If you have ever worked with children before you have uttered the words, “it’s not your (our) turn yet.” Whether is it waiting for a ride at an amusement park, waiting to get food, waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store, or waiting for a birthday to come while celebrating someone else, it is a phrase that is said time and time again.
As a new mom, I didn’t want to have to say in exasperation to my children again and again. That is why when my boys were little (5 and 3), I took a summer and we learned how to wait. Instead of saying “it’s not your turn”, I took the whole summer and taught them the phrase, “waiting is a part of life”. I picked the longest lines in the grocery store and found any possible time to make my young children wait, because waiting is a part of life.
I was frustrated with how impatient people around me had become and I knew that getting upset at waiting never made me happier: it made me miserable. Instead of modeling frustration, we all practiced patience with the phrase, “waiting is a part of life.” After that summer, when my boys have gotten frustrated with waiting, all I have to say is, “what is waiting?” and I am many times given an audible sigh and, “a part of life.” Yet, just saying that out loud changes their behavior, at least in a small way.
Just as true as it is to say, “waiting is a part of life”, sometimes you just have to be told by someone you admire that, “it’s not your turn”. Heather Thompson Day is that friend and her new book is called It’s Not Your Turn: What to do While Waiting for Your Breakthrough.
Heather Thompson Day is a “friend” of mine on Twitter. I claim friend status, even though I only know her through the glimpses of her life she shares online. Still, Heather makes everyone feel like a friend. Her easy communication style and intentionality of relationships online spills over in her writing style for this book. She is the friend who is the good enough friend to call you out and say, “it’s not your turn”, for whatever it is that your heart is longing for right now. Heather sees your heart longing for what your friends have and encourages you as your wait for your turn to come in life.
Celebrating others who are getting what you have been praying for hurts. Everyone else is celebrating that person’s new job, or engagement, or baby announcement, or book deal, so who will notice if your voice isn’t among the throng of encouragers? You will. Your heart will harden and instead of rejoicing you will be discouraged, frustrated, or jaded. How come they are getting what you have always wanted? Why I am having to wait?
Heather Thompson Day doesn’t answer those questions. It would be a much shorter book and probably an instantaneous best seller if she just came up with seven quick things you could do to get what you always wanted: make God something closer to a genie in a bottle. She doesn’t do that. Heather walks you through the process of celebrating with those celebrating and looking at your heart during that time. She takes you by the hand and looks into your heart at what God may be wanting to do in you during the time that you wait.
Waiting is a part of life. We want the instantaneous breakthrough. We want to be healed without going through the healing process. We want a perfect family. We want the perfect job. Yet time and time again in Scripture, we see that waiting is the thing God does the most. Waiting develops in you a character that clings to Him and makes your look more like Him when your turn does come.
It’s Not Your Turn is a mix of personal experience, scripture, and psychological research. It is encouraging to read individually or it can easily be used by a group or in mentoring. At the end of each chapter, you have suggested scripture memorization and then group discussion questions. I can see how this book would be great to use in mentoring young adults as they transition into a life of their own.
Some may say that this book doesn’t keep its focus on one thing. You go from waiting, verbalizing your heart desires, setting small goals, developing community, and moving on with your dream. Some claim that Heather Thompson Day doesn’t stick to her own message in the book. However true some of those criticisms may be in a literary sense, I found this book real and honest. Over the past decade, I have mentored over a dozen young women and time and time again the themes in this book have come up in our conversations.
I see It’s Not Your Turn as a way to walk through the confusing parts of life. It gives some very practical advice for life, it explains how your brain works, and it encourages you to get into scripture and talk with God about your frustrations. The book challenges you keep on walking with Christ. If you don’t have a mentor or close friend to walk with you through your times of waiting, Heather becomes your mentor and friend. You aren’t alone in your waiting. Waiting is a part of life, but your turn is coming. Who will you be when that turn comes?
Here is where you can find the book at my favorite book retailer: