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How to Be Brave: Annie F. Downs

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
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May 2, 2023 5:15 am

How to Be Brave: Annie F. Downs

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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May 2, 2023 5:15 am

What if brave happens in the middle of fear? Annie F. Downs, bestselling author of 100 Days to Brave: Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self, had to learn the hard way how to be brave. She felt her challenges were too difficult, too scary, too much. Then she decided to stop allowing fear to hold her back. It wasn't easy or simple. But it was good. In fact, she asks, if you're not willing to step out, how could it affect your relationship with God? And what if you're braver than you know and stronger than you thought possible?

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Annie's website can be found at

Read Annie's testimony from WSJ

Purchase Annie's new book here: Chase the Fun: 100 Days to Discover Fun Right Where You Are

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So here's a question. Would you say I'm a brave person? Yes.

Totally. You think I'm a brave person? Oh, yeah. I think you're a brave person.

You're gutsy. Remember that time we were in Miami and the band was playing and you were like... Oh, we were going on the cruise with our small group. Yeah. And you were watching the band and... You thought of that? This is something I wouldn't do.

You go up and play the air guitar in front of the band. Like you were the real guy. Well, that's not really brave. It was to her. You think it was? I was like, I would never do that.

What are you doing? Yeah, that is true. And it was fine. More people joined me.

That's true. It ended up being like a party. Everybody started doing it. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Shelby Abbott, and your hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson. You can find us at or on the Family Life app.

This is Family Life Today. So let's talk about brave. We got Annie F. Downs back with us.

She's the fun girl, but also the brave girl. Yeah, maybe. I hope so. You hope so?

Yeah, I think so. I mean, I sure try. I wrote books about it. I know, which is even interesting that you would choose this topic. Your book is called 100 Days to Brave. It's a devotional. Devotions for unlocking your most courageous self. And you've written and you speak about a lot of topics. Why this one?

I will answer that, but I also want to talk to you about your air guitar-ness. One of the things you modeled that you didn't even know you were modeling about courage is that when one person does it, it shrapnel's on other people. It does. And that is absolutely true about courage. If you see one person move to a different city to go to college because they felt like that was where God wanted them to go, you see people in the next class do it too. If you see one mom stand up and say, Hey, if anybody wants to get together and pray for the kids at school, I'd love to get together.

Other moms are going to show up. Well, you even said in your book when you saw one person witnessing to a friend their faith, that made you be courageous to want to do that too. That's exactly right. So you did, I mean, even in an air guitar example, you're actually showing that when you go first, other people will follow. Well, I mean, my name is David. Right. And when you said that, no, I was just thinking when you said that, I thought that's what David did with Goliath. Yeah. I mean, once he slays them, everybody's brave now. They're all hiding and they're right. That's exactly right. Didn't hit me till you said that, but I'm like, you're right. It might be a giant. It might be something simple as an air guitar, but... Living up to your name.

Go for it and what may happen. Yeah, that's right. This devotional is beautiful. Thank you.

Like, gorgeous. Yeah, we did that on purpose. Talking about courage is an interesting thing because everybody wants to be brave. We want to believe we were not cowards in our own lives. And we shame ourselves when we think we were.

And we reward ourselves or celebrate ourselves, even if it's just internally, when we think we've done something brave. And so when I was writing about this, I wrote another book first called Let's All Be Brave that was my story of moving from Atlanta to Nashville, which is three and a half hours. It was not that hard, but it was for me.

It really was for me. Because you're leaving? Yeah, I left my family, my friends. And I grew up in a town in Atlanta, outside of Atlanta called Marietta, where like everyone stays.

It's a wonderful place to live. Everyone stays. So when I go home for Christmas, I see everybody because we're not waiting on anybody else's schedules.

They're waiting on me to get into town. And so when I left, I left everybody. It was very hard. But I'll tell you, three years later when I got an invitation to move to Scotland to help plant a college ministry in Edinburgh, that was so much easier because I had already seen God's faithfulness up the interstate.

I could go over the ocean. Wait, did you do that? Yeah. You are brave. Thank you. Sometimes.

