I have had many opportunities to speak with people about my book and my blogs. I have also had opportunity to speak with people about where I've come from in these last 4 years. One pattern I have noticed in all of these conversations, particularly from those seeking advice is this, they are ready to change - whether that be actions or thinking or both. What they are doing is not working for them and they have been doing it too long.
I am here to tell you, people have to be ready to change. You can't make them change. You can't fix them. You can't heal them. They have to be ready to change and change for good. They have to be ready to leave old thought patterns behind and take responsibility for what isn't working in their lives. You can't change their minds. You can't change their hearts. God is the healer and heart changer - leave that up to Him.
For our part, we love people where they are. We treat them with dignity, respect and compassion. We respect their choices, even if we don't like them. We speak the truth in love and we let God do the rest. I will say it again, people must be ready to change or they will not change. No amount of begging, threatening or whining will change people - in fact that will just push them further away. Anger and judgement never work either - you are wasting precious energy and making the situation worse.
As in yesterday's blog, I'll be the first to tell you I have botched this royally. I was a fixer for most of my life. I always expended too much energy and usually got nothing in return. **It wasn't until after my late husband's death that I saw the fultility in all if this fixing. He had not wanted to change so he had not, even up to his death. I could not fix that and I could not bring him back. I looked back and saw I really had not changed anyone else either. You can call this a "God ahha" moment. In 2014, I made the decision that Elizabeth's "fixing days" and trying to "change people days" were over.** God was so much better at that than me.
I can tell you I'vd had so much peace since that time! When you turn people over to Jesus, you can do exactly what He wants you to do for them without blurring the lines or exhausting yourself. He gets to change them and you get out of the way and watch! Trust me, it is amazing!
I want to encourage everyone reading this today, people have to be ready to change and you can't change them. Let go of the control panel and let God do His work in them. He just might work on you too! The end result will trully be wonderful!
Always amazed at what God can do,
** To know more about my story, see my book The Road Less Traveled: A Story of Love, Pain, Hope and Everything In-Between.