Mark Darling – Story 142
Having been at The Rock for almost 14 years now, it is hard to imagine what my life would be like without it. I think the best way to imagine what it would be like is to look at where I was when I first started going. My parents got divorced when I was 5 years old, and then spent all their time focusing on the problems my younger sister had, so I spent my time trying to be the perfect child, doing well in school, and not getting into any trouble. I remember hiding my depression from my family for over 10 years, crying in my room alone when I got home from school, as young as 8 years old. By the time I was 17, I had major depression, and there was no hiding it from my family anymore. I struggled with it on and off for the few years before getting involved at The Rock. At 18, I had started cutting myself as a way to both distract myself from the mental pain and as a way to punish myself for anything I felt I hadn’t done quite good enough. In addition to this, I moved quickly from one bad relationship to another. I believe I was on my 10th boyfriend when I started going to The Rock. I always ended up with someone who had some kind of addiction, even though I didn’t have an addiction myself. Well, not a “real” one anyway. I was severely co-dependent, but didn’t know what that meant until I got involved in Celebrate Recovery at The Rock. This guy had a sexual addiction, and broke up with me because he had been cheating on me…again, and felt guilty about not feeling bad about cheating on me. I wondered what I had done to cause this. Why was I never good enough? I had prayed to accept Christ as a 10-year-old, but we stopped going to church when I was 12, and I had never learned how to have a relationship with God. I had been at The Rock for just over a year when this guy broke up with me. I was driving, crying, and praying all at the same time. Somehow the hurt was enough to make me not want to go through that again. I prayed and asked God to take over my life for me, and I meant it. It had been 2 years since I had last cut myself, and I had wanted to do it again around this time. I fought back, saying, “No! I have been trying to get rid of these scars, why would I create more?” I didn’t cut that day. A couple of days later, while changing clothes, I noticed that God had taken the scars from my legs. I didn’t ask Him to do it, but He did. I felt like it was His way of saying that I was His now, and He cared for me. I have never since then wanted to cut myself again, and have never had a depression that I felt was too heavy for me. Being part of The Rock, I have learned how to have a relationship with God, and how to set boundaries with people, and have healthy relationships. I have learned to pray about everything, and not fear anything. These are only a few things from the first years. There is so much more to what God has done in my life through our church, but this is how it started for me.
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