Around March of last year (2003) my wife convinced me to go to [a church] youth program. My first thought was we are not youth age how can we attend? She said it was actually for youth and young adults our age, so I said ok let try it. When I went there I saw things that I never imagined. 13, 14, 15 year old kids dancing waving there hands in the air and shouting to God. At first I thought, well gee these kids are crazy, but after a while I knew that they just really loved Jesus and weren’t afraid to show it and down deep I had to respect that even if I thought it was wierd. Something else happened that night I heard about this thing called a relationship with Jesus. I thought my Goodness how can anyone presume to have Jesus as a personal friend. It sounded blasphemous. Anyway I listened to the message that night and began to understand a little that maybe I was wrong.
For the next few months I only missed sunday night maybe twice and I had started going on saturday nights since I didn’t like to get up on sunday morning. One night I think in June i was outside smoking a cigarette (I had been a smoker since I was 17) when one of the youth leaders a great girl named Kendall who was I’d guess in her early to mid-30’s came up and asked me how long I’d been smoking. I told her and she asked me if I’d ever thought about quitting. I said I had tried twice to quit unsucessfully. She said that she used to be a smoker and that she never thought she could quit either until she gave prayer a chance. She told me how God had toucher her and cured her immediately of her desore to smoke and I thought that was great but doubted it would work for me.
Anyway about 3 months later in September I decided to quit again and again it wasn’t going very well. One Sunday I smoked a cigarette in the morning and determined it would be my last after about 7 hours without one I was ready to pull my hair out. So I went and bought another Pack and had a cigarette. I started thinking maybe I’m not meant to be cured suddenly and miraculously maybe God intends for me to fight this out. But after I had that cigarette I went home and feeling guilty I prayed and said God I have tried so hard to quit and just can’t do it alone. Please help me, put your arms around me and help me because I just can’t do this. Before I finished I started singing a hymn. By the time I finished my entire body was numb and I could barely move. It was as if I had been paralyzed. My hands were frozen into position and my knees were locked and it felt as if some great magnet was holding me to the floor not allowing me to move. After a while God spoke and said, “”Go and tell your wife that I am here and pray to me with her.”” So I did and when I had done this he then said, “”Now go and destroy that pack you just bought.”” So I did.
I can’t begin to say what an experience this was to be touched by God like this. I have been smoke free since that night and have never felt better, because now I am not only healthier but I have a relationship with Jesus that I cherish every day. All I can say to anyone out there who is struggling with smoking or any other addiction in the words of my friend Kendall, “”Give prayer a chance!””