Prospective New Members: Christopher Ryan
As a church, we are excited about how God is working among and through us. One aspect is seeing people excited to lock arms as they seek to partner with us in Church Membership.
Please read the testimony of Christopher Ryan. Take some time to get to know him over the next couple of weeks.
If you are curious about what it means to partner with Knollwood in Church Membership or just want to learn more about it, consider signing up for our upcoming Next Steps Class.
I grew up in a very rough upbringing with family members being gang members and bikers. Broken home, never understood how to have a relationship with GOD and lived in SIN. “that I loved” I struggled with many different things like drinking and fighting. Spent time around the wrong people and also found myself in very violent situations. I should be dead and that led to me running into the wrong people when I moved to London. The people I lived with knew my family and they plotted my murder and attacked me and strangled me. I asphyxiated and remember drawing my last breath. When I was out of my body I could still hear, think, etc but was surrounded by darkness, slowly moving but felt as if I was being held. I began to hear voices and terror swarmed me the closer these voices became clear. It was the definition of fear. Symphony of torment is the best way to describe what I heard. I pretty much cried out and said I am not supposed to be here and was covered in light. All that fear and worry drove away, was shown myself changed and I am pretty sure my wife before I met her carrying my daughter or it could have been my mom carrying me but it was difficult to see her face. I was put back in my body and the people who killed me watched me come back in my body as they were standing over me. A voice actually spoke out of my mouth that was not even my own and said “This soul is not for you to take” I honestly thought I was still dead.
I remember assaulting them and running out the house to go get help from a neighbor. I knocked on a door next door and I couldn’t speak so he punched me. I think he was afraid of me because I might have come off as a druggy. I lost my memory at this point and woke up in a cell, confused. Ended up getting the police report stating they found me in the neighborhood talking about the kingdom of heaven and scripture. I had no place to go and my dog was still stuck at that house with them. They abused her horribly while I was at salvation army and found out they did at the house behind my back. I finally got humane society to get my dog out while I tried to find a place. The landlord had no idea what happened and sent my stuff to the Centre as all my money was tied up in school and first and last deposit. I was upstairs at sally in my private room and started going through my stuff and all my bedding and stuff was covered in dog waste. they neglected her and never took her outside or fed her. I was so broken at this point and did not care about my well being. I put her pillow on the ground and remember pulling out a cross that my mom gave me before I left to London. I pretty much hit my knees on my dogs pillow and have never been more real with myself and said GOD if you are not real I can no longer live. I do not want to live and you need to kill me. The very next day my depression and anxiety were completely healed. He was so tangible through the process of all that and I had complete peace and joy.
I never looked at anything the same again, creation, animals etc like scales fell off my eyes. My brother was also saved in prison and was gutted and dead for 30 mins. GOD spoke to him too and said “feed my sheep” When I was released from jail I was given conditions to do community work in which I met my wife. Her father is a pastor but she was actually not following Christ when we met and I invited her to church, attending open door at the time. I was so young in my faith so I was just caught up and needed reforming. I know that everything had purpose despite me being unfaithful and doing what the LORD had asked me. I know I should have fled from sexual immorality before we were married but she was extremely attractive. Still being blessed with a little girl born in a covenant. We were married and issues arose when I would have more bonding time with the rest of her family. Lots of emotional bullying going on towards her father from all three of them. I couldn’t really express myself or do what I was called to. I needed lots of support and healthy accountability stepping into my marriage. I never physically harmed my wife but I definitely hurt her by not being available emotionally the way she needed.
I also was not “abusive” just distant at times because I was learning to be selfless. I have still not fully healed from this and I further need support but I remained faithful and did what I was called to do. She chose not to reconcile and was unfaithful long before she filed for divorce. I am still not fully comfortable speaking about this but the outcome is me being here for my daughter. My daughter is a gift and I desire to raise her the way Christ would want me to. I know this is a bit run on at this point but I love GOD with everything in me and he knows at times I was not fair to her but I also was still growing. I will continue to pursue him for wisdom. Apart from him I am nothing, not legalistic by any means but I am reformed I am saved by his grace and his mercy. I was in his lambs book of life and he pursued me by his goodness mercy. I believe to be a Biblical absolutist and I will not compromise. My sanctification is in his hands and he will complete that good work in me
Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you. 2 May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry. 3 I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draws near to death. 4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like one without strength. 5 I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care. 6 You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths. 7 Your wrath lies heavily on me; you have overwhelmed me with all your waves. 8 You have taken from me my closest friends and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape; 9 my eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you. 10 Do you show your wonders to the dead? Do their spirits rise up and praise you? 11 Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction? 12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness, or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion? 13 But I cry to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you. 14 Why, Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me? 15 From my youth I have suffered and been close to death; I have borne your terrors and am in despair. 16 Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me. 17 All day long they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me. 18 You have taken from me friend and neighbor— darkness is my closest friend.