Our children need to know that Jesus loves them. Knowing Jesus’ love can help our children be brave and strong no matter what may come along.
If only you could’ve seen the look on her face.
Her smile beaming like a ray of sunshine filled the room. And to think only days before, her eyes were nothing but gloomy clouds at the thought of her sister getting married.
Oh, she liked the guy who would be her brother-in-law. It wasn’t him to whom she objected.
It’s mainly because this girl does not like change, and this felt like the most significant family change she’d ever known. No matter how many times we enthusiastically explained that her sister had found her lifelong love and was taking on a new last name, she considered the whole thing a terrible, horrible idea.
We did our best to have her look on the bright side: we now had a wedding to look forward to! But not even the prospect of traveling to an exciting event could cheer her up. Quite the opposite: she was extremely nervous, anticipating getting on a plane for the first time.
Yet her daddy gently reminded her, “Be brave and strong, Avonléa.” The same words he’d been whispering in her ear since nearly the moment she was born. “You can do this, and you’ll be so glad you did.”
She wanted to believe him, but it was asking too much. Far too many firsts: an airplane ride, a sister’s wedding, and a new brother added to our family.
A Brave and Strong Child
And so I privately agonized over how we could help our youngest daughter get on board. I worried about potential meltdowns and a little sister’s tears raining on an otherwise lovely wedding day. Naturally, I wanted to enter the joy of the occasion, but at the same time, my heart ached for this child and her many fears.
And yet, as has happened before, I’d wasted my worries.
Because everything unexpectedly turned around on a bright summer afternoon. Suddenly, flying across the country for a family wedding sounded positively marvelous.
And it all came about with one short phone call.
Really, just one question.
On that day, Avonléa motored her wheelchair into the living room, “My sister has asked me to be her flower girl….”
Followed by a long, dramatic pause.
“…and I said, YES!!”
And, oh, the delight. She started laughing while I couldn’t help crying. Her heart was bursting, and mine filling with relief.
So, our sweet girl could finally see that God had good things in store for her. She wasn’t going to “lose” a sister and wouldn’t be forgotten as she feared. Instead, her sister-bride loved her and invited her to have a starring role in this new season for us all.
Brave and strong.
She was loved. She belonged.
“The simplest of truths told through the sweetest songs can change the world.”
You can already guess my response when I first saw Your Brave Song, Ann Voskamp’s new children’s book. And you’d be right: I was thrilled. With just one glance at the title and the beautiful cover, I knew I’d need to get this story.
And although I had high expectations for this one, the book exceeded them all.
Not only is the story both sweet and strong, but the illustrations are also truly delightful. And above all, the message is powerful and lasting.
Jesus loves you,
Makes you strong.
In Him, you’re brave
And you belong.~ Your Brave Song by Ann Voskamp
How my eyes filled with tears when I read that refrain. It was as if Ann knew our story and put words to our own song.
And I thought, how wonderful if every child had this melody singing in his or her heart–every single child. What a difference it might make in our world.
5 Reasons I Highly Recommend Your Brave Song
1. Engaging story.
I was hooked right from the first sentence. It’s an exceptionally well-written children’s story that draws in both the older reader and the young child who is listening. Descriptions such as “a hug warm as the sun” and “an endless blanket of blinking stars” make this book special. You might call it magical.
2. Simply told.
While the writing is engaging enough for an adult to enjoy, the story is clearly meant for a child—complete with puddles and squirrels and cookies and hugs. And, although “officially” the book is intended for 4 to 8-year-olds, I’d suggest children as young as three (and possibly younger) and as old as 10 or 11 would enjoy this story. Oh, and their siblings and parents too.
3. Darling illustrations.
Maybe it’s because I’m an older mom, but I am very particular about illustrations. I grew up surrounded by books illustrated by Beatrix Potter and Virginia Lee Burton, so I prefer the timeless and endearing over trendy. I’d put these illustrations by Amy Grimes in that first category. Whimsical and utterly charming!
4. Powerful message.
Naturally, I found the message deeply moving as a mother of a special needs child who has struggled her entire life. However, I wish I had had this book for all of my eight children when they were growing up, and I will be sure to have it on hand for when they have children of their own. O child, you are brave and strong, loved by Jesus, and you belong. What child doesn’t need to hear those words on repeat?
5. Incredibly relatable.
Big kids or little kids. Short kids or tall kids. Dark hair or light hair. Adopted, children with disabilities or special needs. This book is for everyone, no matter who you are and what hurdles you might have to overcome. And you will not need to explain this to your children. They will surely sense that this book is written. Just. For. Them.
So friends, as you can see, I’m raving about this new children’s book, Your Brave Song by Ann Voskamp. I love seeing it cheerfully displayed on my bookshelf, and you can count on it being a go-to on my gift list.
Five stars. Highly recommended.
I hope you enjoy this lovely, soon-to-be-classic children’s book as much as I do!
Many children face fear and uncertainty. This book gives them the confidence to know that they are secure and safe in Jesus, no matter what comes. It also encourages them to share God’s love with others because bravery in Jesus is contagious and world-changing!
This heartfelt story by Ann Voskamp will help your child internalize the truth that their ultimate sense of well-being can be found in the love of Jesus Christ.
[ with warm thanks to Tyndale for their partnership in this review ]
*Photo credit: wedding photos by Joshua Bingham