It’s easy to neglect the role of faith in the life of the individual believer. Kayla Mueller, in her last weeks, was comforted by her faith and by her certainty that others were praying for her. Whatever our particular views about one religion or another — or about religion as a whole — let’s not forget, to borrow Kayla’s own words, that even in the midst of darkness, faith in God can help the believer to find the light.
The letter begins with Kayla’s assurance that she has been treated well, and is “in a safe location, completely unharmed + healthy” -- points, obviously, that we outsiders hope are true but have no way to confirm. The 26-year-old aid worker goes on to apologize touchingly to her family for the suffering that she has put them through because of her captivity. Then comes her central proposition:
“I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else.”
Kayla, who was involved in the campus ministry at Northern Arizona University, goes on to relate how “by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall.” She adds: “I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful. I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it.”
Having told her family that her faith is strong, she goes on to pray that theirs is, too: “I pray each each day that if nothing else, you have felt a certain closeness + surrender to God as well + have formed a bond of love + support amongst one another…”
The product of this prayer, she says, is personal strength: “None of us could have known it would be this long but know I am also fighting from my side in the ways I am able + I have a lot of fight left inside of me. I am not breaking down + I will not give in no matter how long it takes.”
“Please be patient, give your pain to God. I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing. Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God’s will we will be together soon.”
Let us pray for Kayla Mueller.