Tuesday, January 31, 2012
The beginning of the end... one week left.
It is one of those reflective nights... where I am remembering the last few years with joy and yet, a great deal of sadness. That might be due to the fact that I just got back from seeing Ryan Adams in concert and then getting home and listening to Bruno Merz's "For You Now" on repeat. Regardless of the reason, I am thankful for the way I am wired... to reflect... to grieve... to grow... and to feel things deeply.
A lot has happened in my life while I've been here in St. Louis. Not only did I see my two favorite musicians play live here (hello... Paul Simon and James Taylor!) and get to scrape off layers of ice off my car for the first time... but I took huge risks in letting myself become rooted in the community, in my church, and in dear friendships. With God's help, I worked through some tough things. I picked up a paintbrush again. I started to learn the guitar (again). I took 2 incredible trips to Ethiopia where my heart continued to grow for women's ministry. I lost my dear sister. I learned I could move on from a difficult relationship. I discovered there was more to my heart than I could have ever imagined- that my life could be a great adventure if I let go of my plans. I learned that there is more to the gospel. More to forgiveness... to joy... to suffering... to life.
There are a few things that I'm leaving that I'm sad to say are not mended. I pray that someday, those painful places will be healed, that there will be reconciliation, and even joy. But for now, they are in the Lord's hands. As I continue to wait for His timing in those places, I am encouraged about the journey ahead.
My time in St. Louis is drawing to a close and I will walk out of here knowing I lived an incredible life here. I don't regret any of it. In fact, the toughest situations that seemed absolutely hopeless were the strongest catalysts to access the deepest parts of my heart. The most painful relationships were used to shape me and push me towards my calling in Africa and maybe even in Europe. I am thankful for the trials. I wouldn't trade a moment. Not one.
I will miss all of my wonderful supportive friends. I will miss the friends I made at the beginning, the middle, and even (Thank You Jesus!) the end. Thank you to all of you that got me through this season. I am better for it- because of all of you. Thank you for reflecting His mercy and love through your care of my heart. I will never forget the place you all have in my heart.
Posted by Katie Baird at 9:56 PM