Thursday, June 2, 2022

Path to Freedom

 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~Philippians 4:13


Yesterday marks six months since I quit smoking.  If anyone had asked me in December of 2021 if I planned to make any New Year's resolutions, I would have answered with a resounding, "No!"  But God, it seems had other plans, plans that were certainly not on my radar.  You can read about that here.

In order to heal completely from pneumonia, I know I have to stop smoking.  For good.  After all, it isn't every day I can attest to audibly hearing God's voice, and knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is His.  He tells me what will happen if I fail to quit.  I think on all the family members I love, and can't bear the thought of departing this life right now.  There's still too much left for me to do for God's kingdom!

The Lord and I make a pact.

This journey hasn't been an easy one, but I must admit, it's been easier than I ever imagined it could be.  That's due in large part to the aid of the Nicotine Patch.


This product comes in three different levels:  21mg for folks who are used to smoking 15 or more cigarettes a day; 14mg for those who are somewhere around the 8 to 10 mark, and 7mg for those approaching the threshold of not craving cigarettes at all.

I've been on Step 3, or 7mg, for at least six weeks now.  One is directed to wear each patch for one day, and then change it for a new one.  But in the last two weeks, I've cut down even more, changing the patch every day and a half instead.  That is working so well, I think I'll be able to ditch the patches for good in just a couple of weeks.  HOORAY!

Yes, Jesus has most certainly given me His strength and resolve along this journey, and I know He will never forsake me or leave me at loose ends.  Should I be tempted to stray, I know I will hear His comforting and encouraging voice, bidding me to keep to the paths He has set for my feet to follow.

Walking in the footsteps of Jesus is the only path to freedom.

I'll take it!

Amen!

32 comments:

  1. Praise God for His constant help to us in our daily struggles of life, no matter how big or small they may be. And I know this one has been a big one for you, but God is with you and He is leading you to a complete healthy life. Thank you for being so open and honest with us about your struggles with this. Sometimes we just take things for granted, that we can just quit this, or stop that, and all will be well, But oftentimes that resolve is not as easy as it sounds, and it's good to know there are helps out there to aid us when we need that extra help. God provides what we need when we need it...we just have to be willing to accept His help and submit to His lead and discipline. May God continue to assist you and give you strength for each new day, and breathe His breath of new life into you every day. God bless you my friend. Been praying for you, and will continue to do so.

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    1. Yes, Pamela, God most certainly provides what we need when we need it, and I've been so grateful for His presence and His help every step of this journey. And I feel that if I'm honest and open with my struggles and battles, I might be able to help someone else who may be having issues of addiction. I'm so thankful for you and for your prayers, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Chantix was actually the silver bullet that delivered me from addiction. Nevertheless, I would not have been possible without Jesus. Every now and then I still consider lighting a cigarette 'for old times sake' -- but testimonies such as yours have kept me from doing so.

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    1. Oh, praise God, Myra! Just knowing this post spoke to your heart is thanks, indeed. I certainly hear you about those cravings, but when I think of the alternative, I put on the STOP light, so to speak. Jesus will always be there to give us strength and resolve.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. SO Proud of you!
    Blessings!
    Lulu

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  4. Dearest Martha Jane,
    So proud of you for having managed those six months!
    WOW and you no doubt have noticed the difference—and you have also felt the severity of its affects on lungs.
    No, we can't ignore such a dire warning and indeed with prayers and God's help we all can push back uphill and drop any bad habit.
    Good luck on your journey.
    So glad I'm no longer under the weather and that also might have impacted my upcoming Covid speedtest on Sunday morning, within 24 hours of departure back to the USA.
    Also need to fill out my attestation form on line and print it out to bring for check in and maybe entering in New York...
    HATE all those added stress things!
    Big hugs, go to bed, it is almost midnight... need my sleep. We went out for dinner with five; two friends with their spouses and me.
    Mariette

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    1. Thanks, Mariette, for taking the time out of your busy vacation to offer such encouragement. Means so much!
      And I'm glad to hear you are feeling better so you can meet the requirements before returning to the States. How ridiculous rules can be, especially when this administration lets anyone into this country through the southern border, sick or not. What foolishness! I keep wondering what will have to happen before this government will once again follow the rule of law.
      Love and blessings!

