Book Review: Let's All Be Brave

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Brave. Its a word I've heard over and over this year. My fancy friends- the ones who seem to have time to put their thoughts on paper in eloquent ways I only wish for; the ones who assign each new year a word or theme- many have chose "brave" to be their word of 2014. That's what attracted me to Annie Downs's book, "Let's All Be Brave." That title alone makes me respond with a resounding, "Yes! Let's!" 

Written in an easy to read, blog-to-book format that is so common these days, this book is a collection of thoughts written by Annie in various places (mostly trendy coffee shops), over the course of about a year. From the beginning, her story captivated me. She was living a comfortable life, doing what she had always wanted to do, living near family and friends where she grew up. Then she felt (dun-dun-dun) the stirring. The restlessness. The inkling of an idea that God was calling her to more. I think in one way or another, we've all been there before. We feel a calling to be something bigger than who we currently are, to go somewhere other than where we are, and to step so far out of our comfort zone that the only One who could possibly be calling us there is the One who created it in the first place. 

That's what this book is about... having the courage to recognize when God is speaking, and to act on it. Annie uses illustrations from the Bible and from her own life that underline the faithfulness and consistency of God's never-changing character. Fulling knowing and trusting that God is good is a first step to being brave. Annie writes with refreshing honesty- about being a single woman, about fighting the urge to be a quitter; she's a self-proclaimed CRIER (me too) who gets homesick sometimes (me too). Every chapter was like reading an entry in her journal, one I could closely relate to. Perhaps some of what she wrote, the personal experiences of God's faithfulness, are what I might write if I were to have the same kind of courage she has had. 

Lest you begin to think this is a self-serving book that is simply tooting Annie's own bravery horn, I ultimately appreciate the crux of this book-- that bravery on our part is great and even what is expected of us in the Christian life. But it pales in comparison to the bravery that Jesus Christ  had when he died for our sins. Annie writes, "While it is important to celebrate bravery in others and call it forth in ourselves, it would be ridiculous to believe that anything we do can hold a candle to the courageous things Jesus did for us." 

This book is challenging in a non-threatening way, mainly because it is written by someone who is living what she is preaching. Ideals are great, but they're thin when there's no proof to flesh them out. This book is full of Annie's real-life proof that when we bravely follow God, he is faithful to hold our hand and give us the map for the journey that lies ahead. 

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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