My Spiritual Journey and Calling
Hi! My name is Carrie Olson. I am a 46-year-old widow, with two grown children, and four wonderful grandchildren. God has called me to help others through life’s battles with coaching and ministry. So, I am studying life coaching and ministry courses at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about free ministry and Bible courses online, Click Here).
I live in the beautiful but windy state of Wyoming. Originally, I am from East Tennessee, and also spent many years of my young adult life in Colorado. I think that having lived in different parts of the country has given me some unique perspectives on life and cultures. However, the root of my personal and spiritual journey started in the heart of what is known as the Bible belt, in a small town outside of Chattanooga that lies at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.
First Steps in Faith
I grew up in a very religious family. Though my parents didn’t necessarily make it a point to go to church every Sunday in my early years, I was sent when at all possible. My mother made it a point to read me Bible stories. She also made sure I said my prayers every night and before meals, at a minimum. My uncle was a Baptist minister. He and others in my life often told me about God’s Word and the saving power of Jesus.
There were several summers when I spent time at my uncle’s house and went to Vacation Bible School at his church. I was around 9 years old when he asked me one day if I’d ever accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. We talked about it. It was that day that I first asked Jesus to come into my heart. At the age of 12, I was baptized in a small but spirit-filled Southern Baptist Church. The day of my baptism was the first time I recall feeling what could only be defined as the peace of the Holy Spirit. However, that feeling was fleeting. It would be years before I came to understand what salvation really entailed.
Challenges and Questions
On the day I was saved, I fully believed it. I did my best to be a good Christian and believe with faith. However, in my early childhood and on into my early teen years, I experienced multiple traumas. These sometimes caused me to question whether or not God was really there and listening. I tried to push those thoughts away though and pressed on.
As a teenager, I advanced in my spiritual growth. I joined the church youth choir and other activities. However, my past traumas continued to plague me as well as the usual difficulties of growing into adulthood. By my early 20s, I began attending an Assembly of God Pentecostal church. For the first time in my life, I saw people speak in tongues and talk about laying on of hands, and spiritual healing. I felt at home there and usually left service feeling renewed and uplifted. Still, I had questions. Mainly, the question was: “Why had certain bad things continued to happen in my life?”
Eventually, the traumas led me to question if there was a God. For about a decade, I studied various religions, ancient texts, and many spiritual topics. I don’t think I ever completely let go of my Christian upbringing but wasn’t exactly sure of what I truly believed.
Breaking Point and God’s Peace
By the age of 36, through one divorce and separation from my second husband, I was a single mom. I struggled with overcoming things in my past and dealing with life in general. I was in the deepest, darkest state and was desperate to escape it. One day, I knelt down in front of my couch in my living room. Sobbing, I prayed to a God I wasn’t even sure I still believed in. I said something to the effect of, “Father in Heaven, show me who you truly are. Cover me and fill me with light and the Holy Spirit. Come into my life and take this away. Please lead me out of this.” Then I asked for forgiveness. I prayed with more sincerity and will than any prayer I ever uttered.
I went to sleep that night, and my mind was still for the first time in a while. The next morning, I no longer had that dark, heavy feeling. I felt wonderful peace and joy, unlike anything ever before. I felt the Holy Spirit within me. Everything was fresh and new, and I felt this inner connection to everything around me.
Since that day, I’ve had a new awareness of who and what God is and how powerful that connection is. It hasn’t been without struggle and spiritual attack. But, I gained a new way of looking at life and found out about God’s unconditional love and outstanding grace. God is always there to direct and guide us if we know how to talk to Him and listen, and if we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
My Journey to Life Coaching and Ministry Courses
I have overcome numerous hardships in my life. These include extreme loss and grief, mental illness, and struggles with some vices and addictions. I’ve raised children with autism and ADHD. I understand the struggles that those with developmental disabilities and/or neurodivergence face. Further, I understand the trials and heartache of having a spouse with a terminal illness.
In 2020, I survived a massive heart attack. It renewed my calling to help others in their struggles and helped me more clearly see the beauty in life. Sometimes, it is through pain and trials that we see light and love. Perhaps, I may be able to use my own trials and triumphs to help other people. Going through what I have in life, as hard as it has been, is what has led me, ultimately, to pursue ministry.
I had to do a lot of personal healing. However, my faith and the Spirit of God within me got me through it all. I have coping skills and stay calm in the face of most storms. But, most of all my faith in God helped me.
Finding CLI for Life Coaching and Ministry Courses
Wherever God leads me, I am very interested in life coaching and helping neuro-divergent youth and young adults. I also want to teach others about the Bible and the healing power of the Lord. Overall, I want to help people on their journey and with spiritual healing. Then they can find salvation and have a more peaceful and fulfilled life.
I knew I needed training, so I searched online and found the Christian Leaders Institute for free online life coaching and ministry courses. What a blessing!
Matthew 7:7-12 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (NIV)
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.