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Friday, November 22, 2013

My Crazy Life ~ Up in Smoke, My QUIT Story

What an anniversary ~ 1 year without a cigarette! YAY for me and this is how this journey came about....

I LOVED to smoke, crazy I know, but it was my comfort, my best friend, my life line and it's so sad to admit!

Last September after having a cough since July, that wouldn't go away on it's own or with meds (I had pneumonia and/or bronchitis at 2-3 times per year so meds were always in my diet), the doctor sent me to a pulmonologist ~ the lung doctor in laymen terms. That in and of itself just sounds scary! She was STUNNED that since my mother is a 8 year lung cancer survivor and NEVER smoked a day in her life, that someone such as myself with that kind of history was sitting on her table.

I was told that this was it, COPD was beginning to creep in at the age of 39 and if I didn't quit ~ and quit for good this time ~ I would be carrying an oxygen tank by 42. Okay then, that was it, enough said ~ somehow I had to find a way to lay those darn things down and I knew just where to turn, my praying momma!

Believe me, when my mom was diagnosed with cancer I tried quit. I did Chantix and it worked but made me so sick I stopped taking it and with 6 months was smoking again =( You may also be thinking I surely quit when I was pregnant with my 3 beautiful babies and unfortunately the answer to that is YES I quit with the first one (we do everything right the first time....right), I started again after a month of giving birth and then became pregnant with my 2nd 3 years later.  I "cut back" without quitting altogether like I did the first time and then 5 years later with I became pregnant the 3rd time, I smoked off and on but not like I did in the previous pregnancy. So SHAME ON ME, I didn't ever really quit the nasty habit even then! Why you ask, because I was so scared of gaining, or rather, not taking off the baby weight.

You see 22 years ago at the prime of my battle with eating disorders (story at a later time ~ it's a lengthy one) some crazy person told me that smoking would curb my appetite and rev up my metabolism, so I choked them down and before long was 100% addicted. I so wish some other crazy person would have told me to "just NOT do it" instead.......this was the hardest fight of my life to date, the battle of quitting!

So in September of last year I left the pulmonologist office with a prescription for Chantix and started this battle again! I called my mom, my prayer warrior, and simply said "I know I can't quit, we have prayed again and again, year after year for God to give me the will power to quit and I just don't have it". "We have to start praying that I will just literally wake up one day and not remember ever smoking." At that point I think I was put on every prayer chain she knew of.

I started Chantix in October and within a few weeks I was so sick, I even had students asking me if I was pregnant! HECK no, I wasn't pregnant but I sure had morning sickness like I was! I had to stop the meds and keep praying.....keep believing my miracle was coming!

Thanksgiving weekend last year, must have been the last time I had a cigarette.....that sounds strange doesn't it? I say "must have been" because I don't really remember smoking a "last" cigarette. All I remember is looking at my husband one day and saying "I don't think I have smoked a cigarette in a few days", and there was still a pack of cigarettes in the drawer with only a few missing.

A few weeks go by and they were still in the drawer with the same amount missing. "This is REAL" I tell my mom and husband,"I don't remember smoking and quite frankly can't believe I ever did that ~ it smells awful!!"......

I finally threw away that pack of cigarettes late this spring ~ I kept them as a reminder, to me and everyone, of what MY GOD can do!  Please know that what He did for me He can do for you too! We have to have faith, faith as little as a mustard seed. I knew that I could NOT do this on my own, I had tried for 9 years! I knew that the only way I would quit and never go back was for God to perform a miracle within me!

Scripture tells us in Matthew 17:19-21…Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said,"Why could we not drive it out?" And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. "But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."

To date, I haven't had a cough, I haven't even been to the doctor for an illness since that appointment with the pulmonologist over a year ago AND I can sleep on my back without gagging for the  first time since I was 20 ~ PRAISE GOD and to God be all the Glory! (I also said I would never be a 20 year smoker ~ well that came and went, with my new goal to be quit by age 40.)

God knows our dreams, desires and needs ~ I had laid those cigarettes down 3 months before my 40th birthday.......I still weigh what I weighed at the time of that doctor visit too (so that part of my past is truly still in my past).......if that wasn't God at work =}......    

Thank you Lord God for your word, your truth and your life. Thank you for delivering me from the enemy that held me captive and for giving me an opportunity to share your miracle working power through this testimony. I pray Lord, that if anyone is reading this that they too will be delivered from the power of cigarettes, that they will be able to lay them at your feet, turn from them and focus on you instead of their addiction. It is through you that we have our strength, in you and you alone! In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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