Lizards can grow new tails, sharks can regrow teeth, and starfish can regenerate a lost arm. And according to my uncle, an adult human leg can lengthen within seconds.
Cheston likes his trucks, dogs, and family. He loves hunting and even spent time in Africa as a big game hunting guide. I enjoy visiting him in the country, where we shoot guns and compound bows at targets together. For Story Spotlight, I asked him to tell me about an event that he says changed his life.
Me: Can you give some details leading up to the story?
Cheston: I joined the college football team of Montana State University. I set a goal of becoming the best player and knew I could achieve it. So when the team released me because I was missing a required high-school class, I became depressed.
Even though I didn’t play on the football team anymore, I still attended college to finish other courses. I led a “college crazy” life, making some bad friends and partying.
When Christmas break arrived, I travelled to my brother’s house in California. I was excited to have three weeks to visit my family and enjoy Christmas.
During the break from college, my brother Matt invited me to a Bible study. I could already recite a few verses from memory, my family was Baptist, and my mom had told me several Bible stories. So I figured I was a good enough Christian. But I decided to accompany my brother anyway.
Me: It sounds like you didn’t really care about Christianity at that point in life. Now that you’ve described the backstory, could you tell what happened at the Bible study?
Cheston: My brother and I walked into the house where the Bible study was taking place. 25 to 30 people had gathered, listening to a pastor named Chad Dedman. Chad told stories about miraculous healings, and I listened in amazement. During the message, I observed one woman as she stood and walked out of the room into a dark hallway. She looked in pain.
After preaching, Chad asked us, “Does anyone have leg problems?” Quite a few people raised their hands. The same lady that I saw walking in pain explained that one of her legs measured one-and-a-half inches shorter than the other. She had been born that way. Then she explained that the unevenness caused her back injuries and horrendous migraine headaches. Light bothered her eyes when she had migraines, which explained why she’d receded into the hallway earlier. I began wondering if something like Chad’s stories would take place, and I got excited.
I sensed that something important would happen, so I drew closer to see better. At first I thought that if the lady’s leg grew, it would be due to a trick. But I sensed the Holy Spirit, as if Jesus had just walked through the door. I had never felt the presence of the Holy Spirit so strongly before.
Chad began to pray.
“Thank you, Lord, for bringing us here together;” the pastor thanked God in a conversational tone, as if He stood in the room. I began to feel even more nervous as the Holy Spirit’s presence intensified.
“Grow this woman’s leg equal to her other leg,” Chad asked of God. Lo and behold, the woman’s leg grew! At first, the shin below the knee grew an inch. Then, the speaker prayed more, and thirty seconds later, the woman’s shin grew to an equal length as the other.
The room was silent, and only the woman’s grateful sobs broke the still. During this time, God spoke to me like never before, enveloping me in a world where I could experience a divine communion.
Me: That’s incredible! How did this affect your life?
Cheston: Once I returned to college two or three weeks later, I stopped hanging out with the same college friends and leading a life of parties. Matt challenged me to quit listening to dirty rap music, and I also began attending a church close to Montana University.
Cheston’s emphasized that his life changed rapidly and dramatically and became focussed on pursuing a deep relationship with God. Cheston said he realized that he would lack a communion with God if he didn’t change his lifestyle.
In the years following, Cheston met and married my aunt Carly. He also became the father of two cheerful, young children named Avenly and Titan.