Image showing Elizabeth Smart.

The Story of Elizabeth Smart

It's time again to remind you that climbing out of very dark places is entirely possible. Today I will tell you the story of Elizabeth Smart. She was abducted at the age of 14 when a man took her to a remote mountain for nine long months. He considered her to be his wife and expected all wifely duties to be performed - including marriage consummation. After the rape, Elizabeth felt broken and without any hope. She felt worthless and unworthy of love. Her captor repeated the horrors over the entire nine months she spent in hell.

With incredible strength she found within herself, she told herself that she wasn't going to let the captor win - even if that meant outliving them for another thirty years.

Elizabeth's mother gave her a beautiful piece of advice after her liberation from hell.

Elizabeth, what this man has done to you is terrible, and there are no words strong enough to describe how wicked and evil he is. He has stolen nine months of your life that you will never get back. The best punishment you could ever give him is to be happy, is to move forward with your life, because by feeling sorry for yourself, and holding onto the past, and dwelling on what's happened to you, that's only allowing them more control, more power, steal more of your life away from you. So don't let that happen. Justice may, or may not be served, restitution may or may not be made, but don't you dare give them another second of your life.

Elizabeth teaches us that we have the choice between surrender and fight. In her incredible strength, she even says that she is grateful for what has happened to her because of what it has taught her, and the perspective it has given her. Can you imagine that? Talk about making lemonade when life gives you lemons!