Yesterday I celebrated the Day of the Pentecost at Harmony Church which has really become my home church. Rapidly building a reputation as that young new church “is where it is really happening” I found myself there yesterday committing quietly to stop the smoking and this time no more “bs”. Tomorrow I am celebrating my conversion exactly 6 months ago on 25 November 2009. Looking back it has been an amazing ride which is documented here on this blog. Strange how the importance of Christian celebrations changed in only one half year. Where Christmas used to be the highpoint of the year in terms of celebrations, Easter seems to be the real important date now together with the day of the Pentecost. And what better way to celebrate these joyful events than with quitting the very thing that I feel is holding me back in my relationship with God and my family: smoking. I tried many times to no success. In fact I’d go so aggressive that my family would beg me almost to pick up the smoking again. But now, with the help of God and the Quitline I am sure it is going to work out.
I found a helpful article on “How to stop smoking the Christian Way which basically outlined the following steps:
- Understand why you need to quit: your life and health are precious to your Creator (Psalms 36:9, Acts 14:16–17, John 3:16). You are responsible for treating yourself and others well (2 Corinthians 7:1, Matthew 22:39, Matthew 7:12) and you can’t do that while filling your lungs and those of others with smoke.
- Step 2 Set a date, write it down and make sure it remains visible for a week or more before you quit, (Proverbs 21:5, Ephesians 5:15–17). Make sure there are no cigarettes available when that day arrives (1 Corinthians 10:13) and go out of your way to avoid cigarettes and smokers from that day forward (Proverbs 13:20).
- Step 3 Realize that you may not succeed in quitting on the first try. If you have a setback, don’t beat yourself up (2 Corinthians 2:7–8, Romans 2:4). Simply accept the fact that you’re not perfect (Mark 14:38), recommit and move forward.
- Step 4 When you finally do succeed, you can trust that the joy you feel is mirrored by the joy of your Creator (Matthew 18:12–14). You couldn’t have done it without him, and he’s delighted that you cared enough to fight that battle for him!
- Never underestimate the power of prayer! During every step in the process, prayer can make the way easier and the goal clearer (Hebrews 4:16, Psalms 55:22).
- Be prepared for withdrawal symptoms including nausea, irritability, insomnia and a strong craving for cigarettes. Check with your doctor for possible prescriptions to help ease some of these symptoms and help you to make it through this difficult period.
So, last night I prayed, this morning again and picked up the phone and called the Quitline. The first talk went well and a prescription is on the way to the pharmacy and after writing this post it will be about ready to be picked up as opposed to the normal five days to process it: so here we go the first little miracle already happened. Now it is up to me to follow through.
Your support and prayers are welcomed and to support others as well as being supported I will open a new category SMOKE STOP.
To close off Psalm 23, more for me than for the reader probably:
A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD