Climb Your Mountain!

Picture of Matthew (CJ) Gainey

Matthew (CJ) Gainey


“Conquering Obstacles: Breaking Free from What Holds you Back!”

Matthew 17: 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have a faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Life often presents us with unexpected mountains or moments where we’re faced with obstacles that demand our attention and courage. These circumstances might seem daunting at first, but they also offer the chance for growth, resilience, and transformation. In comparison, your relationships or marriage may be at a crossroads and may currently be presenting difficult challenges that appear to have no hope of reconciliation. The passage above encourages the reliance on God rather than on our own strengths to accomplish the kingdom’s goals which, in this case is reconciling a relationship with a friend or spouse. The passage also encourages to be BOLD in the expectation of what God can do. When we desire to accomplish supposedly impossible tasks in the advancement of God’s kingdom, God will come to our aid, enabling us to do more and greater things than we thought possible.

I was in a conversation with a good friend of mine and Nick compared the current situation I was working through in with my marriage to the process of climbing a mountain (overcoming an obstacle). He illustrated that when looking at a mountain from far away, you can see the top with all its beauty and splendor. You can see the mountaintop (goal).  But as you approach the bottom of the mountain to start navigating your way to the top, the mountaintop is no longer visible, and you’re only left with the vision of what it’s going to look like when you reach the top. However, one must be careful not to get so focused on reaching the top that you fail to recognize the beginning of the valley. This is the moment to become open and vulnerable as the journey to the mountaintop begins… or in this case, overcoming the obstacle you’re currently facing now.

The current situation may feel horrible and seem hopeless. It may look like an endless journey with no end in sight. Quite frankly, it could feel like what I would describe as this “pit of death” emotion stirring up in your stomach. This is the nervous system reacting to life’s current circumstances and your mind is realizing that a lot of growth and change is necessary. But embrace the feelings of this moment and allow your emotions to surface. It is important not to stuff these emotions as this often leads to unhealthy and unhelpful outbursts during highly stressful conversations or situations. Remember that being in the valley is where majority of the growth occurs. It’s also at this time that you’ll realize you will not have a clear-cut trail.  You will have to create your own way.  This may involve making your own trail by chopping down trees, cutting through the weeds to create new pathways, avoiding ferocious predators, & developing new characteristics and attributes to learn how to survive. Furthermore, depending on the size of the mountain, it may take you longer than you planned to make it to the top. This journey may take you days, months, or even years to climb and you must be willing to pitch a tent and stay however long it takes to make the climb successful.  But, be encouraged that you are not alone. 1st Samuel 12:22 “For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.”  Get ready to embark on your own personal journey to have a personal encounter with God himself.  He will set forth the path that we are supposed to take.  At times, we may feel alone, fearful, worried, anxious, hurt, defeated, & unworthy.  But know that those feelings are not of God.  So, make the decision right now, just as I have, to trust and know that he’s right by your side.  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Recognize the Mountain(s)

First things first… we must admit that we have a mountain to climb. Obstacles in our marriage come in various forms—personal, spiritual, financial, or emotional. They might manifest as a relationship hurdle, a health setback, or an inner struggle. In my case, my biggest obstacles are establishing safe and open communication with my wife. My second issue would be walking in integrity by creating plans and following through with the things say l am going to do. One thing that I failed to do was recognize that the issues that have been presented throughout my marriage needed to be validated and understood as real concerns from my wife. Instead, I continued to brush things under the rug and move along like no change was necessary. Over time, this created a huge mountain that I’m currently learning to navigate today. However, these obstacles are not roadblocks; rather, they serve as opportunities for one to examine or observe one’s own mental and emotional processes and adapt to change.

