The Climb

After a decade-long uphill climb toward publication, I reached the summit— or so I thought. I signed a book contract. But even as I penned my name on the line, the Lord whispered in my ear. 

This is just a ledge. Catch your breath, we’re climbing higher. 

By that I knew exactly what He meant. Not that I would climb to heights of fame and fortune, but that I would climb a steeper, narrower path, one that required a strengthening of the faith He’d grown in me thus far.  

And I was right. 

First it was writing a new book, research to revisions. On a deadline. During my son’s senior year of high school. Then it was deciding what to do next, discovering what story ideas might take root within me. (I’m still climbing this one. Not sure if they’ll want the next ones or not!) 

The book released— yet another steep slope to navigate as pebbles slipped under my feet and careened into the abyss. Now it is managing time and energy, both limited resources being pushed to the limit. 

My climb might be slower than some. I might lose my footing on occasion, find myself tumbling downhill until the Lord puts a boulder in my way to stop me. But my desire is to set my face heavenward, eyes fixed on Jesus rather than seeking the top of the mountain, shrouded in clouds. I don’t want to worry about what’s up ahead or when I will reach a more restful plateau.  

Today my faith muscles are sore. My feet ache and my eyes sting. Yet I take another step, reach for another handhold. Moving forward, uphill, confident that my God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory— even if that supply consists of a rock to break my fall. 


Wendy Paine Miller said...

My faith muscles are sore too. But I'm deeply grateful for folks like you who wave me up one more step or who tip my chin so I see the light.

Great post!
~ Wendy

Marybeth said...

I love your heart, humility and humor. So glad I got to spend time with you at ACFW! Keep up the good work, climbing a bit further each day.

Anne Mateer said...

We have to keep reaching back to help each other, don't we, Wendy? So happy to have met you face-to-face!

Anne Mateer said...

Humor, Marybeth? Seriously? I had to laugh! But I loved spending time with you, too. Before this weekend I would have said I knew you--as in an acquaintance. After the weekend, I feel we've moved on to friends. You blessed me so very much!

Anonymous said...

"Today my faith muscles are sore."

I love that concept. Isn't it so true sometimes? But more than that, I love your gentle writing. Great post.

carla stewart said...

Loved this, D'Ann! I think the climb gets steeper and rockier the longer we're on the mountain. But, hey, there's so many of us together and we're kindred spirits. We understand completely what you're saying.

See you on the next ledge.

Anne Mateer said...

Thanks, VV and Carla. So glad to have friends learning to stretch their faith muscles, too!

Marji Laine - Unravel the Mystery said...

I'm so excited for you and your debut release. And your blog is always so refreshing when I come by. I've awarded you the Versatile blogger award. You can see more about it at marjilaine.blogspot.com

Royn-Ber Wendjaifa said...

For each summit you climb you may find that it is the beginning of another plateau...but there is never any going back, and that's a guarantee.

Anne Mateer said...

Marji, you are so sweet! I haven't been ignoring the awards you've given my blog, I just haven't had time to think about passing them on! I hope to very soon!

You are so very right, Royn-Ber. There is never going back to where you were before, because every step forward changes you in some way.