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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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?
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Choosing contentment and helping others are such good ideas for us to practice as we wait for something we really desire, but find elusive. I sure understand what you’re saying about the writing/publishing journey! Your blog is very helpful and encouraging to many, and yet I know about the longing for that book contract!! I pray it will come in God’s timing!
Kathy, something happens when we take our eyes off ourselves and place them on Jesus and others, doesn’t it? You are such an encourager. Thakn you for your words, my friend!
Aw, Jeanne … I’ve spent plenty of time in life’s waiting room and every one of your points resonates deeply. Learning to hold expectations loosely has been a huge part of the waiting process for me, even now. And not putting off life until the thing you’re waiting for happens—so important! Thanks for modeling perseverance in the writing journey, my friend.
Lois, life’s waiting room can be very uncomfortable, can’t it? Holding expectations loosely has been an ongoing challenge for me. But, God is helping me. And living life even in the midst of the waiting seasons makes life much richer and offers fewer regrets. Thank you so much for your visit, my friend!
I appreciate Maree Dee sharing your article on Grace & Truth. Thank you for your insights, Jeanne, “When we wait, we learn to trust. Or, we end up frustrated.” And, “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.”
Lisa, thank you so much for clicking over from Maree Dee’s. 🙂 It’s intentional effort to trust God in every step, isn’t it? Thank you so much for visiting!
Jeanne, thank you for this great lessen, reminders, and tips. I really loved your words. Blessings.
Paula, thank you for stopping by! I hope you had a great weekend!
Your post was beautiful. I have spent a great deal of time waiting in my life. Sometimes I did that very poorly. While I was waiting, I put off living in the present moment. But when my world turned upside down, I learned to wait well most of the time. Sometimes I even enjoy the wait as it gives me time to look around and take in God’s glory. I’m still waiting for healing for those I love to be healed. The six steps to maintaining a healthy mindset were so helpful. I will be featuring your post on the Grace & Truth Link-Up tomorrow.
Maree, somehow your comment ended up in my spam. I am so sorry for m y delayed response. I so appreciate what you said about how sometimes when we are waiting, we can look around and glimpse God’s glory. I am still waiting on some things too. Thank goodness our Father sits with us in the wait. Thank you for featuring this post on the Grace and Truth link up. I am truly blessed!
Good morning, Jeanne! Sometimes it’s the most helpful thing to see 6 steps in black and white. It lets us cut to the chase and grab those bite-size morsels that are our bread and butter.
I admire your fortitude, your call, the lessons you share along the way. Finally, I rest in knowing while waiting that if God wants something to happen, it will.
And that, somehow, makes the stress of it all fade … at least a bit.
Linda, you’ve been on my heart, friend. Sometimes it truly does help to see things written out, doesn’t it? Thank you for your encouragements. And you are so right, if God wants something to happen, it will. And this does indeed make the stress fade, at least a little bit. Thank you for stopping by.
“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.” I do far too much of clinging to expectations, Jeanne. I’m trying to learn to hold them more loosely and allow God’s way and timing. Surrendering our control to His can be so hard sometimes, can’t it? Thank you for this wise insight and encouragement, my friend. I love the Hawaii pics! Love and blessings to you!
Trudy, I’m becoming more aware of the amount of expectations I tend to hold onto. I’m thankful God’s grace covers me and guides me to place my hope in the right place. I so appreciate your honesty here, my friend. Love and blessings right back to you!
I understand your exact waiting, but also think we are all waiting on something this side of heaven. So your post will help many.
I like your perspective, Lauren. I believe you’re right. We are all waiting for something this side of heaven. What a great reminder. I’m saying a prayer for you right now in your wait.
I always learn something while I’m in a season of waiting. 🙂
You and me both, Melissa!! 🙂
These are such good tips, Jeanne! I feel like the whole of this year so far (plus much of 2020) has been waiting for restrictions to ease and it has been increasingly hard to keep a healthy mindset. I think your point about where we put our hope is really important – it has to be in God, not in circumstances.
