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ILLUS: Dr. Robert Seizer, in his book “Mortal Lessons: Notes in the Art of Surgery,” tells the story of a young husband and wife. He had operated to remove a tumor from the wife’s face, but in the process had unavoidably cut a facial nerve. It left her mouth permanently distorted. She asked him, "Will my mouth always be like this?" He had to say that it would. She was devastated. But then her husband spoke up. With a smile on his face, he said, "I like it, it’s kind of cute," and he bent over to kiss her. He had to twist his own lips to make them fit with hers, but he did it, and he kissed her. And seeing what this young husband did for his hurting wife, the doctor said he felt like he was in the presence of God.

Because the young man CHOSE to think about his wife’s permanently distorted mouth as cute rather than horrible, he turned what could have been a lifetime of regret, pain and shame about her distorted face, into a source of joy and strength; because now whenever she thought about her face, it would remind her not about how ugly it had become, but about how much her husband loved her. That’s the power of choosing to “count it all joy.”

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