By now nearly everyone has heard of the untimely death of Kayla Mueller. Last Friday the early reports of a woman from Prescott, AZ killed in Syria were unconfirmed and the name was being withheld. My immediate thought was of my cousin’s daughter. I knew she was working around the world and the chances high that this may be her. Just a few hours later, it was confirmed. Kayla Mueller was indeed the one identified. Then this, morning, the confirmation that Kayla was home with our Lord.
Dad and mom released a letter Kayla wrote last November to the public. It is attached below if you haven’t read it. An innocent, kind, compassionate, grateful woman shared her love. Love for her family and friends. Love for her creator. Love for the people she served. What a picture for all of us. We are angry today. Angry that evil triumphs. Angry that a young life was taken too soon. Angry at the feeling of helplessness. In the midst of the sorrow though, Kayla’s words call to us: “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 this 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 freedom.”
Resting in the assurance that you are loved. Resting in the hope that your Lord holds you in the palm of His hand takes great trust. What an inspiration to know that Kayla’ s trust was demonstrated in her gratitude, her kindness and her courage. Her loss is an admonition to us all to forge on by resting in the truth of our belovedness. Kayla is a champion of faith for us all to emulate.
Personally. I am sad and proud. Sad we have lost a young woman and a member of our family. I am proud to share the same heritage as Kayla that goes back over thirty generations. Men and women that listened to the call on their lives to follow and serve their creator. I am proud of my cousin Carl and his wife Marcia for demonstrating to us all the depth of a parent’s love and devotion. I am humbled by their courage.
We mourn together. We must be in prayer for the comfort and well being of Carl and Marcia and family. These days will be filled with pain and joy and they will be exhausting. Greater, we must not forget, as we are wont to do in this present culture. This pain will remain and two, three, six months from now, Carl and Marcia will need our prayers still.
There is joy in the heavens today. The Lord has called his beloved home. We mourn, but we hope. One day we will all be together.
Kyala’s Letter to Family November 2014
Everyone, 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 freedom.
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