I almost hesitate to tell you how I met author Annie Downs. In truth, it’s a little bit crazy on my part and a lot of goodness on God’s part. But because the opportunity mirrors the message in her newest book, Let’s All be Brave, I’ll share it with you.
A few months ago, I downloaded and devoured the first few sample chapters of Let’s All be Brave (download your sample chapters here). From the first page, I felt such truth in Annie’s words. She spoke with beauty and conviction about finding the courage to pursue the God-given gifts, the hope-against-hope dreams planted deep within.
When I finished the sample, I felt the strangest tug in my spirit to reach out to her. Because there’s this book project on my heart, and frankly, I’m terrified of pursuing it. Terrified I’ll fail, terrified of the critics, terrified that it will take so much more than I have to give. So I’ve shelved it. Year after year it sits in the back of my mind and collects dust, imprisoned there by fear that enslaves.
But Annie’s words were like a breath of fresh air blowing into those dark recesses, brushing away the dust. Those first few chapters of Let’s All be Brave lit embers of courageous faith in my spirit. I was at a point in my dreams and with this blog that it felt like her words were written directly for me.
So I took a deep breath and reached out to Annie. And through coincidence, God’s providential timing or a combination of both, she and I sat down together just one night later to discuss writing, publishing and the importance of being authentic. After the stage lights had dimmed on a Girls of Grace conference, and the crew began loading the bus to take the team to the next city in their tour, we sat on a bench and chatted like old friends. Because that’s what you get with Annie; she’s a real-deal, full-of-life, vivacious personality who blends the right amount of humor with a heaping dose of honest authenticity and a whole lotta truth.
Crack the spine of Let’s All be Brave, and you’ll see what I mean. Annie uses scripture and real-life anecdotes to share the powerful truth that God made you on purpose, He made you to be brave, and He will equip you to do that which you’re called to do. She then cheers you on as you discover those truths in your own life. Each page is written to inspire God-given courage. Just listen:
My prayer for you today is that you will open the eyes of your heart to the map and the next brave thing and the step you need to start. Tell someone your dream. Maybe even at the bottom of this page, or in the margin, you can write that first step. Make that first move to research or learn or pray about the thing that is like a God-struck match lit on your insides.
Maybe for you, it’s writing a note. Singing a song. Making a phone call. Having a conversation. Composing a story. Writing a check. Booking that trip, Sending an e mail. Going on a date. Reading a book. Signing up.
I’m trying to list as many options as possible, but you know the thing God is doing in your life better than I do. It’s time to get quiet before the Lord and ask him what it looks like for you to live a life of courage today. To start.
Just start. (excerpt page 30)
And that’s just the beginning. Throughout the book Annie will encourage you to step out in bravery as she shares stories of her own journey and gives you the courage to do the same. This book will light a fire within. I promise.
But don’t just take my words for it, hear it straight from Annie. And after you’ve listened to Annie’s heart, click here to purchase Let’s All Be Brave now!
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