About the Author

Annie F. Downs is a bestselling author and nationally known speaker based in Nashville, Tennessee. Her most recent books include 100 Days to Brave, Looking for Lovely and Let’s All Be Brave. Read more at anniefdowns.com and follow her at @anniefdowns.

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  1. “To keep your story hidden robs others of seeing God move in your life.” Love this, Annie! What a sweet reminder that hiding isn’t helping, it’s hindering! And don’t you just love those moments when God shows us how our pain is preaching to another as we cling to His faithfulness in the waiting.

  2. Annie,
    In my most recent blog post, I prayed a long time about whether I should share “that” story…that part of me that points out my deepest insecurities and fears. I’m sure some people will judge, but for that one person who reads it and says, “I’m not alone” then it is worth the risk of being vulnerable. When we share our stories, we not only share our pain, but we share our invitation to hope together. Linking arms with others who keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting in God, brings us hope. I love your honestly and vulnerability in sharing your story, that I know is similar to others’ stories. My daughter, in her late 20’s, is seeing all her friends getting married and having babies and the truth of the matter is that it hurts…but as your young friend pointed out…there IS hope.
    Bev xx
    Bev xx

  3. Alright, Annie. Since you broached the subject and said you can’t wait to hear what I have to think on this, (on your blog), I’ll tell ya’. . .After I listened to you speak at the women’s conference at Fall’s Creek in Oklahoma, I felt God say, ‘An extraordinary man I have for her to complement her and make them a ‘tour de force’ in ministry. Since it wasn’t audible but felt, I’m using the words I felt. And, so true, we are so encouraged to see how God’s working and moving in the lives of His children!

  4. Thank you for speaking to my heart today! That statement from an innocent pre-teen who loves and cares about you spoke to MORE than just you. I, too, am single. All I have ever really wanted was a husband, a partner to love me and not give up on me, no matter the circumstances. In my late 40’s, with 2 sons I am raising on my own, it still tears at my heart. I NEEDED to hear that…and I still have hope that it will happen someday. My story is a story of struggle, disillusion, and disappointment after disappointment, but I know sharing it has reached many other women who find themselves in the same “pits” of life, and brings hope that you can survive trials, and eventually, will reap the rewards. It’s hard to put yourself out there, vulnerable to others, to risk judgment from others, but it is necessary. God uses our heartaches to reach others. You just have to be brave enough to let Him.

    • Jackie,
      Prayers for you! God has a special someone out there for you. He may be refining and molding you into the woman He wants and making him into the man He wants-removing the dross.
      Prayers and blessings 🙂

  5. Amen!! Only being honest and vulnerable with those around us, will allow others to come by our side and agree and believe with us!
    Great, truthful, words! Thank you for sharing!!
    I’m believing with you! May you find contentment and joy in the waiting season!

  6. Annie,

    Thank you again for sharing your thoughts, your words, and most especially, your story. I always enjoy what you share – usually because it resonates deep in my heart.

    Carrie 🙂

  7. Annie,

    What a special post you have written, thank-you for your honesty. What a sweet daughter your friend has.
    I hope that there is someone extra special being saved just for you to come along just like my son’s Dr.

    For the past two and a half years he has traveled miles being hauled from Dr. to Dr. He does n’t complain much, he waits patiently, month after month, season after season with trust and faith. Then one day the most amazing Dr. comes along and takes the time to listen, carefully. Now everything is beginning to fall into place. I don’t know at this moment how this story will end. But like my 8 year old son I have trust and faith. I just wish I had more patience, like him.

    Thank-you Annie, for encouraging us to speak up and share how we made it through and hopefully send the message of trust and faith, thanks to having God by our side.

  8. This brought tears to my eyes. It may be easier to hide our stories, but hiding is rarely the best choice, and while sharing brings vulnerability, it also brings love and support. I shared a prayer request with a group of friends last night, one I was really embarrassed to share and one that in the grand scheme of things is not huge, but I felt convicted about my lack of prayer regarding it, and I wanted to share it with them so we can all rejoice together when God shows up, as He always does. Praying for you right now, Annie.

  9. Annie: thank you for your story and your willingness to be transparent. As a Christian, it’s difficult for me to share about my broken marriage. My heart aches for a trustworthy, Godly man to share my life with. However, God is so good, he will never leave me nor forsake me. I’m clinging to him and thanking him daily for all that he’s done in my life.

