painful relationship issue. We all know that pain needs comfort and healing. I chose to go to anger, self-pity, and fear in my desire for relief. These can give a nice, temporary zap of numbness and sometimes even a thrilling “high,” but the end result is devastating! Let me tell you, self-pity or the martyr spirit coupled with anger does not look becoming on any woman, no matter how flattering your figure or how beautiful a face you wear! This junk is best traded in for a “garment of praise”! was feeling depressed or discouraged, it was highly therapeutic for me to talk to God about these truths. In other words, I was worshiping. Ah….so good, so freeing, so relaxing, so transforming! One week when I spent extensive periods of time worshiping, I came to the realization that I haven’t actually suffered that On sleepless nights, I learned to get up, read my Bible and wrestle with God, until He gave me relief through a word from Him. As I became His student, I learned that praise is faith in action. Complaining is actually unbelief because if I can’t I thank God for what He has allowed in my life, it’s like I am telling Him that I could have done a better job of planning things than He. That’s arrogance! That’s the equivalent of me telling Him that I know more than He does. Seriously. Who am I kidding? He is God and I am not. Period. One night when I couldn’t sleep I was reading about how the children of Israel wandered around the wilderness for 40 years because of their unbelief. (Hebrews 3:19) They were a bunch of whiners! I realized that I was wandering around in my own desert experience and I did NOT want to stay there for 40 years. I needed to start cooperating with God and start praising Him! I can see now that I was holding myself back from rest because of my unbelief in God, which being interpreted in every day life was complaining and fighting God and treating Him like He didn’t know what He was doing. At first, I found that practicing gratitude was a matter of the will. I needed to will to praise God. It becomes a choice to be grateful, even if I do not feel like it. I remember standing in my kitchen and thinking that this gratitude thing was as hard as working out—it would be easier to go to the gym than to thank God for the things in my life that I did not like. But I am finding that as I practice gratitude and choose not to give in to stress, it can actually, with the help of the Holy Spirit, enter all the way to my heart and become an inner motivation. I remember during the season that God was teaching me gratitude, I woke up one morning, and without even trying, as I woke up, my first words were, “Thank you, Jesus!” I thought to myself, “Where did that come from?” I believe it was the gracious gift of God, instilling it deep within my soul. So much of the battle is in the mind. It’s easy to base our thought process around our feelings in the moment. We can swish those negative thoughts around in our head until they actually “feel real”. Other labels for this include “stinking thinking” and/or “believing lies”. A sure fire cure for this is to drag our mind back to truth. What is truth? God’s Word. God’s promises. God’s names. God’s acts and attributes. I have found this to be extremely helpful! On days when I -18- On sleepless nights, I learned to get up, read my Bible and wrestle with God, until He gave me relief through a word from Him. AS I BECAME HIS STUDENT, I LEARNED THAT PRAISE IS FAITH IN ACTION.