My name is Steven Kaliszewski let me tell you my story…
From my earliest memories, my life was a mess. It may have looked like a laugh or a smile on the outside, but I was simply doing whatever I could to hold it in, hold it together. By the time I was 10 I had tried suicide and was sexually abused by an older boy in the neighborhood. Everyday was constant ridicule and verbal abuse from kids in school. I simply didn’t want to live. I grew up in a house of extreme tension. I did all I could to be away from my home to try and find some degree of peace. With how unhappy I was, I was highlighted by elders in my family by how “successful” I was, as their “favorite” and I felt obligated to succeed, or do more to live up to that. Before I began college, my parents were divorced. I blamed other people for my problems and never took responsibility for my own actions. In college I was part of the cool fraternity and it was the first time I had attention and popularity. I thought parties, alcohol, drugs, women, attention, and status would fix my pain. It all ended up the same; I was left wanting more, searching. I went into the Marines and came home after 2 combat deployments wondering what I was really doing with my life. I thought I had it all together because I had put together a plan to “succeed” and “be somebody”.
Transitioning back into civilian life was the hardest thing I’ve ever encountered in my life. While working at a restaurant as a waiter a few weeks after finishing my time with the Marines, an elderly lady screamed at me because I forgot her ranch dressing. I simply couldn’t relate or empathize with people. I snapped. I saw myself immediately punching her in the throat. I saw myself killing her and standing over her. I knew I was capable of doing it. That scared me. I simply shutdown. I started crying, shaking, I was seeing red. I didn’t know how to respond. Every pain in my life had just exploded to the surface. I went back to a server station and cried out to God with all I knew, “I can’t do this anymore. Either I’m going to kill myself, or I’m going to kill somebody else. You have to come down here. You have to take this.” As soon as those words left my lips, it was as if someone was standing on me and simply got off. A weight was gone. That scared me even more because I knew THAT WAS GOD and I had no idea what to do. I was an alcoholic, an addict, I lived a life of promiscuity, I was depressed, and suicidal. Caught in between homicide and suicide, that is where Jesus Christ found me. This is who I am apart from Jesus Christ. While at that restaurant, there was another server who was sharing the gospel in my life. That very night we went to another restaurant and talked. I was 28 years old. That was the first night I heard the gospel. I knew this is what I was searching for my whole life. I was at the end of myself and it was received. A short while later I asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart as my Savior. A few months later I came to know Him as Lord over my life. Freedom came into my life when I took responsibility for my decisions, acknowledging my sins. My life did not truly begin until I confessed that I needed Jesus Christ and repented for my sins. That was January 2009.
Jesus Christ has not only changed my life, He has changed my heart. Not only has He changed my heart, but He has healed my life. He showed me that everything in the world is nothing and anything in Jesus Christ is everything. The greatest thing I aspire to do is to know Jesus Christ more, spend time with Him, know His love, tell people about His love, and love others right where they are just as He loved me right where I was. My life is no longer about any of my aspirations or my dreams or wants because my desires led me to that server station. I know what Jesus wants for me and others is far greater than anything I can fathom. I was raised in a religious home, but this is the first time in my life that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and with a family of believers who have cast their every burden upon the shoulders of Jesus Christ as well. God has brought me into a family of believers through the Vine Fellowship Family and it has been healing for me since day one. What encourages me more than anything is to hear how God is speaking to others, how He is using others to share His gospel, His love, and how He is healing their hearts and lives, just as He did in mine. To hear the voice of the creator of the Universe, God, is what we were created for; for relationship, relationship through Jesus Christ, not a religion. Thinking back on my life before I knew Jesus, I realize why I was where I was: 1 Corinthians 1:18 says “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”. Everything is just simply nothing apart from Jesus Christ. In Him is the love every one of us searches for. The truth is, He is the answer.
I know there are other people out there wondering if they matter, wondering if there is more to this life. That is right where I was. Jesus Christ has been next to you every step of your life, waiting for you to choose Him, and only Him. John 14:6 says, “I (Jesus) am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Life is not found on this earth, or through what is offered by the world. True life, eternal life is only found in Jesus Christ. Don’t look to the world, simply cry out to Jesus and give Him everything.
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