Have you ever had a book totally wreck your soul in a totally utterly fantastic way? There is a book that is doing that for me right NOW! That book is the book “Let’s All Be Brave” by Annie F. Downs. Several friends recommended her book to me and I finally was able to pick it up at Barnes and Noble on Sunday. It is one of those books that I cannot put down. It also is a book that I am continually underlining in because there is so much of this book that is already speaking to me.
My #oneword365 for this year is “brave.” And oh how I want to be brave. And sometimes you just need that little shove; that push that calls you to be brave.
“I’m here to ask you to please do that thing in your heart that scares you to death. To make that move or leap or step or sound you wouldn’t have made a week ago. There is no formula and there are no rules. There is the Bible, our guidebook for all things, but other than that, being brave is organic and spiritual and a unique journey for each person.” (Let’s All Be Brave; Annie F. Downs; P.16)
Annie’s words remind me that God DOES indeed have a perfect plan for me. God knows that plan. And a lot of days it is so hard for me to trust in that plan. But then I am reminded that God knows my heart; knows every desire of my heart and indeed has a specific perfect plan for me.
“You aren’t headed out to find courage. It’s in you, it is blooming, and it is with you as you travel and say yes to things that seem scary. Remember, it’s not only the X that matters; it’s getting there .” (Let’s All Be Brave; Annie F Downs; P.23)
The truth, my friends, is that I have the courage to be brave. It is in me. Like a flower blooming, that courage is blooming and growing into a beautiful flower. And as that flower is blooming, I am reminded of how many times in the Bible we hear the words “Do not be afraid.” God promises to walk with us no matter what the journey brings us. And when we trust God has a way of showing up in surprising ways.
“That the moments of my greatest fears–those times when I was sure I was going to wimp out under the pressure of it all–have also been the open doors to the greatest changes in my life. So I step out, full of fear, but trusting that God is on the other side in new and wonderful ways. And so far? He always is.” (Learning to Be Brave; Annie F. Downs; P.31)
“And that though I am flawed, God is loving me and refining me and reminding me that God in me is where I can place my trust. And that is the place where I find my courage.” (Learning to Be Brave; Annie F. Downs; P.37)
See what I mean! As I read Annie’s words, I find myself realizing how I have everything I need to be brave. I can do anything I set my mind too. Sometimes it means just simply say the words “yes!” It means trusting in God who made me. I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I am not one hundred percent sure where this journey of bravery might take me, but each day I find myself clinging to and finding a little bit of that bravery that is already in me…that bravery that God is calling me to hold onto.
“You are one of a kind, made on purpose, deeply loved, and called to be courageous.” (Learning to Be Brave; Annie F. Downs; P.45)
Wow those quotes definitely make me want to read that book. I am sure I would find myself taking notes and underlining all over the place too! As I was reading it I was thinking of things that it applied to in my life and ways that I could step out. Very cool.
Natalie, you must read it! I cannot put it down! 🙂
how very cool that your word, brave, is in the book title! I need to find a title that includes grace.
Yes you do. Check out Lee Strobel. I think he has a book called A Case for Grace.
thanks! I'll find A Case for Grace, and (of course), "let's all be brave" is on my wish list. In general I've been preferring digital books lately, but I know for a fact I'll want a paperback of this one to write in, comment on, tote alongside my other stuff.
I generally like to read on my Kindle too but there are just some books that I need to buy in paper back so I can mark up, write in etc. Happy Reading friend!
exactly so! I've always preferred quality paperbacks to the stiffness and off-puttingness of hard bound books, and there are a couple of books I first read in their first edition before they came out in paperback, that I want to go and buy the paperbound one to make my own notes.
Oh, I know what to put on my reading list next. Thank you for sharing this. I really enjoy reading Annie's blog as well. I hope you have a great day!
Jo, I hope you enjoy it as much as I am!