If I told you my real-life story… you would hear that my life hasn’t worked out the way I wanted it to but I’m glad it hasn’t. If that’s the same for you, keep reading to find encouragement and inspiration.
At the beginning of September I gave birth to our second child. We’re now a family of four living in a village in South East England. Most of our days consist of routine things – getting ready, going to work, cooking, cleaning and going to sleep. We don’t go out very often and spend most of the evenings at home. We go to a local Methodist church.
While I’m not on maternity leave, I work full time in a charity; my husband works full time for a water company. We live in a 2-bed house with a mortgage. Our older daughter has just started school. As lovely as she is, taking care of her requires us to have a lot of energy and patience. We have to do a school run, weekly shop and other
10 years ago…
In 2009 I was 22 and lived in Warsaw, the capital city of Poland. I also grew up there. I liked the big city life and all that comes with it. If you mentioned living in a village then, I would say ‘never’. I’d also never planned to buy a house because I thought it was too much of a commitment. I wanted to be in a relationship but not necessarily married. Having children was an abstract idea to me, so I didn’t even know whether I’d wanted them or not.
I was at uni studying journalism. Later that year I began a second faculty – African Studies. Apart from studying, I worked as a freelance journalist. I wrote for various magazines – about business, media and marketing, social and faith issues. I loved what I was doing even though it was hard work. Through my work, I met a lot of interesting people – businessmen and women, celebrities, people from marketing agencies. I attended press-only events. I enjoyed all of that.
But it wasn’t a bed of roses. I was living independently from my parents, so I had to make my own living. To keep up with work and studies, and to earn enough money, I had to often stay up until 2-3 am. I’ll never forget writing my dissertation until 4 or 5 am, sleeping for a few hours and starting back again around 10 or 11 am.
My dream was to write reportages and real-life stories. I wanted to write about Africa or social issues, travel, attend events, meet with friends and have a varied life. I liked being busy but I’m glad I’m not living that life anymore.
God has made a difference in my real-life story
Sometimes, I miss certain things from those times but not that much that I would trade them for what I’ve got now. I’m really happy where I am and I think that in today’s world it’s a privilege to say that.
It’s only on the surface that real life doesn’t match my ‘dream’. Underneath, it’s actually better than I could’ve ever planned.
10 years ago, in my search for approval, I was chasing after the next big thing. I was often in a rush, got angry when things didn’t go my way, was insecure and found identity in my work. I didn’t really know where I was heading and I tried to please others to win their acceptance. Most importantly, I didn’t know the real living God, power of faith and I didn’t have the hope I do now. It’s He who has made the difference.
Then and now
In my present life, I get tired. My children, especially the older one, sometimes annoy me and I worry about bringing them up and doing things right. But I know that God is the one who holds the future. I can pray for my children knowing that they’re even more important to Him than they are to me.
I get upset that I cannot always do what I like. But doing what’s right and what God wants me to do brings me much more peace, joy and satisfaction than following my feelings and desires.
My husband isn’t always the way I’d imagined my husband to be. He certainly doesn’t bring me flowers as often as I would like him to. But I know he loves me and is committed to our marriage. This means more than flowers and romance we know from movies.
Thanks to God’s grace I learn to love him the way he is every single day. I also know that we’re only two imperfect humans trying to figure life out.
I don’t always sleep well but despite the tiredness, I wake up at peace because I know that it is God who gives me strength. He’ll help me to be patient and kind even with little sleep. It doesn’t mean that a good night sleep or a nap isn’t important but on the days without them, I’m able to keep things together because I know what really fuels me.
But… makes a difference
I rarely go out in the evenings and don’t attend most of the events I would like. But I love having friends for dinner, going to a Bible study or other faith-based events. The friendships I’ve built through these are worth so much more than any fleeting relationship with people high up. They don’t remember you the day after you spoke. We’re surrounded by wonderful people and evenings at home with family
I don’t write for living but have this blog and I can write whatever I want
I also write things for amazing organisations, like the Evangelical Alliance. There are also other creative things I make and they bring me a lot of joy and satisfaction.
I work in an office job but I know that the work I do matters and makes a difference. My work still gives me a lot of flexibility with my hours and I work for an amazing organisation in an office that I’ve always dreamt of.
I don’t travel often and a lot – in fact, last time we went on holidays was more than 4 years ago. But I love discovering places closer to home and I’m still as curious about what’s a
I may not have the time to bring all my ideas to life but I’m glad I have still got plenty of them in my mind and with God’s grace they will become reality one day.
Finding peace in real-life story
In my life ‘have to’ happens more often than ‘want to’ but I find so much excitement in the everyday stuff – helping my girls to grow, providing my family with healthy food and sharing this food together. I find pleasure in ordinary life and I think we should praise it more often. It would prevent so many mental health problems because people wouldn’t feel a pressure to live unrealistic lives and they would be satisfied with whatever they’ve got.
10 years ago I wouldn’t say I was satisfied. I was chasing after something that I couldn’t even name. Now I know it was the significance, acceptance and love that can only be fulfilled through knowing the One who made me and choosing to walk with Him every step of my way.
God is with you
I’m being honest and open in telling you this because wherever you are in life, whether at 22, dreaming of what is to come, at 32, being disappointed that it hasn’t turned out as you wanted it to or at 42, still trying to figure out how to live this life, I want to tell you that God is watching over you and He’s got a plan.
Whatever is going to happen, it will be ok. I want you to know that life doesn’t always turn out to be what we thought it would but that’s ok. Be joyful and thankful to God in happy times and, with His help and grace, go through the tough ones.
Whether life brings you to a big city or a small village, whether you’re in a job of your dreams or one that you would not even want to dream of in the night, rest assured that He is with you. God doesn’t change because of location, profession or anything else. He’ll always love you and will never leave you. If you only rely on Him, he’ll bring joy and satisfaction even in the places farthest from your dream life. If you’re standing before a decision in your life and don’t know what to do, remember whichever way you’ll go he’ll be with you.
I was inspired to write this post about my story by Big Daddy Weave’s song “My Story”. To sing along with him – “If I told you my story, you would hear…” that God is present in every circumstance. Cling to Him no matter what and you’ll get through different things and will live your life to the fullest.