From Orphan to Family: Anne of Green Gables

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved the romance of older times. From the Victorian era to the early 1900s, I was captivated by the simplicity and innocence that they held. Still to this day I adore Jane Austen and any other period piece I can get my hands on.

Not too long ago, I watched Anne of Green Gables for the first time. All of my friends who had seen it assured me that it would be right up my alley; I was hooked from the moment Anne tragically tried to blame herself for old Mr. Hammond’s death by saying “To have to wait an extra hour for lunch is a terrible burden on any man”.

Poor Anne Shirley spent most of her childhood bouncing from orphanage to home filled with screaming babies to orphanage. No matter where she went, there was always someone berating her for her way of tuning out and tuning into her imagination. Sometimes, it would lead her into trouble. Whether it was taking her time when Mrs. Hammond was expecting her, or when she was supposed to cover the pudding with a cheesecloth and forgot, Anne always seemed to find a way into funny predicaments or scoldings.

In Anne Shirley’s world, nobody cared for the orphan. Actually, many people would immediately jump to conclusions about her, blaming her bad temper and her “shenanigans” on the fact that she had no parents. Example: Anne invites Diana over for tea. Mistakenly, Anne sets out red current wine instead of the raspberry cordial Marilla told her she could have. Diana drinks more than half the bottle, runs home drunk and feeling sick to her stomach, resulting in Mrs. Barry banning Anne from ever going near her daughter again.

As if this wasn’t heart breaking enough already, Mrs. Barry calls Anne a “manipulative, conniving child”. Diana and Anne are then separated, never allowed to speak again.

For months the bosom friends are forced to watch each other from afar, mourning the loss of the closest friendship they’d ever had. Then, one cold, snowy winter’s night, Diana barges into the Cuthbert’s home, begging for help as her sister had come down with a severe illness. Anne immediately jumps to action, racing back to the Barry household with the right medicine, working for hours to nurse the child back to health. By time the doctor arrives, the child is in much better condition. The doctor admits that if it weren’t for Anne Shirley herself, the child could have died. Mrs. Barry is then all repentance and praise for Anne.

You see, people would judge Anne, treat her as less than, and immediately jump to conclusions. What I admire most about her, is that she didn’t allow this type of treatment to kill her spirit. She had a lioness heart, fierce, loyal, and strong. No amount of bitter words or cruel remarks could extinguish the flame that was Anne of Green Gables. I don’t know if L. M. Montgomery did it purposely or not, but there is no coincidence that Anne was a red head. She was passionate, smart, and courageous; enough to save Diana’s sister, stand up for her students, and bring love back into Matthew and Marilla’s hearts.

Throughout my life, I failed to do what Anne did not: ignore the voice of hatred. So many times I had listened to the voice of the enemy and came into agreement with the lies he was throwing at me. I wasn’t enough, I was too much, why couldn’t I be this, or that? All of this would chip away at my heart, my strength and resolve slowly weakening as I listened again and again.

How many of us do that very same thing? How many of us give in to the hatred the enemy speaks over us, allowing him to steal, kill, and destroy the very heart God gave us? Like Anne, how many of us have been told we’re too much, or not enough?

Anne’s life was sad and hopeless until the day she arrived at Green Gables. It wasn’t until she was established into family that Anne’s circumstances started to look up. She could hear the voice of Matthew saying how incredible she was, feel the pride as Marilla beamed at her. The love that was cultivated in that home called out the worth that was already there.

Do you need to know that you’re loved? Do you constantly find yourself in a cycle of believing the lies spoken over your life, when in actuality you are strong, fierce, and passionate?

Lucky for us, we don’t have to wait to be adopted by kind folks like the Cuthberts. Ephesians 1:5 says “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” (NLT)

You already have a Father waiting to tell you all about how much He loves you, to give you your worth. He has fought for you, moved heaven and earth to be able to be close to you. Don’t believe the lies whispered in your ear; they’re designed to keep you from reaching who you really are, because who you really are is a force to be reckoned with.

So next time you hear the enemy try to steal your joy and lie, pull an Anne Shirley and just break a slate over his head.

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