Salutations! My name is Joshua T. Hardman from Northern Ontario, Canada. With a grateful heart, I am learning the Bible at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about Studying the Bible, Click Here). I am a 43-year-old single father of a beautiful 9-year-old daughter. I was born in August of 1977 and the youngest of ten children.
My upbringing was like many in that era, where life was chaotic and filled with many ungodly things. My mother’s side of the family was French Roman Catholic. Thanks to my grandmother, we were introduced to the Lord at a young age. However, my mother had struggles that led us away from those teachings and God for a long time. When I was days away from turning 8, my father was violently taken from our lives and the earth. Therefore, for many years I was very angry with God. When I was about to turn 12, my anger towards the Lord was deepened when my Christian devoted grandmother was taken from us by cancer. Yet, with all the anger and turmoil within me, the Lord still sent His people to try and bring me back to the righteous path.
I want to tell you now that I followed His laws from that very first intervention. However, that just wasn’t the case for me. That’s not my story. My journey back to God was filled with many sins and detours along the way. Yet, no matter how far I seemed to stray, I always felt His presence guiding me home.
Furthermore, since a very young age, I’ve felt the need to help others. I would fulfill the needs of others even when I myself was so very lost. Coming to the Christian Leaders Institute, I have found that my top five spiritual gifts align with those attributes that I’ve always possessed.
Changes and Getting Back to God
Before my daughter’s birth, I really didn’t know if I’d ever find my way home. It wasn’t really a thought in my head. My daughter ended up being, for lack of better words, the Lord’s messenger for me. She brought me back to my spiritual path. I want a great life and an eternal life for her. So, remembering God’s teachings from long ago, I knew if I didn’t walk away from sin, my daughter would likely follow the same path. Nearly a decade has passed, and here I am now in training and learning the Bible at CLI.
Eternal life for my daughter is my number one spiritual goal. For myself, my spiritual dream is to walk with God and have my soul be at peace. God has always been real to me, and I have always known and felt his presence in my life. For a long time, I didn’t understand my anger or my traumas growing up. Why would the Lord allow such things to happen to a child? However, I now know without a doubt that my life’s journey through the darkness brought me to this moment in time. And, thanks to CLI, I have the knowledge that my pain was necessary. Then, I can understand and connect with others still lost in the darkness to help lead them back to the Lord’s light, and ultimately, to their eternal life.
So why am I here at CLI? Is it to be a minister? I am not sure at this time. I am learning the Bible and growing in my walk with God. So, all I can say for sure is that God led me here, and for once, I surrendered to His call. So, where He leads me, I will surely follow!