Dreams, Faith, Trusting God

Comparison: God’s Timing

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

Today was gorgeous. The sun shone, creating all kinds of blue in the sky. Leaf buds and bare branches alike reflected it’s rays.

As I walked around our neighborhood, the trees captured my attention. Call me silly, but I got caught up in how bare some trees looked compared to others. 

Some trees bore branches with the nibs of buds on the very tips of them. Others were garbed in shimmers of green.

Seeing the great diversity in how leafy the trees were reminded me of how much life is like that. 

Each of these trees will reach their goal: to bear leaves. Some will bear flowers and fruit as well. But all will dress themselves in leaves.

Isn’t that how we are too? Each of us has a calling, a dream. I believe God has called me to write. He’s given me a dream of being published. 

I have friends who began writing after me, and their books adorn shelves in stores. I used to compare my journey to theirs. But the truth is? God’s timing for each of us—for our journeys, for us to fulfill our callings—is different. 

Just as Jesus told Peter that he didn’t need to worry about John’s journey, God tells us the same thing. 

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

~John 21:20-22

I must keep my eyes on Him. I need to follow the path He has me on. Not look to my friends—to other writers—and see where they are in the journey. 

We each bear our leaves at the perfect time on God’s view. I’m not published yet. But I may be one day. I’m bearing my leaves at a different pace than others. 

This doesn’t make me less-than them. As long as my eyes are fixed on Jesus, I’m right where I need to be. 

Having said all of this, I’ve realized the story that’s been bursting inside me for months needs to come out. 

I’m taking a break from blogging for the month of May so I can pound out the rough draft of my story.

I will miss interacting with everyone! But, I’d so appreciate your prayers, if you feel so inclined. I’ll be back in mid-June. 

I’ll be praying for you all too!

What about you? How do you manage those comparing thoughts that sometimes slip inside your brain? When have you been intentional about fulfilling a calling God’s given you?

Click to Tweet: I need to follow the path God has me on

I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup, Jennifer Dukes Lee, and Holley Gerth

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39 thoughts on “Comparison: God’s Timing”

  1. You WILL BE PUBLISHED, Jenne, and you’ll reach and touch more lives than you think possible; you’ve changed mine, by far for the better.

    For me, well, the ream I had, the fundamental one, was to rescue a lot of people, and a lot of dogs. I’ve done both. I’ll die happy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for being such an encourager, Andrew! And thank you for your kind words. I am glad you have lived your dream of rescuing people and dogs. You continue to do that in your words and actions, you know. Praying for you, my friend!

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    2. Andrew, I remember a very sweet agent once saying that someone needs to write the next Marley & Me–great dog book. And I don’t know, but I always think of you. No one could do it better than you. ❤

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  2. I love the pictures of the trees. Each of them is beautiful in its own way and it is a great reminder to focus on God’s plan for us rather than comparing ourselves with others and allowing ourselves to be distracted. I’ll be praying for you as you work on your story!

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    1. Yes, focusing on others rather than on where God is directing is so distracting, isn’t it, Lesley? I’m doing better, but there are times when I still struggle with this. Thank you so much for your prayers. That means the world to me!!

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  3. It’s hard not to compare, isn’t it, Jeanne. But you’re showing us how to do this whole writing / online / relationship thing well.

    You go, girl! Enjoy every minute of putting your story on paper. You’re following God’s lead, His timing, His heart.

    I’ll be praying as He brings you to mind.

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    1. Linda, it is hard not to compare. You are kind in your words. Thank you, friend. I am so excited to begin writing again. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this intentional. I’m excited to see where this story leads. Thank you so, so much for your prayers. That means so much!

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  4. This is such a comforting reminder, Jeanne. It’s so hard not to compare ourselves with others, isn’t it? Nature teaches us so much. It’s so true that God’s timing for each of us is different. I love this encouragement – “This doesn’t make me less-than them. As long as my eyes are fixed on Jesus, I’m right where I need to be.” Thank you. May God give you wisdom, direction, and peace as you write the story that is longing to come out. Love and hugs to you!

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    1. TRudy, there have been many times God has brought me back to the reality that I am not “less-than” anyone. Because I am cherished by Him. Sometimes, though, I forget. 🙂 I suspect I’m not alone. Thank you for your well-wishes for my writing. I so appreciate you!!

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  5. I allow myself at times to peek into the lives of others and then thinking less of myself. It does nothing for me but instead feeds into the lie that I don’t have as much to offer. When those things pop up I now turn to God to hear what he says. I also stay away from the places that are going to steer me away from the truth.

    God’s timing and plan are always perfect and resting in that truth will always steer us the right way. I’ll be praying for you as you allow God to work through you during May. Love and hugs, sweet friend!

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    1. Mary, you’re right. When we peek into others’ lives, we often end up feeling like we don’t have enough. . . wisdom, compassion, time, know-how. It’s reassuring to know God uses us where we are, even as He continues to conform us to the image of His Son. I think the older I grow, the more quickly I am turning to hear my Father’s voice in a matter.

      Thank you for your prayers. They are much appreciated! So blessed by you, friend!

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  6. Oh, I struggle with this, too, my friend! I’m reading Bob Goff’s new book, and it’s really helping me understand that there is no room for comparison in love. And Jesus wants me to just become love.