I hope so. I try. And so when I wrote Let's All Be Brave and kind of told those stories, afterwards, people said, okay, I get the why. I get the where for you, but tell me the how.

How do I actually do it? And I thought, that's embarrassing. I should have actually put that in the book. And that's what happened, but that sounds fun too. And that's why I wrote Chase the Fun, is I accidentally told everything except the how. And I was like, well, here's your how. Here's your 100 days to how. So 100 days to brave is the how of like, what does it look like? Often people think bravery has to be big and expensive.

It's actually true about fun too. But what is really true is what God's invitation is, is can you be brave in the life that you already have? I sat with someone over the weekend who just needed to kind of like process some changes in their life. And as he's talking, he's just sobbing. We're in a hotel lobby and he's a friend of a friend and just, y'all know how this goes.

The friend of a friend who's officiating the wedding, can I get 10 minutes of your time kind of thing. And two hours later, the guy's still crying in the hotel lobby. And he says, it's funny how much easier this is to tell a stranger than to tell my friends. And I thought, yeah, the invitation to courage is in your own life. This is easier actually to tell strangers. What requires more courage is to tell this to your people. So when we were designing the book and one of the things I really wanted, this has to be beautiful because I want people to give it to people. I want it to bridge people to a braver life and in the long run, bridge people to Jesus.

And so what ended up happening that is truly the Lord, people have said, I mean, that book has far exceeded anyone's expectations and the reach it has had. And when people say, how do you do that? Will you tell me how to do that? I was like, you think I've only done that with one of my books? I didn't know how to do that. I didn't know that 11 times.

Every time I'd have done 100 Days to Brave is done. Were you surprised though? No, I'm shocked. That people are picking this up based on the topic? Do you know what happened?

Beachbody picked it up. What? And Beachbody told, at like one of their national conferences, told their coaches, if you want people to stay with you for this 100 Day Challenge, have them read this book. Oh, really? I wasn't there.

That's the story that I heard. And suddenly, trust me, a lot of people in workout clothes were posting themselves with 100 Days to Brave. Which is amazing because let me just read the beginning of day one. Day one, what is brave? And then you have Isaiah 41, 13 that says, For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear.

I will help you. So you've got Beachbody people that are like, this is what I mean. Hey, we're Beachbody people. Yeah, right? Every day. Every day I go to their app. I love their stuff. He says every day, no, it's not every day for me. Twice a day.

Yeah, they were great to us. And then the cover's beautiful. It is. People love putting it on Instagram. So then a handful of the people from the Bachelorette and Bachelor shows got a hold of it. And so they were putting it like in stacks.

They're just trying to do a beautiful picture of their coffee. But in the stack is the book. And the Lord just puts books in hands.

I couldn't have sent enough influencer boxes to get this one in front of people. But God has used it in more lives than I could have ever dreamed. And so it's fun because then I get to go like, yeah, what does it look like to be brave in your life? Don't go make a new life. Just sit here. So we go through in these 100 days, we go through about every topic. We talk about eating vegetables. We talk about moving cities. I mean, we talk about dating and marriage. And we talk about where your hands and feet should take you.

And I just kind of went like, let's throw it all up against the wall. And people are going to like 80 of the days. And they're not going to care for 10 of them. And they're going to like another five. And then five of them are going to change their life. And that's enough for me. That's enough for me.

If five days mattered to you enough that you make a different decision, I'm glad you came for the 100 and the 95 that were okay enough. You know, our president and founder of Family Life, who we are now sitting in the seat that he used to be the host of. He started this radio program, Dennis Raney. Every time he's with somebody. And I was just on a pheasant hunt with him last November with like 18 guys in this lodge. And that's what he made us do the whole weekend. It was fabulous.

He looks at you and says, what's the most courageous thing you've ever done? Wow. So there it is. I just said what you did. What a kind thing.

So I want all three of us to answer that. Yeah. Okay, great.

Annie, you go first. The most courageous thing I've ever done. Or a brave thing. Obviously.

