Mark Darling – Story 67
My name is Emily and I first met Mark in November of 2001 when I began attending The Rock Church at the age of 19. After a couple of months of attending the church, I wanted to get more serious about making God a priority in my life and overall healthy decisions. I would frequently call Mark for counsel in these matters. Prior to my attending The Rock, I had been leading a destructive life that included promiscuity, a teen pregnancy, and an emotionally abusive relationship. Mark was aware of my past but always counseled me with the utmost respect and care. His counsel was consistently respectful, kind, caring and wise. He never behaved inappropriately nor did he ever ask me inappropriate questions. Eventually, I met and married my husband (we just celebrated 15 years of marriage) and had three more children.
Through the past nearly 17 years, Mark has counseled me (and my husband) numerous times on multiple things both on the phone and in person (with my husband present). He has never
once been anything less than completely respectful, caring and helpful. He has been consistent in this throughout the years.
In addition to knowing Mark as a trusted counselor and spiritual advisor, I had the privilege of helping his daughter and family on a weekly (sometimes more) basis for well over a year (approximately 2008 to 2010) while his daughter, Jessica, was suffering a crippling illness. I was often in their home starting around 10 or 11 pm and would stay anywhere from 5 to 8 hours. My role was to help Kathy get an opportunity to rest or to be an extra set of hands for her as well as help serve Jessica with any needs or simply keep her company (Jessica’s suffering kept her up late through the night and consequently it kept Kathy up late too). Although it was very difficult to see these beloved people suffer so much, it was such a privilege and honor to be in their midst. I learned so much from their unwavering trust in God and their continued love for people even though they were suffering greatly. That includes Mark. Despite the fact that I was there with Kathy and Jessica, I would still see Mark at times when he would come to sit with Jessica or passing one another in the kitchen. Not one single time was Mark anything other than gracious towards me. He was never, ever inappropriate nor crossed any imaginable boundary. Even in some of his darkest days (prior to this time), Mark’s behavior towards me remained above reproach.
I can not stress enough the incredible character and man that is Mark Darling. He is not perfect. I know that. However, he is truly a remarkable person. He is overwhelmingly generous with his resources, be it time, money or material possession. He is incredibly kind, gentle and patient. He is wise and handles delicate matters with great care and respect. Overall, he is passionate about striving to live like Christ in every area of his life and it shows. I can honestly say that after Jesus Christ, Mark Darling has been one of the biggest influences in my life and my family’s life. I am overwhelmingly grateful for this man.
Shared by Emily