Lessons on the trail

Susan Miller

Susan Miller
Founder of Just Moved Ministry

I did some hiking recently in uncharted territory in northern Arizona.  For those who know me, it goes without saying that any hiking territory is unfamiliar to me. I don’t hike, but I have friends who do, and I aspire to be able to climb mountain trails and leap tall buildings with them.

It was quite an adventure since I am a novice when it comes to hiking.  I love to walk, but hiking is quite different, so I learned. I do believe the hike was two miles long. It was a totally isolated trail in the woods, leading to the top of a mountain.

My friend and I headed up the narrow trail, stopping occasionally to take a quick break, drink water, and marvel at how far we had come. I’ve learned over the years, it’s always best to have someone walk beside me when I’m on any unfamiliar path, or trail in life.

And isn’t that true – having someone come along side you when you are going through something you’ve never experienced before can make it a little easier. It’s also helpful to have the support and share the experience together. Besides that, it’s certainly better than talking to yourself.

There were a couple of times I just wanted to give up, turn around, and go back. I have also learned over the years, that when any journey I’m on seems steep, long, and difficult, I put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. It’s never easy, but reaching my goal is worth it. In times like this, I remember the story of “The Little Engine That Couldâ€. I think I can, I think I can, said the little engine, as she pushed up the hill. I become that little engine pushing on up the hill.

About half way up, we met two people on their way down the trail. Well, let me tell you, it’s always good to meet someone who’s been where I’m going. If for no other reason than to know someone else has made it! I asked the first questions that came to my anxious mind as they passed by rather quickly. What’s it like ahead? How much farther is it to the top? What’s it like there? They calmed any fear I had of the unknown trail ahead. They told us how much farther we had to go and gave us insight into what we could expect.

It’s kind of like anything we’re going through in life, isn’t it? There is comfort in knowing someone else has been there, done that. There’s nothing like someone saying, it’s going to be alright, here’s what you can expect, I’ve been through this and you can make it.

Needless to say, we made it to the top of the mountain… and back down! The amazing views of the landscape below were breathtaking. The emerald green forest rippled with wild flowers and distant lakes sparkled and swirled like ribbons. I wouldn’t have missed it. It was worth every step, every anxious moment, every tired bone in my body.

The next time you face a challenge, or something unfamiliar ahead of you—don’t do it alone, don’t give up, and be on the lookout for someone who crosses your path, who’s been where you’re going. You will learn a lot along the way and discover you really do have the ability to reach your goal.

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back” (Philippians 3:12-14, The Message). 

From My Heart,


  1. Diann on September 7, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    Great message, Susan! For several years I went hiking with some girlfriends mostly in Colorado, and I can definitely relate to what you said. Because of Covid and various other things we weren’t able to go the last couple years and know how I missed that. I did not miss the point of your message however, and I love everything you do. You are such a blessing to all who come in contact with you . love you!

    • Susan Miller on September 17, 2021 at 12:26 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog, and your kind words! I’m delighted to know you related to it, and got the message!
      Thanks again!

  2. Penny on September 4, 2021 at 6:42 am

    Thank fir the encouragement this morning. Even though I have moved often and have lead Just Moved classes in the past, this stage of my life is different. It takes longer to do things, and I’m not seeing anyone sign up for the classes. I’ve done what I did before, but things are different this time around. I’m thankful for my co-leader who is optimistic and encouraging me that we are on the right track.

    • Susan Miller on September 17, 2021 at 12:39 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to respond to my blog! All of us love you at Just Moved Ministry! Do not be discouraged my friend! You are indeed on the right track, and God will honor your commitment and efforts to your class.
      Never lose heart, never give up!

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