Your Past Doesn’t Count You Out

Your Past Doesn’t Count You Out

My name is Darcy Clark, I have been a part of Team LO for almost a year, I am twenty-two years old, I have moved around a couple times in different states following God’s lead and saying yes to the adventure He has me set on. Today, I want to tell you a story. It is broken, it is messy, but He has stepped in and made it beautiful. I want to tell you about a time in my life (long before I joined Team LO) where I lost control, and in exchange found Jesus.

On September 24, 2019 here are some notes I jotted down.

  • Think about what I say and what I do.
  • Be a sister and friend. No pressure – just love others.
  • Purpose is not a position it is the posture of my heart.
  • Purpose is who I am, it is something I can give the world.
  • What can I give the world?
  • Hebrews 10:35 says this, “Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has great reward.” – How confidently am I trusting in the Lord?
  • Live original
  • You can’t be confident in things that can be shaken. Be confident in the Lord.
  • We look for confidence in the wrong things and that is why we fail.
  • Life is inconsistent – stay grounded in faith.
  • Just because things/seasons change – who I am does not have to change.
  • Psalm 46
  • Remain the same when the world changes.
  • Authenticity is HUGE. Be vulnerable with others – if I want to make real friends, be authentic.
  • Encourage friends to be their best – be a good friend to others if I want to find community.
  • Don’t let fear hold you back. – Fear locks you up, we let things we go through lock us up. Vulnerability can break that.
  • Be a light in the world and look beyond yourself.
  • Surround yourself with persistent people and be a persistent friend in grace and love.
  • You should become more joyful with who you are with, not less.
  • If it is a win for the Kingdom, it is a win for me.
  • Who I marry should be pursuing and running toward God with me.
  • Make time for God. He is my main relationship.

These nuggets of truth, of wisdom, of advice – are from a Delta Gamma Sisterhood night on campus at Texas A&M University, Sadie, and another teammate of mine Steph, came to College Station, Texas on September 24, 2019, of my freshman year of college for a Q&A.

At this point in time, I did not know them – I was 18 and like I said a freshman in college. I had no clue what the overarching story God was beginning to write in my life. I had freshly surrendered all control of my life to God, making Jesus the Lord of my life fully and finally – following 9 years of convincing myself that I had already given God lordship over every single part of my life. But the reality was that I still had parts of my life that I was holding onto and not wanting to hand over control of.

Before I left the auditorium that night writing those notes and listening to their Q&A, in my seat I wrote this prayer: God, I am made for something more. I am praying for where I am called. I am praying for my purpose and what I can give to the world to further the Kingdom. Amen – and then funny enough in this season I had this thing where I would sign my prayers at the end because I meant business – I wanted to be a part of His story of rescue and redemption for all of humanity, I had experienced it in my own life and still to this day that is my heart.

That part of the night wrapped up around 8:30 PM, I got up from my seat with my friend and we walked outside as we were preparing to head to a Tuesday night service for a ministry called Breakaway – maybe some of you have heard of Breakaway Ministries.

Naturally as one does when walking one place to the next, I pull out my phone, refresh my notifications and begin to open a few. I open snapchat and I am pulled into this group chat with a good chunk of old high school friends and others I graduated with.

They had found my mugshot that at that point in time was 5 days old, they sent the photo in there and everyone got to have a moment to speak their mind. One of the first messages that went along with the photo was from a guy and it said: “Look who is first to fall.” Another message said: “Way to go Darcy.” And they just went on making fun, but overall tearing me down.

To preface in middle school and high school I was the girl and the friend who loved everybody, I regularly got nominated for things from homecoming court to class president, I was a dual sport athlete, I was a part of starting FCA in both my middle school and my high school, I went to church – served and spent most of my time there. I loved Jesus and had even known since seventh grade that my calling was to step into vocational girl’s ministry.

I also loved control. I loved to people please. I loved being friends with everybody so much that I would know when to act a certain way and when to not. I would pick and choose when I wanted to follow Jesus, I had convinced myself that this is what following Jesus looked like. I could have my fun and He could most definitely have my Sunday mornings. I craved a dating relationship that was “relationship goals”, so much so that I sacrificed beliefs for appearance – I mean as long as it looked like he was a good guy and at least knew of the name Jesus, I will check that box. From Sunday mornings leading worship to Saturday night abandoning all boundaries that God’s word commanded I follow. This was the double life I lived, one foot in and one foot out.

