Are you awake? Are your eyes open?
Six months ago I quit smoking. I had been smoking close to half a pack per day for about two years and by God’s grace and mercy, I was able to break the addiction.
The way I did this was actually very simple and very easy. Seriously…it was so EASY! All I did was read a book. Yep. That’s it. I read a book and before I had even finished it I ended up smoking my last cigarette. It was July 31, 2014.
The cool thing was my husband was out of town that week. He HATED the fact that I had picked up this habit and he had been begging me to quit for a very long time. This habit actually drove quite a big wedge between us. I smelled like smoke all the time (so unattractive), I spent lots of time outside-away from my family-so I could smoke, and I was costing us close to $85 per month. I had tried to quit. I tried tapering. I tried cold-turkey. But each time I made an attempt, I would fail. I think both my husband and I had gotten to the point of hopelessness when it came to my addiction. We thought I would be struggling with this for forever. And that feeling was pretty crappy!
I was starting to develop a failure complex. I thought that I was stuck in this trap and I regretted the very day I chose to turn to cigarettes in the first place.
While he was away, I spent a lot of time researching online different methods for quitting this habit. I started watching those educational videos on the effects of smoking in hopes that they would scare me enough to quit…they didn’t work. Every smoker is aware of the health hazards of smoking. The problem is that the addiction is just too powerful.
But as I was searching online, I came across a video titled “The Easyway To Stop Smoking”. What? Quitting can be easy?
If you know anything about me, you would know that I LOVE shortcuts. I love things that are quick and easy, so this had my name written all over it.
The video was about a book by the same title and it was the testimony given by a woman around my age of how she quit smoking overnight and never looked back. With that I thought, what do I have to lose? and I downloaded the kindle version immediately.
I began reading this book and what it had to say was so simple yet so so meaningful. The addiction trap of nicotine is a lie! It’s totally a lie. It tells you that it will calm you down, relax your anxious mind, cure boredom, etc. and actually…it does the opposite. It increases your heart rate, it numbs you to the point of wasting time and zapping your energy, and it gives you a failure complex because you can’t seem to turn it away.
This book gave me the knowledge to uncover the lie and once the lie was uncovered, I no longer had a desire to smoke. My husband came home to a non-smoker! Yay!
If smoking is something you struggle with, then please go grab that book. But I want to talk about something else that I learned from reading about the lies of addiction.
Lies are actually everywhere. After reading about the trap, I began wondering about other things in my life that were deceiving me. Things like consumerism. I had been thinking that having a certain type of lifestyle and a certain size home and a certain amount of things all were going to make me happy. Actually, giving makes me happy, hoarding only overwhelms.
I thought about my thoughts towards others. Looking down on people was usually an attempt to make myself feel elevated. But in reality, Jesus says that we are to consider those “things” in others as dust particles compared to the giant two-by-four sticking out of our own eye. And by collapsing the judgement, I become more and more free to let go of whatever opinions I may have and just love the way the Father loves.
And most recently, I have been trying to shatter the lie of worthlessness. Oh my goodness! This one is the most difficult so far. Jesus wants us to find our life in Him and in Him alone, but the enemy…he’s a sneaky one. You see, I have BLOWN IT! And when I say I have BLOWN IT, I mean ROYALLY!!!!! I have been unloving, I have lied, I have stopped putting my trust in Jesus and have put my trust in other things. Things that made me feel good…temporarily. I have done some really really stupid stuff and there is a part of me that finds it very difficult to let all of that fall by the wayside.
The accusing voice finds its way inside my head and says, “don’t you dare show your face!” or “you are a disgrace”, “you don’t deserve to rest easy”, “you suck!”
Lies! Lies! Lies!
I am waking up to these lies, you guys! I am becoming increasingly more aware that Jesus really is who He says He is. That He came to set us free, to pour His love all over us and claim us as His own. He heals the sick, feeds the hungry, parties with tax collectors and prostitutes, and most of all, HE FORGIVES! It’s over! It’s done and finished and all of that crap about not being worthy is a lie and it is the GREATEST lie ever.
We find many ways of coping with this lie. Even believers are blind to its deception. Sometimes we, as I mentioned earlier, point out the flaws in others in order to minimize the shame we feel ourselves. “At least I am not like that guy” “I may not be perfect…but see that girl over there?”
Another way of coping with the deception is we hide. (GUILTY) We believe the lie. We believe we aren’t worthy of the cross and we shrink. Fear takes over and we make new friends with blankets and pillows and binge viewings of Gilmore Girls… (yeah, that’d be me 😉 )
The only way to break free of this deception is to call it out for what it is. It is not the voice of truth. It is not the message that Jesus has for us and it is stealing our life from us.
This is why it is foundational…FOUNDATIONAL…that we understand and know Who God is, what His voice sounds like, and how He wants to be our only source of life. My motto lately has been, “Micky, get your life from Christ”. For a while I didn’t understand what that meant and sometimes, the clearing of this cloud of deception takes some work and time before the truth can really sink in. But it’s starting to finally sink in for me. He loves me, He is setting me free, He doesn’t accuse me.
This is HUGE! If this is who Jesus is, if He is the full revelation of who God is, if He came into this world, formed relationships with those out on the margins, healed, fed, ate, prayed, laughed, played, taught and DIED for all of creation…what is He calling us as His followers to do as well???? And what lengths will the enemy go to in order to keep us from following in those same footsteps?
Get to know this Jesus guy today, people! Understand this crazy love He has, this limitless grace, this radical-upside down-unlike any other love that He is pouring out over you and then go. Go and do likewise…without the shame, without the guilt. Call the lie out for what it is and step into the truth!
Praying that His reality becomes our reality! -xoxo