It's Not Your Turn

What to Do While You're Waiting for Your Breakthrough

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Pub Date 29 Jun 2021 | Archive Date 29 Jul 2021

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What do you do when it seems like everybody else is getting their dreams and you're not? You don't have to be distressed when Instagram comparison makes you feel like others are more successful than you. Heather Thompson Day shows us what we can do to shape ourselves while waiting, so we are ready when it's our turn. She unpacks instant gratification and peer comparison in a social media world, and teaches how we can cultivate perspectives and practices that will enable us to be more content, patient, and constructive. We can learn to walk slowly and trust God to do his work in us, being more present in our relationships rather than striving for premature image-based success. Your turn will come. Here's what you can do to get there.

What do you do when it seems like everybody else is getting their dreams and you're not? You don't have to be distressed when Instagram comparison makes you feel like others are more successful than...

Advance Praise

"I have spent my fair share of time in the waiting room, that place of sitting and waiting for it to be my turn. Anyone who has waited for the next step, the fulfilled dream, or the break of the glass ceiling will benefit by reading this book. Dr. Day gives us practical steps not just to wait but work, until it is our turn."

-Aaron Duvall, teaching pastor at Victory Highway Wesleyan Church in Painted Post, New York, and former director of spiritual formation at Ohio Christian University

"Tired of clichés about counting your blessings? Then you'll love this book! It's Not Your Turn throws out those tired, guilt-inducing admonitions to just put on a happy face for Jesus and shows us the surprising, practical—and even fun!—way to wait in God's upside-down kingdom. My soul felt lighter just reading this book—and yours will too!"

-Sheila Wray Gregoire, blogger at and author of The Great Sex Rescue

"It's Not Your Turn is transparent, relevant, intelligent, and loaded with profound spiritual insights learned through real-life experiences. Heather Thompson Day is the best friend we all need to tell us the truth with grace, understanding, and love."

-Jory Micah, blogger and feminist theologian

"In It's Not Your Turn, Heather reminds us that the process is often more important than the outcome. This book is full of wisdom, faith, research, humor, and practical advice on what to do until it is your turn."

-Christine Caine, founder of A21 and Propel Women

"While you are waiting, grow. While you are waiting, learn. While you are waiting, listen. It's your turn to become who you've always wanted to be."

-Annie F. Downs, author of That Sounds Fun and host of the That Sounds Fun Podcast, from the foreword

"What God does in you as you wait is more important than what you are waiting for. This is the essence of what Heather Thompson Day is leading us to in this needed book. With refreshing vulnerability, wit, and poignant insights, she helps us navigate the frustrations that come through the soul-wearying habit of comparison."

-Rich Villodas, pastor of New Life Fellowship Church and author of The Deeply Formed Life

"What do you do when everyone around you seems to be winning the race for success, perfection, and progress while it feels like your prayers are unanswered and your life is stuck? In It's Not Your Turn, Dr. Heather Thompson Day offers much-needed perspective. Drawing on biblical insights, current research, and poignant personal stories, she reminds us that God's activity in our lives is not limited to society's definition of or timetables for success. Furthermore, she contends that our waiting time is not wasting time but can be a God-infused opportunity for growth, transformation, and purpose. Heather has given us a valuable resource for every chapter in our lives."

-Jo Saxton, leadership coach and author of Ready to Rise

"It's Not Your Turn is the perfect resource on what to do while we wait. What should we do with our time while waiting? Heather gives us the tools!"

-Michelle Williams, actress and singer, former member of Destiny's Child

"Heather is real, transparent, and beautifully eloquent at reminding us of the importance of trusting that all things—especially God's timing—work together for our good. If you are in a season of waiting and uncertainty and struggling to see the bigger purpose of it all, it is most definitely your turn to read this book!"

-Mandy Hale, author of You Are Enough

"I have spent my fair share of time in the waiting room, that place of sitting and waiting for it to be my turn. Anyone who has waited for the next step, the fulfilled dream, or the break of the...

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ISBN 9780830847761
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Featured Reviews

I don’t know about you, but I compare myself to other people. A lot. There probably isn’t a single period of my life where I didn’t wonder why my friends seemed to be more successful, smarter, whatever. When I was a full-time musician and toured, I constantly wondered why we weren’t getting the same offers and attention. Nowadays, it’s more of noticing when my friends are utilizing their degrees in their careers (or when they get a job with SpaceX), when they can afford $400,000 homes in Johnson County, or hearing about their newest “God moment.”

Don’t get me wrong—I love my life. My wife is the most compassionate, caring, and patient person I know. Our children are wonderful and bring so much joy into our lives, even when they try said patience. We also have some wonderful friends, and joining the Anglican tradition (and our parish) has been, if I can be bold enough to say so, one of the best decisions we’ve made in our marriage.

But loving my life doesn’t mean I don’t find myself still comparing myself to my friends, looking at how they are succeeding and wondering, “Lord, when will it be our turn? When can we experience the financial and occupational freedom everyone else seems to be enjoying?” Being a used car salesman is not my passion, not my dream job, and with the current market, it’s growing harder and harder to not want to jump ship out of fear.

Cue Heather Thompson Day’s It’s Not Your Turn.


When I was browsing NetGalley’s InterVarsity Press selection, this book stood out to me with the first sentence: “What do you do when it seems like everybody else is getting their dreams and you're not?” In fact, I started reading It’s Not Your Turn the day I found out a friend who, after being unexpectedly let go from his previous job, just found out he got a much better position with pay that, if I can be honest, is higher than I’ve ever made. Of course, I was happy for him, but there was a part of me that couldn’t help but wonder, sitting at a job that incessantly exposes me to anxiety and stress, “Lord, when will it be my turn?”