I loved control so much that I had made my life into this pie graph, saying okay Jesus you take this part, and I am going to get the rest. That is not how God operates, He wants you and He wants all of you. You are His child, and He has the best plans for you – but He is not going to force you into a relationship with Him.

A steady, committed, unwavering relationship where God was Lord of my life and I was not, is what I lacked. Through all the mess, the broken pieces, the hurt – He never stopped loving me, He never stopped pursuing me.

On September 19, 2019, I made Jesus the Lord of my life. Not just Lord over parts of my life. Lord over my whole life.

Now back to the part where I had mentioned the mugshot – It was a Thursday morning I woke up for class, went about my day, and as the night rolled around I was serving a student organization called Youth Impact, that was affiliated with a church in the area and we partnered with children who lived in government housing and would become family to them, building close relationships and treating them like our younger sisters and brothers, we would play games then transition into a message and breakout groups. Every single Thursday we shared the gospel with these kids. I was a group leader and all that meant was I would lead discussion, pick up kids, and was responsible for a basket filled of bibles and random toys.

When Youth Impact ended that night, I went out to eat with some of those people, put the basket of bibles in my passenger seat, and after headed by to my place to change clothes and get ready for the night.

Almost every weekend leading up to this point my life it felt like some sort of tug of war or game of hide and seek – I had just begun to make incredible Christian community, the semester had just started, they all got busy with their schedules jumping into new things and well to be honest I felt alone, friendless, and confused.

I remember being told in this same season, “college is the best time of your life”, “these are the days to get it all out of your system”, or “you are supposed to party – it is college – no one cares”. I got tired of continuing to go to church alone, I had been there almost a month nothing was clicking (more like I was not giving anything time to grow and I was expecting community to just magically happen), so I re-kindled friendships with one of my previous best friends from high school who I had just naturally fallen off with because we were living different lives, she wanted to party and live the “college experience” and meet guys, and at the start that is just not where my head was at.

She had invited me out a few times and on this final time, she invited me to one of our hometown friends’ birthdays. So, after serving youth, I got ready and met them at this house. When I got there the pregaming began, girls were changing to wear less to go out – I even changed, I drank with them because I thought that is what I was supposed to do – I did not want to be the odd one out – it seemed fun, and I loved to people please. After a while my heart sank, we were getting ready to go out to the local college bar and I didn’t want too anymore. I had this moment where I realized this is not how I want to live my life and that these were not my people.

So, I grabbed my keys and made my exit forcibly. As I was driving home, I was 1 minute from my townhome and in a double turn lane I hugged the inside and as I did, I got hit on my right. The last thing that you want to have happen, an inconvenient accident as you are so close to getting home. And to make the circumstance even worse, I am 18, brand new in a college town, a minor with alcohol in my system. Me and this guy pull of, there is little damage, and we swap insurance – the whole thing. As we are doing that a third car pulls up, a guy jumps out and lets me know that he has witnessed this all and he has called a cop to come help.

I am panicked and desperate for a way out – I know that I am in the wrong, so I called my brother (who at the time, was not following Jesus and was studying criminology at another university) and he told me to lie. Deny everything I had been doing and lie. I had no peace with that advice even though it was from a place of love and protection, I even glanced over at the basket of bibles thinking for a second – “Surely this officer will see this basket of bibles on my passenger seat and know that I am a good person and let me off easy.”

I began to pray and ask God for help, in my heart and mind begging for Him to speak to me. He did. As clear as ever and I will never forget it. He said, “I can do everything with your honesty, but I will do nothing with your dishonesty.” That is it, that was the word. So, what do I do when the officer walks up to me? I tell him everything, and I say it honestly.

Long story short, he lets the other guy go, but as for me I was not done being dealt with. He arrests me and takes me back to the station to breathalyze me and confirm that I indeed had alcohol in my system. I am convicted with a DUI and spent the night sitting in a chair in a holding center. I got to make phone calls to see if anyone could come bail me out, but like Adam and Eve – I hid from my earthly Father, I didn’t call anyone in my family. But I started to call people in town from new friends to current roommates, no one answered. After trying to make some calls, the front desk lady looked at me, whispered, “I know you are not supposed to be in here. This is not who you are, this is just something that happened,” and then she slid me a bail bondsman number to call and get me out.

