My name is Nikki Reitnauer. In order to study and understand the Bible more, I am taking classes at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about online Bible classes, Click Here). I am 48 years old. Growing up in Eastern Pennsylvania, I now live in Tampa, Florida, with my husband of 15 years, Jason, and our 14-year-old daughter, Olivia. I also have a 20-year-old step-daughter, Ciera, from my husband’s first marriage. Currently, I am a Project Manager for a major Health Insurance Company. I have been with this company, in many capacities, for the last 22 years.
I am the middle child of three children. I have an older brother and a younger sister. My parents were very young when they had us. Times were not always great when I was a child. There were alcoholism and abuse involved. I grew up in the Catholic church and graduated from an all girl’s Catholic High School. I was back and forth between my mom and my dad for most of my teenage years. My teenage years were rough between my mom’s abusive boyfriends and my dad’s addiction coming back after being sober for 10 years.
My dad remarried when I was 13, and times were great at my dad’s until he had surgery, which triggered his addictions. At the age of 17, I met a boy who I dated until I was 30. He was always my “savior,” coming to take me out of the abusive situations at my mom’s. His family was completely different. Stable and VERY involved in the Presbyterian church they belonged to. A year after graduating from High School, we attended a Billy Graham crusade where I was saved. This was when I heard God calling me. I became very involved in my boyfriend’s family church. I taught Sunday School to the children, sang as part of the women’s worship team, and attended summer revivals with the youth group.
When I was 27, my Dad lost his battle with his addiction and went home to be with the Lord. Through it all, I never blamed God for any of it. I understood that the choices we make are what set our path.
My boyfriend and I stayed together until I was 30 years old. We never lived together or got married during that time. Before we broke up, I bought my first home after receiving some money from a car accident. Although that was an exhilarating time for me, it ended up being the end of the first part of my story with the Lord. Being involved in my boyfriend’s family church was not going to work out now that we were no longer together. So I stepped away from the church but never fully stepped away from the Lord. I ALWAYS turned to God in my times of need but stopped having a relationship with Him.
I met my husband when I was 31 years old. He was not a strong Christian but grew up going to a Lutheran church and attended Sunday school with his Dad. His mother was not as involved, attending church only during the big holidays (Easter and Christmas Eve). Jason and I married in May of 2016, and Olivia was born 11 months later. In 2017, God brought us to Tampa, FL. The teenage years with a daughter are difficult. Realizing that nothing I was doing made our relationship better, I cried out to Jesus to please intervene. He has since done wonders in our life and relationship. We have started attending church and are to be baptized at the end of April.
Call to Ministry Training and to Understand the Bible
While looking up how I could study and understand the Bible, I came across Christian Leaders Institute. I couldn’t believe that they were offering free classes to become a Ministry leader. I am not exactly sure what I want to do, but I know I want to be more involved in the church. Whether it is women’s ministry or youth ministry, I want to be around those that can strengthen my relationship with the Lord. God has called me back. I am so happy to be able to have the opportunity to learn and study through CLI.