They are interchangeable. I mean, at the time, this is the nature of courage, is that the thing you did that was brave at the time doesn't feel brave anymore because you didn't. Yeah. But when I moved to Nashville, I mean, I was mid-20s. I wasn't married yet. And I thought, what are you doing? You are leaving everything and everyone that matters to you. And I left my career. I was teaching elementary school. So I left my church, my family, my hometown, the house that I own, my career. I left it all in the dust. Why? Because there's like a public answer and then I'm going to just tell you the real answer. I mean, the public answer is I was pursuing writing and I wanted to try it in a city that was full of people who did my job. And that is true. Yeah.

But the realest answer is this was the fall of 2007. And I had been a Christian since I was five and I was in my mid-20s. So the majority of my life. I grew up in a church and in a family that taught me how to hear God.

And I'm so deeply grateful for all the ways that church isn't perfect and neither am I. I am a better Annie for my experience in my church growing up. So I'm 26 or something and I can hear the Lord, but He sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher. And I'm like, I know that's you.

I have no idea what you're saying. I can feel you're asking me to be brave. Like you can hear that wah, wah. Totally. I was like, I know your voice. This is your tone.

Yeah. But I do not know these words that you're saying. And so I sat down in my bed one night and I was like, listen, you and me, we got to sort this out because it is plaguing me how much I'm hearing you, but I don't know what you're saying. So I said, I'm just going to start asking the Holy Spirit a bunch of questions and I'm going to wait for the yes. So I'm like, am I supposed to quit teaching school? And I'd sit for a second and I was like, nope. Am I supposed to sell my house?

No. And I try to think of everything. Like you said, I'm trying to think of everything God might ask me to give up. I always am like, what do you want me to give up next, Lord?

It's like the worst theology that lives in me sometimes. But list, list, list, the 25th question I wrote, should I move to Nashville? And I had never been there. I didn't have anybody there. And I thought, oh no, that's it. And I thought, I'm sorry I asked, I'm sorry I'm asked, I'm sorry I asked, I didn't mean it. I don't want to leave.

I don't know anybody. How did you know it was clear? It just felt right in your gut.

It was like my entire, yes. Now, I'll tell you that night I heard God clearly, had everyone in my community disagreed with me, I would have reassessed. So the first move is, do you hear God for you?

And the second move is, now take what you think you heard God say to scripture and to your people who know God's voice. And so that's what I did. I sat in it for about a month by myself begging God to change his mind.

I mean, I can't tell you how many times I cried in the shower going, I'm sorry I asked. Don't make me give up my life. This is my life.

Don't make me give it up. And at Christmas, I told my parents and I said, we were driving from Georgia to Alabama for Christmas with family. And I said, I've got a crazy thing to tell y'all. What would you think if I thought God said that I should move to Nashville?

And my mom said, it sounds like it could be him. And I was like, wrong answer. I needed you to say you're off base and you're just an old single person trying to have a new life. And as I put up gates to make sure I was hearing God correctly, they just kept opening, telling people, selling my house, going to visit Nashville. And so I would never say to people, did you hear God alone in your bedroom?

Go and do it. But I would say, did you hear God alone in your bedroom? Then does it match scripture? Have you seen anybody in scripture do anything like that? Yeah. We've seen people give up their homes. All over the Bible. Right. Now, when you go to your people who know God, do they agree that this could be him?

And some of my friends said, no, if you want to be a writer, write in Atlanta. I was like, that's who I, I should have come to you first. Thank you very much. So for me, that was it. So that was in December, January. I sold my house in April. I was leading a mission trip to Scotland that August. So I knew I was staying in Atlanta through the end of the school and I was teaching school. So I knew I was staying to the end of the summer and I moved to Nashville on August 3rd of 2008.

Best thing you ever did? Yeah. You know what's funny is the Sunday before I left, I left on a Sunday. I read this. Yeah. Where I went up to the altar at church.

Yeah. And I said to the Lord, I'd already moved a load of my stuff. I'd already paid rent. I already made the bed, in fact, in Nashville. And I said to the Lord, okay, where's the ram? Here's my Isaac. I was ready to do it.

