Ryan's life

(By: Ryan Caldwell)

My name is Ryan Caldwell, and this is my life story. I unknowingly cooperated with Satan in trying to destroy my life, and God saw fit to keep that from happening ... just in time. If you are miserable inside and drugs of various kinds and other addictions have control of your life -- please take the time to read this testimony. My prayer is that God will use it to help you grab hold of the only key that will set you free and save your soul. No one is promised tomorrow in this life. Eternity awaits us all. Please care about your eternity.

I grew up in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. I was the youngest in a family of four. I was raised in a home filled with love and without the presence of alcohol or drugs. At the age of seven or so I began to visit my friends down the street to play. Some were my age, with the exception of some young adults around the age of 20 or so.

Little did I know that I would very quickly be exposed to the things that have nearly destroyed my life. As I would leave, my parents were sure that I was in a harmless environment. Within a short time I had seen it all. I sat on the couch as I viewed sexually explicit videos. I really wanted to try this "weed" they were smoking, but they said, "Your lungs aren't through growing yet." But what about the beer and liquor, I'd sure like to drink that. "Oh no, not now," they said. As a young kid I saw these older guys as my best friends and role models. They were older than me and I could hang out with them, and man they were cool, so I wanted to do exactly what they did.

Five years later when I was 12, I began smoking cigarettes. Before long my mother had caught me many times, but I didn't care. I began to rebel even more and did exactly what I was told not to do. Within a short time I had a collection of pornographic material, and a stash of alcohol.

When I was 14, I finally got my chance to smoke pot, and loved it.

I worked as a cook, and always supported my habit. A habit indeed I soon had. I was smoking all day, every day. My parents found it over and over, and I'd turn right around and get more. Grounded or not, I'd get it. The loving family atmosphere soon diminished as my words and actions destroyed it. Now that I couldn't do as I pleased, I lashed out in anger by breaking windows, arguing, and being very destructive. This continued through high school. 

During my senior year cocaine came across my path one day. I sniffed it and it was the best feeling I ever had. I bought a bag, then another, and another after that. Within three days it had taken control of my life. The next morning my mother brought me to school and I ran away. 

I had to get away from everything around me, especially cocaine. The next day they located me outside town, and I entered a drug rehab facility where I finished my senior year of high school.

I returned and I stayed clean for a week. Drugs came across my path again and I gave in. I was 17, and I was grounded for the next two months 'till I turned 18. Within the next six months I lost everything. I wrecked my truck, lost my job, and began to live from here to there wherever the party was. I became a heavy drug user of various types of drugs. Whatever came my way I had to have, and as much of it as I could get. Drugs were all I lived for every day. One fix after another. I became very thin, and I had three overdoses in a month. 

One night a friend and I were very intoxicated and broke into a store. I was told there was $3,500 in the store. There was $20. If there had been that much money in there, I'm sure I would've killed myself with the drugs I was going to buy.

A week later I was arrested, and locked up in Virginia for six months. During this time I turned 19 behind bars. Being imprisoned had changed me in a way that I could gain some self control. But I got with the wrong crowd again, and a week later I was arrested for marijuana, and drinking under age. My father bailed me out, and a week later I got a drinking and driving ticket. My Father bailed me out again. 

Now I stayed away from everyone and got a job, and began to attend a local college. Everyone thought I had stopped using drugs but I hadn't. I had to take drug tests once a month for four years. I would carry in someone's urine every time, because I would test positive. As I would pass each test, it showed that I was staying clean.

After class I would get high, and after work I would get high.

Smoking marijuana everyday was the norm, but I always loved to have some cocaine, crystal meth, pills, or anything else to go with it. Within the next three years I became heavily addicted to cocaine, and crystal meth. Three times I had help from others to aid in my recovery, but I always went back. 

I soon moved in with some college friends and rented a house. We partied all the time, and began using a lot of drugs. Then we started selling them, and that brought even more drugs around. I was now 22, and still on drugs with no direction. There were many of us that hung together, and we'd all get high. From Oct - Dec. of 2005 five of my friends died from drug overdoses. I would see them yesterday, and they were dead today. 

