Oh, Anne Shirley. You have always been my bosom friend.
For a long time, I read all eight Anne books every summer. Then, for a while I read the book that pertained to my station in life (Anne of the Island in college, Anne of Windy Poplars while I was engaged, etc).
Now I commute, and I listen to a lot of audiobooks. On Sundays, I like to tone things down a little bit, and so free recordings of Anne on LibriVox are my entertainment of choice.
Today while driving home, she helped me to have an epiphany.
The book Anne of Green Gables is essentially a tale of one mishap after another. Anne makes a cake and puts liniment in it (whatever that is), making it inedible. Anne falls off the roof and breaks her ankle because she didn't want to lose face in front of her rival. Anne serves a pudding that a rat drowned in to some guests. Anne dyes her hair green. She's constantly messing up. She's constantly imperfect.
But she still manages to be happy, to start her life over the next day without a doubt that things will get better. This is a lesson that I have been struggling to learn for most of my life. For me, when I make a mistake, it feels like it's over. I feel like I'm horrible, unlovable, irredeemable. Even though in my mind I know that Christ atoned for my sins and mistakes, sometimes my heart doesn't take it all in and I end up drowning in self-loathing over the mistakes I made.
But Anne is a wonderful reminder that we don't have to drown in self-loathing. She makes some embarrassing and painful mistakes, yet she manages to be cheerful and loving, always getting on her feet again. She knows she can start again tomorrow. She states, "But have you ever noticed one encouraging thing about me, Marilla? I never make the same mistake twice." She learns from her mistakes, knowing she'll probably find new ones, but not afraid to forge onward.
So I'm going to try and take a leaf out of Anne's book. After all, tomorrow has no mistakes in it yet. And if I can bear up under those I make with a smile, maybe I'll get through to my next tomorrow.