Lets all be braveDo you know Annie F. Downs? She’s becoming quite the big deal. She’s a speaker on the Girls of Grace tour and Women of Faith. She’s kind, genuine and beyond hilarious.

If you haven’t had the privilege of meeting her personally, you may know her from one of her amazing books, Perfectly Unique, Speak Love, or her latest release, Let’s All Be Brave.

I’ve had the privilege of knowing Annie for about fifteen years. Not only did I watch her grow up in our church, my children were blessed to have Annie invest in their lives through our youth program. I’ve been one of the thousands of cheerleaders on the sidelines of her journey as a writer and speaker. It’s been such a blessing to watch God stretch her faith and take her to new place.

Annie will be the first to tell you, it hasn’t always been easy. She says as much in her new book, Let’s All Be Brave. I finally had time to start reading my copy of the book on Friday night and it’s hilarious and raw and real. It’s Annie.

She talked about wanting to be brave and not feeling it. When she shared about her move to Nashville, I found myself reflecting on a similar experience when our family relocated to Atlanta, Georgia from North Carolina.

I also found myself reflecting on the day God clearly shifted the direction of my life from doing what I loved and what was comfortable, women’s ministry and youth ministry, to doing something I felt completely incapable of doing, being a voice in the fight against sex trafficking. I vividly remember the day I told my friend,

I don’t want my whole ministry to be about sex trafficking.”

And God’s response to me stopped me dead in my tracks. He simply said,

What if I do?”

The good news is, as Annie so beautifully reminds us,

When God tells you to be brave, He will make it work. It won’t be perfect. It won’t be easy. But it will be your story and your best story.”

Another encouraging message she shared is,

No one is brave alone. Every superhero has someone they come home to; every Bible character has someone they depend on. Jesus had His disciples and His family. Batman had Robin. Paul had Barnabas. Ruth had Naomi.”

What is God asking you to be brave and embrace? Is He asking you to pull up your roots and travel to a new land that you do not know like Abraham [Genesis 12:1] or Annie? Is He calling you to change your career path like David [1 Samuel 17:20]?

Whatever God is calling you to do, no matter how frightened you may be, you’ll find encouragement in Let’s All Be Brave. Annie keeps it real. She shares real fears, real struggles and real tears, but she also shares how being brave, even when you don’t feel like it, reaps a beautiful harvest and reveals the best version of you.

Run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore or computer and grab your copy today. To quote Sandra Bullock when she plays Leann Tuey from the Blind Side,

You can thank me later.”