The following is the blog post that was copied from the old LeBlancLife blog.
I’m at home tonight and the house is pretty quiet. Olivia is sleeping and Jack Johnson is playing in the background over the blackness of 3am that’s coming through the windows. A small lamp lights half the room enough for me to wade through things that haven’t been touched in nearly 2 years. If you listen really closely you can hear the drops of tears falling on the wooden surface of my dresser top.
I’m going to guess that most of you are reading that expecting my tears to be for things lost. Yes, I have shed many tears for things lost…but tonight my tears aren’t for things lost at all. The tears I cry are out of an overwhelming sense of gratitude for how God is rebuilding my family; for what he is giving us, not what he has taken. See, I’m going through the remainder of Misty’s things and separating out some stuff that I know I want to keep for Olivia. Here’s what gets me though… Only a few days ago, I sat with Kristin (who I have been dating for a few months now) and she told me all the things she knew Olivia was going to really want when she gets older. Kristin, for all intents and purposes, lost her mom at age 8. A massive stroke left her unable to care for herself or even know her family. She grew up with a burning desire to know the character traits, the funny stories, the likes and dislikes, etc. of her mom. She knows exactly what Olivia will be feeling in the coming years. I’m in tears because God has brought someone into my life that could sit with me and tell me from first hand experience what will be most significant for Olivia.
Most people would think that my dating will in some way bury the memory of Misty. How incredible that God puts someone in my life that not only won’t hinder Olivia’s knowledge of Misty, but that will actually facilitate it. This was a prayer of mine. A prayer that God is answering in a way I couldn’t have imagined possible. As I see God’s hand so clearly in my life, I can’t help but be overwhelmed.
There were actually a handful of things that I put out to God as “criteria” for me to start dating. God has answered each of these very unique requests in Kristin and in more than one case, he has answered in a way that is better than I could have even dreamed. I wish I could adequately express how this feels…I guess it’s like, for the first time in many painful seasons; I’m seeing God’s hand so clearly in my life. He is so clearly making a way out of the hell we walked through toward a future of peace and joy for me and Olivia. God has brought someone into our lives that is absolutely perfect for where we are and where we are heading. And on top of that, I’m seeing that we are precisely what Kristin needs as well. And if that weren’t enough…we are totally unequivocally in love 🙂
I hope that your heart is happy when you read this, but I know that for a few of you this just opens a wound that struck so deeply last September when we lost Misty. I’m so sorry that this brings pain for some of you. God has really done something in my heart to allow me to be where I am right now. I’m so thankful for what he is doing for me and even more so what he is doing for Olivia. God is speaking so clearly lately; I promise to tell you more in the coming weeks.
The following comments were copied from the old website database:
Becky January 3rd, 2010 4:54 am
Darren, I am so glad to hear where God is taking you and that He has brought someone into y’all’s life that can understand what you have been through, especially Olivia. That makes my heart so glad! My continued prayers with y’all as your family is rebuilt and grows.
Patricia Jordan January 3rd, 2010 7:36 am
So happy for you, Oliva and Kristen. God is so good and faithful.Prayers are anwsered.
Deb L January 3rd, 2010 8:38 am
Darren, I’m so happy for you – you are truly blessed. Isn”t it awesome that God knows what we need even before we do? So many people don’t find that type of amazing relationship once – it is unfathomable that it can happen a second time… And yet He provides. Seeing what He’s doing in your life is truly giving me encouragement.
laura January 3rd, 2010 1:07 pm
darren, thank you for your recent update. as i read your words today i got goosebumps. so happy for you!
Kelly Gilham January 3rd, 2010 6:19 pm
Very happy to know God is still moving you!!! Continue to soak it all in…always enjoy reading your words…puts a smile on my face.
Valerie Trimmer January 4th, 2010 12:56 pm
It is such a blessing for me to see what has and is happening in you, Livi and Kristin’s lives. Ya know when I saw the three of you together, I just sensed a wonderful way that only God can do. Thank you so much for sharing. This is a hope for all of us Christians to hold on to, even when we are in deep trials, that it will all work for the good and perfect will of our Lord.
Happy New Year, Darren, Livi and Kristin. Love, Valerie
Lisa January 4th, 2010 1:41 pm
Life is for the living. You will always have your memories and your God to guide you.
Peace to you in the New Year!
Stacy Rapp January 4th, 2010 2:27 pm
God is the master choreographer. It is so wonderful to see how He is blessing you and helping you and Olivia honor Misty while learning to love someone new.
Sheri Brooks January 4th, 2010 8:05 pm
I’m so happy for you. I haven’t written in a long time, but I’ve checked in on you and Olivia from time to time. I lost my son, Caleb, last August. I pray that his fiance, Dana, will find love again, just as you have. I know it’s God’s perfect plan for you to find a mate. She sounds wonderful! Can’t wait to see some pictures of you all together. Always listen to your heart, Jesus dwells there.
Emilie Olson January 5th, 2010 10:13 pm
Your email is so touching and I feel such joy and happiness for you and Olivia. Kristen sounds like a true gift from God. What an amazing blessing for you both.
Brenda Delaney January 7th, 2010 10:08 pm
: ) So happy for you. Literally a match made in Heaven!!
jill January 9th, 2010 6:33 pm
So eloquent. I want you both to know how happy I am to see that your together <3 🙂 God is so so so so so so so good to us.
cassey January 10th, 2010 10:36 pm
“Love one another”, so nice to see you doing so 🙂
PW January 11th, 2010 11:34 pm
I have never met you but have followed your story for about 2 years. I am not surprized that God has met your every need and detail in dating(Kristin) Love to watch you be thrilled with God’s plan for your life. I have my own story and love watching God in others.
victoria January 13th, 2010 10:26 am
i have to admit when i first heard you were dating again i was a little sad….and i’ve never even met you or misty. However, i am so happy that God has given you the precise amount of time you needed to grieve before filling your life back up with love! God truly is amazing!
Courtney Anglin Girdwood January 13th, 2010 2:00 pm
SOOOOOOO happy for you Darren.
Yvonne Moss January 13th, 2010 9:17 pm
Amen to the goodness of our Lord, who leads us on our paths.
Jackie J January 13th, 2010 11:29 pm
I was with Jasmine today and we’re both so happy for all of you!!! At first when we heard about your news we were really suprised because we didn’t know that you we’re dating for so long but that was because we haven’t seen you in awhile 🙁 but I’m so happy that I was able to read your blog today and I’m so happy God has blessed you and Olivia with Kristin!
Alisha January 14th, 2010 9:18 pm
I met Kristin at Capital Health and she is a sweet person and when I saw your news posted I went to the picture of the three of you and it lead me to your link and I have read your story for the first time. You are truely a amazing person and so is Kristin and I am can only wish the both of you and your sweet little Olivia a life full of happiness and joy. Your story you wrote here brought tears to my eyes as you never really realize the power of the lord. Good luck and god blees and I am very sorry for the loss of your Wife Misty she sounded like a wonderful women as well.
Ellen Tyler January 18th, 2010 9:30 pm
Makes me think of the scripture Eph. 3:20 “Now unto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think..”. Glad he is performing that in your, Olivia and Kristen’s life.