With & Without Berry…



Mt. Day 2001

Every year at this time I have mixed thoughts and emotions. This is Mountain Day and friends and people we consider family will soon be heading for the site of celebration at the foot of Lavender Mountain. We won’t be there and haven’t been since 2012. We tried two years ago, but for the first time in memory, it was rained out.

I love Berry and all that it has stood for over the years. Personnel changes have begun to drive the school away from its Christian roots and it’s not the same place. I hated leaving Berry and would not have done so on my own volition. Even so, it was time to go and although it took years to forgive those who devised my departure, I have done so.

I can honestly say that I am better off for having been at Berry. There are so many people who shaped me through the years: faculty, staff and students—mostly students, some of whom became adopted children. I am who I am today because of Berry, First Presbyterian Church and my men’s small group. Those are memories that will forever be with me.

I am better off for having left Berry too. If I assess it honestly, I was in a rut and was unlikely to get out of that rut without a push. I do not believe that the person behind the push had my best interests in mind. Like Joseph’s brothers, that person had an agenda that was more important than individual people. But like the situation in Genesis, “…God planned it for good…” Genesis 50:20

It took four years of trial and error, sweat and tears and soul–searching to get where we are today. I believe that we are right where God wants us (Arkansas, really?) and where He will use us—we’ve already found a great church community!

God willing, we’ll be back for Mt. Day 2018—we have a dear adopted grand-daughter who will be a senior!