This is is me and my house-mate-bestie Ayumi ->
(If you’re just reading this blog for the first time ever or something, you should know that she’s the ice-cream-eating Japanese one. And I’m the frizzy-haired-non-Japanese one.)
Despite our *cough* slightly different ethnic background, there’s actually very few people who feel more like my family than this girl.
She’s like a sister to me. She knows everything about me. She’s seen me at my best and she’s seen me at my worst.
I think the same is probably true in reverse.
We, rather randomly (in a so-random-it-must-be-God-way) met on a shopping street in town about 2 weeks after I’d moved to Sapporo. It was actually Valentine’s Day. Which sounds weirdly creepy, but whatever.
And we super-quickly became super-great friends.
We shared countless cups of tea and long time talks about faith and life and history and future.
I trust this girl with my life. With my tears. With my laughter. With my secrets. With everything.
She is frankly, one of life’s greats.
And today we are leaving on a bit of an epic trip to England, Scotland and Hong Kong.
And in the brief period before we set off on our travels, I wanted to write a blog that honoured her, and thanked God for her. Because I truly do thank God for her.
I am thankful to have some of the greatest people in my life. Friendships that have spanned decades, and others that are newer to me. But people who are my iron. People who sharpen me and make me better. People who lead me to love Jesus more and love people deeper.
And Ayumi is one of those people.
So, here, in no particular order, are 5 reasons that Ayumi is an awesome person, and particularly great to adventure with.
1. She eats with me.
Ok. This is important. Because sharing food is one of the most binding and community building things that you can do. I think that’s biblical!
And we eat together a lot. (Both often, and in quantity).
We share a love of s’mores, and sweet cake. We share a love of long breakfasts. We share a love of pancakes and baked goods. And we share a love of midnight ice cream. But in all this, we share a love of quality time and quality conversation.
It makes for a lot of hilarity.
It looks a bit Iike this ->
2. She doesn’t relish drama.
Now we all have periods in life that are a bit dramatic. And we’ve gone through our fair share.
But Ayumi has the capacity to manage most things with the least amount of drama. She actually hates drama. (Almost as much as she hates hugs, but that’s a different story).
And this gives her a beautiful resilience and ability to keep her head in most situations. We’ve taken friends to emergency hospital appointments, organised parties, stayed in a wide variety of ‘interesting’ accommodation, dealt with Japanese bureaucracy and filled in piles of paperwork.
Deal with it. Pray about it. Give it to God. Move on. Keep moving.
Don’t create drama. Don’t grumble. Don’t keep complaining.
That’s what Ayumi’s taught me.
3. She’s brave. In massive proportions.
I won’t go into the detail of Ayumi’s testimony here, because that’s her place, but let me tell you, this girl is flipping brave.
She gets up after something knocks her down and she keeps running for her dreams.
She takes risks.
She takes challenge.
She makes adventure.
And she trusts God in it.
Her life inspires me to look forward not back, to keep dreaming, and be up for whatever God wants me to do.
4. She’s up front about her weaknesses.
Ayumi doesn’t pretend to be perfect. She doesn’t pretend to have it all sorted out. She doesn’t pretend. Full stop.
She’s real about who she is and where she struggles.
She’s real about her doubts and her fear.
She’s so real.
And because of that, I see Holy Spirit and the grace of God shining from her every day. In this beautiful honesty journey of life, she doesn’t ever profess to be better than someone else or holier-than-anyone. She’s just real. She’s just who she is.
And that’s a canvas that God paints His picture on every day.
5. She’s beautiful. And boy can she laugh.
I don’t laugh so often or so freely with many other people.
Ayumi reminds me that God is joyful. That God is fun. That He is happy. And that even in the midst of suffering or even in the recovery after suffering or even in the figuring out what we do after life hasn’t worked out… There is joy.
Joy in God. Joy in friendship. Joy in the everyday of life.
And so much laughter.
I think sometimes laughter can be worship. The connection that God uses to bring us into His Presence and freedom.
Into His healing.
And being friend’s with Ayumi has brought more healing to my life than I will ever be able to say.
Roadtrips. Marshmallows. Comedy videos. Dancing. Picnics. Autumn photo shoots. Hostels. 5 star hotels. Getting fat. Losing fat. Staying up late. Eating mikans.
So Ayumi, we’re about to start yet another adventure. It’s gonna be awesome.
But I also want to thank you for being one of the world’s lights. I am encouraged and inspired by you. I am touched by your kindness and your friendship.
I’m so glad you have no drama 😉
I won’t hug you.
And I’m so glad we can journey out our 30s together! Hahaha!