I’ve only been in the presence of Annie Downs once. And that was all it took.
Spending just a few minutes with her is all you need to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are in the presence of a woman who embodies grace and Godliness. Annie is resolved. She’s firm on her values, her purpose and her passionate faith. When she opens her mouth to speak, the overflow of her relationship with Jesus and heart for others is readily apparent.
And she’s smart. Just downright wise.
She’s an author, blogger and speaker who devotes most of her ministry to young women and college students. Her three books – Perfectly Unique, Speak Love and latest, Let’s All Be Brave – need to be on your bookshelf!
Like, for real.
So glad she is with us today! You’ll be blessed by her post!
The United States Men’s National Soccer team has this chant that has really caught on in stadiums and on social media. It gives me goosebumps every time I hear it (which has been a lot recently, since this is the summer of the 2014 World Cup).
It starts with one fan yelling “I!” and the crowd echoes, “I!”
Then the lead fan says, “I BELIEVE!” and the crowd echoes.
“I BELIEVE THAT!”
The crowd yells “I BELIEVE THAT!”
The chant continues, as words are added, until drums are beating and the crowd is screaming “I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!” over and over and over again.
(Watch it here when you have a chance – it’s amazing.)
Tim Howard, the US goalie and United States Men’s Soccer Team hero of this World Cup, tweeted the chant before each game.
I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN.
There’s just something about that, isn’t there? This whole crowd yelling together “I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!” I’m a sports-loving girl, so this is bound to move my guts, but even if you aren’t into soccer, it still does something in you, doesn’t it? When a crowd gets going like that, you can’t help but go, “you know what… I believe that WE WILL WIN!” and suddenly you’re screaming like America’s biggest soccer fan and actually believing that they will win.
And can you imagine how that feels for the players? Down there on the pitch (that’s what a soccer field is called, next time you want to impress a soccer fan), they are surrounded by the chanting of those who believe in them. Really believe that they can win.
That must make them feel brave – like taking that next shot, running a little faster, and giving just a little more to see and grab that victory that’s at hand.
Can you imagine if an entire wedding party began to chant “I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!” as the bride and groom recessed down the aisle?
Can you imagine if a family stood on the front porch as the college student drove away and “I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!” followed him down the driveway?
Can you imagine a young woman being prayed for at the altar and the entire congregation shouting “I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!” as the pastors intercede on her behalf?
We all want to be brave, but we can’t do it alone. I need you cheering for me as I attempt to live my life for Christ with courage. And I want to cheer for you. We should stand up for each other, stand beside each other, and believe in each other- that what God has started, He will finish. And that we were made on purpose and made to be brave.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Let us always remember that we are surrounded – by that great cloud, yes. But also by the ones still here, standing beside you, ready to cheer for you as you choose to war against fear and fight for freedom.
In the battle to be brave, I believe that we will win.
Annie’s latest book Let’s All Be Brave releases Tuesday, July 15. But click here to check out all these prizes you can get if you pre-order by Monday the 14th!