Find your communities while at Berry

Abigail Mohler, Valkyrie editor-in-chief

As a senior, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my four years at Berry. It has been a time of thankfulness and a time to see how much I have grown since freshman year. I have been given so many wonderful experiences and opportunities throughout the past four years. 

If I was asked what one piece of advice that I would give to an incoming freshman, I would tell them this: find community, a group of people who will challenge you and hold you accountable but also encourage you to grow. I was lucky enough to have multiple communities throughout my time at Berry. 

First, I found community at Pleasant Valley North Baptist Church. I had the opportunity to be the Children’s Ministry Intern for the last three years and I’m thankful that they have hired me on full time after graduation as the Director of the Children’s Ministry. Having a group of people of all different ages who share my same beliefs helped me grow in my faith and provided me with mentors who could pour into me. I am so thankful to have a group of people to serve with who love Jesus and love me. 

Another place that I found community during my time at Berry was in the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM). They are a small group of students who were in the same boat as me. We were all able to grow together and I gained some of my best friends through this group. I was given a leadership role in this group that helped me strengthen my confidence and allowed me to mentor and pour into freshman girls.

Over the past 4 years it has been important to me to figure out what I believe and why I believe it. The two communities helped me figure it out. I recently had the opportunity to take a mission trip to Berlin, Germany with the BCM and I had a conversation with a local that really stood out to me. She told me that most people who have faith or religion in Berlin only have it because their parents did. They never chose it and many of them are religious in name only. Unfortunately, this is not a common idea only in Berlin but across the world. 

This was my biggest fear, I did not want to have faith just because my parents did. I needed to know that my belief was my own. I did not want to be a Christian who professes faith but then does not show it. I believe that God sent His son to live a sinless life and then die on a cross to save us from our sins and rose again three days later. I want to live my life and tell the world of Jesus’ love. I want to do this by loving people like Jesus loved. I am not perfect, but having a community to push me and to hold me accountable has been such a gift. This is why community is so important, they will push you to be the best version of yourself and support you when you get it wrong. Find community, let them inspire you.

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