Praising God this morning for not having smoked a cigarette in 20 years today.
I have mostly forgotten about smoking.
Occasionally, I notice other people smoking, and feel happy that I am not one of them any more, and silently wish them well.
Until I wake up and realize it’s November 4, and it’s my anniversary, and I am NOT huddling outside in the rain with a cigarette and NOT contemplating making the daily trip to the 7-11 and NOT doing any of the insane things I used to do when I smoked. Then, I remember.
So thank you, God, for Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking, which really helped.
And thank you for that horrible year when I was the moderator of the Stewardship Committee, and we had to cover our ridiculous budget so that we could call a new pastor, and I pledged my cigarette money because I felt I needed to lead by example, and made up my mind I would sooner die than not fulfill that pledge.
And thank you for our daughter, before whom I had always cared much less about succeeding at this in the first place.
And thank you for the particular Saint of the Church who sang bass in the choir and told me the story about how she had quit smoking for 15 years but had started again when her son was in the hospital and dying, which was honestly what kept me from starting again when my dad was in the hospital and dying.
And above all, thank you for freedom.
Image: two public domain images from Wikimedia Commons