Hi, my name is Suzanne Thibault, and I reside in beautiful Northern California with my husband of 35 years and adult daughter. After getting my scholarship for free ministry training, I am excited to be studying at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about online Bible classes, Click Here).
As a child, I was not raised in a Christian home. I did not find God in church. As an adult, I was living with deep depression and anxiety. I found myself in a place of despair, feeling like I was dying inside. I cried out to God for help. Two days later, while walking in the Target parking lot, I noticed something shiny on the ground. I picked up a small medallion with a picture of Christ inside! I found Jesus in the Target parking lot! My life then began to change for the better as I realized God had answered my prayer.
I grew up in California’s Silicon Valley with highly dysfunctional and abusive parents. As a child, I knew I was not wanted and felt so alone. I was taken to Sunday School as a young child but always thought of Jesus as a cartoon character in a book. I never was taught or understood who God was until I became a teenager.
My spiritual journey began as a sophomore in high school, where I was a Young Life Christian Group member on campus. I was invited to this group by a friend, naturally drawn in by their kindness and caring, things I never received as a child growing up. Young Life had a weekend retreat I attended. There I accept Christ as my Savior, tears rolling down my cheeks. I was then baptized in the swimming pool, an experience I will always remember.
The Drifting Years
Once leaving high school, I fell away from knowing God as I had no spiritual base or church to turn to. I walked through life thinking I could handle everything myself. This belief stemmed from my childhood where I had to take care of myself. While this made me a strong person, my life was unbalanced and filled with stress. It felt as if I were drifting along a river of no end, with no real purpose or passion for living life. I developed anxiety and depression, which sent me into a raging river of despair. That is when my prayers were answered in the Target parking lot, and I knew I was saved!
Ministry Calling and Scholarship for Free Ministry Training
I began reading the Bible and searched for a church that felt comfortable. That was challenging. My co-worker’s brother was a pastor at a church near my home. So she invited me to attend one of the services. I attended the early morning service and sat by myself in an outer row. A woman noticed me sitting by myself, came over to me, and invited me to sit with her. I knew that was God in action, which gave me the confirmation I was in the right church. Thrive Church is an Assemblies of God church which makes my heart sing with joy!
I felt a calling to serve the Lord in my heart and became a Spiritual Life Coach. I enjoyed serving the Lord and supporting women to let go of pain from the past and forgive. Also, I did training with the HeartMath Institute® and Transformation Prayer Ministry with Ed Smith. But there was always something missing – a deeper biblical understanding. That is when God put it upon my heart to do ministry training. As a retired woman, I asked Jesus to please lead me to no-cost training since I am on a limited fixed budget. I did a google search, and the Lord led me to the Christian Leaders Institute! Their scholarship for free ministry training opportunity is making it possible for me to serve the Lord!
My Walk with God
Never in my life did I ever imagine that God would lead me to ministry training. I have no desire to work in a church. I do not feel qualified. Christian Leaders Institute has taught me there are many ways to minister to people. I began having some self-doubt about ministry training and where it might lead. However, God gave words of wisdom to me: “God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called.” I now remind myself of this as I continue on my ministry training path. Christian Leaders Institute is helping me become qualified to minister to others.
I now look behind me and see all the places God was there with me when I thought I was alone. He has been with me my entire life, even though I did not know that as a child. He was with me as a child and during my drifting years, always faithful. God’s love is so big, bright, and inspiring! Today when I look at who I have become, I am truly amazed that He could take a lost, lonely soul like me and create a new life of possibilities in becoming a Life Coach through Christian Leaders Institute to serve. I am forever grateful to my Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, and Christian Leaders Institute!