My Journey to Freedom

My Journey to Freedom

My Journey to Freedom

On September 12, 2012, I made the longest walk of an addict’s life—the walk from the parking lot into my first 12-step recovery meeting. I was 44, and I had a golden calf residing in my heart—alcohol. I was an ordained pastor who knew that God had placed a special calling upon my life but never fully realized it until I put to death an addiction that controlled my life.

I entered seminary in 2005 knowing well that the Lord had called me to vocational ministry yet very perplexed why God would want a sinful man like myself. Nevertheless, the Lord had a plan. My venture into seminary was delayed for many years because of my difficulties dealing with anxiety issues. I had a fear of public speaking, which is one of the main functions of the pastoral office. I had kept my anxiety issue a secret for many years, and the longer I kept it, the more it grew. However, the voice of God grew louder in my spirit as I read and reflected on Jesus’ Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). I eventually came to a defining moment in my life when I decided I would no longer let fear control me. I would accept Jesus’ invitation through the narrow gate and dedicate my time and talents to the Lord.

It was terrifying to make that first “longest walk of my life,” but I began a healing journey that led me into seeing a psychiatrist. In the psychiatrist’s office, I learned the true meaning of the saying, “we’re only as sick as our secrets.” What I had kept bottled up for years held me a captive, making me powerless. During that time, I heard Jesus asking me two specific questions: “Who do you say that I am?” and “Do you believe that my power is made perfect in your weakness?” These questions made all the difference in my faith. From that point forward, I believed that Jesus has the power to save! This unwavering faith delivered me from the bondage of anxiety and would carry me successfully through overcoming functional alcoholism.

Today, I celebrate eight years of sobriety from alcohol and proclaim the testimony of what brought me to the Church of the Nazarene—entire sanctification! Through the lucidity of this spiritual state, I have come to understand and believe in God’s plan all along—my call to build a ministry known as Soul Flight.

Soul Flight is a transitional discipleship program for women suffering from chemical dependency, emotional disorders, abuse, and homelessness. In this mission field, in the streets and treatment centers of Dallas, Texas, the harvest is plentiful even though the workers are few. God revealed His plan for me in this ministry after I accepted Jesus’ invitation through the narrow gate and put to death the idol of alcohol addiction. Working alongside other graduates and volunteers, the program brings recovery awareness to women struggling with addiction and encourages others in similar situations to seek help. I have accepted this call to shepherd those that are on their journey to freedom in Christ.


Marty Hill is pastor and executive director of Soul Flight Ministry, a Nazarene Compassionate Ministry Center in Dallas, Texas, USA. He holds a master of divinity degree and has over 30 years of professional experience working with the homeless, the mentally ill, and those that struggle with addictions.