If she’d get her act together, I wouldn’t be so stressed. 

If he didn’t use me like that, I’d be okay. 

I tell her and tell her and tell her and she doesn’t listen.

I know if I don’t do it then it won’t get done, so I have no choice. 

Have you ever said any of these? Sure, we all have. You’re hoping for change, but it’s not coming. You fear that it will be the same ‘ole, same ‘ole a year . . .or ten years from now.

Can I tell you something? Something that might be hard to hear?

Change always begins with you. 

Recently I listened to a stranger share her situation. She talked about the people who were doing her wrong. She shared how she felt stuck. She said that she told them how she felt, but they never listened.

She shared her “if onlys.”

If only they’d chip in. 

If only they’d appreciate her a little more.

If only they’d do what was right. 

“How long has this been going on?” I asked.

“Years,” she said. “I’m hoping that one day they’ll get the message.”

But they hadn’t. Not even a little bit. Chances are, unless there’s a miracle (and I believe in them) that she’ll be sharing these same frustrations years from now.

There’s such a fine line when people share their story. I haven’t walked in her shoes. I don’t know her life. I don’t want to reduce her to an example in a blog, because she’s more than that. She’s a woman who desperately wants change and isn’t sure how to get there from here.

So, what’s a girl to do? 

 In Luke 5:17-25, a paralyzed man is carried by friends. They stand before Jesus with their friend, and Jesus says to the lame man, “Your sins are forgiven.”

I can only imagine what the friends were thinking. They had carried this man a long way so that his legs might be healed. He can’t work at a job. He can’t take care of himself. He is dependent on friends for all of his needs.

Can’t you see the real problem, Jesus?

It’s not his heart or his emotions or even his sin. It’s his legs. Look, right there!

The religious leaders in the crowd thought he missed it, too. After all, the affliction was obvious.

Jesus wasn’t blind. He could see the exterior issues, but He loved this man body and soul, so healing began from the inside out.

For this beautiful woman and for me and you, we see real change when our prayers move from “fix her, fix this, fix that, fix my boss, fix all of the obvious stuff,” to:

Change me, Jesus. 

The inside of me. Not just the obvious stuff like her or him or that.

Change me. 

Change my response to this situation or person.

If I need more courage to take a rightful stand, give me courage to do it in a healthy way.

If I need to stop talking and start acting, show me the right steps to take.

Help me to stop trying to fix others as I give you full access to my broken places.

If someone is abusing me or those I love, please show me my worth in You so that I raise my expectations.

Change me, Jesus. 

LIVEFREETHURSDAYsmallIt’s a hard prayer to pray, because we really do want to change. . . but what if the people around us don’t?

Just as the man leaped to his feet after Jesus touched his soul and body, we are made whole regardless of what the crowd around us thinks. That transformation may lead to significant changes in the way we deal with a situation or person, but we’re no longer waiting for them to be fixed before we stop feeling stuck.

Isn’t transformation wonderful and oh-so-hard? Isn’t it worth it?

Let’s pray this prayer together today.

Change me, Jesus.