Mike & Julia’s Story

Testimony of Mike Quarles

The Strange Odyssey Of a Legalistic Preacher Who Became a Drunk, Discovered Grace And Was Set Free.

When I became a Christian in 1970 at the age of 33, I was really excited. This was what I had been looking for all my life. At last I had peace and something to live for. I hit the ground running. I went to church every time the doors opened. As Bill Gillham says, “If you had tied the average Baptist to me I would have dragged him to death.” I wanted my life to count for God. I pursued preparation for ministry with determination and zeal.

I was the President of a local Stock Brokerage firm, but I gave that up and headed off to seminary. How could I not take the message of eternal life to a lost and dying world? I graduated from seminary and went into the pastorate. It was my custom to spend at least an hour a day in Bible study and prayer. I memorized chapters of Scripture. I fasted and prayed. I read hundreds of books and listened to numerous tapes. I went to every conference that came to town. I went to Gothard so many times I lost count. I witnessed enthusiastically to anything that moved. It was my duty — how could I do less? My children didn’t like to ride in the car with me because I would pick up hitchhikers so I could witness to a captive audience. Julia, my wife, didn’t like to go out in public with me because I would witness to strangers while we were waiting for our ice cream cones in Baskin-Robbins.

I tried to do everything I had been taught in order to live the successful Christian life. What was the result of all this? My wife and children didn’t respect me because in my zeal to make them be good Christians, I became legalistic, harsh, and unloving. My marriage was a mess and my personal life was a shambles. I came to the realization that everything I had learned about living the Christian life just was not working for me. Finally I came to grips with reality and left the pastorate and went back to being a stockbroker. I became the manager of the E. F. Hutton office in Birmingham, Alabama and soon was making more money than I had ever made in my life. But I felt like such a failure. I felt I had failed God, my wife and children, and my church. I turned back to my old ways of dealing with my problems and began to drink. In a short period of time I became a full-fledged alcoholic. I didn’t plan to be one and began trying everything I knew to stop, but nothing seemed to help. This is what I tried:

  1. Consistent Quiet Time
  2. Bible Study
  3. Fasting
  4. Visitation Evangelism
  5. Christian Twelve Step Program
  6. Accountability group
  7. Hundreds Of AA meetings And Five Different Sponsors
  8. Christian Counselors
  9. Christian Psychiatrist
  10. Secular Psychiatrist
  11. Christian Psychologist
  12. Secular Psychologist
  13. Addictions Counselor
  14. Flew To New Jersey And Spent Three days With an Addictions Specialist
  15. Secular Treatment Center
  16. Christian Treatment Center
  17. Read Every Book On Addiction I Could Find
  18. Healing Of Memories Session
  19. Baptism Of The Spirit Session
  20. Casting Out Of Demons Session (Twice)
  21. Public Confession
  22. Group Therapy
  23. Took The Drug Antabuse
  24. Disciplined By My Church
  25. Rigid Schedule With Every Minute Planned
  26. Hundreds Of Hours Studying Scriptural Principles
  27. Memorized Chapters Of Scripture
  28. Discipleship Groups
  29. Prayer
  30. Promises To God And My Wife

Why didn’t any of this work? All were things I was doing in the flesh and “sinful passions are aroused by the flesh” (Rom. 7:5). Whenever we commit ourselves to a program, rules, method, principles, etc. to perform, we put ourselves under law and the law is what gives sin power in our lives (1 Cor. 15:56). Paul didn’t say, What will set me free, but “WHO will set me free?” (Rom. 7:24). There is no “What” (program, treatment, steps, plan, method, etc.) or anything you can do that can set you free, but “if the Son sets you free you are free indeed” (John 8:36). Where did all of this get me? I became totally out of control. I was depressed for days on end and suicidal. I was like the Prodigal Son — all I wanted was out of the pig pen. I had given up on being a good Christian and the idea of ministry seemed like a cruel joke. Jerry Clower, the Mississippi comedian tells a story that illustrates my predicament: Jerry and his buddy Marcel were out coon hunting one night and treed a big coon. Marcel climbed up the tree to shake the coon out, but when he got up there he found out it was a lynx, not a coon, and it gets after Marcel and is about to tear him up. Marcel hollers down at Jerry, “Shoot, shoot, this thang is killin me.” Jerry hollers back, “I’m afraid to shoot, I might hit you”. Marcel hollers back down, “Shoot up here amongst us, one of us has got to have some relief.” That describes exactly where I was. Now that was a very painful place to be, but exactly where God wanted me. I have since learned that God’s purpose for us is to bring us to the end of ourselves and our resources so that we can begin to trust Christ to be our resource and our life and to really live by faith. 2 Cor. 1:8,9 sums it up, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, we despaired of life. Indeed the sentence of death was in our heart. But that happened that we might rely not on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead.”

