The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


The Moment that Changed Shaun's Life

By Randy Rudder
The 700 Club -“There were nightly battles that went on,” Shaun Hardin says of his childhood. “It was every single night, a big drawn-out violent confrontation, with verbal violence, physical violence, and substance abuse.”

Shaun Hardin’s childhood was filled with fear. His mother married eight times, and nearly all of her husbands were abusive, beginning with Shaun’s birth father. “When I was four or five years old, my father started to sexually abuse myself and my sister,” Shaun says. “My mom found out about this, and he ended up getting arrested. “That really started a process of me not trusting father figures or men, really, at all from that point. It really took a lot for someone to gain my trust.”
Her pattern of attracting abusive men continued. “Each relationship became more and more abusive,” Shaun says. “The substance abuse became worse also. There were drugs, different drugs: marijuana, and cocaine.”
The hostile environment took its toll on Shaun and his siblings. “It really caused me to become numb, to become really good at pushing feelings down and it caused me to really become very introverted.”
When Shaun was a teenager, someone invited him to their church youth group.
 “That was the first place that I really heard about God, and Christ and everything He had done. That was when I became saved,” he recalls.  
But Shaun became disillusioned when he sought advice from church leaders about the abusive situation at home. “A lot of times, the advice I got was ‘God will make a way,’ and ‘God has a plan,’” he says. “What it caused me to do was to think that somehow it was God’s plan for me to be sexually abused as a child, somehow it was God’s plan for me to deal with this violence and the drugs and things that were going on at home.”
Shaun began drifting from the church--and God. “It also gave me the view that Christianity was more about, you’ve got to survive whatever God throws at you,” Shaun says. “If this was God that was planning these things, then I didn’t know what He was going to throw at me next.”
After high school, Shaun moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  A talented singer, he got work performing in a show. He also fell into the party scene—and even further away from God. “I got as far away from God as I’d ever been since I’d been saved. I got involved with drinking a lot. It was the beach. It was a vacation town, so it was a party lifestyle,” he says. “I got involved in drugs. I was involved with all kinds of bad things when I was down there. I loved God and I knew that Jesus died for me, but I kept them at such a distance, because I didn’t really understand the relationship and how it’s supposed to work.”
Shaun’s parents and his younger siblings came to visit him for his 21st birthday party. That night something happened that caused Shaun to do some serious soul-searching. “My little brother and sister were upstairs sleeping on a sofa bed. When I went upstairs, there were two people there doing cocaine off the top of a TV that was about five feet from where my little brother and sister were sleeping,” Shaun says. “It was at that moment, that I realized that I had become exactly what I knew I was not supposed to become. I knew drugs and being that person was bad, because I had seen it. I knew that was not who I wanted to be. ”

Shaun knew he had to get back to church. “I realized that I needed to seek God and to figure out, ‘What is this really about?’ What Christianity is and what it means,” Shaun recalls. “I knew there had to be more to it than what I had heard or what I had learned.”
He eventually moved back to the Nashville, area, where he met his wife Lori, and found a good church. One Sunday, they heard a Bible verse that would change both of their lives. “That was the first place that I ever heard Jeremiah 29:11, ‘for I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future,’” Shaun recalls. “Right there, that one verse just blew everything about my faith out, because it says in there, ‘I don’t have plans to harm you.’”

“As we got more and more into the Word at church, as both my wife and I learned more about what God says about us, I began to start praying more, and really growing closer in my relationship,” Shaun says. “I was able to trust God in my marriage, to trust God for my happiness, for love—for one hundred percent of everything I needed, I could trust Him.”
Shaun and Lori both rededicated their lives to Christ. Shaun later joined the Nashville police force in the S.W.A.T. division. God also opened doors for him to use his musical talents as a worship leader.
Today, Shaun finally knows who he really is in Christ. “Like it (the Bible) says, ‘God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind,’” Shaun proclaims. “Now I know that I am not an abused kid. I am not any of those things that happened to me in my past. I am who God says that I am. My identity comes from God; my identity is in Christ and what He has done for me.”

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