Let Go and Let God!

Let Go and Let God!

By A No Longer Bound Resident

The fallout from the hectic holiday season is starting to settle — and thus begins the busiest time of year in recovery. As we welcome the many new faces onto No Longer Bound’s campus, it takes me back to the beginning of my recovery journey last summer, forcing me to reflect on the challenges I faced.

After arriving at No Longer Bound (once the brain fog started to clear and I was able to establish a routine) the first concept that stuck with me was the concept of “surrender.” It made logical sense to let go of my old ways of thinking, implementing that paradigm shift was a challenge.

After talking to other men in the program, I realized I wasn’t alone in this struggle. Many guys who were much farther along than I faced similar difficulties surrendering.

While letting go of control and submitting to the will of a higher power contradicts our conditioned beliefs, seeing men’s lives change before my very eyes showed me what’s possible when we step back, pause, and yield to God.

I witnessed broken relationships being healed, men confronting challenges with newfound courage, and others breaking through their barriers to grow in ways they never expected.

For me, surrender is a continuous process that I have to work on daily. But it’s a game changer when it comes to my relationships. I had a lot of negative beliefs keeping me from expressing my authentic self to others, and surrender meant letting go of those false beliefs and being real.

This is all summarized perfectly in Matthew 6:31-34:

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

In short: Let go and let God.

Mike Harden Honored by U.S. Representative Rich McCormick

Mike Harden Honored by U.S. Representative Rich McCormick

On Friday, January 5, 2024, No Longer Bound celebrated founder Mike Harden’s induction into the Georgia Veterans Military Hall of Fame with a special award ceremony led by U.S. Representative Rich McCormick.

The program was attended by dozens of No Longer Bound alumni as well as local veterans, community supporters and the current residents of No Longer Bound. Also in attendance was LTC Michael Mizel, President of Johns Creek Veterans Association who sponsored Harden’s nomination. According to Mizel, Harden is the only inductee into the Hall of Fame to ever receive an unanimous vote from the state-wide committee.

Senior staff member Bill Eubanks interviewed Harden on his journey from Vietnam to Washington D.C., into the pit of addiction and through the spiritual transformation that led him to founding No Longer Bound. The two men reminisced on the hardship of building an addiction treatment program from the ground up, telling many stories of needing food and resources and how God always provided.

Harden said you would think the hardest challenge would be raising money. But for him, the hardest thing was always the men who didn’t make it. Early on, he asked God if He would take credit for the men who didn’t make it, saying he would take credit for the men who changed their lives. But God answered that He would take credit for both or Harden could take both.

“So, I gave them all to God,” he said.

One attendee asked Harden what he is most proud of today as he looks back at his life’s work.

“The greatest honor is to see a man come to Christ,” he said. “To lead a man to Christ, there is no other miracle that equals that.”

For 33 years, No Longer Bound has been a refuge for men in addiction, providing one full year of residential treatment, family recovery and job skills training. It is estimated that over 1,500 men have transformed their lives on No Longer Bound’s campus since Harden founded the program in 1991.

Military veteran and United States Representative Rich McCormick said, “For those of you who have never been in the Marines, a Marine expedition unit is about 1,500 people, reinforced. What you can do with 1,500 people is unbelievable.”

Harden celebrating with current residents of the program. Photo by A.J. Pekarek.

Mike Harden Inducted into the Military Veteran’s Hall of Fame

Mike Harden Inducted into the Military Veteran’s Hall of Fame

On Saturday, November 4, 2023, No Longer Bound’s founder Mike Harden was inducted into the Georgia Military Veteran’s Hall of Fame for his service to the community.

The press release for the event said, “Immortalizing Great Americans, One At A Time!”

It’s hard to look around No Longer Bound’s campus today — with all our beautiful buildings and dedicated staff — and imagine what Mike fought through in his early years of saving men from addiction.

It had to be a lonely battle. There are many stories of him not having enough money to keep the lights on or not having enough food to feed the men. Even today, when Mike stops by campus for lunch, he looks up at the lights and asks about our electric bill.

All those years ago, when Mike scoured the streets of Atlanta to help men battling addiction, he wasn’t creating an addiction treatment program or starting a nonprofit. In his gratitude for what God had done in his life, he was honoring the scared commitment our U.S soldiers make to “leave no man behind.” He was fighting to save other men.

Throughout Mike’s years of leading No Longer Bound, he leaned on a verse from Isaiah:

“ . . . the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.”

The passage ends with:

“In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.”

It is estimated that we have more than 1500 “great oaks” in our surrounding community today, men living transformed lives, free from addiction, pointing to the faithfulness of God.

And for that, we are both grateful to God and grateful to Mike.

We look forward to celebrating Mike on our campus in January.

Youth Ministry Now The Focus of Sawyer Green, NLB Grad 2015

Youth Ministry Now The Focus of Sawyer Green, NLB Grad 2015

When Sawyer Green reflects on his middle and high school years, he says he didn’t know who to go to for help.

“My dad was working long hours. My brother married and moved out. I didn’t have anyone who I felt I could ask for help.”

In Sawyer’s junior year of high school, he started drinking and using drugs. But he says the process of walking away from his knowledge of right and wrong started a few years earlier, when he transitioned from private to public school.

