From Abuse to Addiction to Prison to Freedom: The Michael Molthan Story
After 25 years as a successful home builder, Michael Molthan found himself where he never thought he'd be: in prison. Then something happened.
(Note: This post appeared first on Sharon’s old website, SharonOutlawHillam.com.)
Sometimes you come across a story that touches you deeply. For me, this is one.
Before 2011, luxury home builder Michael Molthan had a thriving business. Financially speaking, life was good. But underneath the worldly success was a dark secret that haunted him: He was the victim of sexual abuse.
There is much in the news these days about sexual abuse. I don’t know the statistics, and I’m not sure anyone does because, my guess is, the majority of incidents go unreported.
Mine wasn’t. Why? It was seemingly such a small thing — just one minor incident of inappropriate behavior by an extended family member when I was 8 or 9.
Compared to Michael Molthan, who was repeatedly abused by his grandfather while growing up, mine is hardly worth mentioning.
Nevertheless, it was a big deal to ME! And if you’ve been a victim of abuse, you understand. Whether it’s neglect, verbal abuse, inappropriate touching, or possibly the most egregious of all — sexual abuse — incidents of this nature can truly mess you up and lead to countless repercussions.
Such was the case for Michael as he eventually found himself in a place he never thought he’d be: prison for a long time. After 27 arrests, he had hit rock bottom.
Then something happened.
Rather than me telling you about it, click the link below to go to the I Am Second website. Once there, click anywhere in the image (Micheal’s pic) to play the short video.
The Michael Molthan Story – an I Am Second film
Welcome to the Family
Powerful story, isn’t it? And what was the key that opened the door of his imprisoned heart and life?
The Bible — God’s living word!
After reading the Bible for only four days, instead of inner turmoil and constant pacing, he began to experience peace and an unusual calmness. Then one morning, this happened:
“I didn’t pray anything. I just sat up and took this deep breath.” And on July 7, 2017, Michael Molthan breathed out his hate, anger, and resentment and breathed in a new life.
“Wow! I feel so much love. Man, something happened!”
Yes, it did! At that moment, God gave Michael a new heart filled with Himself. He became a new person inside — he was born again!
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” Eze 36:26 NLT
The Apostle Paul said it like this:
When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun! 2 Cor 5:17 (TLB)
Jesus said it this way:
“I tell you the truth, unless you are born again (or born from above), you cannot see the Kingdom of God. I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.” John 3:3;5-6 NLT
“I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:34-36 NLT
Welcome to the family, Michael!
Healing Is a Process
You might be wondering if, in his “bright-light moment,” Michael was completely healed of the trauma of his childhood abuse and instantly delivered from his addictions. I don’t know the answer to that. Is it possible? Yes. Contrary to what some may say, God is STILL in the miracle-working business.
Most likely, however, his inner healing was a process and probably is still ongoing. Often, this is how God works in our lives. Some things take time to work through.
But the good news is He’s with us every step of the way — whether it’s recovery from abuse or addiction, healing, or simply navigating life in our crazy, messed-up world.
So whatever you may be struggling with today, He’s your answer. He doesn’t just have the answer; Jesus IS the answer. And what He offers us — a vital, life-giving relationship with Himself — is beyond compare.
“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.” Matt 11:28-30 TPT
In conclusion, here are some resources I encourage you to check out:
In his story, Michael said that he read the Life Recovery Bible — most likely the New Living Translation since he referred to it as the “Living Recovery Bible.” If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, then the NLT Life Recovery Bible would be a great resource.
Michael’s website is M2 the Rock. The Find Help page there has links to several recovery resources. There’s also a Contact page where you can ask for prayer.
Well-known Bible teacher, Joyce Meyer, was sexually abused by her father for many years and often talks of the struggles she had to work through in overcoming its debilitating effects. Her article, Life Beyond Abuse, is excellent and includes a 12-minute video clip of her sharing her story at a conference in Winston-Salem, NC.
My favorite online Bible website when on my desktop is BibleGateway. They also have a premium service called Bible Gateway Plus that gives you access to more than 50 Bible reference books, language tools, and devotionals for only $4.99/month or $49.99/year. Before I bought Logos Bible Software, I used it. Highly recommend!
When on my iPad or iPhone, I use the free YouVersion Bible app, which also includes many English translations. They also have audio Bibles. My go-to Bible for listening is their dramatized NLT Holy Sanctuary Audio Bible.
The last resource I want to mention is Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church by Christian psychologist and trauma expert Diane Langberg, Ph.D. I have not read this book, but I follow her on Twitter and recently watched a YouTube video of her speaking at the Restore 2022 conference in June. Her speech, Understanding Abuse of Power in the Church, is also available as a podcast at Julieroys.com.
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Special Notice: I am not affiliated with Amazon or any person or website I have linked to in this post. I provide the links for copyright reasons, for reference (so you can do further reading if you choose), and for your convenience only.
Brian Simmons, tran., The Passion Translation: New Testament (BroadStreet Publishing, 2017), Mt 11:28-30, Logos Research Edition e-book. Note that because the Passion Translation is not available on BibleGateway I cannot provide an active link for these verses. So here’s an alternative link to one of my favorite translations: Mt 11:28-30 AMPC