Now trade out. Like, don't make me do it. Look how much I've already done.

Don't make me do it. And the Lord said, Nashville is the greatest gift I've ever given you. And I mean, I could cry sitting here with y'all. I said, I do not know how that could ever be true, but I will go. And I'm telling y'all 14 years, it didn't take me 14 years to believe it, but at 14 years, I can tell y'all Nashville is the greatest gift God's ever given me. Why is that?

What's so great about it? I'm so much healthier as a person. I say to people, when people say, where are you from? I say, well, I was born and raised in Georgia, but I grew up in Nashville.

Wow. But I didn't get there until I was 27. But I grew up in Nashville. I think my career has been able to do some things that may not have happened in Atlanta in my community.

And I mean, I love my home friends and I love being with my family, but Nashville made me who I've always wanted to be. Did you have to lean on Jesus more than ever before? Because our security is our family so often and our friends. I was like, you are my only friend. Some people know my name here, but none of them are my friends.

But it just solidifies. I don't know if this is true for you guys in your lives too. But what it actually did is it solidified that no matter who comes along, especially since I'm not married yet, don't have kids yet, and I still have a future that I don't know, Jesus is the one who's always been my friend. And has always been my partner.

So no one's going to match up to him. So good for the guy who doesn't have to come along and try to be my Jesus anymore. Like I probably would have tried to marry at 24. This guy, whoever I married doesn't have to be my Jesus.

Yeah. Cause I know now what it's like to be in partnership with Jesus and I'm into that. Now having a human partner is very interesting to me, but Jesus is my life partner.

And I only know that because I lost everybody and he came with me to Nashville and no one else did. Now, do you think for a person to mature in Christ, to really become who God wants them to be, they have to step out of fear into brave? I mean... Yeah.

Cause I think the only way you get stronger in the gym is if you rip up your muscles. Right? It's just, we see it in nature, we see it in our bodies and we see it in our spirit. We see it in the Bible. Right.

Right. That it is the hard things that actually make us who we want to be, but we avoid them so much because we like comfort. I think especially in our modern day in our country, comfort is so prioritized. Me too. I mean, I have started sliding a heating pad into my bed while I'm washing my face. How am I 42 and fully done this three nights?

I have not, but it has changed my life. And you live in Nashville. Yeah. Oh yeah.

And I live out like Michigan. So yeah. Y'all really have to deal with the cold. Ooh. We might need to try that. Have y'all been putting heating pads in your bed for a long time? Is this a thing? No. Never. Y'all. Don't leave it.

You have to turn it off. Safety, safety. Dear everyone. Don't just do what God tells you in your bedroom.

Take it to your community and don't leave your heating pad in your bed all night long. It's changed my life. I am a creature of comfort, so I'm not calling anybody else something. I'm not calling myself first, but yes, I think the only way we become who we want to be is by doing things that don't feel easy because then once you've done the thing that hasn't felt easy, it's why we can go up in weights. It's why instead of using fives, I can use tens is because I did fives for so long that my muscles got used to it and said, that's not hard for me anymore.

Make it hard again. I remember we listened to some speaker one time and he said, are you doing anything spiritually or in your life that you could not do apart from God? Wow.

You're destined to fail unless God shows up. Yeah. And I thought, do I want to do that? Because that comfort thing and it's also, it's just we become so fear and paralyzed with fear. We want to be comfortable.

We want to be happy. I remember thinking, should I always be stepping out on the water really to that, Lord, the only way I can do it is if you're with me. Well, I think at some point, I hope, I said this many times as a preacher, that you don't want to be the person sitting in church hearing another God story up there. Somebody's giving their testimony and you're thinking, God never shows up like that in my life. You know why? Sometimes it's because we have never taken that courageous, brave step to open our mouth, to talk to our neighbor or to write a check bigger than we've ever made. Or I did that five years ago or 10 years ago, God did this cool thing, but now we're not seeing anything anymore because we're not stepping out into the brave. Yeah.

