The following is the written testimony of my friend Chris Wisniewski, that he gave at his baptism this past Sunday. I was in tears the whole time...
I have been through many trials and tribulations throughout my life. And, even though I
may not have acknowledged God’s presence or even believed he existed at some points
during my life, he has never left my side or stopped caring for me.
I was born to a single mother in a loving family. My mother’s love was enough to suffice
for two parents. And, I knew she would sacrifice the world for me. However, I was still
upset that I didn’t have a father. But, it was okay, because I would tell myself that I am
going to become something great! And, when he would want to enter into my life, I
would shut him down! I never fully understood all the feelings I had during that time.
And, I certainly never dealt with them. But, those feelings, which were buried so deep,
definitely influenced many of the things I thought or did in my life. They made me work
harder at the things I was good at and quit the things that I thought I may fail in. They
made want to be liked and accepted by everyone, while feeling like I don’t necessarily
need anyone. But, worst of all, they hardened my heart to the point where every emotion
turned into anger.
When I was 6, me and my mother moved in with my father. Even though we don’t share
blood, I call him father because he cared for me just like I imagined a father would. My
sister was born when I was seven. And, we were a happy family!
Now, I was always a bit mischievous. I’d find matches and set anything that I could on
fire. I’d stay out past curfew, ride my bike way past my limits, and throw eggs at people
and cars no matter the season. But, as I grew older, my mischievousness grew into
rebellion. By sophomore year of H.S., my grades fell drastically. My love for sports
diminished. And, my interest in sex, drugs, alcohol and crime took control. I idolized real
gangsters as well as the ones in the movies.
As the years passed, I watched friends plot on one another, become more dependent on
drugs, and even go to juvy. However, I still hung around them and my fascination with
the streets continued.
All my dreams of being a big shot and getting rich quick culminated when I was 18. This
is also where God really started working on me. I found myself around some people who
were well connected and my life started moving at the speed of light. Money, drugs, and
guns were combated by a mother’s plea for change, close calls, and a dream, that I now
believe was sent by God. Although not instantly turned away from the life I was living,
those things did slowly work on me. And, over time I turned away from the streets,
pursued a real career, and let God slip into the back of my mind.
As I got older, and grew in my career, life actually became harder. In 2007 the recession
hit and it greatly affected my family. My father being a used car salesman lost his
business. And, the financial burden of a newly purchased home fell completely on my mother.
As the separation of my parents and the reality of losing our house became more
evident, we all turned to different things for comfort. I became deeply depressed. I soon
spent all my time working, going to the gym, and hanging out. I was constantly running
from one thing to the next so that I didn’t have to think about anything.
At the same time all this was going on, God made his presence known again. Where I
worked, it was rare to find religion at all, let alone a follower of Christ. But, somehow the
team I worked on had the shipyard “bible thumper.” I didn’t mind though. I listened.
And, I even went out and purchased a bible to do my own reading. For a short period of
time, my interest in God was reignited.
Late in 2010, I was laid off. Because I didn’t have any major expenses and I still lived at
home, I felt free! Once again, I forgot about God and began to spend most of my time
going to the gym, hanging out with friends, and trying to figure a way out of my house
which was now completely overwhelmed by depression. During that same time, I wrote
God off. I denied his existence and found comfort in more eastern philosophy.
That was until I met Pyari. Although a strong believer in Christ, she never forced
anything on me. She would just give me her perspective and more often than not, I would
find it very comforting. It was Pyari that brought me back to the church. However, as
time went on, I went through many periods of interest and acceptance of Christ to
disbelief and discontent. My relationship with God was very frail and based solely on my
But, God didn’t give up. He just stayed right there working on me throughout the years.
God not only delivered messages that brought tears to my eyes during services I would
attend every so often, but, he introduced me to people with undeniable and unshakeable
faith. Faith, that I was often envious of because I couldn’t understand how someone could
let go of control. But, with each insight given to me by a disciple of Christ Jesus, my
heart softened, my emotions became more stable, and my understanding grew.
One Saturday night, God convinced me that I was going to get up early and go to the
church around the corner. It has been some time since my first visit and my consistency
has been a work in progress. But, I believe God put this church right here for me. Not
only was it right around the corner and thus limiting my excuses of not being able to
make it. But, Jeff, as well as many other members of this church, stayed focused on me.
I’ve met up with Jeff at coffee shops just to talk. And, I’ve been sent Christian audio
books, received invitations to small group and to play basketball, been encouraged to
continue to learn and grow, all while constantly being reminded that I am being prayed
for by several members of this church.
I am now happy to call Christ Church my home and Jesus Christ my savior!