These strangers looked me in the eye. Smiled at me. They didn’t want anything or expect anything from me. They let me participate even though I was new. By the time I sat in the chair in the middle of the room, my guard had crumbled. I spilled my guts to a room full of strangers. Which really isn’t my norm despite what they probably think at this point.
They prayed for me and prophesied over me. They let me say things they didn’t believe without preaching at me or telling me I was wrong. I was completely, inexplicably accepted. I’d never encountered anything like it before, and yet my soul recognized it for what it was—home. Family.
I came back a second time and encountered Tim Everding, who’s probably the weirdest person I’ve ever met. God has a sense of humor. When I walked into the room, the only available seat was the one next to him. At some point, I should probably let him read my first impressions of him, but for now it will suffice to say that strange though he may be, from the beginning I understood his behavior to be a genuine expression of love for Jesus. And believe me, I have an excellent nose for counterfeit.
It didn’t take my spirit long to recognize Tim was important. And that’s before I spoke to him. There’s only one other encounter in which I’ve sensed that amount of destiny. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t have talked to him without help, and God knew it. So the teacher that night talked too long and told us to pray with the person sitting next to us.
I introduced myself to Tim and again shared more than I’d intended. I remember thinking to myself, “Who am I?” I’d never been so open with strangers before.
He listened and asked if he could place his hand on my shoulder. I almost told him no—my fibromyalgia was bad that night—but I felt I should let him. Funny thing—he prayed for my digestive system, but my stomach wasn’t bothering me at all. Yet as he prayed, heat spread from his hand into my shoulder and neck, erasing the pain as it went. My head cleared. The wheezy feeling in my chest went away. Tim challenged something I’d said to him and left before I could process what had just happened.
That night, I was invited to Sunday night prayer ministry training at David Wheeler’s house.
Full disclosure: I agreed, but wasn’t sure what I was walking into. I suspected I’d be lured down some whackadoo charismatic rabbit hole I’d been warned about my entire life. So I brought my mom with me. She’d save me if I got too close to the edge.
As it turns out, we jumped in together. On purpose.
We experienced God that night. Unmistakably. Along with solid, biblical truth. The Lord refreshed Mom physically, emotionally, and spiritually during worship and gave a personal message to me that Mom and I both understood. Tim’s daughter, Erica Weller, prophesied that the Lord would heal me at the molecular level and prayed that I’d be able to eat any birthday cake I wanted for my birthday. I remember thinking, “Wow. That’d be nice. Unlikely, but nice.” I mean, I hadn’t eaten real birthday cake since 2005 at least.