And sometimes the wait can end suddenly when we don’t expect it. We had been given indication that travel restrictions would possibly be eased on 26th April, which would mean I could see my family, and today we got a surprise announcement that they are being eased this Friday – ten days earlier than we thought! Normally whenever an announcement is made here, we have a good idea what to expect but this one came completely out of the blue!
I’m glad you’ve kept writing. I always appreciate your words and I hope you do get your breakthrough one day. I will be cheering you on!
Lesley, I’m so glad you found these tips helpful. 🙂 I have been thinking about how wonderful it will be for your travel restrictions to ease. How exciting that it’s happening earlier than planned!! I like when “waits” end with an unexpectedly good result! Thank you for your kind words, y friend. I appreciate you!
I love this post, Jeanne. I needed to read it. You are such a gifted writer. I believe in you and I hope you get a book contract soon. I know what it is to wait and how hard it is to be patient. Learning to trust God and His perfect timing is not easy, but then nothing worthwhile usually is.
Laurie, I’m so glad this post spoke to you. Thanks for your encouragement! It can be so hard to wait. Trusting God for the timing and direction for things is crucial for going through waiting times without pulling out all our hair, don’t you think? 😉 And I love what you said about how nothing worthwhile is easy. So true.
The jeepney, instead of the plane had me laughing. Especially when I clicked on the picture. Yup. Been on a number of life adventures riding the jeepney while it seems others are ensconced in their first passenger seats with lots of leg room and a cold drink. Adjusting my expectations over and over again and trying to wait on God’s timing are my key points to maintaining a healthy mindset when being jostled atop the crowded jeepney roof I am on. You know the one? Where currently the driver is behind a bush along the steep gravel road we are traversing, because he is sick in the bushes. Yup!!! That one. Luckily, though, today there is no chicken cuddling on my lap and laying eggs. Sometimes I also find it is time to hop of the Jeepney and just let the dream go. That happened with wanting another child. Part of contentment for me, is not looking at what others have and wondering why I cannot have it. Which means I need to enjoy the breeze and closer than close companionship on the top of my jeepney
Theresa, your comment made me smile. 🙂 I’ve ridden in a jeepney, but never on the top. 😉 You are right. There are times when we need to let the dream go. And you’re so right. We must keep our eyes on Jesus and His good things for us and not on others and what they have. May God fill you with His contentment on your own jeepney ride!
I think I have my master’s degree in waiting by now 🤣😆. We wait for many of the same things. I’m learning to cultivate other talents while I wait and I’m learning to keep on doing the hard work, even if I don’t understand why it’s taking so long.
Anita, you are indeed learning to cultivate other talents in your wait. I love seeing your photography and all you are doing with your blog. And yes, we must keep doing the hard work, right? Our waiting seasons are never wasted in God’s economy.
So good Jeanne, Your points are simple and powerful at once! Expectations are a real area where I trip up, and a good reminder to keep things where they belong!
Thank you for your kind words, Donna. Expectations have been my nemesis so mnay times. I am thankful for God’s patient redirecting of my heart and thoughts when I need it.
I lie awake deep in the night,
pain-wracked on my bed,
waiting for the coming light,
and the life that lies ahead.
I’ve seen the place the Lord’s prepared,
been there a time or two,
but all the same, I’m really scared
of what I must go through
to reach that bright and joyous land
‘cross that celestial sea;
and I know that God does understand,
and He weeps for me,
for my leaving of this Earth
is, for Him, like giving birth.
Andrew, I love this poem. I am truly sorry you’ve been in so much pain. I’m thinking, when we have a glimpse of what’s coming, this may make the present painful situation (or literal pain) easier to bear. We know it’s not forever. I’m praying for you and Barb, my friend.
I’m in the “writing wait” as well. It can be discouraging but it also hones the desire within us: is it for me or for the Lord? If it’s for the Lord, then I should keep on keeping on until He tells me to stop.
Jerralea, you’re right. When we are in a waiting season it can be discouraging, but it can also refine our desires and align them with God’s purposes and plans for us. I love your thoughts here!
