On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart was taken from her home in the middle of the night by a religious fanatic, Brian Mitchell. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape.
In her book, My Story, Elizabeth further describes her experience in captivity:
I was always terrified. Terrified of what was coming. Terrified of the thought that it was thirty years before Mitchell would die and I could be free. I had no dignity. No freedom. No power over my body. No power over what I ate, what I drank, what I heard, or what I read. It was endless hours of indoctrination—hearing about my captor’s journey, hearing how smart Mitchell was and how he was the chosen one. I was a prisoner in heart, mind and soul.
On Thanksgiving Day, 5 months into her captivity, Elizabeth said, “I’m supposed to count my blessings. But, I wondered if I had anything to be thankful for? At first, I didn’t think so. Then, I started to make a list:
I kept adding to my list of blessings until I eventually fell asleep.”
I am humbled by Elizabeth’s example of finding things to be thankful for even in her horrific situation, even in captivity. Maybe her story will inspire us to also be thankful in whatever situation we find ourselves.
You can read more about Elizabeth’s story in her new book, My Story. If you read it, her story may impact your story.