Yesterday, I bought a sofa.

I am broken at Your feet
Like an alabaster jar
Every piece of who I am
Laid before Your majesty

I will bow my life
At Your feet
At Your feet
My lips
So lost for words
Will kiss Your feet
Kiss Your feet

Oh the gravity of You
Draws my soul unto its knees
I will never be the same
I am lost and found in You
(Rend Collective)

So I know I’m throwing any normal readers into confusion by blogging on a Monday, but I feel the need to write a blog for someone I know. So in the unspoken I will dedicate this to someone who needs to listen. Not to me, but to One so much greater than anything else this world has to offer. One who finds us, and so patiently orchastrates circumstances so that we have to stop running and start resting.

So that we have to stop running and realise that He’s already running towards us.

And we have to meet Him.

The thing is, if you’ve been running for a long, long time, you’re exhausted.

Pounding the pavement and running.

Finding your identity in the running.

In the striving.

But honestly being exhausted.

I just walked home from work. And as I prayed and worshipped my journey home I had one of those times of prayer where you realise just how overwhelmingly thankful you are for the goodness of a God who has never, ever failed you.

Seriously.

The last few days have floored me.

God has floored me.

Overwhelming me with His goodness. Over and over again.

The way He cares for me is exquisite. The way He takes care of even the unspoken details of my heart in the most beautifully woven journey.

Yesterday I bought a sofa.

I promise I’m going somewhere with this and there’s a point to that rather random statement.

Yesterday I bought a sofa.

It felt like kind of a big deal.

It’s not the buying a sofa kind of deal. I mean, I left home at 18 and bought my first house at 19, so the whole setting up home thing is one I’ve done a fair few times in the last 10 years.

But the reason for me buying a sofa was because next month I will move into my own flat here in Sapporo, and the whole way that this whole scenario has come about, the timing of it and the provision of everything is a story that has the fingerprints of God all over it.

Let’s rewind to how the whole Sapporo thing came about. Because last October when I was sitting with two dear friends, knowing my heart was burning for Japan, and praying about where in the country to move to… The only words that came to me in prayer were the name of the language school I now study Japanese and teach English at. The name of a school I’d never heard of before.

I’d come back from a two month research trip visiting NPOs throughout Honshu, handed in my notice at work, and sold or given away my house, my car and my furniture. I’d never made it up to Hokkaido. And so many people thought I was crazy to give up a good career and a comfortable life in the UK.

It does seem crazy if you don’t understand.

If you think about status or security or wealth or any of those things that we so want to cling to, it makes absolutely no sense at all.

But yet… In Jesus, He makes sense of everything that He calls us into.

It’s now 5 months since I moved to Japan. I started language school. I started work. I fell in love with a stunning church family. I made phenomenal friends. I continued to research. I continued to write. I continued to pray. My school arranged accomodation for me to live with these two beautifully awesome older ladies (70 and 96 is ‘older’, right?) and that is where I have been happily located for the last 5 months.

But last week in prayer I really felt God prompt me to pray about where I should live after August.

I had total peace in that prayer, but it was just one I prayed.

It went something along the lines of…

‘Ok God. You know I will live wherever You want me to. But, ideally I’d like to live in a similar location to where I live now. It’s close to church. It’s close to the subway. It’s a walk to the city centre. And ideally I’d just like some space to be social, and pray, and worship and the kind of things my heart burns for. You know my budget. I trust You. Amen’

Eloquent, right?

Anyway, three days later over breakfast, one of the ladies I live with (remember, remember, remember… that they own two apartment buildings on my street) began a conversation with…

‘Peta, I have an empty apartment in the building next door. I’d really like to rent it to you for half price. What do you think?’

So basically, long story short, I looked round this beautiful two bed apartment, with shed loads of potential, a big living room, and the most stunning amount of natural light, and agreed to move in next month.

And so, yesterday I bought a sofa.

Which is really just another reminder of the abundant ways God takes care of every tiny detail.

Because this apartment is an answer to an unspoken prayer of mine.

My Mum and Dad are visiting in August. I’m super excited to see them, because they are super awesome people, and I can’t wait to share my life here with them.

They have loved me through every success and every failure my 29 years on this planet has brought.

And I thought they’d have to stay in a hotel when they were here. Which would have been ok. But 1) is super expensive, and 2) means I wouldn’t get to see them so much.

So I hadn’t even really prayed it outloud, but I’d just kind of hoped that something would happen…

And the thing is… They can now stay with me. In my spare room. In the flat that 3 days ago came up in an over-breakfast conversation.

I know some people find it hard to believe God exists. But honestly, I find it really hard to believe that He doesn’t.

Because what are the chances of the one school I email about studying Japanese also opening an English school the month I arrive in Japan? And what are the chances of that school offering me a job? And what are the chances that out of all the people I could be staying with, I get to stay with two ladies who own apartment buildings? And what are the chances that one of those apartments just happens to be freed up? Or be offered for such an awesomely affordable price? Or in the month before my parents are due to visit? Or, or, or… Just think about the countless research/lecturing/relational opportunties?

And so back to the song at the start of this blog, or the motivation for writing it.

I will bow my life
At Your feet
At Your feet
My lips
So lost for words
Will kiss Your feet
Kiss Your feet

My life hasn’t been easy or perfect or free from pain. In fact, I’ve walked through valleys so dark the blackness has almost overwhelmed me.

Almost.

But never completely. Because I have never walked alone. He has carried me through my worst storms.

And He brings beauty from ashes.

My life is a testimony of that mercy.

So I will bow my life at His feet.

And I will pour myself out.

And I will speak always of a God who calls us to stop running from Him.

Only in His will are we free. And only in His arms are we whole.

And that’s a wrap for the night… 🙂

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