Hello friends! I hope you had an awesome Fourth of July weekend!
Mine was absolutely terrific.
Got to relax in God’s beautiful creation. Very limited cell service. No hustle bustle. Just my family and a pleasant breeze off the water.
We spent the days on the lake…
The evenings at Packer bars…
and the twilights with loved ones on the dock.
There’s nothing like family to really make your heart sing.
Speaking of singing, I’ve got a really exciting job coming up.
Allow me to set the scene.
As some of you may know, I have been acting professionally since the age of five. TV shows, a few indie movies, commercials, theater. But my favorite genera was always musical theater.
And my all time favorite role was Annie. Yes, as in the red headed, curly haired, Little Orphan Annie. I actually was in three different productions of it throughout my childhood.
But this year, one of the production companies I did it for back in the day, is putting it on again, this coming year.
It’s the big musical in their seasonal lineup, and they’ve decided to really amp up the excitement on the season announcement.
SO – they’ve invited me, (the company’s “original Annie”) to sing a duet with the new, incoming Annie for a promotional video they’re going to release coming up.
And we’re singing none other than….”Tomorrow” — the hallmark, mainstay classic we all know and love from the show.
And today, as I’ve been going through and rehearsing, I couldn’t help but be struck by the lyrics of the song, and particularly, how incredibly poignant they are in this very moment in 2019.
The sun’ll come out, tomorrow.
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun.
Just thinkin’ about tomorrow clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow,
‘Til there’s none...
When I’m stuck with a day that’s gray and lonely,
I just stick out my chin and grin and say, Oh!
The sun’ll come out, tomorrow!
So you gotta hang on ’til tomorrow, come what may.
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow.
You’re always a day away!
I’ve got to be honest, preparing for this job has brought up a lot of bottled-up emotion for me.
You see, when I portrayed Annie back in the day, I was at a height of my acting career. It was such a pivotal show for me: I was just coming off of doing a television pilot. It was a highly visible production, and as the lead, I had the responsibility of the show riding on my shoulders as an 11-year-old girl. There was no understudy. Eight shows a week. And if you’ve ever tried to sing that song, you will know — it is incredibly vocally grueling. It’s how most girls blow out their voices…including me. I developed pre-nodules on my vocal chords, and my voice was never the same.
Thinking back to this show, I’m feeling my chest tighten with emotion as I listen to the music again, and am just flooded with memories. This show was actually the catalyst to me taking a career-trajectory-altering break from acting. You see, during the run, I collapsed backstage after one of the shows and had to be rushed to the hospital to get pumped with fluids.
It was pretty scary. Waking up in a hospital bed was the moment that my parents and I said, “This is too much” and decided to take some time off after the run to “be a kid” as I called it.
And I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t wondered from time to time, what direction my life would have taken, had I just stuck with it, and kept pursuing that which made me feel so alive.
But back to the present.
Singing these lyrics again, and seeing little 11-year-old me in my mind’s eye, belting out that song in my wig and red dress, in front of the packed 3000 seat theater…I’m reminded of one thing: hope.
Never in a million years would I have thought that my life would have taken the path it did, those many years ago. The health trials with ulcerative colitis. The years-long battle with anorexia. I wish I could just go back and hug that little girl and tell her to never stop believing that she could achieve her dreams. To never stop loving herself so fiercely, or being free or wanting to share her gift with the world.
I would just hug her and not let go, knowing the road that lay ahead for this brave little girl.
The sun’ll come out tomorrow.
How incredibly appropriate, Lord, that those would be the words of that song.
How precisely fitting, that I’d be belting my heart out about the hope of tomorrow: it is almost uncanny.
Because it was that truth that got me through all those challenges that brought me to the depths: Hope. Hope of tomorrow – Of things yet unseen. Things to come. Things you’ve promised me.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jer 29:11
That was what I clung to, at inpatient. That hope. That promise that, though I was terrified of tomorrow, not knowing what a life would be like without ED — that He had good plans for me, His child.
You never said it would be easy, Lord. You never said it wouldn’t be painful or full of moments that define our character, or test our faith in the darkness.
But You promised that You will be there with us, come what may.
The sun’ll come out, tomorrow.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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