It began when I was born. At 9 months old, I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. A lot of people had opinions on what caused me to have cerebral palsy. One theory is that when I was born the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck, I could not breathe. The doctors had a difficult time getting me to take my first breath, but my mom and my dad told God, “We want him.” At that moment, I started breathing on my own. But because of this, they had to put me in an incubator.
My mom and dad told me that I was completely normal up until 6 months of age, that’s when I had a hernia and had to have an operation. After that I would never be the same. Doctors told my parents that I would never walk or talk normally. But, that would not be the case because God had a different plan. My whole family was determined that I would function as a normal child.
One night at a revival meeting, I remember people coming over to me and laying hands on me to heal me. David Paul was the preacher. All week long my family had told me about this pastor that had the gift of healing upon his life. We already had gone to countless meetings and listened to several preachers talk on the healing of God. My faith began to rise. David Paul was a true Charismatic preacher, and if you want to put a label on it, that’s what my family is also. We got to the meeting, which was being held at a hotel in Memphis. White walls and a white floor and chairs filled the whole room. There was a little platform up at the front with a pump organ. There would be praise every time David Paul began to talk. As we got into praise and worship, David Paul began to call out people who he felt the Lord said that they had a sickness in their body. Several people came up to receive healing. There were men and women falling down under the Holy Spirit. He began to walk the aisles, microphone in hand with a navy blue suit. When he would preach, it was like he was shouting to the crowd. The room felt so electrified. I remember thinking, ‘One day I want to be like that.’ And deep down, I guess I still do. This man came directly up to me and my parents. He immediately laid hands on me. I could feel the weight of his hands bearing down on my head, and he bean to prophesy. I don’t remember everything he said, but I do remember that he knew exactly what I had wrong with me and exactly how long it had been since I had this disease. He said that my whole life would be a testimony and that I would glorify God through my disability.
That night was the most impacting night with my parents. They began to really believe that one day I would be made whole. People ask me all the time when I go to camp meetings and revival meetings if it’s heartbreaking that I walk away and stumble. My parents had always been people of real strong faith, so from the moment I was able to understand, I got told that Jesus can heal you. It would not be for long before I started believing for myself that Jesus was going to heal me.