“December 7, 2014 was the day I finally asked for help,” he said. “I was 27 years old and had been to a bunch of different treatment programs. In those short-term programs, I just wanted to get out of trouble. This time, my emotional, spiritual and physical health were at a demolished rock bottom. I was at the lowest low I could imagine. And this time I actually wanted to stop.”

When Sawyer arrived at No Longer Bound, the Assistant Program Director was a young man he had known in addiction.

“Graham had become so happy and successful and full of joy,” he said. “Seeing his transformation was very hopeful to me. In addiction he seemed worse than me. It was very inspiring to hear other men talk about how he was helping them change their lives.”

Ultimately, the freedom Sawyer felt from becoming fully known gave him the desire to help others have that same experience.

“Talking openly to others, not having to hide who I was, the structure of work—I bought into all of it. I wanted to be a part of the life change happening at No Longer Bound.”

Sawyer's North Point youth group

Sawyer, far right, with one of his North Point youth groups.

Sawyer graduated from No Longer Bound in 2015, then stayed on for a year as an intern. From 2017 to 2019, he worked as a counselor. It was 2018 when he began leading teenagers at North Point Community Church.

“They ask for a four-year commitment, and that commitment has helped carry me through the difficult times of serving teens. COVID was hard, especially as my guys were getting driver’s licenses. But over the past three years, some of my guys have made incredible transformations.”

Sawyer says his time at No Longer Bound, helped him understand how he got off track as a teenager.

Sawyer is celebrating his first anniversary

Celebrating their first year of marriage!

“I was about their age when I was struggling with normal life things—changing grades, changing schools, my brother going off to college. I didn’t know I could ask for help. At No Longer Bound, I learned people need validation for their struggles.

It’s a lesson he now  employs frequently. “I validate my guys, so they know it’s okay that what they’re going through is hard.”

In addition to serving teens, Sawyer also serves the Recovery community through meetings, service work, and sponsorship.

There’s something personal that means a lot too.

“And I am just finishing up my first year of marriage,” Sawyer added. “My primary goal now is to be a great husband. And I want to finish strong with my Inside Out guys. After that, God hasn’t given me next steps yet. I just plan to keep serving and maintaining my recovery while being honest with God, self and others.”

Your financial supports helps NLB continue to transform lives.
In many instances, the transformation ripples
not just throughout this life but for eternity. 

The Ripple Effect of A Transformed Life

The Ripple Effect of A Transformed Life

“People have three needs: to be heard, to be understood and to valued. If you listen well and are fully present with the person your with, then you access their heart and you can sew a seed. That has been my mission and my calling for 20 years, but it all began at No Longer Bound.”

The road Rand Eberhard traveled to that realization was a rocky one.

In seventh grade, Rand started drinking and using drugs. For the next ten years, his life spiraled out of control.

“The facades I developed as a teenager—funny guy, tough guy—became my false foundation. I set aside all my moral boundaries and said, I’m going to run this thing and do what I want to do.”

In Rand’s final semester at Milton High School, he was kicked out.

“I was chemically dependent and emotionally a wreck. All of my income was going toward my substance abuse. I even lived homeless on the side of the Chattahoochee River for a time, so I could use drugs.”


A 2002 NLB grad, Rand Eberhard.

Rand’s heart began to change when a young mother came to buy drugs from him and brought along her children. “At that point, I became troubled,” Rand said. “Even in my party world, I knew I was dividing a home.”

Soon after, while working at a grocery store, a customer shared a Bible verse with Rand.

“For the first time in my life, I believed it,” he said. “It cut me to the core and exposed my brokenness and my selfishness. But instead of condemning me, it gave me hope.”

As Rand considered changing his life, his probation officer gave him the opportunity to interview at No Longer Bound, and then enroll. “It was there I began taking an honest look at myself and my addictions and, most importantly, at God.”

At No Longer Bound, Rand learned his addiction was a response to a deeper issue. He began keeping a prayer journal. For the first time, he developed empathy for the needs of others and a calling to be like the men who spoke the word of God into his life.

But Rand’s newly developed passion lacked formal credentials.

“When I graduated No Longer Bound, the only education I had was a certificate from DUI school,” he indicated. “But I got my GED then attended Bible college, graduating in three-and-a-half years with a degree in Biblical studies. I knew I wanted to work in the ministry of reconciliation, and I knew I wanted to work in prevention with young people.”

The transformed life was initiating its ripple effect, starting to transform others.

First God gave Rand the opportunity to work in urban ministry in Atlanta, then He opened the door for Rand to join the staff at The Church of the Apostles, which was founded by Dr. Michael Youssef. After years working with hundreds of students in downtown Atlanta, Rand ultimately earned his Master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Rand acknowledged the consequences of his early life.

“Some of the drugs I used took a toll on my mind. I am now dependent on a continual connection with the spirit of God. Without that, it wouldn’t be possible for me to be a dad, a husband, or a person who is about the Lord’s work.”

Today, Rand is Associate Director of Congregational Care at the Church of the Apostles. He says the theme of his work is hope, healing and harvest.

“My goal is to affect people for hope, so they can find pathways to peace, all so they become restoration workers and sowers of the Gospel.”

That is the ripple effect of a transformed life.

Your financial supports helps NLB continue to transform lives.
In many instances, the transformation ripples
not just throughout this life but for eternity.