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 –
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!