will last for eternity?


So when we are stuck, how do we get free?

Begin at the beginning. And the beginning is always Him.

God waits patiently as we run circles around ourselves getting nowhere. When we finally come to Him, He greets us with a big old Papa bear hug. And He’ll never let us go.

He’ll set our feet on solid ground. He’ll work in our heart so we can forgive even the people who have hurt us the most. And sometimes that means forgiving self.

He’ll give us the mind of Christ to understand Him better and follow Him more closely.

And He can even help us fall in love for all the right reasons, in His right way, with the person who is right for us!

But it’s our choice.

And life is full of choices. I contend that we have arrived where we are today by a series of our very own choices.

So, stay stuck or surrender. The choice is ours.

But in surrendering comes a freedom unlike anything we’ve ever known…

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15 thoughts on “On soul stickiness and surrender…

  1. So right on, Sheila! Isn’t it sad to see a person ruin their life over unforgiveness? The worst part of all that is that the “offender” is often clueless of the offense, or if they are aware, they certainly don’t hold on to it like the victim. Bitterness is a terrible way to live-you miss so much joy! Stay stuck or surrender. Two choices. We always have a choice. Always! Lovely post and lovelier pictures!

    • Thank you, Mary. And thanks for adding to the conversation. Bitterness is a terrible way to live…a living death!! And the pics…we are blessed to live in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York and there is glory everywhere. Especially in summer!!! Blessings and hugs!!

  2. Stay stuck or surrender! When you lay out the choices like that it seems obvious doesn’t it? I understand the cycle of staying stuck but I most often choose surrendering because that leads me closer to God and what He has chosen for me. Love seeing you today at Messy Marriage. Hope the rest of your week is wonderful!

  3. I agree with the overall message of this post. Forgiveness is a beautiful process that heals us more than it heals those who harmed us. It’s also important to know when to look forward and stop looking back.

    But I found your paragraph about the man who died from cancer very hurtful. Whether this is your intended meaning or not, your words imply that his emotional pain caused his physical cancer. My mother just died from cancer. Anyone who has lost a loved one to this terrible disease would feel just as shocked and hurt as I do at the implication that ANYONE could have brought this upon themselves.

    • Dear Brita — How very sorry I am that you recently lost your mom. I am sure your heart is breaking and you miss her every day. I know what it feels like to lose my dad, my grandfather, a very dear friend and a teenage friend to cancer. It is excruciatingly painful to watch loved ones suffer when there is nothing we can do to make them better but pray and wait and cry.

      My intent when writing is always to bless my readers, to show them how much God loves them, to help their hearts heal, and to share insights that might benefit their lives. I am sorry that my words added to the pain you already bear. 

      But to clarify my perspective and intent in writing what I did allow me to expound a bit. I believe, and medical and anecdotal studies indicate, that certain factors contribute to a cancer diagnosis such as chemicals in the environment, the foods one chooses to eat, smoking or drinking to excess, and even the negative thoughts and toxic emotions that one holds onto. 

      While I would never say my father’s —or anyone’s— physical or emotional choices create their cancer, I do believe they can contribute to creating an internal environment allowing cancer to gain a foothold, grow, and in my father’s case, eventually kill them.
      There is a book I read several years ago called The Complete Cancer Cleanse. Its chapters on emotional, mental and spiritual cleansing, along with chapters on detoxifying the body and home environment, are enlightening whether one has received a dreaded diagnosis or not.

      The authors — a Christian nutritionist and her behavioral medicine specialist husband and cancer survivor Michael Mahaffey who was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia and given 30 days to live in 1983 make a compelling argument regarding toxic emotions. Their words and the research findings of others that say the same thing form the basis of my perspective on the link between toxic emotions and cancer. 

      Here’s a quote from the book:  “We also need to let these toxic emotions go. And we must be aware that the mutated emotions such as bitterness, resentment, blame, or dislike are always toxic. Holding onto the events that spawned such emotions causes illness within our body. And as I mentioned earlier, stuffing these emotions only creates havoc in our body because these emotions are stored on the cellular level and in the tissues, and they can direct cancer cells to reproduce. They need to be thoroughly cleansed from our body so that we can be healthy and whole … If unresolved anger and resentment are toxic, forgiveness is the antidote. We must be willing to let go of all stored bitterness, blame, grief, animosity, or any other toxic emotion.”

      Allopathic physician Dr. Bernie Siegel has written extensively about his work with cancer patients and the power of love and forgiveness to heal spirit, soul and body. His books include Love, Medicine & Miracles and The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing.

      Candace Pert, Ph.D., discusses her groundbreaking research into the affect of emotions on health, opiate receptor sites on cells, and endorphins in her book Molecules of Emotions.

      And this link shares the story of a woman stricken with cancer and the role forgiveness played for her.  

      Again, I am so very sorry for your great loss, Brita. And I am sorry that your precious mother had to suffer from this stinking disease just like I am sorry my dad suffered. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I hope my words in reply reveal to you my heart about this subject. Sending you love and prayers during this grueling time.

  4. “Begin at the beginning. And the beginning is always Him.”

    Yes! All good things begin with time spent with God.

    Thank you for sharing this beautifully reflective post, Sheila!

  5. Oh yes, surrendering is the best, Sheila! I don’t know why we take so long to get there! Ah, but I think I do–lack of faith in our oh-so-faithful God. Maybe it’s because, like you’ve pointed out here, that people fail us all the time, so we think that God is going to fail us too. But holding on to that bitterness and fear like the man you spoke of, keeps us trapped in the past and constantly repeating our offender’s sins ironically! Thanks for this amazingly wise post, my friend! I’m sure your mentor ministry is a God-send to many women, Sheila! Say hello to Michael for me!

    • Thank you, dear friend. And for your well wishes for Seattle!!!!!!! Yes, surrender is best. And I know why I dont sometimes…I’m just stubbornly wanting MY WAY over HIS. BUT GOD. And His faithful good love ever putting me on the right track. Michael says hi back. And I am very thankful that God allows me to mentor women. I am passionate to see people healed — spirit, soul and body!! Blessings, hugs and love. xxoo

  6. “Begin at the beginning. And the beginning is always HIM.” <— Yes, yes, yes! Simple words, but powerful and beautiful truth! Awesome post, Sheila! Your words bless me, sweet friend! Peace and many blessings to you, Love! 🙂

  7. Ah, Sheila … your images bring me back home to the Hudson Valley. And your words bring me closer to our Savior.

    I’m lingering here just a bit today!

    Blessings as we launch into a new week, friend …