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    1. Ohhh, what is Bob Goff’s book called? It sounds like a good one. I’m getting better about not comparing myself to others, at least not as often as I used to. And, I’m getting better at turning away those thoughts when they come into my head.

      I love that…Jesus wants us to become love. What a great truth!

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  7. Hi Jeanne, what beautiful pictures! I love blossom trees especially, but you have shown clearly here that they are all lovely in their own way. I am following you from my new blog, as I don’t use my old one as much.Thanks for such a lovely post. xx

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  8. Praying for you now, Jeanne! I’m glad you’re taking a break! May the Lord guide and direct you friend. Is your work fiction or non-fiction? I finally decided to write a book and pursue self-publishing (and I’m laying aside that temptation to compare myself to friends writing book proposals to pitch to agents. I just don’t feel called to that right now.)

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    1. Betsy, thank you, thank you for the prayers. I so appreciate them. I am praying for the Lord’s direction and guidance as I embark on this adventure. I am thrilled that you’re also writing! And may we both choose to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and not on those around us. I look forward to hearing more about your journey!

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  9. Hi Jeanne!

    I loved your connection between us and the threes. It works well and gets the point across. Yes, I think that’s an essential point for all of us, God timing for us is different from authors to author. I found colossal comfort and courage in being a Christian in periods of my life when I fell things fell apart. I cannot imagine how people can live without tapping into the power of religion, in my case I prefer the Christian religion.

    Honestly, for me, it’s very easy to begin comparing myself to other, usually much more significant personalities without our industry, but I’ve found out that it works much better to compare to how I did a year ago, three years ago etc. Because that shows me where God has led me.

    As you say, our eyes have to be fixed on Jesus.

    Happy holiday from the blogging community in May. It sounds like a great decision to focus on your book.

    With love,
    Edna Davidsen

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    1. Edna, I wonder how many people get caught up in comparing themselves to others. I have begun doing what you do…rather than comparing myself to other people, I look at the progress made in the past year, two years, five years. There’s a lot more hope going in that direction, isn’t there? It’s when we can look back and see where God’s taken us—how He’s helped us to grow—that we can be encouraged to keep pressing forward.

      Thanks so much for your encouragement!!

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  10. I can sure get caught in the comparison trap too. I’ll ask myself, “What am I doing wrong?” There are things I can learn from those who have accomplished what I’m working on, yet comparison is a motivator-stripper rather than lifter. May your month be full of blooming buds!

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    1. Lynn, I sometimes wonder if men get as trapped by comparing as women seem to. We do need to be careful not to slip from learning mode to self-condemnation mode, don’t we? And yes, comparison does strip motivation from our souls. Such great thoughts. And thanks! I appreciate your well-wishes with my writing. 🙂

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  11. Jeanne, you are so right about those trees! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! I too have a dream to be a published author. It will happen, though my tree may sprout into leaves later than yours does. I will continue to hope, recalling that every tree turns leafy green in its own time. I will not compare myself with others, but simply do what God has called me to do.

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    1. Angela, I’m so glad these words encouraged you. As we both work toward becoming published, let’s remember not to compare our journey with others’. SO hard for me some days! And yes, let’s do what God has called us to do. I so appreciate your words, and your visit. Thank you!

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  12. You go Girl! All in God’s timing. I applaud you for actively waiting and participating in the call He’s put on your Life by pausing here to focus on your book writing.

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement! Sometimes, it’s hard to step out of the normal, the comfortable, and follow God’s calling, isn’t it? Thank you so much for visiting. 🙂

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  13. Amen to every word, Jeanne. It was such a joy to see this post featured at Jennifer Duke Lee’s last linkup … you’ve written truth all of us need to take to heart! Hugs, friend!

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  14. Just found you via Jennifer Dukes Lee’s blog! Your post really spoke to me today, so keep writing! Hope you writing sabbatical bears tons of fruit for you to share when you return. Blessings on you.

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    1. Sheila, I’m so glad you stopped by! Sorry it took a few days to respond. 🙂 I love when God speaks to our hearts through others’ words. So happy that happened for you. Have a wonderful May!

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  15. “I must keep my eyes on Him. I need to follow the path He has me on. Not look to my friends—to other writers—and see where they are in the journey. We each bear our leaves at the perfect time on God’s view.” What a beautiful picture of our uniqueness in Christ. We are each very unique to HIm and for that I am grateful. It’s a struggle of the flesh and the spirit, to be patient and to trust in His timing, isn’t it? I truly enjoy how you offer perspective about these profound traits we have as writers, the battle with the timing of our labors and how to contend with the success of others. It’s really a matter of the heart and what it wants and when. Have you considered writing for online magazines or journals, submitting your work to them? I think you have a beauty in your writing that has much to offer. Til then, I will wait for your book to find its way through the crowd and stand out among them. I will be glad to see that when it indeed comes! Happy Mother’s Day too!

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  16. Beautiful, Jeanne. Like you said, we must keep our eyes on Him. I can’t wait to see what God does for you. And I’m going to be cheering so loudly … mostly because I’ll never forget how you took me at ACFW 2015 and prayed with me. I love your heart, Jeanne, because you are so real.

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