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“… but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Advice given the church at Philippi almost 2,000 years ago resonated with me after Lev died. I was anxious, worried and stressed about everything. But I read and re-read the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians in those early weeks of widowhood, and I made the conscious decision to take time every day to say, “Thank you, God, for…” When at last I let go of my fears and anxiety, I began to experience the peace of God.

In writing Reclaiming Joy, I have returned to Philippians almost every day, for it is the thread that stitches my stories together and moves the reader from grief to joy. Last week I examined Philippians 4:6 again and found the footnote in my study Bible that is quoted in the photo above. I love how Dr. David Garland (professor and former dean, Truett Seminary, Baylor) explains it in the Zondervan commentary: “A thankful spirit crowds out selfish pride, checks fear, diffuses anger, and directs one’s thoughts outwardly toward others.” Wise word for widows.

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