Fully Man | Daniel Hardy Jr: Look At My Boy

Daniel Hardy Jr. is a current 2nd Year BSSM student, who I have the honor of knowing and being in the same Revival Group this year! He is from Anchorage, Alaska, but has made Redding, California, his home with his wife, Mariah. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications at the University of Idaho and hopes to pursue his Master's. Daniel's story is one that holds God's love and redemption of a son willing to lead in the Gospel while integrating creativity and connection. Daniel carries hope, joy, and love so well!! I know Daniel to be an incredible man of God, one who covers and moves just as Father God does. The following is Daniel's story answering the question, When was the moment you realized you were becoming a man?

Hello, my name is Daniel Hardy Jr.

I want to start off by sharing a poem. The title of this poem is: Look At My Boy

Sure he's a man, yes, there's a beard 
Indeed he is handsome, and sure, he is weird.

But look at his life! Look how he loves! 
He looks just like Me, spreading peace like a dove

But there's more for you Daniel, just take hold of my hand. 
Remember the poem, footprints in the sand?

I have always been there, and I always will be, 
Spread your arms and jump into the depths of the sea

You learn how to swim, now learn now to fly,
Taking risks when I'm present is like eating a pie

Sweet potato that is, your favorite of course,
It's gonna be fun, like driving a Porsche

So don't worry about perfection, it's okay if it's messy
When you step into who you are, it will even bless Me.

Look at my boy! He's the apple of My eye,
I care about completion, but I love when he tries.

That was the first poem I wrote in my Creative Arts class during second year at BSSM. I've always played around with words, and I love poetry and hip-hop, but I had never before taken proactive steps to grow in this specific area. Although it had felt like something I was gifted in, and definitely something I was passionate about, I allowed fear and doubt to suffocate that idea of pursing Spoken Word.

I wanted to start off with a poem, because it's very vulnerable to share your art with people, especially publicly! And when I think of the question, "When was the moment you realized you were becoming a man," so much of that process is inextricably connected to vulnerability, and making decisions even when they're scary.

I grew up in a household with 2 parents, and I knew they loved me. It took me much longer however, to discover how emotionally shut down they were. This inevitably had a profound effect on me, and I learned to bottle up my emotions. I didn't ever feel safe to fully express with my parents, or anyone really, what I was so unaware of what was going on within my heart, that even when I matured into a young adult, I would react to pain in extremely unhealthy ways.

This is common for all people, but I would say in some ways even more so for men. From an early age, young boys are force fed the idea that manliness looks like being macho, strong, being sexually desirable, and being unaffected by pain.

What perpetuates these stereotypes? Society... pop culture... friends... maybe our parents? Did you ever hear these words: "Stop crying before I give you something to cry about!"


"Boys don't cry! Man up!

I don't think I really grew into manhood until I learned that crying was a gift. Some things in life happen to you that are so painful that the only way to heal is to give your heart permission to grieve. I didn't know I could actually do that. That I could give my heart permission to feel, process, and let go. At 33 years old, I've cried more in the last 8 years fo my life than the previous 25 combined, and I'm a much healthier man because of it.

It's obviously vulnerable to cry, so I learned how important it is to invite Holy Spirit into that process with you. (For the record, it's very beneficial to invite God into everything you do!!). It was amazing knowing I'd be comforted by the Great Comforter Himself, God our loving Father. There's nothing like getting wrapped up in His wonderful Presence like a warm blanket after a good cry.

When the floodgates of tears were finally opened, so were the gates of my emotions. I'm still very much a work in progress, but I finally was able to feel things. I heard God more clearly, and I felt more empowered by His Spirit. By His power and grace, He gave me the strength in my weakness to get free from pornography and being promiscuous. I made the bold decision to wait until marriage before I had sex again. I never did before, from the ages of 16-27, but I knew what I wanted and I trusted God in that.

I knew I was becoming a man when I took ownership of my messes and was willing to clean them up. I remember contacting women I had been with, telling them the truth for the first time, and asking for forgiveness. I exposed my dirt and my faults. Talk about vulnerability and doing things that scare you!! But I wanted to continue walking the path of vulnerability and reconciliation that the Lord has (and still has) me on.

I knew I was becoming a man when I told the girl I wanted to date my darkest secret. The thing that I thought would push her away. I was so scared to tell her, but God reminded me of something. He said "I want you to tell her son." And I said, "No way God!! She'll think I'm disgusting and gross. She'll leave me!" And Jesus responded by saying this "Even if she does leave you Daniel, I never will."

Wow. I knew I was becoming a man when I learned how to be a son. I want to be obedient and please my Heavenly Father. Thanks be to God, 6 years later and I'm not married to that girl He empowered me to be vulnerable with.

Those are just some of the examples I can give, but I'll finish with one more. You know you're becoming a man when you realize that this life isn't about accomplishing things and arriving at a destination. Rather, it's about abiding in Jesus Christ. We can't do anything of true value and sustain it without Him.

From a Grateful Son,
Daniel Hardy Jr.


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