Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times but 77 times.
Seventy-seven, a repetition of seven in a number, was equivalent to saying "indefinitely" or "without limit." Jesus counsels Christians to forgive their brothers to that extent. If I am commanded to forgive my brother indefinitely then am I not commanded to forgive myself as much? I have discovered over the years of smobriety that guilt and shame over smoking only drives me diabolically to smoke. "I'm doomed!'
I now have Stage III COPD and a brain tumor. I also have Major Depressive Disorder. I am responsible for neglecting my body, mind, and spirit for the sake of Addiction. But God promises that if I can forgive myself He is ready to forgive me. That won't cure the damage done but it will allow me to live well and die well. I take up the challenge and face each day with Faith. Faith allows me to forgive myself - to accept forgiveness - to live a Life rich in the treasures of heaven and to share with others the Hope of Forgiveness.
Today I celebrate 9 Years of Freedom! I quit on the first day of Spring purposefully. It was also 6 days after being diagnosed with COPD. The journey has not been easy but my Higher Power knows even today how to make lemonade out of lemons! Obstacles are not unbearable - they are challenges in courage. They are opportunities to become closer to Jesus who wept tears of blood in Gethsemane in our behalf. I refuse to let these obstacles stop me!
The further you travel the road of Freedom the more Blessings are showered on you and your loved ones. And blossom by blossom the Spring begins.