Delivered from smoking Feb 2013 (Written Nov 2017)
Testimonies - Mar 19, 2021 Author: Jeanette Green

Delivered from smoking Feb 2013 (Written Nov 2017)

I started smoking at fifteen. My friends quit smoking the year we turned eighteen, but I continued in secret, for months. It wasn’t fun to smoke alone, so, hard as it was, I did eventually manage to quit.

Three years later though, all my co-workers were smokers and smoked inside our open-plan office. They refused to smoke outside, and I got such hay-fever from their smoking. I couldn’t stand it. So, I joined the smokers’ club. One drag from a cigarette during tea time sent me plummeting back into a full-blown addiction, and soon I even smoked, secretly, at home.

I slid down to the bottom of the nicotine-pit and found it impossible to drag myself out of it. I couldn’t function without my fix (smoking thirty to sixty cigarettes a day) and found myself waking at night to smoke.
 
For years I enjoyed my addiction - the stinking cloud around me, yellow fingers, and all. Never did I consider quitting. No, I would die a certain death!
But then I became a reborn Christian, in my mid-twenties. My conscience started to bug me, and a long struggle against my addiction began.

I tried to quit in various ways: First I tried cold-turkey, then to cut down slowly. I used nicotine gum, vaping, and prayer deliverance. After each attempt, I relapsed and ended up smoking even more than before. I badly wanted to quit, but smoking was a crutch for my chaotic soul.

So I used to talk to God about my addiction, while I had my wake-up smoke, my coffee-break smoke, my chilling smoke. “God, I really want to stop smoking. Oh God, forgive me.  Help me, Lord. No, I am sorry... God, I can’t even quit, with your help. I need you to deliver me, to do it for me. I can’t stop smoking. Sometimes I don’t even want to.” Every time I had a smoke, my internal conversation with God, about it, continued. “God, how long must I wait, for you to deliver me?”
He answered me by showing me a vision of a clock. Whenever I asked Him, “How long, Lord?” He showed me the clock again, and the clock’s arms moved closer and closer to twelve o’clock.

Then, out of the blue, my brother-in-law asked me to do a smoking fast with him. I panicked. How could I refuse? But my insides cringed at the idea of even one day without cigarettes!
“God, must I do this fast?” I asked. “I don’t think I can. I don’t want to.”
Again I saw the clock, and both the arms stood on twelve. “It’s time, my darling,” God whispered in my heart.
“No, no, no! Not now… Really, God, must it be now?”
I was not prepared for a lifetime of ‘no smoking’, yet.  But I had agreed to do the fast with my brother-in-law. So I decided to smoke all the cigarettes I had in the house that night. Strangely, I only managed to smoke two cigarettes, before it felt as if I was being restrained. I simply couldn’t smoke one more.
The next morning, same thing. I could only take one drag of a cigarette. It tasted so bitter, I wanted to vomit. And then it felt as if my arms were being pinned next to my body. 
“Okay, God. I hear you.” I sighed and broke the rest of my cigarettes.

The next three days, were horrible. My body ached, my brain twitched, I shivered, cried, screamed. But the physical withdrawal symptoms were nothing compared to what was going on in my head. I see-sawed between wanting to kill myself, and wanting, at all cost, to go and get myself a new pack of cigarettes.
The spirit of addiction wasn’t keen to let me go. But before I started my smoking fast, God had placed in my spirit specific prayers to pray over the following three days, that would help me fight the war.
And so, despite my body and soul feeling like they were being torn apart, I prayed those prayers. I expected them to take away the withdrawals, but they did not. However, I do believe they eased the process, that it would have been even worse, without them, and that God, in answer to those prayers, delivered me. Without the support of my husband, Calvin (then my boyfriend), I don’t know if I could have endured it all. He should get a medal for staying by my side, especially during those three days, but after, too. He encouraged me, stopped me from buying cigarettes, and kept me from harming myself.

Once the three days were over, the long hard journey to freedom truly began. All the pain and anger that I suppressed during my smoking years, surfaced when I quit smoking. I felt as if I had acid, not blood, in my veins. My body felt torn, and constantly I thought of having just one more smoke. The burning in my veins continued for months, years. I can’t remember when it had stopped. But it did, eventually. And I am so grateful to be free! Now, it’s almost impossible to believe that I ever smoked. My battle to quit, from my first attempt, until I finally was free, continued for ten years.

For a few years, I have been smoke-free now, and recently, I smoked in a dream. Came morning, I actually craved a cigarette. I was shocked. But it was, I think, God’s grace, warning me not to ever let down my guard. I am prone to addiction, and so, I must flee temptation. When I recognize my weakness, God is strong within me.

Scripture:

Joh 8:36  If the Son sets you free, then you will be really free.

Rom 8:1-2  There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me free from the law of sin and death.


Prayer:

Father God, thank you for delivering me from smoking. Out of the grace that You gave me for breaking this addiction, I pray for any person reading this, who may be struggling with addiction. Father, please break the hold of the spirit of addiction over his/her life. And by your Holy Spirit, infuse life into those areas where he/she has previously been kept in bondage. Heal emotional wounds that may be the underlying root cause for his/her addiction. Thank you, Lord, that I can stand on your promise - that those who the Son has set free, will be free indeed. Forgive us, oh God. And be strong in our weaknesses. Father, we recognize that we have a weakness in the area of addiction. So I ask, oh God, where it is possible, that You will remove any influences in our lives that may cause us to stumble in our daily walk of being free from addiction. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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