My name is William Knudsen. I was born in April of 1969. The first 10 years of my life I
Witnessed and was subjected to mental, physical, and sexual abuse and violence no child should ever see; as well as the death of my mother, due to drugs and alcohol. As a result of this, I was put in group homes, foster homes, and reform schools at the age of 8. As an adult starting at age 18, I began the first of my 7 prison numbers, accumulating approximately 17 years of my adult life locked up. I was roaming through life, broken as broken can be, and lost in the world of chaos that I created. Last year in February, life started taking a different turn for me. While in jail, my eyes began to open to the word of God. I was led to Romans 7 where Paul talks about the struggle with sin. And as I began to look more closely into the contents of the Bible, the words came alive for me. I saw all my struggles in life were there.
Wanting to understand more, the more I studied, the more answers I received. In my immaturity, I found out how easy it is to take back my will after giving it to God. Three months back into my addictive sinful behavior, I was once again involved in an incident that would almost cost me my life.
On October 6, 2017, I was life flighted from Norfolk, Nebraska to Omaha with a collapsed lung from three stab wounds to the back and a would-be fatal stab wound to the head where the knife was broken off and lodged through the skull. In order to remove the blade, a piece of my skull had to be removed with it.
By the grace of God and his amazing healing power, I found myself here at Open Door mission exactly 30 days later. As we learn that nothing is coincidence, I must share how fast this happened. 6 days in the hospital, 11 days in jail, and I picked up an application for the New Life Recovery Program. When I called to bring the application in, Pat told me, ” Bring your things and be ready to start.” I was amazed at how quickly this was happening. I also remember my Parole Officer telling me, “Don’t think you are going to wait 2-3 months to get in to a program.” So, reluctantly, I showed up November 6, 2017 to start my new life.
After a few days here, I sat down with my case manager and explained to him that this was not what I was expecting. So, Jake told me to give it a week. If I still feel the same, we will try finding something else. After a few more days, I forgot all about leaving. I immersed myself into classes and studying the word. Another 2 weeks and I unexpectedly received the Running the Race award. So, to better understand what this meant, I read how Paul describes running the race. And being a long distance runner, I immediately understood perseverance. And for me, it was always a push to the next mile. Life is the same way.
Before I knew it, I began to see the blessings Pat talks about, such as the restored relationships with my son, my daughter, and as well as the relationship with their mother, as well as my family, who I hurt with my behavior.
God has blessed me. I program that paid $85,000 to cure my Hepatitis C. He has blessed me with the ability to be able to hike up a 14,000 ft. mountain, and the feelings and emotions of that are beyond words.
But most of all, he has placed in my path a support team of Godly men and women to help me continue my walk with him.
It didn’t matter that this took eleven days shy of a year to achieve this goal to graduate, because now I have committed myself to the next two years with Steve Frazee, Open Door Mission’s Senior Program Director, in the TUMI Urban Ministry program so I can learn how to minister and be a productive disciple for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And I thank him for each and every member of staff at the Open Door mission.
It is difficult to pick a favorite scripture when so many have meaning for me. But every day is a battle. There are things from my past that still need worked on, there are people who still remember the old me and are still going to condemn me for these old ways. So every day I must armor up with the whole armor of God.
So I will leave you with Ephesians, 6:10-18, Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
New Life Recovery Program Graduate