How I quit smoking with God's help
Good parts of smoking?
I loved to inhale. There is a calming ritual in lighting a cigarette and watching a sunset, or enjoying a quiet evening after a great meal. There is a discipline to packing down an old corncob pipe and enjoying some cherry pipe tobacco. Besides it keeps the mosquitoes away. I enjoyed smoking with others, talking and inhaling.
I enjoyed smoking alone, on quiet winter nights sitting in front of a fire. I liked how pipe smoke smells and still do. After many years, when I stand in the aisle at the check out counter of the grocery store or gas station, I find myself looking at packs of Marlboros or Camels, or Swisher Sweets.
I know how good it feels to see that smoke curling out of your mouth or nose. There is a heady feeling, almost a little dizzy when you have quit for a while and take a long, satisfying drag on that first cigarette.
I remember being on a canoe trip once in Boundary Waters. I had one pack of Marlboros in my shirt pocket, and it fell out into a rapids as we were walking the canoes up them on a summer afternoon.
I rescued that pack, very soggy and dried out each cigarette on the grate of the fire, and even then, ended up bumming a smoke from total strangers. I know how to clean out that old pipe and remember how much pipe tobacco is left, in case a blizzard hits and I am stranded.
I also remember how my mouth tasted in the morning. I remember coughing up stuff. I remember how much it cost to buy tobacco. Yet after many years, I still allow myself the thought (like this article) of why I loved smoking.
Smoke that Cigarette...
I am thankful I quit smoking
I am thankful I do not smoke at this time. I am thankful for better health. I am thankful that I can breathe better and get fewer colds or worse that need antibiotics and cause lung congestion. I am thankful that my health does seem better, even after gaining weight because I ate more after I stopped smoking.
How intimate is this relationship between smoker and smoke? Caressing to each alveoli of the lungs, carried into the bloodstream, to the brain, the chemicals and items which feel so good.
How calming to watch this smoke drift into cold air, to put that cigarette out and return into a warm house. How very satisfying to have that first cigarette in the morning after many hours without nicotine. It had a hold on me that grasped me at my core, that relaxed my nerves and was identified with any manner of wonderful events, like full moons, warm summer evenings, great meals and good company.
I understand why some smoke. I think part of me will always love smoking. I believe, for me, that I never could have quit smoking if God hadn't helped me. I had quit so many times and was so discouraged that years went by and still I was smoking.
MY LIFE IS IN YOU LORD!
Dear God, I know that you made me. You want my body to be healthy. Thank you for the measure of health I have today. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. You know every cell of my body, every nerve, every muscle. You love me completely. I pray now that you would pour out your spirit on those who smoke. Let them know how precious they are in your sight, how much they are loved. Give them a peace that passes all understanding. Help them to breathe in the Holy Spirit, and breathe out condemnation. Breathe in the Holy Spirit and breathe out shame. Breathe in the Holy Spirit and breathe out discouragement.
LORD, you helped me to quit and I thank you for that. I know there are other things in my own life that need your help. Thank you for the gift of self control. I intercede tonight for any who smoke, who have smoked, or who have quit and are tempted to smoke again. In Jesus name, give them a taste of what being healthier feels like. Let them know you love them down to the smallest branch of the lungs and desire that these spaces might be clean and healthy to receive oxygen.
I thank you for knowing our most personal thoughts. Thank you for helping me to quit smoking when I had given up.
In Jesus Name, AMEN
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