Because you know the feeling in your stomach when God's asking you to do something you don't want to do. I have to tell you the story. It's so embarrassing. I wish I could tell you this happened at Whole Foods, but it happened at Dairy Queen. So I'm at Dairy Queen. There's this woman who walks in after me and she's crying, which I respect because I was there because of a breakup too.

So like, fine, fine, fine. We're all inside. Well, as I'm leaving, the Holy Spirit's like, go talk to her. And I'm like, don't, come on, I don't want to do that. Let her be in peace.

She's just trying to blizzard her own feelings. I try to leave. You know that feeling. I try to leave and the Holy Spirit's like, if you dare. You know what I mean? He's so kind about it, but what would have happened if I'd have left is I would have missed out.

I'd have missed out on my muscles getting stronger. So I go back in pretending to get napkins and I get the napkins and I just walk up to her and I was like, hey, are you all right? Yeah, it's just allergies. It's just allergies. And I was like, okay, well, I just don't think it's an accident that we showed up here at the same time.

Cause I'm not going to lead with the Holy Spirit, that's no way to make a neighbor. And so I just said, I think it's just a coincidence maybe that we ended up here at the same time. And so I just wanted to ask if you're okay. She said, I'm totally fine. I said, okay.

And I got in my car and I left and I will never know if she was fine or not. But what I do know is my muscles are stronger because I was brave. You're such an evangelist too. Well, I hope we all are, right?

I hope that our lives make people, in the long run, the Lord is never going to ask me how many books got in hands. He's going to say, were you kind to your staff? Did you talk to that woman in Dairy Queen? When I nudged you? When I asked you to?

Oh, I have one similar to that. Really? At a Dairy Queen? It's at Christmas time, no. And the woman's in front of the grocery store ringing the bell for Salvation Army to collect money for the donation. And I was about to get out of my car and I had this like instant feeling like, so it's so weird.

I felt like this urge to go up, kiss her on the cheek, hold her face. That's beyond brave. Lord, I've not told me that. Wait, y'all run that by your people. I'm just kidding.

God is so pleased with you. That's all it was. And I sat there for 10 minutes like, I am not doing that. That lady, like it's crazy town there.

It's crazy town if I do that. And so I went up to her and I didn't kiss her, but I just, I put up, I don't think Dave knows this. I put a lot of money in the pot. That's not unusual.

Yeah, I believe it. But I grabbed her by the shoulders. And I did say like, I think God's so pleased with you.

And that's it. And you know, you're so embarrassed. But I just felt like God probably wants to say that all the time to all of us. God is so pleased with you. And I'm probably one for two, right?

Yeah. I mean, there are times, just when I was packing for a trip last weekend, I had this nudge, bring the bigger suitcase. And I was like, fly, like swatting like a fly, like bring a bigger suitcase.

And then I get to the trip and I should have brought a bigger suitcase because of some gifts that some friends were being very generous to me around. And I thought, the Lord tried to tell me, the Lord tried to tell me. And all he was trying to do was make my life easier. He wasn't asking me.

He was going, hey, if we're as good of friends as you say we are, do you, I mean, I'm getting teary saying this to you. He offered for me to take the bigger suitcase and I didn't listen. And you didn't even know why.

And I didn't know why. And I think sometimes when he says, turn left instead of turn right or bring the bigger suitcase, it has very little to do with changing anybody's lives and more to do with, are you paying attention that it could be me? Are you hearing me?

Right. So man, I just repent. I mean, in the hotel room, I just repented. I said, you know what, you tried to tell me, I am so sorry. I will listen closer. I know this does not matter in the grand scheme of the world, but you were talking to me. The God of the universe was talking to me.

Yeah. For your benefit. I mean, I've told this many times and it's a long story. So I'll cut right to the chase and he's never heard it. But a brand new follower of Christ in college, college quarterback, I'm a party guy.

Oh, you don't, it doesn't matter. Ball State. Ball State. Ball State, yeah.

Let's go. Anyway. Isn't Ball State the one that Dave Letterman loves? Oh yeah. Dave Letterman.

