From Addiction to Deliverance

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For Michael Voiles, drinking started off as a way to relax. He’d use it to socialize and let loose. A drink with friends, a sip here and there, a glass of wine to celebrate a milestone—it was normal and seemed harmless. Michael lived his life this way for years. But one day Michael woke up and realized that the occasional drink with friends had morphed into a drink before bed every night, and a sip here and there became too many drinks for one night. A drink to celebrate turned into a drink because he was angry, a drink because he was sad, a drink when he wanted to, and drinks when he didn’t. Over time, Michael's life had become utterly chaotic and completely controlled by alcohol, and he hadn’t even noticed.

I can’t describe to you how it feels to be an alcoholic

As his drinking compounded over time, Michael’s faith began to dissipate. It eventually became easier to drink his life away and ignore the consequences than face the harm he was causing to others. It seemed like the only person who still cared about him was his wife. Every day, while he was out drinking, she was praying. Faithfully she cried to God, asking him to soften his heart and lead him back to church. Despite the years of hollow promises and empty bottles, she held onto hope. But to Michael, it was hopeless. It seemed impossible that he could conquer the anxiety, the fear, the feelings of uselessness, and the incomprehensible demoralization that came along with being a slave to a substance.

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Things wouldn’t change until the day that Michael woke up in the hospital. Groggily he opened his eyes to the repetitive beeping of a heart monitor, the subtle sting of an IV, and the smell of fresh bandages. There in the hospital bed he learned that he had broken his back and pelvis, and was covered in lacerations. In that moment he couldn’t deny that he had reached a breaking point. If things didn’t change, he knew he would eventually lose his family, and likely his life.  

I was at rock bottom. Even though my faith had slipped away, my wife faithfully continued to pray for me.
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Michael had hit rock bottom. But it was there, in the loneliest moment of Michael’s life, that God spoke to him. As he was laying in the hospital bed, he felt a wave of calm rush over him and heard the words, “Give this to me, I can do this.”

In one moment, Michael’s life was forever changed. He knew God was calling him home—back into the healing, loving embrace of Jesus. He knew he was being called to surrender his drinking, and his entire life, to God.

The day he was released from the hospital, Michael and his wife he went straight to Radiant, prayed with a pastor, and Michael recommitted his life to Christ. Despite the circumstances and stains of his past, Michael knew that he was truly a changed man.

Today Michael is proud to share that since his hospitalization he has not consumed a single drop of alcohol, he has healthy friendships, has joined a Radiant Community Group, has been baptized, and his marriage is thriving. Not only has he recovered from alcoholism, but he is now a better father, husband, and son of God.

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“I am here to say that if you find yourself struggling with any area of your life, there is nothing God can't carry you through.” –Michael Voiles

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