That night as I sat there, I was as low as you can get. From feeling humiliated, like a failure, to just utterly defeated. I thought of the verse, “There is a way that seems right to man but ends in death.” – Proverbs 16:25

The bible doesn’t just say God’s way leads to everlasting life, and the enemy’s way leads to death – because it sounds good or make a great plot. God’s word says it because it is clear cut truth. I knew that if I continued down the path, I was on that it would legitimately perhaps lead to my death for actions that do not bear life.

The days and months after that night were difficult, I am not going to tell you it was easy. But it was an easy choice for me to finally make and say, “God I see that my way will surely lead me to death, but your way leads me to everlasting life. I want your way. I want you in the driver seat. I want you to be the Lord of my life because my way without you will lead me to death.”

My record weeks later got cleared because the officer who conducted evidence against me committed an assault and was fired from his position. My case was dropped and the time of COVID 19 aka the world’s lock down began, all I wanted was to sit in God’s word and get to know more of Him. He is love. His is the only way to everlasting life. He has the best plans in mind for you. But you have to make the choice to surrender all control and say, “Lord Jesus I want your ways because I know where mine will take me.”

I wrote a poem inspired from that season that I want to leave you with today –

come back.

I think that God lets us navigate life in sharp turns, narrow paths, curvy roads,

and gut-wrenching drives

because if He only allowed us to navigate life on one straight path,

our affection for Him may be lessened.

So, we are given a choice.

A choice to love.

A choice to choose what turn we make.

These choices are what make life a journey.

Some drives aren’t fun, some you are used to, some will take you breath away, and some will make your heart break.

I’m thankful we are not left alone to navigate our way back from the paths we take that perhaps were not the right turn.

It is through my lack of understanding in which road to take that God uses to boost my dependence on Him.

It’s not an easy journey, but I will choose this every day.

And, for the times I don’t or stray away there’s an unending grace from Jesus.

Won’t you come back?

Friend, whatever you think is counting you out is the exact thing God is pointing at and saying that is exactly what is counting you in. He loves you and is everyday inviting you into the best story we could ever get to be a part of. Do not let the enemy convince you that you are too far gone or unusable by God – that is a lie. The broken pieces of your story that are picked up and placed by together by your Heavenly Father, create a far more beautiful story than one you could ever write.

Darcy Clark is a member of Team LO! She is a Jesus follower and friend to many. She enjoys coffee sipping, exploring, and writing. She is an aspiring author, current dreamer. Darcy spent two years at Texas A&M University before stepping into girls ministry full time in multiple states and has since moved to Louisiana to be a part of Team LO.

Keep up with Darcy on Instagram @darcyclark!

How’s Your Heart?

How’s Your Heart?

Note from Team LO: We are SO excited to bring you this month’s post from our LO sister member + ambassador, Darcy Clark! If you want to be a part of this incredible community, you can join today! Find out more about this online sisterhood HERE. And for more info about what LO sister is all about, visit our Instagram Page!

Now, enjoy today’s post from Darcy 🙂 


Jesus is after our heart’s affection, not our religious acts.

This past week it weighed heavy on me how so many of us fall into this mindset that if the bible is not the first thing our eyes see in the morning or what our mind spends time with it’s a bad day, or even the extremities of how our minds wonder to placing us on this scale that doesn’t even exist deeming us a “bad christian” because we missed one day or a week in His word.

There is no score keeping, leadership board for the religious acts you do or the culture of christianity you play apart in. What matters is your heart.

The enemy wants to convince you are a “bad christian”, isolate you, and keep you in this nest of swarming thoughts about not being good enough.

..Okay now that we know what the enemy tries to do can you accept the grace from Jesus you have full access to and remind yourself you are apart of the winning team, the team that already won, and release whatever lie about yourself you are hanging on to.

The reality is you are going to get tired, you are going to hit an off week, your heart and soul are going to get tired — faith is not easy!

Spiritual disciplines like bible reading, quiet times, praying are a few of the best ways I know to grow in my relationship with my Heavenly Father —— but seriously what good is it to beat myself up every time I fall short of putting these things into practice.

There is a difference between guilt and conviction. guilt and shame for falling short are not from God, His arms are wide open ready to embrace you and wanting you to keep on. Conviction is that check engine light feeling, keeping us in lockstep with Jesus and away from things that destroy us by the Holy Spirit within us.

