09 September 2012

Carrie Fancett Pagels Interviews Anne Mateer

Anne Mateer
Anne Mateer is the author of At Every Turn and of Wings of a Dream.

Anne, welcome to Overcoming Through Time.  Would you share either the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help, or the most tragic situation or circumstance one of your character’s has had to get past?

While I have not had many definable “tragedies” in my life, I’d say the most difficult thing I’ve had to overcome, with God’s help, has been fear. Huge fear. Deep fear. Fear that spawns panic attacks and retreat from the world. Fear of everything from flying in an airplane to talking to a stranger.

I dealt with some fear, like all of us, for much of my life, but as a stay-at-home mom of three little children with a husband working insane hours, it grew out of proportion, out of the bounds of normal. But I didn’t recognize it for what it was. In fact, I thought something was physically wrong with me. I remember having two or three episodes at home where I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. I finally told my husband I needed to go to the doctor, though I didn’t specify why. (I was afraid I had cancer or some other terminal disease.) 

After the doctor gave me a physical, we started talking about my symptoms. I remember the moment he looked at me and smiled. “You’re having panic attacks.”

I just blinked at him. He had to be wrong. Christians didn’t have panic attacks. Did they? He prescribed some medication. I returned home, stunned. I told my husband then stared at the prescription for days before I filled it. After that, I stared at the bottle, warring with myself over actually taking a pill. I was terrified it wouldn’t help. And I was terrified it would. At that time, we were involved in a home group through our church that included a woman who worked as a psychiatrist, a very strong, godly woman. I talked with her about the medication, about what I’d been going through. I’ll never forget what she told me.

“Sometimes medication is necessary so that we can minimize the symptoms and be able to hear the voice of God.” She advised me to take the pills when I felt my fear spiraling out of control, but not to assume I’d have to use them forever. And she encouraged me to press in to Jesus, especially during those times when the medication settled me down.

I did as she advised. The extreme fear abated somewhat. I think I only filled the prescription twice and didn’t even finish the second bottle. But even though the medication helped in the moment, like she’d said it would, I didn’t overcome my fear in an instant. In fact, it wasn’t until several years later that the final spiritual breakthrough came that allowed me to put fear back in its proper perspective for good. But my friend was right. The medication calmed me enough to help me seek the Lord in the way I knew I ought. And while Jesus didn’t “fix” me right away, He and I started on a new journey, one that continues to this day in a deeper and more real way than ever before.
What is your favorite bible verse and why?
That is so hard for me to narrow down! I guess I would have to say that at this moment it is Proverbs 16:9: The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. For me, this encapsulates what God has done and continues to do in me. He has given me confidence to plan my way instead of being bound up in fear, but He is growing greater faith in me to understand that what comes to pass in spite of that planning is from His direction. I don’t have to fear when I know--really know--that He is in control. He loves me and desires my good, which, by His definition, is me growing to become more like Christ and bringing glory to Him.

Disability friendliness:
Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio?  Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print?
So far, none of my books are available in an audio format, but Wings of a Dream is in large print. I hope At Every Turn will be available in that format as well.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
I hope my books will stir in my readers a desire to trust the Lord to a greater degree in their lives. In those long years of working through my fear issues, I realized it all came down to trust. I didn’t truly trust God’s goodness or His love for me. I hope my stories encourage readers to examine their own level of trust in the Lord and to seek to trust Him in greater ways in their own lives as I seek to do in mine. I also hope my books will encourage readers to see how God is working through the unexpected situations they encounter in life rather than just seeing those as frustrations.

At Every Turn
As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
While researching race tracks for At Every Turn, I came across the history of Speedway Park, located near Chicago. Opened in 1915, it closed three short seasons later, in 1918. The owner donated the land to the government for a VA hospital in memory of the son of the owner who was killed in France during the Great War (WWI). From what I understand, there is still a VA hospital on that site today. That story touched my heart when I read it.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
I think this story is very helpful for those who feel that God has gifted them in ways that are unusual and often outside the norm of what the church considers giftedness from the Lord. It is very easy to feel alone and unloved when you don’t seem to fit. But I believe the Lord has given us our uniqueness for a reason. Even something as seemingly unimportant as driving fast, as Alyce does in At Every Turn, can be used by the Lord to spread the gospel and to bring Him glory and should not be discounted.

Thank you Anne for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!

Anne's books can be purchased through Amazon, CBD, Barnes & Noble and other bookstores.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week's contest. Drawing will be late Saturday. Your choice of Anne's books and choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format, not as a paperback.


  1. Anne! I loved this book so much! I enjoyed this interview. Great questions, Carrie. Anne, I''ve also experienced anxiety attacks, and agree that as a Christian there's a certain amount of guilt and self-doubt that goes along with it - wondering it it's a lack of faith on my part. Thank you for sharing how you dealt with it.