Someone has said that it is when we have shot our last bullet and spent our last buck that God is able to work in our lives. There is no possibility of freedom, peace, victory and joy without coming to the end of self. The way up in the Christian life is down; revival is not the roof blowing off, but the floor caving in. Grace always flows downhill and meets us at our point of need — at our failure. Grace cannot be merited or manipulated. It is only available for those who have experienced total, absolute bankruptcy and failure in their own self and resources. Does God have an answer for addiction? Is there really any hope for the person who seems to be hopelessly enslaved? Is there such a thing as the victorious Christian life? I lived in constant defeat. My struggles seemed to be more intense and my defeats seemed to be more disastrous than most, but I really didn’t know many, if any, Christians who seemed to be free and living the victorious Christian life. No one seemed to have any answers for me.

As I look back now, I see that not only did I not have a clue as to the solution, I didn’t have a clue as to what the problem was. Dr. Bill Gillham, in his book Lifetime Guarantee, puts it like this, “The problem is you don’t know what your problem is. You think your problem is your main problem, but that’s not the problem at all. The problem is you don’t know what your problem is and that’s your main problem.” [1] What is the problem? The problem is not the bad behavior but the belief behind the behavior that causes us to act that way. Our behavior will always be consistent with our beliefs. What that means to the alcoholic and the addict or anyone in bondage is that their problem is not drinking alcohol or doing drugs or whatever, but it is the belief (really misbeliefs or lies) that causes them to act the way they do.

When I teach a weekly class at No Longer Bound, the Christian Treatment Center in Cumming, Georgia, I make it a point to say every time, “If you have a life-controlling problem, an addiction, etc. and want to be free, do NOT look at the addictive behavior, but look at the beliefs that cause you to continue in the self-destructive behavior.” As I reflect on my struggle to be free, it is amazing to me that I didn’t question my beliefs and my theology. I did try a lot of different things, but I stubbornly held on to some established beliefs that kept me from being free. Why did I do this? Because I had been taught the “truth” and I was convinced that my problem was not my beliefs, but my inability to put them into action. As far as I knew I had tried everything there was to try. Everyone had given up on me. My pastor later told me, “I didn’t know anything else to tell you.” Finally a close friend, Charlie Jones, handed me some tapes and said, “Here, listen to these, maybe they’ll help you”. I had listened to a couple of these tapes before and thought, “I don’t want to listen to these, this theology doesn’t agree with mine.” (See what I mean about stubbornly holding onto old beliefs?)

Then another thought came into my mind and I know now God was speaking to me, “Your theology is not doing you much good!!!” There was no denying the truth of that so I made what would be one of the best decisions I would ever make — I would listen to the tapes with an open mind. However, I went out and got drunk again. The next morning Julia strongly suggested that I go visit some friends out-of-town and give her a break. It seemed like a good idea so I packed a few clothes and headed to Lookout Mountain to visit our good friends, Jack and June Fagan.

I was driving along listening to the third tape, which was “Co-crucifixion is Past Tense”. Bill Gillham was teaching on our death with Christ. Rom. 6:6,7 says, “For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” What is this? I have died with Christ and I have been freed from sin? That’s what I need, but how do I make that true in my life? Then Gillham was saying, “It is not something you do, it is something that has been done; our death with Christ is past tense, the old person that we were ‘was crucified’ and ‘anyone who has died has been freed from sin’.” And then he said, “You ‘died to sin’ (Rom 6:2), you are ‘dead to sin’ (Rom. 6:11). I know you don’t act dead to sin, you don’t feel dead to sin, you don’t even look dead to sin, you think that is just a positional truth, that’s just the way God sees me, that’s just what God says about me. Listen, if that’s the way God sees you, that is the way it is. If that is what God says about you, that is the truth about you.”