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    2. Of course Martha Jane, being loyal to some special bloggers is my top priority.
      Today was quite emotional too as my 2nd brother came to meet me here at 10:00 AM and he took me to the place where Mom & Dad's ashes have been dispersed. The spot where they first met, on a bench under a huge oak. Both were in servitude nearby... So that's where a long–time love started to blossom. We went to a restaurant where I always took Mom & Dad, while in The Netherlands and I had an apple pancake. The varieties from back then had shrunk... but it was special. Then my dear friend from elementary school stopped by after my brother left. It feels good to see those that are close to you!
      For Monday I can need a prayer, to make it through and in time. Train departs over half an hour later as anticipated since it is an official holiday; 2nd Pentecost day.
      Please keep your fingers crossed that all goes smooth and I manage to get on board for my 10:10 DL flight to New York.
      Big hugs,
      Mariette

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  5. Good for you, Martha!! Congrats on your 6-months!! I quit in 1983 so I know how it goes. You can do it! xo

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    1. Yes, Terri, you certainly know all about this journey; glad you were able to kick the habit so many years ago. I wish I had, but better late than never.
      Thanks so much for the encouragement!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Martha, you may not believe this, but I ditched the habit before I had my first four bypasses. When I made up my mind that could do it, I asked the Lord to take the burden away. I didn’t pray for Him to help me stop but to take the burden away. I smoked at least one and a half packs a day. God was gracious enough to see me through. cold turkey without any craving. Glory goes to the Father for His love. We worship an awesome God. You are so right to trust the Lord for He will lead the way. Hugs and blessings.

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  7. I love hearing of prayers answered. You hang in there my sweet friend. The world needs you in it until God calls us home.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words, J. D. - they mean the world to me! Yes, isn't it wonderful when God answers our prayers? He has certainly been my rock during this journey and He knows how grateful I am.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Well done and congratulations. I am still praying for you.

    Making a covenant with God is written about in the Bible. Trust in Him always.

    God bless.

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    1. Yes, it certainly is, Victor, and it's only with His help that we can keep our side of the bargain. I'm so grateful for His presence!
      Thanks so much for your prayers, too, my friend.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. I am so thrilled for you Martha! Many don't realize the addiction that tobacco is. For some it is over and done. For others it is a daily struggle. I am glad to see God is giving you His strength daily. Way to go!!

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    1. Yes, Bill, to God be the glory in all of this! Even with the quitting patches, I could not have come this far without the Lord cheering me on. And yes, smoking is an addiction.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. Olá Martha
    Que benção, feliz por você, que o Senhor te fortaleça sempre, bjs.

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    1. This certainly is a blessed journey for me, Lucinalva. Thanks for your encouragement!
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Thank you for sharing your story with us. The Lord is giving you victory and you are winning the battle with His strength. Your story is a lesson for all of us as we deal with whatever needs to be changed in our lives.

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    1. I'm so hoping, Barbara, that my own story will be of inspiration to others. Addiction is a nasty disease, but the Lord can and will help us face those demons and overcome them.
      Love and blessings!

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  12. Martha, I am so proud of you. You are an inspiration to many who want to do the same thing or ask the Lord to help them stop another unhealthy habit. God bless!

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    1. Thank you, Karen, for your kind words of encouragement - I certainly take those to heart! They certainly confirm that God has me on the right path, and that He can help others overcome obstacles in their lives.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. So pleased to read about your progress and that you are taking good care of yourself. You are worth it!

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  14. Good for you, Martha.

    God always answers prayers but in His time.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Veronica, God certainly does answer prayers. Thank goodness!
      Love and blessings!

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  15. Well done, Martha! No doubt God is smiling upon you, for your perseverance, determination, and trust in Him!

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    1. Oh, Nancy, I pray that He is! I'm trusting that all my strength and resolve comes from Him, and Him alone.
      Love and blessings!

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