When the Road Bends: Reflections on Anne

Has life ever taken a turn from what you expected?

Imagine this: You have spent an entire school year laboring to gain not only your teacher’s certificate but also a full-ride scholarship to university. As you return home for the summer holidays, the road ahead is bright with possibilities laid out before you.

Then life takes a turn. All of your money is lost in a bank failure, one of your guardians – who is almost a grandfather – suddenly dies, and you learn that his spinster sister who has raised you is going blind and won’t be able to live by herself. All of this means that the only true home you’ve ever known will have to be sold.

How would you react?

Maybe you would decide to give up your hard-earned scholarship and instead take a teaching position and stay at your beloved home in order to care for your struggling almost-grandmother. How about cheerfully saying the following quote?

“When I left [school], my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does.”

If you happen to be a red-headed, freckled, imaginative girl named Anne – please note the “e” –  you would do and say all that. Yes, I know she’s a fictitious character, but I find her quote inspiring. In fact, I want to be able to say that, too.

You see, I often have a hard time facing the uncertain future, especially as I’ve experienced dramatic changes in how I thought life would happen.  Sometimes it’s a  struggle to take proactive steps, to act with hope. Maybe you’re a kindred spirit with me in this.

It’s true that, unlike Anne, I live in the real world with real problems that don’t seem to wrap up with a bow at the end of a certain number of chapters. Yet it’s equally true that I have a real relationship with the real Creator and King of this real world. That Creator-King not only calls me and the stars by name (Isaiah 43:1-2, Psalm 147:4), He promises to have good – though not necessarily easy – plans for me (John 16:33, Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28). That’s why I can believe that the best lies ahead even when the road bends.

Here's my copy of Anne of Green Gables. Reading it aloud with a friend or two sure has been delightful!

Here’s my copy of Anne of Green Gables. Reading it aloud with a friend or two sure has been delightful!

1 L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1995), 390. An Everyman’s Library children’s classic edition.

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