It was at that moment that the lights came on and in that moment I knew the truth. I knew I had died with Christ and the old sin loving sinner had died and was no more. Oh I had believed the lie and acted like it for all these years, but that was not who I was. I now knew the truth was that I was dead to sin whether I acted like it, felt like it, looked like it or anyone else believed it — because God said I was. I also knew the truth that I was free, “….because anyone who had died has been freed from sin” (Rom. 6:7). Jesus said, “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). I had believed the lie that I was a hopeless, helpless alcoholic and had lived in bondage all the years that I believed it. But less than 24 hours away from a drunk, I knew without a shadow of a doubt, that I, Mike Quarles, was a child of God who was “in Christ”, because I had died with Christ, was dead to sin and had been freed from sin. Free at last, free at last! Praise God I was free at last!!!!!!!!!

Rejoicing in my discovery of this truth and my freedom, I ran in to Jack and June’s house shouting to them that I was free. I grabbed the phone and called Julia and tried to explain to her what had happened. She thought I was on another wild goose chase and wouldn’t even hear me out. It didn’t dampen my enthusiasm though as I knew who I was in Christ and that I was free. I have never doubted it since that day! You may ask, how could anyone who had been in bondage for years and was drunk the day before be set free by listening to a tape? Actually listening to a tape did not set me free, but believing the truth that was taught on the tape did set me free. The truth is that I was free and had been ever since I became a Christian, but I had believed a lie about who I was that effectively kept me in bondage. Neil Anderson likes to ask the question in his conferences, “How many died with Christ?”. Most, if not all, raise their hands. Then he asks, “How many are free from sin?”. Then he says, “It better be the same hands because it clearly states in Romans 6:7, ‘Anyone who has died has been freed from sin’.” All Christians died with Christ so all Christians have been freed from sin. Now if they don’t believe they have been freed from sin, they will probably not act like it. We always act according to our beliefs, according to who we believe we are. That is why the issue is always identity. If you don’t know the truth about who you are “in Christ”, it doesn’t make any difference how much scripture you know and how many discipleship programs you are in or how much you pray or how long your quiet time is or how accountable you are.

Harry Houdini, the famed escape artist from a few years back, issued a challenge wherever he went. He could be locked in any jail cell in the country, he claimed, and set himself free in short order. Always he kept his promise, but one time something went wrong. Houdini entered the jail in his street clothes; the heavy metal doors clanged shut behind him. He took from his belt a concealed piece of metal, strong and flexible. He set to work immediately, but something seemed to be unusual about this lock. For thirty minutes he worked and got nowhere. An hour passed, and still he had not opened the door. By now he was bathed in sweat and panting in exasperation, but he still could not pick the lock. Finally after laboring for two hours, Harry Houdini collapsed in frustration and failure against the door he could not unlock. But when he fell against the door, it swung open! It had never been locked at all! But in his mind it was locked and that was all it took to keep him from opening the door and walking out of the jail cell. [2] Christian, the door to freedom is not locked — it was opened wide when Christ died on the cross and you died with Him. Not only have you been crucified, dead and buried, but the new creation that is you was raised up with Him ( Eph. 2:6). What does it take to walk through that wide open door to freedom? All it takes is for you to believe the truth. “It was for freedom that Christ set you free…” (Gal. 5:1). But if you believe that you have to work and sweat and strain then God will allow you to do that until you collapse in frustration and failure as Harry Houdini did. That is exactly what happened to me.

Watchman Nee puts it like this, “Oh, it is a great thing to see that we are in Christ! Think of the bewilderment of trying to get into a room in which you already are! Think of the absurdity of asking to be put in! If we recognize the fact that we are in, we make no effort to enter.” [3] Finally, what did I do to gain my freedom? You may recall that the day before I came into my freedom I had been drunk. The answer is that I did not do anything. I simply believed God. I believed that I had died with Christ (Rom. 6:6), and as a result I was freed from sin (Rom 6:7). You will notice that both of those verbs are in the past tense. What I am saying is that these things had been true of me ever since the first day I became a Christian. Of course they are true of every Christian. During World War II, Lieutenant General Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright was commander of the Allied Forces in the Philippines. Following a heroic resistance of enemy forces, he was forced to surrender Corregidor and the survivors of the Philippine campaign to the Japanese on May 6, 1942. For three years he suffered as a prisoner of war in a Manchurian camp. During his internment, he endured the incessant cruelties of malnutrition, physical and verbal abuse, and psychological mind-games. Through it all he maintained his dignity as a human being and soldier. But after the Japanese surrendered the war, his captors kept Wainwright and the other prisoners incarcerated — the war was over, but the bondage continued. One day an Allied plane landed in a field near the prison and through the fence that surrounded the compound, an airman informed the General of the Japanese’s surrender and the American victory. Wainwright immediately pulled his emaciated body to attention, turned and marched toward the command house, burst through the door, marched up to the camp’s commanding officer and said, “My Commander-in-Chief has conquered your Commander-in-Chief. I am now in charge of this camp.” In response to Wainwright’s declaration, the officer took off his sword, laid it on the table, and surrendered his command. [4]

