I used to smoke, there I said it. Keep in mind I wasn’t a chain smoker, just a one, two maybe three a day kind of gal. I justified being able to smoke, by buying “clove cigarettes”, which I thought were much more like a delicacy, an after dinner type situation. There was just one problem, the smoking ceased from ‘just after dinner’, to become necessary to relax.

“I look to you for help, O Sovereign LORD. You are my refuge; don’t let them kill me.” Psalm 141:8

Drinking, eating, smoking, sex, all of these things have an affect on the human body in which causes our endorphins to respond. All of these things are natural things, and all of these things do something to us and for us.

I started smoking when I was dating a boy who smoked. He introduced me to many more things like drinking black coffee, smoking, etc. Now that I look back, his whole persona, and life was geared toward pleasing the flesh and escape, and I was attracted to that, because I didn’t know who I was in the spirit.

I didn’t ‘decide’ to quit smoking. I didn’t even try, the situation with this boy had progressed to a point in which he was cheating on me and I found out about it. I was dazed confused and left smoking alone… here is an except from my upcoming book,

“So there I stood on a weathered wooden balcony, overlooking the pond that was in the backyard. I had a clove cigarette in my pocket and I worked at lighting it. Y (Mr. Y) stood in the living room behind the glass door. He was too oblivious to engage in a confrontation. There I stood, all alone in the elements with a clove cigarette, a candlestick, and The Lord God Almighty.

I thought I really loved him. I thought that he was “the one”, again. I gave him everything I had to give. I had given both X and Y everything. There were some good times. After all, I spent hours upon hours with them both. With X, I was in High School and we spent practically every waking moment together. With Y, in addition to spending non-working hours together, I had always been his full time driver. I took him to work, picked him up and was there for lunch whenever I could make it. We taught Sunday school together, we slept together, ate together, and fought often.

Fighting wasn’t as physical as it was just heated communication. He was the first person to encourage me to read books on personal development. He was masterfully cunning, and was always charismatic to a fault. He could get me to do anything he wanted. He had this uncanny way of pulling me out of myself and building me up, just to tear me down when I had made enough headway to belief in myself, but not enough headway to leave him.

I thought that this was a ‘successful’ relationship. I thought that I was being the perfect wife. I took all the abuse he gave me, and I still “loved” him, served him, and worked to please him anyway. Finding the bra in my room, whether he had nothing to explain or not, didn’t mater. How he handled the situation revealed to me that infidelity was nothing he thought I should have to be concerned about. The only problem was that by now I knew him too well. He wasn’t above doing anything to get what he wanted. I also knew that if he wanted another woman, he wasn’t above taking her, even against her will. How I ever got involved with someone of this character is beyond me.

Outside, I cried for a while and inhaled the last drag from my cigarette. I took the candlestick that was in my right hand, and I threw it as far as I could into the forest behind the yard. It felt as if my heart leapt out of my body and went flying along with it.”

Out on the balcony, having just had my heart smashed into a million little pieces, I decided to surrender to God and His Word. I had been a ‘Christian’ for a while (14 years), but I had never ‘sold out’ and given everything up. This was my defining moment, this was my call to surrender. I did. I started reading the Bible for myself and studying not just the stories and the ‘How to’s and how not to’s’, I started studying the Character of God.

Scripture says, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us.” 1 John 4:10 This scripture as well as just desiring to know more about God and His Word and His Son, and how the three worked together, led me to want to know God and His character. After all ‘love’ is not that we love Him, but that He loved us. After all, if we can not understand God’s love for us, the who, what, when, where, how, and why’s of Him… how can we begin to ‘love’ someone else, let alone ourselves? Love, true love, is found in His love for us!*

The smoking soon stopped, and I wasn’t even cognizant of it. I just sort of forgot about it. days went by, months went by. I was able to look to God and His character, and in all my studying and desire to get to know Him better, I completely forgot to buy cigarettes!

Yes, I have been offered cigarettes since I “quit”, and yes, I even tried a puff or two. It was horrible! It was more than just the taste that was horrible, it was all the weight of the world and the stress that had come with it. I had been free for so long, with a vision and a purpose, that the cigarette was like stepping backwards in time and progress. I suppose it would be like losing 200 pounds on a strict diet, then going to an all you can eat buffet, no matter the taste… your going to throw up!

A prayer for today,

“Lord God I am humbled before you, that I can share with my friends my testimony of deliverance from bondage. I know that anything done out of fear, will lead to bondage, but anything done in love will set us free. You set me free that day, not just from smoking, and bad relationships but from the bondage and fear of never being able to be with someone I deserved**. I can remember thinking that was the best life was ever going to get, but OH how YOU proved me wrong! I love you so deeply, but not because of what You have done for me, but because YOU loved me first. Be with my brothers and sisters today Father God, let them know, that You alone are enough. Father, You alone are all we need. In Your Sons Jesus’ name, AMEN.”

God Bless you today, as you relax and look to the Lord for His comfort

*What you might consider doing as a beginner Bible reader, is to start reading the Love of God behind each book, challenge yourself to see how exactly God is displaying His love for His people when He does things. As you begin to see His character, when we are told in the New Testament that through Christ, we are a new creation, you will understand better having been created in God’s image and what that ‘new creation’ is.

**Four months later after complete surrender, I met and married my husband Jeff. We know have five children and in July will have been married for 14 years. My book, Wholehearted: How I Received Healing from the Inside Out and You Can Too! is written in three parts. First, who I was before my defining moment and what caused me to live incomplete. Second, How I overcame the habits and training that made me into who I was, and how I went about saving my marriage and becoming wholehearted. Lastly, a 22-Day Challenge for success on living a wholehearted and completed life. I look forward to this book being completed soon.


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