Guest post by Annie F. Downs, author of Perfectly Unique: Praising God From Head to Foot, which is available now. This is the first post in a three-part series about Perfectly Unique, the Girls of Grace Tour, and equipping teen girls with the tools they need to find their security in Christ:
I wrote Perfectly Unique for about fifteen high school girls from my church. They showed up at my house every Monday night—we would eat cookies and drink coffee and they would read these pages, straight from my printer, and we would talk.
And today, while those fifteen girls are out of high school and this book rests in many more hands (and is no longer printed at my house), that’s still what Perfectly Unique is. It is a conversation, between the reader and I, you and me, about what it is like to love God, serve Him, all the while also learning how to better love yourself.
I was never very good at that, the whole “love yourself” thing. In fact, I pretty much hated myself all through high school and some of college. But that’s not all that this book is about—yes, I do talk about my struggles with self-worth and how God rescued me from those lies, but bigger than that, this book is about a God who saves and how we can live in such a way that brings glory to Him.
I love Perfectly Unique. I love the title—it fits me so well. It’s exactly what I wish someone would have called me when I was a teenager. That’s what I wanted to be—unique, and good at it. And while I’m not sure I ever achieved that, I certainly see God doing that in other teens now, as they read the book, and that means more to me than anything.
My inbox beeps a few times a day, little notes typed out from teenagers who are quietly wrestling with who they are in Christ and what they are doing on this planet. They tell me that the book has changed their life. I shake my head, it is hard to believe. Sometimes God lets us be a part of someone else’s rescue and I am certainly unworthy.
(I know. You think everyone says that. But seriously. I mean it.)
This book is just me telling some stories from my heart about my life and trying to help teenage girls maneuver through these years with as much grace and ease and Jesus as possible.
But the emails come. And the Facebook messages from moms of how they see a change in their daughter. And the tweets from girls in the UK unloading their dishwasher because it is a way to glorify God with her hands.
And I stop, my fingers hovered over the keyboard, and give thanks to God for letting my story, my rescue, make a way for other girls to be rescued from the lies of the enemy and rescued to a place of abundant life.
I think of Joel 2:25 – “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.” And I think of teenage Annie, and all the ways that the swarm of lies ate away at her life like a plague of locusts. And then I think of God, and the girls who are hearing truth for the first time in Perfectly Unique. And it all seems worth it.
- Annie F. Downs
Want to meet Annie on the Girls of Grace Tour? Enter our Girls of Grace giveaway for a chance to win VIP tickets* to the upcoming event at Grace Church in Eden Prairie, MN on September 22! Click here to enter: http://bit.ly/PgjRVu
Giveaway ends September 18 at 11:59PM EST
About Annie F. Downs
Annie F. Downs (Facebook.com/AnnieBlogs) is an author and speaker who loves living in Nashville, Tennessee. Flawed but funny, she uses her writing to highlight the everyday goodness of a real and present God. Annie is currently speaking nationally on the Girls of Grace Tour, a can’t-miss event for teen girls, equipping them with the tools they need to find their security in Christ!
To learn more about Annie, visit: AnnieDowns.com
To learn more about the Girls of Grace Tour, visit: GirlsOfGrace.com
(This post does not represent the views of Zondervan or any of its representatives. The writer’s personal opinions are shared only for information purposes. To receive new Zondervan Blog posts in your reader or email inbox, subscribe to Zondervan Blog.)
*Winners will receive tickets for admission to the Girls of Grace event, but travel and food expenses are not included in the prize.