Let’s All Be Brave

from the Let’s All Be Brave reading plan

BY Amanda Bible Williams

psst—the Justice plan begins tomorrow!
Join us here or on the new She Reads Truth app (!!!) to follow along.

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Today I want to introduce you to my friend Annie.

I’m blessed to have a few Annies in my life, so to avoid confusion, my kids like to call this particular Annie by her full name: “Annie Who Lets Us Jump On Her.” Whenever she appears at our door, they go absolutely nuts—running around the dining room table at full speed, then taking turns vaulting themselves into her lap. (She’s left my house with bruises before, people. True story.) If the official title doesn’t give it away, Annie Downs is one of the most joy-filled, life-loving people I know. She is silly and sincere, honest and hilarious, hard working and kind. She’s also one heckuva writer.

Annie’s first two books — Perfectly Unique and Speak Love — are must-reads for teenage girls and the parents, friends and mentors who love them. (Seriously, if you have a teenage daughter, buy her these books.) Last week Annie released Let’s All Be Brave, a book written for us grownups — young and old, men and women, you and me.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit my bias (I love this girl, I really do), but believe me when I tell you — this book is a life-changer.

Let’s All Be Brave will inspire you.
It will challenge you.
It will expose those dreams hidden deep in your heart and shine light on the truths that darkness tries to hide.
It will make you want to live life with the fearless joy of a running, jumping, wrestling four-year-old.
This book will give you gumption that’s rooted in the gospel.

I know this because that’s what it does for me.

I truly believe the message of this book was planted in my friend’s heart by God himself. Watch this short trailer, and you’ll see what I mean.

I snagged a little of Annie’s time during release week to ask her four questions about Let’s All Be Brave. Take a moment to read her answers, and let me know which resonates with you most.

1

Annie, early on in your book you say, “To see yourself the way God sees you is the first step in being brave.” Can you you help us understand how reading truth makes us brave?

It’s not just reading the truth that makes us brave, it’s BELIEVING it. When you choose to ignore the easy messages that are fed into our minds (you can’t, you won’t, you shouldn’t, you aren’t, etc.) and you believe that God made you on purpose? That is a brave choice. It’s hard to stand up for truth when the world is full of lies.

2

You talk a lot in the book about how we can make others brave simply by speaking truth and love into their lives. “Your words are changing the atmosphere” (page 98). I love that image! Can you share with us an example of one simple sentence spoken to you that helped make you brave?

Last spring, when I was writing this book, I remember sitting across the table from my intern Connor. He’s like a little brother to me, and he watched, day in and day out, as I struggled to put the stories to paper. On a Monday, we sat down in my office and I, with tears in my eyes already, said, “I don’t think I can write this book.” Connor looked at me and said, “You can write this book. You will write this book. You are brave enough to write this book.” And the atmosphere changed. The despair lifted and I felt stronger. I’ll never forget it.

3

Annie, the “Hold On” and “Let Go” chapters really got me. They’re just so vulnerable and good. You share a little in the book about your experience as a single thirty-something — that tough balance between hope and trust when it comes to the story God is writing with your life. I was struck by the honesty in this line: “This book isn’t about me being single, but if you think it’s been easy to hold on to hope as I’ve watched my friends pass me in life phases over and over again, oh, friend. Not so much.” As a community where nearly half of our readers are single women, I’m certain so many of us can relate to this. What brave word would you encourage our single readers with today, or any of us who are holding on to hope today?

I think it’s important to remember that there is no shame in being full of hope. There are times when we feel shame for hoping- for believing that God could do something and move in an area of our lives that we haven’t seen movement in so far. We feel the shame because we think we should just quit hoping and let our dreams die. But the brave ones doesn’t stop hoping. It takes guts to hope in the face of disappointment. It takes guts to hope until doors close and THEN go face to face with God about hope unfulfilled. It’s easy to give up. Don’t do it. Hold on to hope.

4

I adored the story of your grandmother and the spunk and bravery she showed in her life. (Before reading your book, I’d never considered prayer as being an act of courage; but it does involve a sort of death to self-promotion and desires, doesn’t it?) Just like your Grandmother Ruth, there are so many ways we can be brave right where we are. Can you leave us a practical word of advice on how to be brave today, right here and now?

It’s closer than you think. (I started to say “easier,” but by definition, I think if it calls you to be brave, it probably isn’t exactly easy.) Do the next thing that steps you towards your dream. Send an email. Make a call. Write a card. Post a blog. Write a check. Get out of bed. Whatever it is. Remember that God made you unique, so your call to courage is that unique today. Ask God what it is- listen to Him and do the thing. You are brave. Believe it.

labb

Connect with Annie: Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Click here to purchase Let’s All Be Brave.

