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Today is the beginning of my last week of work at the Baptist Messenger and Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. What a time of growth my time here has been!

One thing I’m exponentially grateful for is the opportunity to grow as a writer and journalist. I’ve met people whom I will call lifelong friends and experienced things I’ll fondly look back on for years to come.

I’ve written countless articles and blogs, I’ve taken thousands upon thousands of pictures, I’ve traveled many miles and learned from some of the best people in the business of storytelling.

I’ve experienced history in the making as I covered events like the 100th Anniversary of Falls Creek and historical votes at the Southern Baptist Convention.

I was able to watch as Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief provided aid to those affected by Hurricane Harvey, for weeks and months, as well as the countless other times they have served those in need.

I have met countless Oklahoma Baptists and been privileged to tell their stories of faith, perseverance, endurance, discipleship and overall how they make the world a better place.

I’ve worked alongside people who are world changers and champions for spreading the Good News of the Gospel to people in every small Oklahoma town to the ends of the earth.

I’ve had my eyes opened to different ways of thinking, some good and some not so good, and that has helped me grow as a journalist in the best way possible. A good journalist tells a story from every side, not just their side.

I’ve stood many mornings at the editing boars, with pen in hand, practicing the art of copy editing and hearing why the Messenger WILL NOT use the oxford comma, even if it goes against AP style.

I’ve laughed and I’ve held back tears. I’ve learned and grown, not only as a journalist but as a person and professional.

For all of these experiences and the countless others, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to work as a staff writer and digital content coordinator at the Baptist Messenger and Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

Rest assured, I will take all that I’ve learned and apply it to my new career, teaching—of course I will teach the Oxford Comma, that skill I will leave where I found it, in the Baptist Building.