He has a scholarship that you can't be eligible for unless you're a C student or worse. Wow. It's hilarious. Anyway, who cares about Ball State, but I'm going to my first ever spring break evangelism at Daytona Beach. They call it Operation Sunshine, S-O-N, and learn how to share my faith. I'm probably two months old in my faith.

I've never shared my faith ever. Long story short, I go visit my dad who, my mom and dad were divorced so he lived in Florida. I get a car and I'm driving to the conference. I pray this prayer. God, if you want to use me even on this trip, I'm so excited to learn how to share my faith on the beach.

I'm your guy. And like a minute later, there's a dude hitchhiking. Like I can see him off in the distance. I'm like, is this how this works? You pray?

Okay, here we go. I'm going to tell this guy about Jesus and I get close and he's huge and he's got a duffle bag huge and I get full of fear. I'm like, that dude's huge. And I remember my mom saying, you never pick up a hitchhiker. So I drive right by and I didn't know how the Holy Spirit works because I'm so new in Christ. Long story short, it's like he keeps saying, go back, go back. You prayed. There's your guy. Go back. I'm like, is that God?

Is that? So I did turn around, pick him up. What's your name? Joe, where are you going? He's going to be in my car an hour and a half. I go, hey Joe, what do you do?

You won't believe this. He goes, I'm a Navy SEAL. I'm like, what?

And he's like six, five, 280. And as soon as he said Navy SEAL, I'm like, there's no way I'm talking about Jesus because he can reach over and kill me with one little twist of his pinky toe. You know what I'm like?

So I don't. The whole trip and the whole time, I feel like God's saying, tell him about me, tell him about me. I'm like, you're in no way, God, no way, not this guy. And finally, five minutes ago, before I'm going to drop him off, I just, okay, God, I'll do it. I don't know what to do. I've never trained. I go like this.

Do you ever think about spiritual things? That's my open line. Yeah, that's a great line. And he goes, I can't believe you just asked me that. So now I'm really scared thinking, he don't want to talk about this. Oh no, what did I step into?

And I just, I don't even look at him. I'm so scared. But brave is even in the middle of fear, right?

That's right. The whispers don't stop. The whispers don't stop. The brave people just keep going.

I'm still scared. And I'm just like, okay. And I go, so why do you say that, Joe? Word for word.

Never forget this moment the rest of my life. He says, because my life is a wreck right now. He goes, I don't believe in God. I'm an atheist, but I, by 10 minutes before you pick me up, I pointed at the clouds and I said, if you're real, send me one of your followers to tell me about you.

No. And he looks at me, he goes, would that be you? And I'm like, yeah.

That'd be me. Precisely. And I lead Joe to Christ on the shoulder of a highway in Florida 40 some years ago. And I'm like, I remember driving away in tears thinking, God can use me. Yeah.

I mean, I was the partying idiot a year ago. I thought God used good people and church people, which he does, but I was like, God can use me. Yeah. And I remember thinking right then and there, I want to be that brave every day of my life. When God whispers, when God shouts, no matter how scared we are, whatever it is, okay, God, I'm your man. I'm your woman. Let's go.

And you'll be on the adventure of your life. That's right. It's the best.

Yeah, it is. And it's just amazing when you think about the honor that God would even trust us because even if someone else, whether we label ourselves the prodigal son or the older brother, right? Like one of the things that's true about me is I have perfect attendance to my sins. I haven't missed one of them. So I know exactly the kind of person I can be when I'm not redeemed and when I'm not living redeemed. Right? So even when the world decides who's good and who's bad, we've lived with ourselves.

I haven't missed a day. And so I go, the idea that God would use any of us when he could handle this so much cleaner on his own, oh, the ease he would have if he didn't mess with us. And instead he goes, no, like make a mess of it, but get in this mess with me and tell them who I am and then invite them to pray that I would be a part of their lives.

The pressure's not on us. We're the ones invited in. Yeah.