There is absolutely nothing you can do to make these things true in your life. They are already true. God has done it. The prison doors have been opened wide. Will you believe God and by faith walk through them and experience the freedom Christ has purchased for you? “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1, NIV).

___________________________

  1. Bill Gillham, Lifetime Guarantee, Harvest House
  2. Don McMinn, Spiritual Strongholds , NCM Press, Oklahoma City, OK, 1993.
  3. Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton IL, 1977.
  4. Don McMinn, Spiritual Strongholds

Mike and Julia Quarles can be contacted at FreedFrom@bellsouth.net.


Julia’s Testimony

The decision had been made. It was radical. It went against everything I had been taught and in turn had taught in my nineteen years as a Christian. The last five years with Mike as an alcoholic had been a type ofhell. It was like living on a roller coaster that was out of control. After eleven and a half years of marriage, I had finally told Mike that he had to move out and that I never wanted to see him again. I was exhausted physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially.

During those five years, I had tried everything I knew of or ever heard of to help Mike quit drinking. I lived walking on eggshells trying to not irritate him. I took over his responsibilities. I had almost become a non-person in my pursuit of hanging on, trying to fix him and tolerating wrong behavior. He was more miserable than I was. He wanted to quit. He had tried everything that was ever suggested to him. Just before the drinking started we had renewed our wedding vows. I had promised God that I was committed to Mike and to our marriage. In these last five years I had tried and tried to hold it together. Did God really want me to live this way? I had been determined not to give up. I had finally realized that I needed to try to salvage the little bit of sanity and self-worth I still had. I needed to pull the emergency lever of this roller coaster while I still could.

Mike was gone. January of 1985 was bitter cold in Birmingham, AL. Mike was living in a Christian Treatment Center in North Carolina for two months. Our marriage was over. Even though my heart was heavy, it felt good to have made a decision and carried it through. My motions were mechanical as I went to work, ate tasteless food and faced life alone. Night after night I built a big fire and sat in front of it. It was a relief to not worry about Mike drinking and driving. That he would kill someone with his car had been one of my worst fears.

I wanted to believe that God was with me and that He did love me even if my life didn’t show it. I felt like I had failed God yet I desperately wanted to mentally crawl into His lap and be held. Would He let me? Did God really love me? If so, why was my main goal in life — to have a happy home and marriage — destroyed? My first husband, Bradley Fulkerson, Jr., had died in 1969 after a three and a half year battle with cancer. We had become Christians during those years so I knew he was in heaven but my dream life had been cut short. God had proven sufficient for me and had taken care of me and my little boy in the years after that as I learned to be very dependent on Him. I often spoke at Christian Women’s Clubs telling our story of faith and trust in God.

Then I met Mike at our church. We seemed to have the same desire for a godly marriage. He had given up a successful business to go to seminary. He was gung-ho for God. He seemed to be the perfect husband for me! Now I had concluded that God had let me make a huge mistake. Either He didn’t love me much or I was so wicked in my heart that he had to keep allowing difficult situations to keep me on my knees before Him. It was very confusing and depressing to me.

I thought about the bitterness I had hidden in my heart for many years, bitterness against Mike and other people that I felt failed us. I hated facing the deceitful way I had been with family and close friends, although they all knew about Mike’s problem now that he was gone. It seemed like I had “worn a mask” of godliness and contentment for years. My deception was now uncovered.

Night after night I sat by the fire alone. Gradually God helped me see that the sin in my heart was just as displeasing to him as Mike’s outward actions had been. It was startling to realize that even though I thought I looked like a wonderful Christian and even more so compared to Mike, in God’s eyes we were on the same level. Sin was sin and I was forced to look at mine.