One of my close friends was 20 yrs old. I told her she was taking too much and to slow down because I was there at one time, and it wasn't worth it. A week or so later she didn't wake up. This was it for me; I couldn't do it anymore because my time was coming if I didn't stop. 

So I did stop, and my friend Angela came over that day and talked to me about my friend, because I was quite upset. She said, "I know I'm okay, and when I die I'm going to heaven." 

She looked at me and I couldn't say anything, but just look at her. I became real scared and uncomfortable. And she talked to me a little bit about Jesus, but I was bit reluctant about it, so she eased off, and I left quickly! 

I thought to myself: Why? Why am I running -- it's real. Eternity is real, and forever. So I thought about it, and I couldn't comprehend it. 

Once I thought about God and heaven, I felt His presence immediately. I felt it right outside my chest. I felt like God was right there saying, "Ryan, just let me in." 

For three days I was in a war. I was crying, and listening to the devil on my shoulder, saying, "Oh come on -- you can come to God later; let's have fun," ... but God was calling me to make a decision about Jesus Christ -- about where I would spend eternity.  

So I moved home December 17th, 2005. 

My Father and I talked 'till 3 a.m. I told him how I felt about God, and that I needed Him to help me. My Father shared with me the gospel of Jesus Christ and that He died for my sins, and if I believe that He is the son of God, and that He died on the cross for my sins, and rose from the grave the third day, that I would be saved. So I believed in Him with all my heart and asked Jesus to come into my life and be my Lord and Savior, and to take control and show me the way.

With many tears being shed, I came off my knees, and I felt like a new person, and I knew I had been saved. That following Sunday, on Christmas Eve, I was baptized, and professed the Lord as my savior. 

Now let me share with you how God has changed my life. Since that night I've had no desire to use drugs and alcohol. He's given me a life to live with hope, and the strength to say no. I now live a clean life as I patiently seek what God has in store for me. He's blessed me with a great job, a vehicle, and things I need in life. Before I had nothing, and now I have Jesus and He is the reason I live today. 

Because of His mercy I'm still alive, and by His grace I have a Savior, and when I see Jesus it will be worth it all. It's worth it all now ... not to be a slave to addictions ... and to know that I wasn't given the chance to live this life in the first place just for self-gratification. Neither were you, dear reader. 

This life is our testing ground - our proving ground - our opportunity to let God have first place in our daily lives to use it as He desires. Heaven and Hell are real. No one can prove they aren't.  The eternal state of each person's soul weighs in the balance.  Where will you spend eternity? You can make certain of it this very moment ...

God has given me a gift of writing.  Here is a poem that gives an over-view of my life. I wrote it to give thanks to God for delivering me from eternal destruction:


Lost and alone; salvation unknown.

Drugs and strongholds made the evil-one known.

Strength overtaken, near death three times.

Addictions and afflictions, many of each kind.

Freedom vanished, locked behind barred doors.

Six months of insomnia, pacing concrete floors.

Freedom returned gaining untruthful respect.

Addictions again, dying to inject.

Loved ones and reality gained semi-control.

Deep inside the dark one had hold.

Just as life met the end of it's rope.

A witness from the Lord spoke a glimmer of hope.

A chance to change for better.

And a life that lasts forever.

Down on my knees I met Christ.

Filled with love and empty of strife.

Blinded no more and chained no longer,

The Lord my Shepherd hath made me stronger.

Living to know Him and to make Him known.

The lost and dying need to be shown.

The love of Christ through the light of our lamp.

Not to grade sin or put on a stamp.

No time for that, work to be done.

Sharing the gospel and souls to be won.

Eternal motivation and promises I keep.

Guided by light, patiently I seek.

I never thought someone would love me for me.

Until Christ entered my life and He made me see.

On my knees each day thanking God above, 

Because of You I see the meaning of no greater love.  

                                             -- Ryan Caldwell

My Email:  ryannc_21_wsp@hotmail.com 

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW!  Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember:  All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)