Heather Bell
Beside Still Waters

I was a very heavy smoker, long before it was unfashionable to be so. I didn't really want to stop because I enjoyed it and got great comfort from the habit. However my Christian friends kept telling me it was wrong.  My family, all non-smokers, hated it.  Oh what to do?

Of course I prayed about it, and often went and lit another cigarette as soon as I'd said amen.  I had healing prayer, I tried various fool-proof remedies, and still I smoked.  The advice I received would fill a dozen books, and the guilt I felt was compounded by the open condemnation I received from some quarters.

Then one day the Lord spoke to me in a way that was so clear I couldn't possibly mistake
what He was saying. The message was "You asked, I've heard, I'll take it, in My time".

So began 4 years of walking in absolute faith. It seemed to me the hassles from others kept increasing and I just kept saying "It's no longer my problem, when the time is right the Lord will take it." I admit there were times when I wondered if I was wrong, had I got the message wrong ? did I just want to keep smoking and was I using this as an excuse? but always, as the thoughts went through my head, there was that sense of complete conviction.

It was a long time to stick to my belief that the Lord did in deed have it in hand, and there were many who tried to laugh me out of my belief, but I just knew I had heard right, despite the time that was passing.

In August 1984 I was standing at the stove, cooking the evening meal, when I realised I couldn't move my left arm, and as I tried to turn I couldn't make my left leg shift. My son looked up and said the left side of my face was twisted up at the side.

We got the doctor, who said I had had a mild stroke and I would have to go to hospital. 
He asked if I smoked and when I said yes, he said that I would have to stop.  The ambulance came and I had a 2 hour drive to the hospital, various tests etc. when I got
there and all the usual things one does.

The next day I went for a walk down the corridor and met a man who was smoking. He offered me a cigarette, but I declined because I didn't feel like one, and anyway I'd
been told I would have to stop.

I came home from hospital after 3 days, with no sign of the mini-stroke having done any
damage.  Now, after 8 years I have never had another cigarette, I have never wanted
another cigarette and in fact I have never even thought about a cigarette from that day on.

I went from smoking 60 to 70 cigarettes a day to being a non-smoker overnight, without
one single withdrawal symptom.  When my Lord says He has taken a problem, He does it
completely.  There are no side issues, it is done and it is complete. All you have to do is hang in there till the time is right. 

Oh Praise His Precious Name.
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