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” Romans 8:11

The SAME Spirit of God, lives in YOU. Lean on God always, in your strongest seasons and your weakest seasons.

Keep on. Shake up the routine when you grow numb to it. Read a verse a day — start somewhere.

When we feel that our religious acts have outweighed our affections for Jesus — reevaluate. Let that be your check engine light!

You are loved by God. You have access to a relationship with Him that isn’t rigid.

Please don’t wear the weight of having to be perfect inside of your relationship with your Maker, it will exhaust you.

Darcy Clark is a member of Team LO! She is a Jesus follower and friend to many. She enjoys coffee sipping, exploring, and writing. She is an aspiring author, current dreamer. Darcy attended Texas A&M University and has since moved to Louisiana to be a part of Team LO. 

Keep up with Darcy on Instagram @darcyclark!
Set Free

Set Free

Jesus has set us free, to stay free. We have full access available to us to soar on eagles’ wings and live a truly free life, but grace welcomes us back every single time when our race is hindered.

“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)

God lets us navigate life in sharp turns, narrow paths, curvy roads, and gut-wrenching drives because if He only allowed us to navigate life on one straight path, our affection for Him may be lessened. 

So, we are given a choice. A choice to love. A choice to choose what turn we make. These choices are what make life a journey. Some drives aren’t fun, some you are used to, some will take your breath away, and some will make your heart break.

I am thankful we are not left alone to navigate our way back from the paths we take that perhaps were not the right turn. It is through our lack of understanding in which road to take that God uses to boost our dependence on Him. Navigating life with God in the driver seat is a life maximized and joy and freedom.

This is the freedom we have access to live in. It is not an easy journey, but may we choose this every day. And, for the times that we don’t, or the times that we stray away, there’s an unending grace from Jesus. Won’t you come back?

Despite there not being an exacting guide on what decisions to make at the proper time, we have Jesus as our guiding light if we invite Him in. He is our shepherd guiding us along the pastures and rolling hills of life, not for the sake of experiencing less freedom, but experiencing more freedom. Freedom from hurt, heartache, and despair. Freedom from worldly things that will leave us broken. Freedom from the fear of missing out because the reality is that with God, we will never miss out on what our Creator has for us. With God, the Author and Omega, we will never miss out on His perfect plan.

Our abundance of choices is a measure of God’s love for us along the venture between earth and Heaven. He loves us so much, that He has freely given us the ability to make decisions. So, make a decision and put Him first in the process. He places people in our lives to help guide us. He places opportunities in front of us, but He doesn’t limit us to a list of multiple choices. Suppose we were on earth with an exacting itinerary. That wouldn’t be freedom, would it? Better yet, God has given us free will. The free will to choose, so yes, we have some lofty seeming decisions here on earth. Let’s not mistake this freedom as frightening, but a grand measure of the greatest love story we will ever know. There is no greater love than this. 

“At last we have freedom, for Christ has set us free! We must always cherish this truth and firmly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.” Galatians 5:1 (TPT)

This is the freedom we have been invited into, living life inside of God’s divine design.

Darcy Clark is a member of Team LO! She is a Jesus follower and friend to many. She enjoys coffee sipping, exploring, and writing. She is an aspiring author, current dreamer. Darcy attended Texas A&M University and has since moved to Louisiana to be a part of Team LO. 

Keep up with Darcy on Instagram @darcyclark!
Potential Beyond Your Comprehension

Potential Beyond Your Comprehension

Growing up it always puzzled me to hear the words, “you have so much potential.”  

I got this from my parents, mentors, close friends, and an occasional stranger in the midst of conversation. Maybe you can relate to hearing this. Maybe you can relate to the feeling of wanting that person who spoke those words to elaborate even more to maybe answer the thoughts of: ‘okay I have this potential, so what’s next, what do I do?’. 

Maybe you can’t relate though, so if you fall into this category there is one thing I want you to know which is the honest truth: You have potential. You were made on purpose and for a purpose by God – the same God who made the heavens and the earth. The same God who sent His son to die on a cross and raise to life all to be in a relationship with you. In order to fulfill your potential, you have to recognize that you possess it. Potential, that is. Lots of it.

The defintion for potential is: something that can develop or become actual.  

