I just finished Annie Downs' incredible book, Let's All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have. Confession: I'm a major 'fraidy cat. Always have been. As a child, I refused to ride roller coasters at amusement parks. It took incredible guts to finally step foot on the Mini Runaway Mine Train roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas. Now, once I rode it, I loved it and wanted to hop on again, but the getting on the roller coaster or water slide or whatever it has been, has always been the most difficult. My childhood friends can attest to this as well as many other people in my life. Sometimes I need a little nudge and this book was a nudge in the most wonderful way.
In her book Annie takes us through a variety of personal life circumstances where decisions were difficult and bravery necessary. Through her own experiences she teaches us how we can be brave in our own lives, weaving Scriptural examples throughout. Two specific examples from Annie's life involve moving. Picking up and leaving the life she has known to follow the life God has called her to. In these examples we are given an interior glimpse into the thoughts and emotions of such a move and I am drawn to the Biblical examples of men and women who also were called to leave the only life they had every known and step forward on faith. This faith step is an essential part of bravery and through Annie's down-to-earth, encouraging voice, we are given the hope that bravery is waiting within each of us, too. Waiting to be unleashed.
Annie also describes personal struggles she currently experiences and being brave in the midst of those. Life doesn't suddenly become rainbows and sunshine once you take the step of faith. It can continue to be difficult in the midst of bravery, but God is with you each step.
As I read this book I was reminded of areas of my own life where God may be calling me to be brave. The inevitable roller coasters of life where I am waiting in line and the next step is getting in the seat and preparing to be buckled in. So often I let fear turn me around and walk past the others in line to leave the ride altogether, but through Annie's words I am encouraged to step in, get buckled, and enjoy wherever God is leading me next. The journey may not be without unexpected jerks (hello Texas Giant!) and plunges, but the Sovereign Creator of the Universe will never let us go. Amen.
I received a copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers, but the opinions in this review are entirely my own.