  10. when i was a junior in high school, my mom spent nine weeks in an in-patient psychiatric hospital in another state. i distinctly remember the silence–nobody said anything to us. i remember crying at my locker because of the weight of everything unsaid. decades later, God has redeemed that experience over and over by allowing me to share with others who are brave enough to whisper what is happening in their families. still, i wish that i had been brave enough to say something to my friends, or that my mom’s friends whose daughters were my friends would’ve been sensitive enough to share with them what i was bearing silently so that my burden could’ve been born by more than just me, my sister, and my dad.

    great words, Annie. thanks for being brave. i WILL rejoice when the day comes that God brings you a husband, but today i’m rejoicing that you’re allowing me and many others to share in your good life.

    • Thank-you for bravely bringing your story to light Jenna. The heavy load that we carry would be even heavier if we were carrying it all alone.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing, I can’t tell you how much I really needed this today!! Hugs!!

  12. I was 30 and part of me thought I would never marry or have children. And the other part always hoped. And the hope came true. I am believing with you. God will provide a husband and he will be amazing!

  13. What a great and encouraging post! This is something I really struggle with. I know this is the direction God is moving me into but it scares the tar out of me. What in the world would make me think I had something important to share. I am getting my health back after living from my bed for over 20 years. Through those years God has been so faithful. I was in tears by the end. Thank you for sharing your story!!

  14. “While you are the main character in your story, and it is YOUR story, God is using your story to impact others, whether you know it or not. ”

    Oh how I love the “whether you know it or not” here, Annie. God has been talking to me about the bigger picture lately too, showing me HIS story that I have so carefully guarded as my own. All the fragmented pieces can and will glorify Him when I offer them up rather than hold them back.

    Thank you for choosing brave and inspiring us to as well!

  15. Thank you for sharing yourself with complete strangers. That is indeed brave! God speaks to me through your words. You are a very gifted writer. I have a picture of young Mary in my bedroom because I want to see what you described in that picture. Please continue your good work. And I am believing with you!

  16. I love love this. “To keep your story hidden robs others of seeing God move in your life.” And I think it’s great that the letter came from a pre-teen. Many of my best interactions come from teenagers.

  17. I couldn’t get this to fly.It kept giving a error on the image code and I kept inputting it right.

  18. Dear sweet Annie-

    I keep coming back to this post, again and again, because I love how raw and real it is. Thank you for being brave to share your story, but more than that, for sharing the little God-messages of HOPE He brings into your life…like a letter from a 12-year-old.

    Thank you, Annie. Sending a big hug your way and a generous dousing of glitter confetti!

  19. You are so, so right, Annie. It’s hard to tell the tender parts of our story, but it’s in those parts that we get to see God use it to minister to others. Thank you for being brave and vulnerable, and for encouraging the rest of us to do the same! “Let’s All Be Brave” was part of the catalyst that moved my feet and my hands to tell my own story and move forward with dreams God has put in my heart. Thank you so much for letting God use you!

  20. “While you are the main character in your story, and it is YOUR story, God is using your story to impact others, whether you know it or not. And if you hide your story, if you hide the successes and defeats, if you hide the answered prayers and the ones still waiting, other people miss out on what God could be teaching them.” As one who is called to be both writer and teacher, I know the importance of the plot line and all the supporting characters, of the audience, and of the connection between them. But somehow I missed the part where MY story is the story God is writing, the one where I am a main character tied to all the supporting characters, connecting with the audience to deliver His message… a message of hope, of salvation, of sanctification. A message heard through humor, tears, witty dialogue and inward monologue revealed. Sometimes God chooses to use me in “formal” teaching: at the head of a Sunday school classroom, in front of a group gathered, in conversation with an individual. I realize now, though, that sometimes He just wants me to tell His story of my life. Through my vulnerability and willingness to share, victory as well as apparent defeat, I am teaching others His message. Thank you for the reminder that no matter what prayer it is that seems unanswered, it is a vital part of the story.

  21. I love this. I’m struggling with this. Sometimes more than others. And I hate being vulnerable. I feel like my friends don’t understand and don’t want to hear what I really struggle with. But I kind of shared something today on my blog. I haven’t been “real” on this blog ever. Thank you for sharing.

  22. Annie
    Thanks for an uplifting post! That little girl is turning out to be a great encourager.
    We should share our story with the world. It helps others to see they are not alone, plus they can pray for us and we can encourage them. I am blessed to have a covenant friend. She and I share just about everything. Last year when I was going through a myriad of problems with aging dad, work, hubby job–she was right there for me. At the same time she told me of her parents illnesses and her mother’s death on Thanksgiving day.
    Sharing our story also shares the goodness of God and how he brings us out of these trials.
    Blessings 🙂

  23. Believing with you!

    Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked. 1 Samuel 1:17

  24. This is what I needed to read today, as I am trying to be brave with my own story by starting a blog for the first time. Thank you.