I am happy to introduce Chris Johnson Knudsen!
It was such a pleasure to sit down with Chris on her back porch in Yukon, Oklahoma on a beautiful sunny morning. I will admit that I got emotional listening to her story. What a story it is. I honestly feel like she should write a memoir. It’s taken me a while to be able to sit down and write this because honestly, I feel like she should be typing this out. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to come up with the right words to express how far she has come and how hard she has fought to beat her demons. But, I will try and then in a few months, Chris will be sharing her testimony in her own words.
Chris’s mom passed away when she was 10 years old. From that day on she was trying to fill a hole in her heart: drugs, alcohol, and men. At age 17 she took off on a Greyhound in New York and traveled to California, making stops along the way. She says she loved the feeling of showing up in an unknown town and walking into an unknown bar and being able to get all the alcohol she wanted with no money in hand. She continued traveling by Greyhound across the United States until she met her first husband who she would have 3 kids with.
Husband number 2, who was physically and emotionally abusive, introduced her to the needle. She shot up heroin and cocaine, overdosed multiple times and sent her kids to Missouri to live with their dad. Her kids thought they were only going to stay for the summer, but Chris never went back.
In 2003 she went to prison for manufacturing meth. In prison she learned compassion, patience, discipline and most importantly self forgiveness. She got a job as peer coordinator for HIV awareness, she taught self esteem classes. She did so well they let her go to her brother’s funeral and sit with her family.
When she got out she stayed at the Exodus House for the 9 month program. She got a job, began healthy relationships, attended NA, got a sponsor, and bought herself her first ever brand new car. Her son gave her her 10 year and 13 year medallion. In November she will celebrate 14 years. Today she able to make a living amends to her three children and to her sister who she cares for in the home they share in Yukon.
There is SO much more to her story that I will let her tell you about in her own words. Thank you Chris for letting me come to your home and ask you all the personal questions. You are an amazing lady.