Jeanne, Wonderful reminder not to let waiting rob us from living.
Thanks, Debbie! God has ways of reminding us to live intentionally in each moment, doesn’t He?
Well I guess that works for some people. I don’t know how to just be contented. I know that I am not in control. Lowering expectations is saying that you don’t trust that God can do anything. He can do anything, so don’t put limits on what God can do. Oh that is too much for God, I had better lower my expectations. No. Over 40 years of waiting destroys any hope of God answering/responding to anything. God made me an impatient person, then tortures me with never ending silence and inaction. Waiting is torture to the soul. Nothing makes waiting for God any easier.
God bless you, in Jesus name, Amen.
Kenneth, I so appreciate you sharing your perspective here. There’s no question waiting is HARD. And yes, sometimes it does feel like torture to the soul. I am proposing that sometimes God uses waiting in our lives to conform us more into the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29). He wants to work on our characters so we can better reflect Him to the world around us.
And you are so right! God can do anything. Maybe this is more of a female thing, but I’ve caught myself and talked with friends who get so wrapped up in what we want from God that we develop expectations that He will do it, even if that thing we’re waiting for isn’t His best for us. You’re right that we should not lower our expectations of what God can do. Nothing is impossible for Him. But, He also knows better than we do what is His best for us. So, I am proposing that we place our hope in God rather than in the thing we want and may be waiting for.
I’m sorry you’ve had to wait for over forty years for something. I can only imagine how painful that has been. I do believe God sees us, He hears our hearts’ cries. And when we seek Him, He meets us, just not always in the ways we expect. Thank you for adding your thoughts to this conversation!
Love the pictures of Hawaii! I’ve been grounded too long now and waiting for the next Hawaii vacation (and others). 🙂 “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.” That line resonated with me deeply. I’ve been praying lately for direction, wondering if I am placing my heart in the wrong place. Or maybe this journey is the plan? Maintaining a trusting heart toward God is what I needed to hear today. Thank you!
It’s hard not being able to travel whenever we want to, isn’t it, Lynn? I hope you’re able to make it back to Hawaii sometime soon! I am glad that, when we seek God and our hearts are open to His leading, He reveals His plans and purposes at the perfect time. Maintaining a trusting heart to God is a lifelong discipline, I think. Thanks for your encouragement!
I guess it should not surprise me when one more strand of our stories overlaps — and I think sometimes I write the same blogpost and teach the same lesson over and over again until I learn it myself: God is in control; he is not a slave to time, nor is he bound to my will. And this is all good…
Michele, I am with you. God brings certain lessons ack to me, perhaps nuanced in a new “color” because I still have things to learn. I love what you shared here!
These are all great points. Like Abraham, we can take wrong steps trying to make something happen instead of waiting on God. The growth in our faith and character while we wait is part of God’s purpose.
So true, Barbara! I won’t even try to count the number of times I’ve tried to push things rather than wait for God to work. You’re right. Our faith grows when we wait on the Lord. It is part of His purpose.
Every point is spot-on! Relinquishing control to God is incredibly important – it’s all in His timing – and it’s all His plan. His plans are so much better than mine! I used to beat myself up because I just cannot market and write. One day while I was submerged in my insufficiency, I felt God tell me He didn’t call me to do it all. Just like He didn’t call me to illustrate. He called me to write, love my family, love those He gives me to love, bake – and trust Him. So I trust – and there’s joy in the trusting! You share a lot of wisdom in this post, Jeanne.
Maryleigh, yes and amen! God’s plans and timing are SOOO much better than anything we can come up wtih. I love how God brought you peace in the market/write conundrum. There’s peace in just letting go of expectations to do it all, ins’t there? God called you to write. And I know He uses and will continue to use your words. When we know our priorities, it’s easier to say no to things that don’t align with them, yes? Trusting God is what helps us find joy. Thank you for sharing that truth!
Mental health is so important. Great post!!
Mental health is crucial, isn’t it? 🙂