Monday, September 9, 2013

Anybody Got a Light?

Today, is my one year anniversary free from nicotine. I smoked more than half my life. The first time I smoked a cigarette I was 9. Yep. NINE. Two years older than my baby. I LOVED cigarettes...in fact I still do. I love the way they feel between my fingers, on my lips, the way they smell...I love them. Even now, occasionally, I will pick one of Brad's up. Just to feel it. But I never light it.

I hated being addicted to nicotine. I didn't smoke in the house or car, but I can remember feeling so agitated on the way home from anywhere. Anxious to get my kids in the house so that I could smoke a cigarette. I was embarrassed that I smoked too. I didn't want anyone to know. I took great pains not to smell like smoke or smoke around anyone who wasn't part of my inner circle. People would say, "I didn't know you smoked!" Good! I didn't want you to.

When I began really to put God first in my life, I realized that even He came second to cigarettes. I am not proud to admit that I had to smoke a cigarette and make coffee before I opened my Bible. God, my kids, my husband...everyone was in second place. When I took a long hard look at that and really let it sink in, I started to pray and surrender. Please take this addiction away. Please...make it easy for me to quit. Please help me to wake up and just not want to smoke.

Over the years, I tried just about everything to quit. Hypnosis, books, nicotine gum, patches, herbal remedies, spiritual healings. I quit lots of times for days, weeks, even months. But every time, I would decide that I was back in control and let myself have just one cigarette. I can just smoke when I have a drink. I can just smoke when we go out with friends. I can just smoke on Fridays. I can just smoke on the weekends until...I can't. I can't. I can't. I can't. I can't ever just have one cigarette ever ever ever again.

One year ago, on Lily's birthday, we went to a party with our best friends. I probably smoked 100 cigarettes. The next morning I felt like there was an anvil on my chest. I didn't want to smoke. I told Brad, "I'm gonna quit smoking today." He said, "Okay, baby," but he didn't believe me. But I did.

I'm not bragging (well, except about God's goodness and faithfulness); I know lots of people who are trying to quit something. When asked how I quit smoking, I used to say, "I just quit," because I didn't like people to roll their eyes at me when I said, "I prayed, and God took away my craving for nicotine." But, that is what really happened. I woke up and said, "Help me not smoke today," and He did. And He keeps helping me not smoke day after day.

I have been tempted, but never beyond what I could handle. On one occasion this summer, I begged Brad to give me a cigarette, but I didn't smoke. Every day, I thank God that nicotine is no longer first in my life. Every day, I thank Him for making it easy. I never could have quit without a divine intervention because I will regrettably admit: I have no will power. Not. One. Bit.

This is the longest I have been smoke-free since the first time I smoked a cigarette 31 years ago. Not in my strength but in His...I am redeemed.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV) But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

1 comment:

  1. Obviously the downward spiral in poor Tim Tebow's career can be directly attributed to you distracting god with these nicotine demands. I hope you're haoppy!

    ReplyDelete