Feel very honored. Hey, last question. What would you say to a husband or a wife? Yeah. I mean, you're not even married, but I know you can speak into this. How could a husband, how could a wife be brave today? Yeah. I think often what I experienced through watching my friends, being my age, I get to be really up close to marriages and parenting, even if it isn't my own.

It's the perfect amount. Like I went to dinner last night with the family. I went to their house, three kids under eight, they're losing their minds.

The dad can barely keep his eyes open. Right? I just adore them. And they let me up close to their marriage and to their children and their parenting. And what I would say, whether you have kids or not, is that there is always an opportunity to apologize, to encourage, to say the thing that you think, I don't want to say that because what if they don't say it back? Even when you're committed to someone, there still is vulnerability in saying, hey, I appreciate you doing that yesterday. And in the back of my mind, I'm thinking, I know you wish I'd have done the laundry quicker, but I'm thankful you did the yard. So I'm just going to say it, even though it makes me feel vulnerable that I didn't get the laundry done by the time that I thought you wanted, you know, all the expectations that we hold that we don't share, I think vulnerability and connection are worth whatever courage it takes.

That's good. The reason we take vows in front of everyone else is that at some point that will be all you have left. Whether it's an hour or whether it's a year, the thing you have to hold to is what you said that day. That will be your brave moment to say again what you meant before it was in sickness or in health. And sometimes it's harder and hardest to say it to the people that you love the most, the things that really matter to your heart because you're so vulnerable and they know all of you. And that's a brave step to take.

Yes, to say, I'm having this dream of this other thing I want to do or this hope. Can we go after this? Can we pursue something or, hey, there's this one thing from my childhood I still haven't told anybody and I want to tell you now. Everyone's afraid that they're going to open a can of worms that makes everybody too dirty. It always remains true that when light comes into dark places, everybody wins.

I'm Shelby Abbott and you've been listening to David Ann Wilson with Annie F. Downs on Family Life Today. Wow, Annie has reminded us that we were always meant to be brave. You were meant to be brave. Whether you're coping with loss or making a major decision or facing a fear, being brave is something that God wants to help us with as we pursue courage and confidence. Well, Annie has written a book called A Hundred Days of Brave, Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self.

You can pick up a copy at or you can give us a call at 800-358-6329 to grab a copy of Annie F. Downs, A Hundred Days of Brave. Now sometimes I wonder, can I make a difference? Can my family and I really make a difference in the lives of other people?

And the answer is yes, and you can too. You and your family can make a difference by becoming a family life partner. This month, God has blessed us with an extraordinary matching gift from Friends of the Ministry of Family Life. Now when you become a family life partner during this entire month, your donation will be matched dollar for dollar for the next 12 months to help families strengthen their relationships with God and with each other. Imagine the impact you can make when your gift is doubled over the next year. So your recurring donation, doubled through the matching gift, will help guide people to God's plan for marriage and family through a number of different avenues, through our radio broadcasts, through our podcasts, through events like Weekend to Remember, through small group resources, website tools, and additional life-changing resources. So will you prayerfully consider becoming a family life partner today? As a partner, you're going to receive a lot of exclusive benefits, including a gift card to attend a Weekend to Remember, insider ministry updates about new products, pre-releases, and exclusive viewing opportunities, and access to our brand new curated content library of resources for some of life's most important issues.

They're going to be collected by some of the best minds here at Family Life, and you're going to have access to all of it, plus so much more. As a family life partner, you equip marriages, parents, and families to impact our culture for Jesus Christ. You can become a partner by going online to, or you could give us a call at 800-F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word TODAY. So how do we have the tough conversations about what we believe? How do we talk to our kids, or how do we talk to other people in our lives about the faith we hold in Jesus Christ?

Not only how do we talk to them, but how do we listen well, not judge, and give grace when we're in these tense conversations? Well, tomorrow on Family Life Today, Sean McDowell is going to be in the studio with David Ann Wilson to talk about being others-focused rather than self-focused when we're having conversations about faith. That's tomorrow. We hope you'll join us. On behalf of David Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a donor-supported production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-02 07:17:51 / 2023-05-02 07:34:00 / 16

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