Embracing the Journey

Taking on challenges head-on requires a resilient mindset. Proverbs 23:7 – “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:” Even though this verse is directed towards the heart, a person’s heart is influenced over time by the mindsets of people and the individual. Mindset plays a crucial role in shaping perceptions, actions, and ultimately, outcomes in life. Chopping down roots and weeds (old ways of thinking) of the mind must take place to survive this journey up the mountain. For the past 2 years of my marriage, I’ve had to really take time to seek revelation and get rid of old ways of thinking that no longer served me. This negative mindset drastically prolonged my progress up the mountain. I lived in a state of scrupulosity always thinking that God was disappointed with me. But I was truly disappointed in myself and my past shortcomings all the while having this beautiful, genuine, amazing wife and family. I lived feeling unworthy and underserving because my mindset programmed my heart to stay stuck in the guilt, shame, and defeat from the past. It wasn’t until just recently, that I received a lifting presence from the power of the holy spirit through meditation, prayer, and fasting. Shifting the perception of the mind takes hard work but is worth the effort. Staying positive while embracing uncertainty and acknowledging the discomfort often leads to resilience, growth, and the ability to navigate challenges more effectively. It’s a powerful tool that influences how we approach situations and the decisions we make. This is where we discover our true capabilities. Taking care of your mental and physical well-being plays a critical role so engage in activities that bring you peace and clarity.

Seek Wise Counsel… Key word being Wise

Seeking advice and guidance from those with experience and wisdom can be invaluable. Their insights often offer perspectives that help in making informed decisions or navigating complicated situations more effectively. Wise counsel can come from mentors, trusted friends, or professionals. This will provide clarity and guidance when facing important choices or challenges. Be careful with who you allow to speak in your life. Remember Proverbs 16: 29 – “Wickedness loves company — and leads others into sin.” Be sure to seek wisdom from those who tell you what you need to hear versus what you want to hear. MOST IMPORTANTLY!!! Do not receive wisdom for your relationship from members of the opposite sex (more discussion on this in a future blog). This is extremely dangerous and can lead to permanent destruction of your marriage.

Learn, Shut Up, and Just Do

It is imperative that we plan to learn and establish new thoughts and actions necessary to survive the climb. Don’t just wing it… something I’m guilty of doing. Developing plans to learn new ways and ideologies will help navigate the course safely and will save you so much time during the journey. I think it’s also worth noting that it’s not just about knowing. That’s called “information masturbation.” You must apply the knowledge regularly to truly understand and improve. Whether deciding to get up early for the Men’s Mindset Architecture Zoom calls, reading a daily devotional, starting a new a new book, or even taking counseling sessions, practicing what you’re learning is key to mastering any skill. How many times does a person have to hear your apology or listen to how you want to change? I’ve heard it spoken that your apologies should be in response to someone taking notice of your change over time because actions do speak louder than words! Demonstrating what you’ve learned through your actions without expecting any feedback can have a powerful impact. This helps to neuro-encode and create a new path that you can navigate at will. Furthermore, it will also make the path clear to those that come after you. In the words of NIKE… “Just Do It!”


In conclusion, one may find himself wondering why he’s enduring troubles within his relationship(s). It may be time to recognize that there’s a mountain to overcome. After recognizing you have some “ish,” it’s important to embrace and allow self to feel and express those emotions that may surface to prevent “lashing out” on those that you truly love and care for. Then we must do our own due diligence to seek wise counsel to learn new traits or characteristics. And finally, it’s time to shut up and do the work. “Don’t talk about it; be about it.” It’s much better to hear how you have changed rather than telling others how you are “going to change.” Implementing these new practices as you navigate the mountain will help ensure that the climb is safe and effective while stepping into a newer version of yourself. After all, when you reach the top, you will be astonished by what you’ll find. Outside of the joyful feelings of what was conquered, one may see that off in the distance there are other mountains to journey through. Be encouraged, there’s never a finish line. Keep running the race. Isaiah 40:31 says,” but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” My good friend Rousawn states, “Your current situation does NOT have to be your final destination.” It’s time to overcome the sh!+ that’s got you stuck.

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