Growing up in Zimbabwe, I never imagined I’d be a smoker. No one in my family ever smoked. In fact where I live, it is unheard of for women to smoke. After finishing my studies in Grahamstown, I went to live in Cape Town, South Africa. Since at the time I was living in a different country and had made new friends, I started to make new choices as well. One of those was smoking.
I never sat down and decided I want to be a smoker. I was around people who smoked all the time and one day after enough drinks, I decided to try it. I did and before I knew it I was a smoker. I started off as an occasional smoker and before long I was nearly a pack a day kind of smoker. I was the kind of smoker that when I threw a party, non-smokers were asked to go outside to get some air.
Over the years I tried to stop but it was always a week or two before I caved. Moving back home helped me to cut down because I was doing it in secret. You would think that would make me stop but it didn’t.
Being at home couldn’t stop me so I tried the one thing I hadn’t done regarding this. I remembered that now I wasn’t doing things on my own anymore, someone greater than me was at work in me now. So I prayed about it. I told God I couldn’t do it on my own. I’m not sure how long after that it was, but one day I just stopped. I know without a doubt it was God who helped because on my own I had tried and failed. I know now more than ever that when you call out to Him, God hears you and He will answer. It might take a day, a month, a year or more but He always delivers on His promises.
I don’t know what you’re struggling with but I know if you hand it over to God, He will deal with it for you. Sometimes willpower isn’t enough and you just have to go to God as you are with whatever you’re struggling with and He will take it over and in time will make it go away for you. To use Paul’s words:
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.
I also wrote this to let you know that it’s okay to still struggle with some things in your walk with Christ. It doesn’t mean God will love you any less or not help you when you ask Him. When all this was happening, I had turned back to God and was living a different life to the one I was when I had rebelled against God. The smoking was a remnant of that lifestyle. I didn’t want to do it anymore but I had grown used to using it as a crutch and letting go wasn’t easy. I’m not saying everyone has to give up smoking, for me it was just something I didn’t want to be a part of my life anymore.
In the same way that God helped me with it, He will do the same for you, regarding whatever it is that is plaguing you. He loves you no matter what. He loves you even if you still mess up sometimes. Even if you disappoint yourself sometimes, He still loves you. There is nothing that you could do that would take His love away from you. You might not feel it because of your guilt or shame but He loves you more than you could ever imagine. So give it to Him and see Him work wonders in your life.