After news broke Tuesday that Kayla Mueller, an American aid worker who had been held captive by the Islamic State since 2013, died, her family released a heartbreaking letter she sent them during her imprisonment in which she said her deep Christian faith was sustaining her.
Mueller, 26, had penned the letter sometime in the spring of 2014, telling her family that she had been treated well, was healthy and had relied on God to get through her captivity, the Christian Post reported.
"I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God," she wrote. "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….+ by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall."
Mueller continued, "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."
This image provided by the Mueller family shows a photocopy of a letter the family says was written to them by Kayla Jean Mueller in spring 2014.(AP Photo/Courtesy of the Mueller family)
Despite her own plight, the imprisoned aid worker told her loved ones that she also prays that they, too, have found a "certain closeness + surrender to God" as she has and expressed her hope that they have been able to support and rely upon one another.
Mueller said that the prospect of being reunited with her family gave her strength and shared that she was troubled by the pain her captivity was causing her family, again imploring them to rely upon God.
"Please be patient, give your pain to God. I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing," she said. "Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God’s will we will be together soon."
Read the full text of her letter below (via ABC News):
If you are receiving this letter it means I am still detained but my cell mates (starting from 11/2/2014) have been released. I have asked them to contact you + send you this letter. It’s hard to know what to say.
Please know that I am in a safe location, completely unharmed + healthy(put on weight in fact); I have been treated w/ the utmost respect + kindness. I wanted to write you all a well thought out letter (but I didn’t know if my cellmates would be leaving in the coming days or the coming months restricting my time but primarily) I could only but write the letter a paragraph at a time, just the thought of you all sends me into a fit of tears.
If you could say I have “suffered” at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through; I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness. 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….+ by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall.
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. 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…
I miss you all as if it has been a decade of forced separation. I have had many a long hour to think, to think of all the things I will do w/ Lex, our first family camping trip, the first meeting @ the airport.I have had many hours to think how only in your absence have I finally @ 25 years old come to realize your place in my life.
The gift that is each one of you + the person I could + could not be if you were not a part of my life, my family, my support. I DO NOT want the negotiations for my release to be your duty, if there is any other option take it, even if it takes more time. This should never have become your burden. I have asked these women to support you; please seek their advice. If you have not done so already, [REDACTED] can contact [REDACTED] who may have a certain level of experience with these people.
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.
I wrote a song some months ago that says, “The part of me that pains the most also gets me out of bed, w/out your hope there would be nothing left…” aka - The thought of your pain is the source of my own, simultaneously the hope of our reunion is the source of my strength. 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.
All my everything, Kayla
Mueller, who had been in captivity since 2013 after going to Syria to help refugees, was remembered by friends and loved ones Tuesday after news of her death was confirmed by both her family and the Obama administration.
"We are heartbroken to share that we've received confirmation that Kayla Jean Mueller, has lost her life," her family said in a statement. "Kayla was a compassionate and devoted humanitarian. She dedicated the whole of her young life to helping those in need of freedom, justice, and peace."
(H/T: Christian Post)