When I was 14 or 15 years old, on one of my many runaway episodes, my friend Linda Tyson and I hitchhiked from Boston to Scranton Pennsylvania, where our backpacks and everything we had were stolen. A man who had picked us up and given us a fifty mile lift into Scranton had told us that if we ever needed help along the way, call a local Baptist church and they would help.
So we did. The pastor came and picked us up, brought us to the parsonage where his wife had a hot meal for us, then housed us with a young couple with two small children.
Linda and I were both smokers, and spent a lot of time on the back porch, puffing away.
Part of staying in this family's home included going to Wednesday night prayer meeting and Sunday services with them. That Wednesday night was the first time I ever had a heart to heart with Jesus. I backslid quite a lot over the years, but that was the first time.
I don't remember the names of the couple, I wish I did. They were so kind and generous to us.
But I remember the wife giving me her testimony about quitting smoking. She had been a three pack a day smoker when she was convicted that her body was a temple for God and she quit cold turkey. She said that what pulled her through it was a LOT of prayer.
Today, Kris and I were talking, and she said something that put me RIGHT back in that lady's kitchen thirty years ago. I don't remember Kris's exact words, but they were right in line with that "my body is God's temple" thing. And I felt like God was whapping me upside the head and reminding me that I'm messing up His creation in a big way.
Then I get back online this afternoon, and Tori has sent me a little FB app. No big deal, right?
Except that I do not believe in coincidences. They just don't happen in my life.
The app was a message which reads:
Yes, today. Keep your eyes open for a message. It might come in a shape of a bird flying overhead, or a graffiti on a wall, or a phrase said by a passerby, or... Whatever shape it has, this message has been trying to reach you for years, and today is finally the day. Keep your senses open.
Hello, Jenn, this is God speaking. Time to quit.
Q day starts when I wake up tomorrow morning. And it will never end until I beat this addiction once and for all. If Sam could quit drugs, I can quit nicotine.. and I have something he didn't have when he went clean. I have God to lean on and help me through this.
My strategy is simple. When I want to smoke, I'll pray until the craving goes away.
I foresee a RICH prayer life over the next few weeks, between quitting smoking and forgiving.
Please pray with me on this! I need ALL the help I can get!