  2. ANNE, WELCOME to OTT-WGH! I am so excited for you to be with us thie week! I am so glad you were able to overcome your fear with God's help. HE is our ever present help in time of trouble!! Thank you for sharing your testimony with us. Thank you for sharing how we sometime have to use medication to help us. I KNOW that God can heal us instantly but sometimes for reasons only He knows He doesn't choose that and I believe He is ok with the use of medication. After all He gave humans the knowledge to make it.

  3. Thank you for doing this interview, I really enjoyed it. Thank you for the giveaway too!


  4. ANNE, thanks for being with us this week. Panic attacks can be debilitating and result in so many problems. So glad God has delivered you from them!

    Talk about small world--my FIL utilizes the VA services in Chicago!!! That was very touching about the racetrack owner doing that to honor his son's memory. What a blessing he gave to the Chicago area vets!

  5. Live your interview. Trusting the Lord 100% of the time seems to be a challenge for me. I say that because I want to take care of things myself and turn the problems over to the Lord second. If I could get myself to pray first and trust that He will handle it... I'm sure my life will be much less of a hassle. Think this book sounds great and the cover is lovely!

  6. SUZY--so glad you liked the book! Always such a blessing to hear that!

    I love being here TERESA! And I love talking about what the Lord has done in my life through the years.

    Thanks for stopping by WENDY!

    How cool, CARRIE! I just loved that story about the veteran's hospital. And interestingly enough, I had my first panic attack in over fifteen years just last week. Spiritual attack? Definitely! But it made me take a good look at myself again and see where I had fallen back into fear. Even when we've overcome with God's help, we have to be vigilant not to give back that ground we've gained! His strength in my weakness.

    I know what you mean, LCENLOW. It's so much our nature to want to take care of things our way instead of letting God handle it His way. But His way is always so much better in the long run! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I'm so glad I was finally able to get on here. My computer wouldn't seem to hold a charge even though I had it plugged up and the computer kept shutting off on me. Hope it doesn't do that now!

    ANNE, we are delighted to have you with us this week on OTT! Thank you so much for sharing with us about overcoming panic attacks. Having battled with them since I was in my 20s I know how debilitating they can be. I'm alot better now, but still have to fight them at times. I wouldn't wish them on anyone, and those that have never had one have no clue as to how awful they can be. Thank you for the great interview, CARRIE and ANNE!

  8. ANNE, so good to have you with us this week! Thanks for sharing your testimony. I hope and pray it will be an encouragement to many!

    I hope to read At Every Turn this week. I'm really looking forward to reading it! :)

  9. I would love to win. chesnutangela@yahoo.com

  10. Thanks MARIAN! I hope you enjoy the story!

    Thanks for stopping by ANGELA!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Anne. I've battled panic attacks, too, and I know you will bless your readers by sharing from your heart.


  12. DIANA, my computer was shutting off all the time which was why I took it in. YAY--Best Buy sent me a message that it is done. This back-up computer is sorely lacking, sad to say. A good example of you get what you pay for. Praying your computer operates okay for you now!

  13. Hi Anne - Great interview. As you know, I loved "Wings of a Dream". We corresponded when my book club was searching for a historical book (South Sub in MN). Your new book sounds great! Hope I win a copy, thanks for the opportunity.

  14. Sweet Anne, thank you for sharing your journey and your writing with us. You are such a blessing!

    Praying God blesses you abundantly!

    BIG hugs!!

  15. I love coming across new authors! I will definitely will reading these books. Also, the cover is so pretty :)

  16. JULIA, it helps to know we aren't the only ones, doesn't it? Thanks for sharing!

    Yay for fixed computers, CARRIE! :)

    SHARON! Thanks for dropping by! I hope you enjoy At Every Turn as much as you did Wings of a Dream. Maybe you can talk your book club into this one! ;)

    Sweet LISA! Thank you for stopping by! Big hugs to you, too!

    SAMANTHA, I'm so glad you love the cover. I do, too! So glad you dropped by to read a little about me and my book!

  17. Thank you, Anne, for sharing with us about your experience with fear and panic attacks. It is so easy for us to be overwhelmed with fear, even when we are trying to trust God. Sometimes I think he uses those situations to draw us closer to him.
    I would love to win a copy of either of Anne's books. They both look very good. Thanks for the giveaway.

  18. Anne,
    Your postings always inspire me...As you know, I loved WINGS OF A DREAM...and I'm looking forward to reading your latest masterpiece :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  19. Ditto what ANNE said, "Yay for fixed computers," CARRIE! Ours is the battery which costs a heap, believe it or not! Ebay, here we come!

  20. PAM, all of us hear at OTT-WGH, deal with various chronic conditions and it is exactly like you said. We could be overwhelmed but we cling to GOD and I thank Him that He has put us together to support one another. Speaking of which, please pray for our follower, INGRID, who is in a nursing facility in serious medical condition.

  21. KAREN, thank you--we hope we inspire our readers to hang onto God and do as He leads them to do. And we are SO grateful for authors, like ANNE, who share their stories with us!

