Mark Darling – Story 107
Recently I’ve been reflecting on how Mark Darling has influenced not only my own life but that of my parents’ as well. As my college graduation date is fast approaching, I find my thoughts increasingly pondering marriage. In order to gain wisdom on the subject, I asked my parents, who have been married 25 years, how they knew they were ready. My father’s response in particular really surprised me. He revealed that it was Mark’s messages back in 1989 (“Rich Relationships” is on Strong Disciple!) at Friday Night Alive and New Life that really inspired him to become serious about his faith and submit his desire for marriage to the Lord. Mark’s testimony on how he was tired of the “dating game” and told the Lord that if he was to be married, God would need to run him into his wife really struck a chord with my dad. These messages were instrumental in how my parents inevitably met, got married and had me. I truly believe that if it wasn’t for Mark Darling, I would not be here today.
I was born in Evergreen Bloomington, a church that Mark helped to start, and he was there at my baby dedication. As I continued to grow up my family went to several different Evergreen locations before settling in Evergreen Lakeville. During my childhood, teen, young adult years, I remember distinctly the excitement that came when knowing Mark would speak. His passion for God was truly captivating every time he spoke at Unite Conferences, Pastor Swaps, and Faithwalkers Conferences. I cannot begin to describe the depth of insight I have been able to gain in Christ because of Mark. He has truly had and, I believe, will continue to have an everlasting impact on my walk with God.
At age 23, I now attend the Rock, Mark’s home church. Something that has really touched me is how he always remembers my name and gives me a hug every time I see him. This simple act makes me feel so at home at the Rock. Not only that, but the community I’ve found here has helped grow my faith immensely even in the eight months I’ve been attending. I’m grateful to God for blessing me with His faithfulness, and for the rich blessing of having Mark Darling as a part of my life.
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