I adore books. If you were to walk into my house and look at my bookshelf, you would think that my books hadn’t been opened. They are in excellent condition. I don’t bend the covers, or extend the spine so that there are visible wrinkles, and I darn sure don’t write in them. Never, ever, ever.
So, I feel compelled to tell you that this book contains a bunch of yellow highlighted paragraphs. I only feel slightly convicted about it.
When my first novel was sent out into the unknown, my sister-in-law told me I should read this book by Annie Downs, “Let’s All Be Brave.” She said me writing a novel reminded her of that book. It took me a little while, but I finally got around to reading it.
If you have a dream living in your heart, please read this book. I am very serious. Tell me, and I will buy it for you, and I won’t even make you promise not to mark it up. Somehow Annie has perfectly described so many aspects of what it was like for me to inch forward and take those steps of faith in pursuing my goals, and I know her words could bless you, too.
She nailed what I think about every morning in my quiet time.
“I know God can answer this prayer, but even if He doesn’t…”
She even articulated the one question I most ask myself – can I be okay with “knowing that God can change everything, but may not?” These are the issues I most often wrestle over in those early hours of the morning, when it is just the two of us. Let’s be honest – God could take my best efforts and multiply the results in an astronomical way. Or, I could just be pouring out my heart to a handful of people. Am I okay with that? Truly? I hope I am.
Two chapters in particular really impacted me – the first was Your Talents. “What do I want most with my life? To be doing the things that partner me with God. I want to be His partner. When I look back on my life, the greatest joy will be to talk about the times I was partnered with God in what He was already doing.” I so wish I could share with you some of the ways God has been walking with me, but I can’t do so without Camdyn spoilers, so that will have to wait for another day. Just suffice it to say that I have been truly blessed to feel His presence with me.
The second chapter that got me was Your People.
“How to find them – the people who will stand with you and hold up your arms or cover your mouth when you should shut up – seems to be the challenge. The people are easier to identify than you realize – you just follow your path and look around, because the brave ones? They are the ones parallel to you. They are your people.”
I absolutely have people, and now that I have stepped out in this scary way, I know who they are. You are the ones who have encouraged and cheered me on – who have let my pursuit of this dream inspire you. I thank each one of you. There are a couple, though, who I feel I have to call out by name. Tammy Atterberry – you have been absolutely incredible in your willingness to support me. I know as grade school besties we promised to always be there for each other, but you have gone above and beyond. And Linda Meckem – sometimes I think you are more excited for my success than I am. I couldn’t ask for a better person to partner with me in this crazy pursuit. You ladies are my people. I love you.
What should you be stepping towards in faith? Find it, whatever it is, and say yes. Let’s all be brave.