  22. Exactly, PAM! Even though those have been difficult situations, they have drawn me into a deeper relationship with the Lord, so I am grateful!

    You are so sweet, KAREN! So glad you popped in!

    Yay for ebay, DIANA! :)

  23. I've been looking forward to Anne's week for awhile!

    Thank you ladies! This is sure to be a good week and as I already have both of Anne's books, please do not include me in the drawing.

    Panic attacks are frightening! I'm so glad you've found relief. I agree that sometimes a medication can help---the body and its reactions are so strong that we can't always fight them. I'm sure the Lord has used that feeling to help you with emotional parts of your writing. Nothing is a loss with Him!

    Happy Monday and the beginning of a great week with Anne. If you haven't met her, she is such a warm and kind woman that you won't forget. I think it comes through in your books and you will get to know her a bit through them. (And see what an amazing writer she is!)

    see you all later!

  24. So good to see Anne here. She's one of my favorite author friends:) And I LOVE her writing!! I didn't realize her struggle with fear but I understand as fear has been a huge issue in my own life and has led to some debilitating circumstances starting when my children were small and Randy was working long hours and we're tired and trying to do everything, too. It's terrible that the enemy strikes us when we're so vulnerable but Scripture says He will and yet God is triumphant to walk us through. So thankful for Anne's testimony and victory. I know it will resonate with many and inspire hope. God is so good!

    Please don't enter me in the giveaway as I'm already a fan:)

  25. This book sounds like something I need to read :)!!! Please enter me:


    John 3:15-16 (Read it, Believe it, and Be Saved)

  26. Would love to win Your books sounds great

  27. DEBRA, Thank God for meds that help people function. Before anti-psychotics, for instance, many people with schizophrenia had only major neuroleptics with horrible side effects, and they didn't control the psychosis well either--just doped people up. It is amazing what some meds can do.

  28. LAURA, that is exactly when the enemy comes trolling for us--when we are overtired, in pain, overwhelmed, etc.! And panic can set in for anyone, without there being a disorder, too. Sometimes there seems to be just too much on our plates to deal with. And thank God, He knows when it is too much and gives us release and relief.

  29. DEB and LAURA what sweet friends you are! I appreciate you both so very much! Thank you for adding your words of support!

    AMANDA and DEBBIE, so glad you stopped in for a chance to win! I think this is such a fun and unusual story. I hope you do, too!

  30. I really enjoyed Wings of A Dream and even sent Anne an e-mail (not something I normally do!) and got a nice response back. Would love to wina copy of her newest book.


  31. oooh! this looks like a great one!


  32. And I'm so glad you sent me an email, PATTY! I don't think people realize how little feedback authors get. Especially positive feedback! Thank you! :)

    MARISSA, thanks for stopping by! Glad the book appeals to you!

  33. PATTY, niceness does matter, doesn't it? Thanks for popping by!

    MARISSA, do you mean ANNE's latest release or overcoming panic attacks, lol? ;) Or the interview? Blessings!

  34. This sounds like a great read!

  35. sounds like a good book thanks for the chance to win

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  36. Thanks, WENDY and APPLE BLOSSOM! I'm always happy to hear it sounds like a good book to someone that isn't me! lol! :)

  37. I'd love to win this book. I've had problems with anxiety and fear most of my life. I'm 66 yrs.old
    It would be helpful to me to read.
    Carolyn J.

  38. CAROLYN, Thanks for coming by. I'm sorry you've suffered with anxiety and fear for so long. Praying God is working in your life to bring freedom and healing.

    I really appreciate ANNE sharing her story with us. These testimonies are an encouragement to others.


  39. CAROLYN, I pray that the Lord shows Himself to you in little ways every day. Lately I've been reading some of John Piper's writings on fear and anxiety. They have really blessed me. You might check out the Desiring God blog for some of those. Thanks for stopping in.

  40. I had to smile when I read the excerpt of At Every Turn. Some how I just saw myself! Even at my age I still enjoy some fun and excitement. I fully understand how Alyce got herself in this fix. Honestly, there are times you just get carried away and then later the oops moment hits! I would love to win a copy of this book. If I did, I would have it sent to my sister Carolyn. She has suffered through fear and panic attacks most of her life. There were years that she was completely house bound. Back then, the doctors didn't quite understand what panic attacks were and so they could only treat her accordingly and a lot of the medication didn't really help her. I am pleased to say that today she is much better. Not out of the woods but has made strides. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is taking real good care of her. I am so happy as believers that we have HOPE!! Thank you Anne for sharing your story. I am sure you have helped a lot of people out just by this sharing. God Bless you!

  41. I forgot to add...great review Teresa!

  42. Amen for hope, JUDY! I'm glad your sister is doing better. The Lord is so faithful for care for us and those we love in His way and in His time. I'm glad you can relate to Alyce! :)

  43. It sounds like a really cute book, I would love to win a copy. God bless you both.

    Glenda Parker


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