And the part where you come is the choice; the choice to believe you have potential and want to fulfill it. For my life and countless others, this desire to fulfill our potential is driven by the realization that we have a perfect, Heavenly Father who created us in His image and placed us here on earth for a purpose.

My prayer is that this truth never becomes cliche to you or me. I pray that every time you read this, or even myself, that we would be left in awestruck wonder. Genesis 1:27 says this, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” In the image of God, you were created! Jeremiah 29:11 says this, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Maybe you’re now in the category of feeling: ‘okay well I have potential, but I am too young!’  

Friend, Jeremiah 29:11 were words spoken by Jeremiah, who was only 17 when God called upon him to be used in His story! You are not too old and you are not too young to step into what God is calling you to do. The God of the universe took a moment in time to form your life. You are not here by accident. You are not reading this by accident.

We all need a reminder that we have potential. 

…potential to create something beautiful. 

…potential to make someone feel loved today. 

…potential to write the next best song. 

…potential to inspire younger generations with words. 

…potential to do something that is so beyond anything you can fathom.

Friend, you have the potential to live inside the arms of God’s love and grace. You have all that you need here, in this moment. Jesus is available to you now. Living life inside of God’s design and will for us is the beautiful and mind blowing truth that enables us to live a life maximized in joy, living out your potential. His word does not exist to be this rigid and exacting guide in life, but something we can build our life upon to live a life maximizing the potential and purpose He has placed in each of us.

I wonder what would happen if we all realized the value we have in our Heavenly Father’s eyes. I wonder what would happen if we realized that we have been invited into the greatest story of all time. The story that saves, that changes lives; the story of Jesus who stepped down from Heaven to face a death He did not deserve, conquer death, and pay the price for our sins that separated us from God. The story that saves and changes lives is the one God is inviting you into. I wonder what would happen if we allowed this to blow our mind?  

If you realize anything today, I hope you realize you have potential to do immeasurably more than you can imagine in and through Christ. The greatest thing you can do now, is live out the potential you have to make Him known. I can promise you this, if you draw nearer to Him, He will align all of your steps according to His perfect will.

God has given you full access to His goodness and a life maximized in joy and purpose. “For the Lord God is brighter than the brilliance of a sunrise! Wrapping himself around me like a shield, he is so generous with his gifts of grace and glory. Those who walk along his paths with integrity will never lack one thing they need, for he provides it all!” 

Psalms 84:11 (TPT).  God is your biggest fan. Have you ever thought of it that way? You have purpose and potential to be a part of God sized things walking with the One who made you. 

This current week is Holy week, the week leading up to Jesus on the cross, dying a death He did not deserve to bridge the gap that man created between us and God, now giving us full access to our Heavenly Father. Jesus, who defeated death for a relationship with YOU, also believes in you.

Maybe you are in a season where you feel like your life has no potential or there is no one around you who is believing in you. Can I just remind you today friend that you do not need other people to believe in you or approve of you? Jesus believes in you and is rooting for you, even when it feels like the wind is against you. Especially, then. You are chosen, called, adored, and invited into the Kingdom of Heaven. Dream and walk in lockstep with Him!

Way too often we get stuck waiting on the approval of others or the next door to fling wide open. The only approval you need, you already have from your Heavenly Father. Before you even do or say a thing, you are enough. You are enough because of what Jesus did on the cross, He is our rescue and biggest fan. He is our perfection, so we do not have to be. The pressure is completely off to be perfect or do things perfectly. You have grace accessible to you for future mess ups and a God who takes our mess ups and turns them into beautiful stories to tell to invite others in. And for the door that you are waiting on to open, what if we just knocked?

“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” Romans 8:11 (NIV). 

Live in remembrance of what Jesus did on the cross for you to step into eternity with your Maker. Live in remembrance that you have potential and you have purpose because the same power that rose Jesus from the dead lives inside you if you would just allow Him in. Jesus is knocking at your door to make your life something beautiful and He is the only one who can fill it with purpose. Will you let him in?

Darcy Clark is a Jesus follower and friend to many. Her hometown is Houston, Tx, where you can find her coffee sipping, exploring, and writing. She is an aspiring author, current dreamer, and spends most of her time in girls ministry through her local church. She attended Texas A&M University and has taken her schooling online now, since she moved to Tennessee and back to Texas this last year.

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