Ladies, this marks the last article in our series for Women's Month, written by Vanessa Mulligan. Vanessa has been a dear sister and friend of mine for several years. As a nurse and a homeschooling mom, she has experienced the whole gamut of emotions these last few years, but is looking FORWARD to what our incredible Father has in store. She is a true warrior in her faith, an encouragement to many, and a light to all who cross her path. I am honored to call her my friend.
Next week we plan to post photos from all the various Women's Days here at North River. We cannot wait to hear the victory stories and to see how our awesome God will change women's lives as we all move forward for Him.
~ Énid Tchir
North Marietta Community
A Brave New World
By Vanessa Mulligan
When I picture a “new” world my thoughts dream of a “fixed” one. I imagine a world full of ease, joy and peace; there is no sickness and no tears. A place where dreams are fulfilled, disappointments are few and hope overflows. In this utopia I exist as an impressive being. Laughing at the days to come I walk in faith, I parent with humor and endless patience, I always see the best in the friends and family around me and I soak up and relish all the beautiful moments life has to offer. Let's throw in that I make it to the gym five days a week, cook an organic home-cooked meal every night, and gather the children around the table every morning for a devotional over homemade waffles. As women we sure know how to strive and I believe we often become experts at being hard on ourselves. What is the narrative that plays for you personally?
Not much has been easy about these last two years. I work as a pediatric nurse in a children’s in-patient hospital. Many days I have wished this pandemic and everything surrounding it would end. I grieved my own lack of control, my personal shortcomings, my disappointments and and my losses. There was heartbreak in our broken state, our limitations, and our fragility. We made the decision to homeschool our girls in the Fall of 2019. I felt the weight of not only their academics, but their spiritual, physical and emotional health. I wish I could say that the journey has been smooth. The reality of how short I fall personally is at times painful and I grieve the things that are not the way I would choose them to be. The process has been messy, but also beautiful, and that is true of so many things in life. Often I am so eager to move forward, to “fix” what’s hard, and to strive for something different. What are the hard things in your life that God has allowed? Don’t miss the beauty of a broken heart and the depth that comes as we fall into the arms of God. Pray to see the beauty in it. God is always in our corner….always.
Our brokenness is not just okay, it is beautiful. Our humanity is beautiful and we walk together in it. Pain is a gift meant to lead us closer to God and to each other. It is a powerful gift if we allow it to bring us together and propel us forward.
We all have a choice, a crossroads we face: “Will my pain and disappointment in this life leave me bitter or move me forward?” This, I believe, is one of the most important, life changing decisions we make while the world wreaks havoc on our hearts. Our fragility makes our humanity shine and our humanity unites us. I can be impressed by someone that appears to have it all together, but I will not feel close to them. It is God’s design that our pain and imperfection draw us together.
Romans 5:3-5: "...but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
We move forward into a new world not because we leave our disappointment and pain behind us, but because we embrace it, bravely taking it with us, indignantly hopeful because we trust what God allows.. and we know He always delivers.