The season of young adulthood can be fun, exciting, and full of freedom. It can also be lonely and discouraging. For Callie Carlson, it’s been a season of growth and community because of Jesus and the college ministry at Citylight, the Salt Company (Salt).

“Salt is a good community because they care about your faith and want to help you grow in it,” Callie shared. “The people at Salt are always excited when you are there.”

Callie was invited to Salt by a high school friend, Allie Wilson. She was hesitant to go at first, but Allie was always willing to reach out and invite her. She came a few times her freshman year but her sophomore year she joined a Salt City Group. There she found genuine friendship, uplifting community, and truth about who she is in Christ that then freed her from lies that she had believed about herself for so long.

“I’m quiet and not very outspoken and I thought I couldn’t be a good leader because of it,” Callie declared. “A few interns from Salt told me that it is not a weakness but instead, that is how God made me. It was one of the first times someone told me that and it really moved me. I think a lot of the time the people who are more outspoken I naturally took for better leaders. Knowing that’s not true has made me more confident. It’s finally accepting that is how God made me. I've always found the story of Moses inspiring. He couldn’t speak and didn’t have confidence, but God still used him. God has revealed to me that I get to listen to people. I get to make sure people are heard. Having a City Group gave me a chance to hear what others are struggling with and I get to take time to listen to them and be there for them.”

Having the chance to see people open up about themselves has been a gift to Callie. It’s allowed Callie to grow closer to people and to share with them her struggles. Callie has found what college students struggle with most are friendships and relationships. The transition period from high school to young adult is tough on keeping and developing relationships. Callie has also realized that she has cared too much what others have thought of her making her question her abilities. Now she realizes a lot of people struggle with that too. She understands that she is not alone and that has given her the ability to tell herself and to others what really matters.

“People aren’t close to other people in a real way,” Callie described. “If someone is treating them poorly, I tell them it’s not their fault. It’s not who they are and it’s on that person. I sit there and let them know I am there for them, and God is there for them.”

This past year, Callie has done something she has never done before only because she didn’t really see herself as a leader. Callie co-leads a Salt City Group with Allie.

“When you are a leader, the Salt interns meet up with you and disciple you and your co-leader together,” Callie said with satisfaction. “Mirrya takes the time to check in on our spiritual walk and encourage us. We read through Genesis in a Bible study and the book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. I think taking the time throughout your day to read the Bible or to study can been a lot but in return so good. Learning more about God’s character has been life changing. I have been thinking a lot about the wonder of God and His creation. I’m in awe of Him.”

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