Are you brave? According to Annie F. Downs, the majority of people would answer in the negative – including me. But what if bravery doesn’t mean doing something earth shattering in its enormity… What if instead bravery consists of small, often insignificant choices we make every day? What if we are all braver than we think? These questions, among others, are the foundation for Annie Downs’ newly released book from Zondervan entitled Let’s All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have.
Formatted as a series of essays, Let’s All Be Brave contains chapters that each feel like a separate, real-life conversation with Annie about various topics – all connected to the subject of bravery and courage. With bushels of humor, deep honesty, and a clearly heartfelt love for her readers, Annie shares instances of courageous choices in her own life, and the lives of her friends and family. Using insight from personal experience and Biblical principles, she encourages readers to ‘Just Start’ being brave, revealing that often times this is the most difficult part. A few other topics Annie discusses include:
- Believe: although believing in and loving yourself are vital components of being brave, Annie shares how this message can sometimes come across in a way that leaves God out of the picture. As Christians, we can believe in the God who made us, on purpose, and is doing good works in us as we seek His will for our lives. Rather than believing in ourselves, we can place our trust in God – who is inside each one of His sons and daughters.
- Your People: sometimes what is most needed to be brave is a place to belong – and this requires people who care about you. Naturally, these people also need to be brave in order to encourage courage in you.
- Your Words: one of the most influential actions we can do is to speak the truth in love – and this takes courage. Often times a lot more courage than to speak, well, other than in love.
- Say Yes & Say No: it is easy to see that saying yes can sometimes be the most frightening thing we do, but saying yes to God’s plan can also be the most rewarding. Saying no… This also takes courage, especially when we must accept that God is saying no to us.
Many other topics are considered in the pages of Let’s All Be Brave, but likely not all of them will resonate with every reader. Occasionally some stories get a little TOO personal, and other times certain topics are overly simplified and even a little irreverent. Overall, however, this book feels like it means well… With a warm-hearted, extremely personable writing style, it offers encouragement to find courage and tools to help you be brave – or maybe realize that you already are.
*** This book was provided courtesy of HarperCollins Canada, in exchange for my honest review. It is available for purchase at bookstores from Zondervan Publishers.