Jeanne Takenaka

I’ve worked toward publication for over ten years. TEN. YEARS. I jumped into this writing adventure certain I’d be published within a year. Two on the outside. Walking this long road has challenged me to keep a healthy mindset.

Somehow, I must have boarded the jeepney rather than the jet plane, because I’m still waiting for this particular dream to to take off.

I’m doing the hard work of writing books. Submitting to agents and editors. I’m becoming a better writer with each story, each blog post I put words to.

And yet, still I wait. 

Silhouette of a man standing on rocks over the ocean and contemplating something

I’ve waited for other things that also had no guaranteed outcome, including becoming a wife, a mother, and for the elusive writing contract. Each time we must wait, we have to choose a healthy mindset.

The thing is, God may set us on a journey, but He rarely guarantees the outcome we think we’re working toward. In almost every waiting season I’ve set out in one direction, only to be detoured onto a different road. At times, I’ve grappled with the Lord in prayer because I didn’t understand, “why this road?” God has answered those prayers, leading me on the perfect-for-me path and redirecting my thoughts toward a healthy mindset.

Silhouette of a man walking on rocks above a churning ocean

When we wait, we learn to trust. Or, we end up frustrated. 

Waiting: How to Maintain a Healthy Mindset—6 Steps—When we wait, we learn to trust. Or, we end up frustrated.  #tellhisstory #healthymindset #waitingseasons Click To Tweet

Have there been times I’ve wanted to quit? Oh yeah, in all of the areas I mentioned above. Sometimes, it feels too painful to keep waiting for something we want or expected. The “writing wait” has taught me to trust God’s timing and His path. I’ve learned to depend more on Him than myself.

Healthy Mindsets to Help in the Wait

  • Adjust expectations. Often, when we first find ourselves in a waiting season, we expect it will end in a certain way at a specific time. When we cling to those expectations, we often become discouraged and frustrated with God and the situation we’re in because we’ve placed our hope in the wrong place. 
Meme with the words, "We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield." Psalm 33:20 (NIV) on a backdrop of ocean waves crashing into rocks near the shore
  • Choose trust over worry. I know some reading this aren’t waiting for something hoped for. You’re waiting for hard news, for resolution to an uncertain situation. It’s especially in these kinds of waits that we must choose to trust God. When we know that we know He’s got us—that He’s working on our behalf—it can be easier to wait with trust rather than worry. When we find ourselves worrying, we must turn over those thoughts and emotions to the Lord. We must remember God’s holding us and working in the places we can’t see.
Meme with the words: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6 on a backdrop of large ocean waves rolling toward the shore.
  • Choose contentment. The best way to get through a waiting season is to trust God. The only way to have contentment in the hard times is to trust that God sees us. He is working in our lives.  And, He loves us. When we can choose contentment where we are right now, the waiting won’t feel as difficult, and it’s easier to foster a healthy outlook.
Surfers waiting for the right big wave to ride . . . symbolic of how when we wait, we need to maintain a healthy mindset

Other Perspectives for Creating a Healthy Mindset

  • Let go of the facade of control. We talked a lot about this last week. We’ll either try to control in our wait or we’ll trust God. We can’t grip both reins in our hands at the same time. When we let God hold the reins of our lives, we find peace in the waiting.
  • Focus on others rather than on what you’re waiting for. There’s something freeing that happens when we take our eyes off ourselves and help or encourage others. When we find ways to come alongside someone else rather than stew in our own struggle, our attitude improves. This also helps us to keep our hearts in a place of trusting God.
  • Don’t put off life until the waited-for desire becomes reality. Just as I continue writing, we each need to keep doing the everyday tasks that make up our lives. We need to anticipate God showing up in our now. God works in every moment of our days. When we live present in each day and do the hard work of being a spouse, parent, friend, employee, one of His kids, God is honored. I believe He fulfills those efforts.
Waiting: How to Maintain a Healthy Mindset—6 Steps—Don’t put off life until the waited-for desire becomes reality. #tellhisstory #healthymindset #waitinseason Click To Tweet
A man standing on a beach, looking out at the ocean at sunrise

I truly hope I’ll see tangible progress on my writing journey one day soon. If/When I take that next big step forward, I’ll let you know! In the meantime, I will work to maintain a heart that trusts God for each and every step forward in the waiting. I’ll do what He’s called me to do and trust He’ll take care of His role.

What about you? When have you had to wait for something? What’s something you would add to my list that has helped you keep a healthy mindset in waiting seasons?

Most weeks, I link up with Grace and Truth, Anita Ojeda, Instaencouragements, and sometimes Let’s Have Coffee. Come join and read more encouraging posts!

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