When Mike called, I would slam down the phone. I needed to stay emotionally apart. I didn’t want him to interrupt what God was showing me. He started writing me. One day he called and before I could hang up, he begged me to listen just a few minutes. I did, reluctantly. He said God was teaching him about why he had failed as a husband. He was studying a book, The Marriage Builder, and he wanted me to read it. I was insulted! After all I had done to salvage our marriage and all he had done to destroy it! He wasn’t demanding though. I bought the book.

After a few weeks, he asked me to visit him. Was he crazy? What if God really was working in him? I honestly wasn’t ready to face the possibility of living with Mike again. I wanted his life cleaned up, but I didn’t want to let him back in our house. I had been hurt enough. I told God I knew it was He who works in us to will and do of His good pleasure (Phil 4:13) and that if this was the direction He was heading, He would have to work on my “willer”. Over and over I prayed for Him to make me “willing to be willing to be willing to do His good pleasure”. It had taken almost five years to get to the point of making him leave. It seemed too easy for him to go away for a couple of months — then come right back. But I kept telling God I was willing to do what He wanted.

The weeks alone were wonderful in a way. A healing slowly worked in me. My reason for feeling insecure, unsettled and apprehensive was gone. The fear and strife that tore at my emotions from all the tension and verbal abuse began to ebb and I began to rest and relax. After several weeks, Jack and June Fagan, our dear friends in Atlanta who had known what was going on with us all these years, said they would drive me up to visit Mike. I was nervous about seeing him again, especially in that environment. When I saw him, I was surprised that he didn’t complain about where he was and what he was doing. He laughed a lot. The change intrigued me.

During the next few weeks, I decided I would trust God and let Mike come home. He resumed his job as a stockbroker but his heart wasn’t in it. People with addictive problems started calling him and he counseled them and sent them to Christian treatment centers. It was like a job but he wasn’t making any income. Since I was always the responsible one, I decided it was up to me to solve our financial problems. I got a real estate license and started selling houses. We were still off balance in many areas of our relationship, but it was better than it had ever been. We were surprised to find an openness and freedom between us we hadn’t experienced before. I learned to transfer my trust to God to work in Mike, not to trust in Mike not to mess up again. Mike was God’s problem, not mine.

Something was still missing though. God had done so much healing and we were accepted and loved by our family and friends. For three years I saw evidences that God was working but it became more and more difficult to overlook Mike’s restlessness and anxiety. Finally he confided in me and our close friends, Ruth and Charlie Jones, that he was still fighting the battle to drink. We were exasperated and felt helpless. I again started hiding my fears and my feelings and the truth of what was happening. “God, where are You? I’m trying to trust you! What is going on?” Mike got so discouraged after a night of drinking that he resigned from his ministry and from his part-time preaching job. Then he just sat in a chair in the living room in a state of depression for days on end.

Finally in desperation, Charlie gave Mike some tapes by Bill and Anabel Gillham. “Here, listen to these. Maybe they’ll help you,” he said. A few days later, he went out drinking again. I was devastated. I told him I needed a break. I suggested he go visit Jack and June who were now living in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. He called me as soon as he got to the Fagans. “God has shown me THE answer!” “Not another one,” I said, slamming the phone down. He called right back. “Please listen to me. I’m free. I’m really free.” “Sure, sure Mike”, I said. “I don’t want to hear about it. Give me a break. Quit bothering me. Don’t call me back.”

When he came home a couple of days later, he was more excited than I had seen him in years. He wanted me and everyone else to understand what had happened. It was like he had found a pot of gold — only better. He said he had finally learned the key to life and peace and victory. He listened constantly to the Gillham tapes. I got interested from his enthusiasm. His freedom from the bondage to alcohol and depression drew me. I wanted to know what was changing him.

I started listening to the Gillham tapes myself and hearing teaching I had never heard. I was dead to sin and alive to God? Jesus loved and accepted me just like I was? I didn’t have to perform for God? There was nothing I could do to make Him love me more? Nothing I could do to make Him love me less? The light came on for me that my good looking flesh is just as smelly to God as Mike’s bad flesh. God isn’t interested in strengthening either kind of flesh. God wanted to exchange His life with me. What great news! The Gillhams helped me see how I had known Jesus as my Savior and even my Lord but not my LIFE. What a difference!

In January Mike and I, along with Ruth and Charlie, attended a three day Exchanged Life Seminar in Montgomery, AL. We hung on to every word taught. This truth began changing us individually and as a couple. All the years of suffering and strife and confusion and unrest and madness started melting away as we renewed our minds in the truth of our identity in Christ and our position and authority in Christ. Why hadn’t we been told this before? Mike was the seminary graduate, the Bible scholar, the one who spent hours and hours in the Scriptures. We had been asking God to show us the way out of this hell for years. Why did He wait so long? For a while I was plagued with questions. To know more of this truth became my focus.