What I love about It’s Not Your Turn is the book is a confessional of sorts. Rather than solely being tips on how to not compare ourselves to others, Day pushes the reader to be honest about these temptations; temptations that she has faced daily for years. Whether she’s discussing her experiences or her husband’s, you can tell these stories have shaped not only their lives, but the ways they worship the Lord and serve others. One of the biggest pieces of encouragement Day suggests, something she brings up time and time again, is that we are to clap for others even when we may not feel like it. That is, as I mentioned above, just because I am not in my ideal job situation doesn’t mean I cannot recognize how the Lord is blessing others. Does this mean I ignore my feelings and pretend nothing is wrong? Of course not. But as she brings up in chapter five, “God cannot have a plan for your life if he doesn’t have a plan for your days.” When we hold onto the former, it means acknowledging the latter, which means we need to commit to a daily and continual renewing of our minds.

I also can appreciate the continual appeal to scripture throughout the book. While at times it feels like it could find its home in the “self-help” section, It’s Not Your Turn is ultimately rooted in biblical wisdom. For example, chapter three is all about our speech, which I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking and writing about lately. Rather than focusing solely on interpersonal dialogue, however, what struck me the most is the following, quoted at length:

"There are over 3,500 promises for us in Scripture. Remember what [Andrew] Newberg and [Mark] Waldman said: our brains can’t distinguish the difference between fact and fantasy. Our words are as real as the ground we are standing on. What if God is not just asking you to read your Bible because it will make you holy? What if he has been trying to arm you with over 3,500 promises that could change your mindset? What if God knows words have regenerative power? What if the God who created the brain knows what you’ll need to defend it? What if he wants you to be able to disarm the negative attacks of Satan with the promises of God?

But our brains cannot recall what we haven’t read. We cannot respond with promises we do not know. I don’t know what attacks you are daily living under. I don’t know what hope you buried in your desert, but I do know Isaiah 41:10 says, “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand.”

“But our brains cannot recall what we haven’t read.” This is huge. Think about it this way: the only way my son knows he’s loved is because we tell him and show him. If we didn’t do these things, if we didn’t constantly remind him how much we love him, he’d have no way of knowing this. In the same way, if we are not immersing ourselves in the Word of God daily, how are we expected to stand firm in a world that tells us we are only as good as the things we buy, or the movements we back?

I also appreciate Day does not hesitate from encouraging Christians to be a part of communities. Years ago, I was preparing to become an associate pastor for a church near Chicago when, thankfully, the Lord convinced me to stay in Kansas City. Fast-forward to now, and both the pastor and his wife are doing the “individualist” Christian life. I’m not bringing this up to disparage them, but there’s a growing trend of trying to marry Christianity with individualism; something that does not work but also is detrimental to our flourishing. Again, to quote the author at length,

"I need Christian community. It’s what convicts me of my selfish heart, reminds me of my human nature, and inspires me to dig deeper in my devotional time. You may not think you need the church to help you be more spiritual. Perhaps you are rock solid in your faith and a prudent study of Scripture. I am not asking you to go to church because the building makes you holy. I am asking you to find a church because the community will keep you healthy. I’m not telling young adults they need church. I am telling young adults why the church needs them."

After a year (plus) of people being fearful, or unable, to meet together, we need this message more than ever. Making the decision last fall to commit ourselves to a community, even after we were hurt by our previous church, was incredibly hard, but has it been worthwhile? Has the Lord done some amazing work in our life as a result? You better believe it. And a lot of this has come from the continual act of confession, of acknowledging where we have gone wrong and belonging to others, allowing the Lord’s wisdom and insight, through their love and compassion, to speak truth and conviction into our situations.


When we log into social media, we are being continually bombarded by other people’s successes and victories. Even when people post about their losses and tragedies, it can be hard not to long for the affirmation they’re receiving when their posts and tweets go viral. It’s important to remember how curated all of this is, however, and that we need to redefine how we view success to begin with. “John the Baptist dies in prison, but his eternity is secured.”

This is why I think It’s Not Your Turn is an important book for contemporary Christians to spend time with. I may have disagreements with Day about the role social media should play in a Christian’s life, and her opinions on the matter do factor into some of her arguments. That isn’t enough for me to not recommend it; in fact, if more Christians approached social media as Day does, I wouldn’t feel so inspired to write a book about the subject. All of this aside, in a day and age where Christians are continually faced with the temptation to judge our lives off of arbitrary and nonsensical standards, when we find ourselves longing for what others have instead of what God has put in front of us, any reminder to take life “little by little” is desperately needed. To take a page from Anne Lamont,

"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’”

***A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review, with no expectations about how I would critique it. If there are any errors in how I have represented the author’s argument, those faults are mine and mine alone.***

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It's Not Your Turn
What to Do While You're Waiting for Your Breakthrough
by Heather Thompson Day
InterVarsity Press
Pub Date 29 Jun 2021

I am reviewing a copy of InterVarsity Press and Netgalley:

In It’s Not Your Turn Heather Thompson Day reminds us that we need to stop hindering our prayers by blocking someone else’s blessings, we need to stop trying to compete with those who aren’t in completion with us.

We are reminded too that God is more worried about changing us, than changing our circumstances.

It is pointed out too that our once perfectly happy lives can start to crumble when we start to focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do.

The author points out too that some comparison as well as social media can be positive

This book reminds us too that our words change how the world sees us.

In It’s Not Your Turn we are reminded that our turn will come, and the Author gives tips on how to get there.

If you are waiting for your breakthrough I’d highly recommend It’s Not Your Turn.

Five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

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