God always gives us what we need. When He gives someone else something to help us, we feel the little pricks in our hearts as they talk. This happened to me one day. I was visiting a friend when she started talking about something very uncomfortable to hear. I knew if I heeded her advice, it would improve my life, but first, it made me mad.
She told me about her experience with smoking and how she had been able to quit—after smoking for years. God used her to show me that it was also possible for me. If He can help one person do something, then He can help us with it. She used prayer to overcome her addiction.
My problem was that I didn’t want to quit. I was so addicted. It was the first thing I did each morning and the last thing I did each night. It controlled my life. While ashamed of my addiction, I also didn’t want to quit. I enjoyed smoking. I thought I needed it to help my anxiety since I had started smoking during a very stressful time. So, when she gave me the formula to overcome it, I got mad about it.
I ignored it for a while but felt guilty every time I smoked a cigarette. My lungs hurt. I wheezed and had a horrible cough. I feared I would be on oxygen at my son’s high school graduation. So, I tried to pray about it. But it was a half-hearted prayer. My lips uttered the words, but it was far from my heart. Naturally, it didn’t work.
The real prayer, echoing from my heart, was please don’t make me quit.
Honestly, I didn’t think I could do it. It was a deeply ingrained habit that I didn’t think I could give it up. The pain to quit seemed too great. But I was blinded to the pain it was causing me every day. It tormented me every day.
One day, however, I reached the place. God will only allow us to go so far. Then, He draws a line in the sand. While we have freedom of choice, we are not free from our choices. I knew I had to make a decision. Quit or keep smoking. But I also knew that I would be responsible for my decision. In my heart, I knew that if I continued smoking, there would be grave consequences.
I went out on the deck and sat down. I couldn’t ignore the Lord any longer. In my heart, I became willing to quit. Then, I asked God to help me. To take away the addiction that had me bound. I asked Him to help me to overcome it. And He did. The desire to smoke left me. I knew the moment shifted in my mind and my heart. Smoking was no longer something I enjoyed. He opened my eyes, and I saw it for what it was. It was hurting me. Wasting my money. And destroying my health. Instead of seeing it as something I enjoyed and loved, I saw it as poison to me.
That day, I threw away my cigarettes and never touched them again. It’s been thirteen years, and I don’t miss it. I am incredibly thankful that I listened to my heart’s still, small voice. The enemy brings addiction to us. He loves it when we are addicted to anything. But we can overcome it all through Jesus. He overcame the world and all the temptations and can also show us how to overcome them.
If you have an addiction that hurts you, I want you to know you can overcome it, but you must truly want to quit. Send me a message or comment, and I will do my best to pray for you. I know what it feels like to live with an addiction. And I also know the amazing feeling of overcoming it. That’s what I want you to feel—the peace of overcoming it all.