Grow my relationship with God

My name is David Weigel. This is the story of my spiritual awakening. I am from the United States in Minnesota. Married to a wonderful woman, we currently have no kids, although we are hoping. Recently, I began studying at the Christian Leaders Institute to grow my relationship with God and learn more about the Bible (Learn more about free Bible and ministry classes online, Click Here).

My Youth

I grew up in Minnesota without very much influence from the church or any religious organization. In my early years, my parents did enroll me in Sunday School. However, for whatever reason, they stopped me after a few classes. We never really went to church unless it was the obligatory Easter or Christmas service. During Christmas each year, we would go to my grandmother’s house. There the whole family would get together. My grandmother would pack 40+ people into her basement so we could all celebrate the holiday together. It was customary for one of the 18 grandchildren to lead prayer before we ate. I always wanted to do it but never got the opportunity. I assume it was due to the fact that I never was brought up religiously.

During my High School years, I dated a girl that was very religious. I was interested in her and attended church with her on Sundays. I went to church because she went to church. However, I had no interest in what the pastor said or in developing a relationship with the Lord.

University and Military

After high school, I went to a University for one year without knowing what I wanted to do. I did okay in school but quickly realized I didn’t want to continue until I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So after my first year, I enlisted in the Army. I went to basic training. While in basic training, I attended church services. Not so much to learn about Jesus, but to get away from the drill sergeants for an hour.

God’s Intervention: The Dream

About a year after training, I was deployed to Iraq. During my time in Iraq, I became more religious. I wasn’t scared of being in a war zone, I just had down time where I could read the Bible and listen to Christian music. It wasn’t about wanting to grow my relationship with God either.

Then towards the end of that deployment, I had a dream. I remember it like it happened yesterday. I was moving towards a man with a bright light behind him. It was so bright that I could only see the shape of his body. He was holding out his hands while I moved toward him (when I say moved, I wasn’t walking but more like floating). I remember saying in my dream, “I am not afraid. I am not afraid.”

When I woke up the next morning, I requested a meeting with the chaplain. I was sure it was Jesus that I saw in my dream. So, I met with the chaplain and told him about the dream. I said that I thought it was Jesus. But, he said “No. Jesus doesn’t come to us in our dreams.” I was shocked and didn’t believe him. I still don’t believe him. I believe I saw Jesus that night.

Thereafter, I spent the next 13 years in the military deploying three more times. However, once again, I did not attend services or read the Bible. I was just alone.

Life Outside the Military

After I got out of the military, my life started to unwind. I was extremely depressed and severely suffering from PTSD from my numerous deployments. It got so bad that I tried to commit suicide. Thankfully, I survived. The doctors don’t know how due to the number of pills I took, but I survived. I call it divine intervention. I spent the next seven years completing different types of therapy for my depression and PTSD. Focused more on the therapy, I worked periodically. As time progressed, my mood and PTSD never really changed.

Then in March of this year, I started a new therapy. A therapy called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. This therapy worked wonders for my depression. It worked so well that I applied for my first full-time position. I was hired as an IT specialist for a company that has the Lord as its backbone. Christian music plays in our bathrooms, and people have Bibles, scriptures, and crosses on their desks. I knew this was the best spot for me to grow in my relationship with God and His people.

God Intervenes Again

During my few short months with this company, something truly amazing happened. I received an email from Christian Leaders Institute about the Christian Leaders Academy. For whatever reason (divine intervention), the email went to my inbox rather than my spam folder.

Here I am now, realizing all the times God has reached out to me: the holidays at my grandparents, the girl I dated in High School, my dream in Iraq, God intervened during my suicide attempt, and with my email from CLI.

I am now ready to listen and am thankful not only to God but to CLI to help me start and grow my relationship with God. God bless you all.

Steps to Sign Up At Christian Leaders Institute

Step 1 – Register for a free study account that automatically enrolls you in the Christian Leaders Getting Started Course Part 1 &2. 

After you register, you will automatically be enrolled in the “getting started” course. You will locate the course at your “home” button when logged in. Scroll down to find the Christian Leaders Getting Started Course Part 1 &2 Link. Click the link and open the course.

Step 2 – Complete Part 1 of this course. Then you can enroll in mini-courses or regular courses. 

The Christian Leaders Getting Started Class Part 1 shows you how to enroll in courses and mini-courses. Part 2 of the course connects your calling into ministry with programs offered through Christian Leaders Institute. Part 2 will offer some ministry training and introduce you to the other programs offered through Christian Leaders Institute.

Learn more about ordination at the Christian Leaders Alliance. Interested in a low-cost college degree? Check out the CLI’s Leadership Excellence School.