The picture of Anne used above came from this site.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery is a family favorite from the Heckford household. My mother and I have watched the VSH tapes (1985 version) of those movies time and time again.
I was first introduced to Miss Anne with an "E" when my grandmother, Anna Owens, gifted me the book when I was about 10 years old. It was a bit above my reading level at the time, so I settled for the movies.
There are several one-liners, such as "kindred spirits" and "bosom friend," from Anne of Green Gables that have made it such an endearing story that has stayed close to my heart.
However, one of my personal favorites is the line where Anne is upset about possibly going back to the orphanage. She dramatically tells Marilla, her potential adoptive mother, that she is in "the depths of despair" and then asks Marilla if she had ever been overcome by the same feeling.
Marilla, a rather stoic and pragmatic person, looks at Anne and calmly quips,"No I have not, to be in the depths of despair, is to turn your back against God."
That one line has struck me more deeply than almost any other line.
I have often pondered it since.
And it has certainly come to the forefront of my mind during the most recent family events.
Within the last month, both of my grandmothers have fallen, broken bones, and are in nursing homes. One is there temporarily receiving therapy for a broken leg, while the other is a resident suffering from Alzheimer's trying to recover from a broken hip.
What has truly made both of these situations worse, is the pandemic and all the new protocols that are having to be followed.
* 14 days of quarantine after going to the hospital=isolation.
* Not being able to have visitors while in the nursing homes.
* Difficulty arranging for sitters to come to make sure my grandmother with the broken hip that also has Alzheimer's will not fall from trying to get up and injure herself more.
* having to be constantly COVID 19 tested (for sitters and my mother).
Above all of that difficulty, I am mostly grieved by the fact time has been stolen from me. Before the pandemic I could visit my resident grandmother any time I wanted. Sure, she didn't always know me, but once I told her who I was she always accepted it and it was just good to hear her voice.
But since then, even if I saw her through the glass doorway, we couldn't hear one another. The glass was too thick.
And now, with her hip broken, things are even more dire. She has lost a lot of her personality.
My mother has to bare most of the burden of caring for her mother, Anna, alone. As she is the only person that is retired. This compounds the feeling of "despair" or helplessness.
There is absolutely nothing I can do to help any of these situations.
All I can do is pray.
Ah, and herein lies the crux of today's post. Why is it when things are in such disarray that praying finally seeps up as an option?
Praying should never be a last resort or something that makes the believer feel weak or without options.
I believe this is why Marilla was able to say what she said...to resign oneself to being in the depths of despair is to just fully give up on God and His faithfulness.
Prayer is the life force behind every Christians' faith. Beyond the blessing of Christ's salvation, it is the second most precious gift He has given us- His presence and a constant way to communicate with Him.
Ever since the veil was torn in the temple that once separated the people from the Holy of Holies, believers of Christ have had the ultimate blessing of limitless access to God.
This was only magnified when we later received the power of the Holy spirit on the day of Pentecost just 50 days later.
Yet when things don't go our way, instead of remaining steadfast in prayer the whole time, staying strong, being comforted, and filled with peace....no, we (or at least I) wait until my heart tank is running on E and all other human possibilities are exhausted before I turn to the One that should have been my go-to the whole time.
By ignoring prayer as my first option, I strip myself of what gives me the most power- Him and His presence.
God poured out His spirit onto us so that we could be empowered by Him to endure any storm, and so that we could always feel His presence and in turn be filled with His all surpassing peace.
I'm thankful that my grandmother, Anna, sought to give me the book of Anne of Green Gables all those years ago ( I still have the book today), but I'm even more grateful that she has passed down her legacy of faith to me as well.
For I will not wallow in the depths of despair, but cling to God's presence through prayer.
Romans 5:5 " This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
Thank you, Anne with an "E", for reminding me that I all I ever can and should do is pray.
If you have never read the series, click below to check it out. May stories bless you as they have bless me and many others.
Or if you would prefer to watch it, here is where you can watch the drama of Miss Anne Shirley come to life.
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