In this first edition of Family Friday here on the blog, I thought it would be fitting to introduce myself and let you know some more about me. I’ll even through in some of the unusual things about me.
For starters, my name is Chris and I’m 40 years old. I grew up in the small town of Finksburg, Maryland. (Raise your hand if you’ve heard of that one.) I attended Carroll Christian Schools from K-5 all the way through 12th grade. I lettered in basketball and baseball for 4 years each. Don’t let that fool you. I wasn’t that great at basketball, but going to a small school made it a little easier to make the team. We did manage to win the state championship my senior year, so that was cool to be a part of. Now as far as baseball goes, I was pretty good. Nothing overly special, but I could play. In my senior year, I hit .471 and as a pitcher, I went 4-0 with a 1.12 ERA.
Now for oddball fact number 1. I graduated a year early. I spent 6 weeks in first grade.
I grew up in church. My faith has always been a huge part of my life. In conjunction with that, music has also been a big part of my life. I started singing in church when I was 3 or 4. One thing led to another and between ages 5-11, I traveled up and down the east coast singing southern gospel music. We even had a bus that we would travel in.
We stopped traveling to allow me more time to focus on school, but also because I was diagnosed with migraines. Unfortunately, I still suffer from them even to this day. Don’t ever tell me that it’s ‘just a headache.’ You might not like my response.
After high school, I attended Lee University in Cleveland, TN where I would earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music (percussion emphasis) and a Master of Church Music. My time at Lee would help prepare me for a career as a Worship Pastor. Something else really important happened while at Lee, however. I met the love of my life, Elizabeth (Beth) Latham. We went on our first date on 10/2/2001, we were engaged in November of 2002, and then on November 15, 2003, we married. I definitely married up.
I have served as a worship pastor in South Carolina and now in Virginia. We have been here in Virginia Beach for almost 4 years. I love having such an amazing woman by my side to help me in ministry. She was most certainly made for me.
We have two beautiful daughters. Carrie is 14 and Hannah is 11. Both are absolutely amazing young women and we are so proud of them.
Now for some random bits of information.
I am a runner. I started running in 2015 to lose weight. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision ever going beyond a 10k in my running. To date, I have completed 9 half marathons (13.1 miles) and 2 marathons (26.2 miles). I have learned so much about myself from my time out there on the streets. I figured out that I can push my body far beyond what I think I can.
I am a huge fan of the North Carolina Tar Heels. This makes for some interesting days in the house with Beth being an equally huge fan of the Clemson Tigers.
I am also a huge Disney fanboy. For that matter, I really love pretty much any theme park or amusement park. I consider myself a roller coaster enthusiast (123 credits) and am so happy to have passed off that passion to my oldest daughter, Carrie. During the summer months, there’s a good chance that you’ll find us at Busch Gardens or Kings Dominion riding coasters. I can’t wait to head back to Disney for Christmas this year.
Finally, I have to talk about the people that raised me. I was blessed with amazing parents. Duane and Gerri Darling helped to shape me into the man I am today. They sacrificed many times to make sure that I had what I needed. A few years back my world was rocked. In the spring of 2017, Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. He would pass away on July 12 of that same year. Mom had a laundry list of health issues. After Dad passed away, she pretty much lost the will to live and on March 15, 2018, Mom passed away. Those 8 months are very difficult to even talk about. I wouldn’t have gotten through that without the support of my family, my church, and most importantly, my God. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss them. I will see them again, and I look forward to that reunion.
Well, that’s enough about me. Comment below if you have any more questions and I will answer anything that I can in future editions of the blog. Don’t forget to subscribe to make sure you don’t miss an entry. You can also follow The Journey of Ascent on Facebook and Twitter.