Post Comments (21)

21 thoughts on "Let’s All Be Brave"

  1. Angel says:

    Ordered my copy the day thus post appeared and received it Wednesday! Already feel like Annie is a great friend telling me exactly what I need and want to read!!

  2. Just ordered it off Amazon! I can't wait to read it!

  3. hmblaisdell says:

    Putting this on my to-read-list. Lately, being brave (or not being so brave) has really been on my heart. I agree with Annie: being brave is choosing to believe God is who He is says He is and that we are who He says we are. When we believe both – ready to turn our desires and dreams into a reality – God will bless our bravery, and in turn, we will bless others. (That's really cool)! Thanks for this truth, She Reads Truth.

  4. Beckey says:

    "It takes guts to hope in the face of disappointment"
    Whew! I really really needed those exact words this week! Looking forward to reading this book.
    Beckey http://www.etsy.com/shop/queenbsbusywork

  5. Erica says:

    I ordered this book, and since I was so excited about it, I ended up ordering a whole gaggle of books. Lol
    I cannot wait to read this. I’ve always wanted to be considered brave. We’ve all had moments where we would be considered such but once that moment of fire is gone, we forget. I decided just after reading this interview that I’m going to take a step of faith and do that one thing Annie talked about. I’m so excited to see what God does with it!!

    1. So exciting to hear, Erica! Keep us updated on your steps of faith:) We love having you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  6. AnnaLee says:

    Question 1 stuck out the most, though all of them really spoke to me tonight…
    Last night I read through 1:1-2 of 2 Timothy… "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord."

    That first part: "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus…"

    Paul was CONFIDENT in his true identity in Christ Jesus. He knew who the Lord had made him to be, what the Lord created him for, who he was… he didn't let his horrible past (which was indeed very, very traumatic) get in the way of his walk with the Lord and his ministry in the Lord… nothing at all defined him but the fact that he was an apostle of Christ, by the will of God, according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus. This assured knowledge, this firm faith rooted in God's word, made Paul know who the Lord had made him, allowed him to work SO fruitfully, so amazingly, for the gospel. I read this yesterday… and I got teary-eyed. What could I do if I knew, without a doubt, of my identity in the Lord? If I could believe with 10000% sureness that I was a disciple, a Christ-follower, a Kingdom-worker, by the will of God (not anything of my own), according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus (making that promise of life the very foundation and lifeblood of ALL I am, all I do?), how would the Lord used me? What is it to be so sure of who He is and who He's made me to be that I can give it all, live fully free, completely brave? I heard him whisper it yesterday. "Put all of it, everything, under the cross, and watch what I do."

    I saw this book on Noisetrade, I do believe, a while back. It caught my eye… it looked (looks!) beautiful, and being "brave" is so… noble. So honest. So true.

    Which reminds me. One of my favorite books from a while back, one that really instilled a passion in me for loving hurt people during a horrible time in my life, has this amazing passage in it. The book is called "Hold Still" by Nina Lacour, and it is the story of a girl in high school learning to cope and heal after the suicide of her best friend, Ingrid. (Yeah, it's really heavy.) But in one passage, at the very end, there is a picture of hope, redemption, and bravery drawn: It is a simple picture of a little girl's legs, in a pair of high socks and mary janes. Underneath it is the word "brave," scrawled with an honesty and earnestness that I hold dear to my heart.

    Here's a picture… maybe it'll speak to you like it speaks to me. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mz0wTOr2hHmnK….

    Whenever I think of being brave, I think of this picture. Little. Nervous about the world. Because it's hard to be a girl growing up– puberty, media– and in third world countries, having to deal with so many more dire situations and statistics. But this little girl is standing up. Her knees locked, in noble and determined opposition. Pressing on in the Truth, innocent and gentle in her strength. That's bravery to me. As Annie said, "That is a brave choice. It’s hard to stand up for truth when the world is full of lies…. It takes guts to hope in the face of disappointment."

    Lord Jesus, I choose You. I choose to say, "Yes, Lord." I choose to look at myself with the knowledge that I was made with a deep, unique, irreplaceable purpose and meaning– only to glorify Your Holy, Holy name. I choose to be this little girl. I choose to get up, stand up, and be brave.

    Blessings, lovelies. May the Lord bless us all… may we all learn what the Lord wants to do in us when it comes to bravery and justice. See you all soon. xoxo

  7. Rebecca Jo says:

    Mine is on its way in the mail… cant wait to read it

  8. Stephanie Rawcliffe Photography says:

    I may or may not have bumped this a tad higher in my reading list! Fantastic. Congrats, Annie.

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