Mark Darling – Story 143
I have been at The Rock for about 5 years. I grew up in a Catholic family and didn’t have a relationship with God. I remember going to church as a child, but I never knew heard about Jesus at all. When I came to the United States, I left my family, my daughter, and her mother behind. I had planned to bring my girlfriend and our daughter here, but 6 months later I learned that she was cheating on me. I felt like I couldn’t trust anyone, so I decided to just use women, without caring about their feelings. I got involved in many different relationships, and I came to learn how to lie to people, and I am embarrassed to say that I was really good at it. With the passing of time, my behavior got more out of control, having more than one relationship at a time. I never thought about the consequences that this could bring. With the women, there were also parties and drinking. With all of this, I still felt empty inside. When I first went to The Rock, it was such a different experience from anything I had had at church before. I loved the music, and then I saw this guy in a black leather jacket and thought that he was cool because he wasn’t wearing a robe like the Catholic priests do. As I listened to his message, it was already impacting me. I had never heard these things before. About a year later, I prayed to accept Christ into my heart, but I still was living a double-life. I wanted to end the lies, but I didn’t know how to do it. The lies had gotten me in trouble with an ex-girlfriend, and called the police on me, with another lie. I was arrested, and during the first three days I spent in the jail, I felt like I was going to go crazy. Something in me told me that the only way I could find peace was in the Bible. After asking for a Bible multiple times, I finally got one. On that day, I prayed to accept Christ again, but this time I really surrendered my life to Christ. In that second, I felt how the heaviness was lifted from my shoulders. I just wanted to share the peace I felt, even in jail, with everybody. I started to pray for wisdom, and I learned more and more about God’s Word. I prayed that I’d be able to go back to The Rock, where I wanted to be baptized and get married to my girlfriend. After six and a half months, God worked a miracle in my trial, and at the immigration office. I was able to go to The Rock the day after I got out. When I first saw Mark, he hugged me, and we both cried. I felt like I was being hugged by my dad. It was a beautiful experience. A week later, by the grace of God, I was baptized at church, and eight months later I married Lindsey. Being at The Rock, and learning from Mark has been such a blessing in my life. Even though my biological family isn’t here, I have a huge family at The Rock, and I know that without The Rock, my life would for sure be a disaster. I am so grateful to God for being part of this family.
Shared by JSDS