On Eagle's Wings

On Eagle's Wings
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Freedom Anniversary!

Today is a meaningful anniversary for me. On this date in 1994, I was set free and began to understand God's grace for the first time. 

My background was strict and legalistic, but knowing that Jesus was my Savior since I was eight years old. As I grew up, I loved the Lord, but when I passed that age of 18, I wanted to be free from all the rules and began to run with others who were also running away from rules. 

One of the habits I picked up was cigarettes. I didn't realize the addiction and the pull on me would be so strong. Not only was there an addiction problem, but there was a shame problem deep within me because of the background from which I came. Smoking was strictly forbidden, as was alcohol and a number of other things. 

After 25 years of being hooked, and longing to be free, my husband and I tried every method including, but not limited to, hypnotism, shots, patches, cold turkey, you name it, we tried it. Each time we tried to quit, we became desperate and the quarrels we had ... Let's just say they were ugly. I couldn't concentrate at work for the longing in me for that nicotine. (I am ever so thankful that I had not reached out to alcohol or drugs.)

I wept as I drove to and from work longing for God to set me free, crying out because I was so weak in this addiction and couldn't resist the pull of it. 

One Saturday, my DH had gone to work and I had the house to myself. As I did housework, I listened to the radio and Saturday morning kids shows. As those sweet voices sang Jesus Loves Me, it brought tears to my eyes remembering my childhood love for Jesus and the innocence of those times. After I finished my work, I went over to the Christian book store to find a book. My eyes latched on to Kay Arthur's books, "Lord, I Need ..." and one in particular: "Lord, I Need the Grace to Make It"! 

I bought it and took it home and immediately began to read and do the homework and research as God began to reveal His grace to me through His Word. 

That evening I went to church alone. As the service drew to a close, our pastor said, "there is someone here who is battling an addiction they've tried to break. They've tried every possible means to break it without success." He asked that person to come forward to be prayed for and, as I stood there thinking he was speaking to me directly, it crossed my mind that here was the opportunity I had been waiting for. If I didn't do it now, it would never happen. So, with head up, I went straight to the front of the church and, I might add, I was not alone. There were others coming forward with me to be set free. As the pastor readied to pray with me, he asked what it was I needed. I told him, and, as he began to pray, I stopped him to say, "and along with quitting, I need joy and peace!"

Well, he placed his hands on my head and prayed. I went home that night, threw that pack of Marlboro in the trash, and never pulled it out again. (That had been my habit in the past. Throw away, dunk in water, dry them out in the oven or go buy more.)

Not this time, baby! I went to bed, woke up the next morning and every morning thereafter with absolutely no desire for a cigarette and with the sweetest joy and peace so that my husband never even noticed until I told him. 

I praise God every day for the freedom of His grace, love, mercy and healing! Because on that day, not only was I free from my addiction, but I began a journey of freedom in Christ that I had never known before.

I remember a song we sang as kids:

O stop! And let me tell you
What the good Lord's done for me.
O stop! And let me tell you
What the good Lord's done for me.
For He has healed my body, and 
He saved my soul. 
He baptized me and He made me whole. 
O stop! And let me tell you
What the good Lord's done for me.

God's been good to me!

P.S. Not long after, my DH had the same experience. We have both been smoke free for all these years!!


Pamela M. Steiner said...

What a beautiful story of God's amazing grace. So happy for you both. What a powerful testimony.I love the little song at the end. I remember our kids singing that in Sunday School. A lot of good theology in that little song!!!

Melanie said...

Thank you for sharing your testimony. What a wonderful feeling to feel free. God's grace is so precious. This is very encouraging for me.

Mary Hutchins said...

God is so good and faithful to His children. Beautiful testimony Nonnie. Happy Freedom Anniversary!

Joyful said...

Praise the Lord for his saving grace!

Terri D said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us! I agree with Mary that this is a beautiful testimony.

Elizabeth Day said...

Connie, I rejoice with you in this victory. What a beautiful account of not only your pastor's sensitivity to the Lord speaking to him, but your willingness to respond. If we only had an inkling of what all the Lord desires to give us, I for one would be completely overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing this with us today. BTW, I go to Plano tomorrow to see the doc about my hip. I will let you know what I find out. Thank you for your prayers on my behalf.

Debbie said...

PRAISE GOD! What a wonderful testimony of not only the power of God, but His HUGE love for us. I LOVE hearing stories like this. God is good all the time. Have a good week!

Debbie Huffaker said...

What an awesome testimony to God's faithfulness and His grace and mercy!!! Congratulations!! Thanks for being transparent and sharing your story.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Amen! What a wonderful blessing from God....

Blogger said...

VaporFi is the most recommended electronic cigarettes provider on the market.