The Gillhams became my daily companions by tape and video. I listened on my Walkman when I walked and anytime I was in the car alone. It became a continual daily feeding on this truth. So much that I had been taught and even had taught didn’t line up with this. I had known that Jesus died for my sins but I didn’t know that I died with Him to the power of sin (Rom. 6:6,7). I learned that He gave His life for me to give His life to me so He could live His life through me.

We gathered a small group to watch the Gillham videos on Friday and Sunday nights. God was slowly teaching me. I saw that the things I thought were “normal Christianity” were law and that I had lived under law for years. I saw that what I considered “me” was my flesh and that my natural way of responding to life was in my flesh, and that I didn’t have to let my flesh control me anymore. In January of 1990 we moved to Atlanta when Mike joined the staff at Grace Ministries International. As we became friends with the staff families and interacted with them, God bathed my scarred heart and mind and emotions with His truth and His love through these people. . .

Having a godly husband and a happy home seemed like great goals — but they needed to be desires and not goals or rights. I learned that you can’t set a goal that can only be reached by someone else’s cooperation. Those were doomed to failure. Surrendering your rights to God is not dying to your desires and wishes. It is giving up the control of someone else’s behavior. I had a warped view of God and an inadequate understanding of grace. That began to change when I learned who God says I am in Him and how much He loves me. I had been a Christian for almost nineteen years before I started learning this. I thought the only thing settled at the cross was that my sins were forgiven. I had missed the other half that I was in Christ and He was my life!

A giant issue that I had to deal with was forgiveness. I felt like I had forgiven Mike 70 x 7 times as it says to do in Matthew 18:22, but it seemed there was always a need for more. As I became aware of God’s limitless forgiveness of me, I realized there should be nothing I couldn’t forgive Mike for. Not only forgiving for specific incidents though, but forgiving for all the effects of the incidents, to hold nothing back so that a root of bitterness wouldn’t grow. Forgiveness is possible even in the midst of the difficulties. Sometimes I would cry in the shower so I could have privacy. Then I would determine that I was going to choose to forgive him again. I realized that if I nursed the bitterness and anger, if I held on to it, I would be the victim more than he. It wasn’t worth it.

Forgiveness is a choice we make. I needed an open relationship with Jesus and I didn’t want to block it with unforgiveness. I learned to leave the consequences up to God . . .

As I look back on those awful years, I know God allowed them to mold me and make me and to teach me His truth. Sometimes I want to ask Him why He took so long letting me learn this, why so many mistakes had to be made, so many things had to be lost — but now I realize that so much more has been gained.

Now I know . . .

  • Who I am in Christ — I am a dearly loved child of God.
  • That I have worth and value because I am in Christ.
  • That God doesn’t require a wife to put up with sinful behavior.
  • That I didn’t have to be a doormat in the name of submission.
  • That sometimes love means saying no. Some love must be tough.
  • That God is not impressed with outward behavior; He looks at our heart.
  • That taking on someone else’s responsibility only fosters more irresponsibility.
  • That emotional, mental and verbal abuse is as damaging as physical abuse.
  • That if something is not true — then it is a lie and is from the father of lies.
  • That only God can change someone else.
  • That God did not want to strengthen my strengths; He wanted to bring me to the end of myself and my resources.
  • That the past is past and the pain can be dealt with, but only by forgiveness.
  • That relinquishing my rights is the way to face the future.
  • That God did know and care about what was going on in my life.
  • That I do not have to perform to please God and to get His acceptance.
  • That I am unconditionally accepted and deeply loved by God.
  • That God does work all things together for His good and His glory.

It is a joy now to work with Mike with Freedom In Christ Ministries and to pass on to other women this truth that sets you free. God is a God of hope and of restoration. “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” has always been one of my favorite hymns. I have sung it to myself and to God many times. It is so true. “Great IS Thy Faithfulness”! I praise God He has taught me these truths plus much more. It was worth going through it all to learn this and to have the relationship with God and with Mike that I now have. Truly this is the abundant, victorious Christian life!

Mike and Julia Quarles’ ministry web site is http://www.FreedFromAddiction.org