For the next few posts I’m looking at the thread of redemption found in some of my favorite musicals. First up is Annie and yes, I am in fact referring to the little red-headed orphan girl Anne Marie Fudge (you’d have to be a die-hard fan to know that is her full name) And let’s be clear right from the outset, as far as I’m concerned there is only one movie version worth talking about and it’s the 1982 version. The other movie versions, including the one coming out later this year, don’t hold a candle to the original one. I mean, hello Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan!! Enough said 🙂
I first fell in love with Annie when I was 10 years old (yes I am that old but shoot I still look good 🙂 ). We put on the stage version for our 5th grade graduation show. The movie version had just come out and as a special treat they took us into the city so we could see the movie on the big screen. I was hooked from the opening scene and to this day, this movie instantly takes me to my happy place. I may or may not carry it around on my iPad for those days when I need immediate access to my happy place.
Annie has taught me a lot over the years. Here are just a few of the lessons to be gleaned from this amazing musical:
Dare to Dream
The opening scene of the movie shows Annie sitting on a windowsill high up in the orphanage dreaming about her parents who she believes will one day come for her. She didn’t know where they are or when they will come but she dreams of that day anyway.
But dreaming is tricky business. Getting a dream is the easy part; holding on to the belief that a dream will come true, now that’s the hard part. Dreams have a way of feeling tenuous and fragile at times. We try so desperately to hold onto them but there are days when it feels like our dreams are slipping through our fingers. Life throws some things our way and we feel as if giving up is the only option we have. But my encouragement to you today is don’t give up. Hold on to your dreams, even when it feels like it’s never going to happen because as Annie also reminds us the sun WILL come out tomorrow.
The thing I love most about little Ms. Annie is she never apologizes for who she is. Despite Ms. Hannigan’s relentless efforts to squash her spirit, she never let go of her enthusiasm for life. She took that enthusiasm with her when she went to stay with Mr. Warbucks and her infectious smile and wonderful spirit won over the staff. They loved her from the minute she walked in the door. It took Mr. Warbucks a little longer but he eventually got there too.
In life and in business, it’s easy for us to think we have to be like everyone else to be successful. In fact, our world seems dead set on getting us to buy into the idea that we have to look and act a certain way to be loved and approved. That’s a lie. I believe it is when we are our most honest selves that we shine the brightest and attract to us the people who are meant to be a part of our tribe. Just do you! Anyone who wants to change you, is not someone that needs to be in your world. You are wonderful just as you are.
Redemption & Rescue
It has taken me a long time to name why I love this movie so much. I recently figured out that it was the story of being rescued that won my heart all those years ago. I grew up without my father really being present in my life and the idea of this orphan being rescued by Daddy Warbucks made my heart long for something I didn’t even know how to name. As I have gotten older I have seen that it wasn’t just Warbucks that rescued Annie but she also rescued him. She rescued him from a life that was only about “money, power and capitalism”. She helped him learn to open his heart and love, which he had somehow forgotten how to do.
The thread of redemption and rescue is why this movie means so much to me. My own heart’s cry to be rescued and loved drew me to this movie when I was just a little girl and it has never let me go. I believe redemption is possible for all of us. No matter how bad your story might be, no matter how ugly parts of it might feel to you, your story can be redeemed. The idea that you have a story worth telling, a story that NEEDS telling is resonating so strongly in me right now. Don’t let anyone or anything diminish your voice or your story. Tell your story, be you and let your life shine and watch how the Father will take what feels nonredeemable and turn it into something beautiful. He’s not done with you yet!
From my heart to yours,