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You wrote about how odd it was for you to have nothing to do everyday except stay alive. And days when deciding whether to brush your teeth was the most exciting thing of the day.

And deciding you just weren't going to do it because you didn't feel like it.

I think that was a hard thing. Since I've been back, I don't care if we're late to church anymore because it doesn't matter. And I'm not going to drive myself to get to church on time and drive my kids for us to get to church with a bad attitude. Just last week, [my son] Jeff was dragging his feet, and I got upset with him because we were late for church. He said, "What's the big deal?" And I realized there is no big deal. Who made the rules that you got to be somewhere and who made the rules that you have to answer that e-mail?

At first, when I wouldn't answer my phone, I got such nasty comments. I don't have to answer my phone. I don't have to get up if I don't want to get up. You make some choices, and I don't have to brush my teeth today if I don't want to brush my teeth today. And maybe that's a bad thing, and maybe that's how I can handle the boxes of unopened mail in my office and the mess. I'm just able to leave it. Whereas two years ago, I would have been driving myself and my family and everybody else crazy because I had to get those letters answered. I had to get my house in order, and this has got to be done.

My family and my friends have seen the days when I pick that old Gracia back up. But I think for the most part my heart and mind are different. The only thing you really need to do today is what God is asking you to do, and I don't think God cares about a whole lot of stuff that you're putting yourself through the ringer for. I think God cares that we're walking with him, and he's going to impress on you what you need to do. And we're running around like crazy people, and God couldn't care less except that he misses us, if we haven't stopped and spent some time with him. I'm preaching to myself.

You talk a lot about prayer in your book. Is it harder or easier to pray now than it was before your captivity—or during your captivity?

When we were in captivity, I had nothing to do but pray, and Martin and I prayed a lot together. Just a little tiny thing would happen, and we'd say, "Let's pray." I probably don't say, "Let's pray," as often as I should with my kids, but we do stop and pray.

I'm praying all the time in my heart. [Smiling] Probably the Lord gets really tired of my prayers, just the same over and over: Just give me wisdom. I need wisdom. I need wisdom. I don't even know what to pray about. I could say Give me a personal assistant. Give me somebody to clean the house. But I think I need wisdom.

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I don't pray as much as I should, and I don't pray as much as I did in the jungle because I'm out now and I have a water tap. If I get thirsty, I go get a drink. I don't ask God for a drink of water. And when I get hungry, I grab a piece of fruit or something that's sitting on the table. I don't ask God to provide something for me to eat. And when I'm cold, I get a jacket from the closet. I didn't have to say, "God, please supply me with something to keep the heat in my body." When you have things, you forget that God's the one providing everything in your life.

I do say, Thank you, God, all the time. When I'm putting on my shoes, or when I come to a stoplight. I love streets. I love that there's a way to get from point A and point B without walking over a mountain to get there. And I love stop signs, so you don't have to wonder. Life is so organized. I love the smell of cigarette smoke, but no one would understand that. It means there are people around. If I can smell cigarette smoke, I'm not all by myself.

Do you ever pray for the Abu Sayyaf?

I do. I'm praying especially for one. I have a picture. This is the only picture the FBI let me keep. This guy is Abu Sayyaf, and he's in jail in Manila. He was always nice to Martin and me—for a terrorist. And he didn't speak much English, and Martin didn't speak [his language], but Martin would go and sit with him for an hour or two and just be together. I wonder about his family, how his wife and children are doing. And I pray for his salvation. I pray that someone will go and befriend him. I know he's not being treated well in prison. There's nothing I can do about that, but I wish somebody that speaks his language would go talk to him.

There has been some discussion about U.S. involvement in fighting the Abu Sayyaf since your release. What's your hope?

This problem has been going on for more than 600 years in the Philippines. You're not going to solve this problem overnight. You're not going to solve it with a little treaty. You're not going to solve it by integrating them into your armed forces. The Prince of Peace is the only One that's going to solve this problem, and it's going to happen some day and we don't know when.

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I do know what's going to happen to the Abu Sayyaf. Every knee is going to bow and every tongue is going to confess that Jesus is Lord. They can do it now, while there's time to do it, or they can do they can do it at the Judgment, when they find out that Muhammad wasn't the one they were supposed to put their trust in.

That's what's going to happen to all of us. That's what's going to happen to me, and that's what's going to happen to you. And that's what's going to happen to the readers of your magazine. We're going to confess that Jesus is Lord. So justice will be done—and that's what the Abu Sayyaf want, right? Justice. They may get justice, and it's not going to be a pretty sight.

Yet, it sounds like you are legitimately grieved about that.

The FBI came to Rose Hill and started debriefing me. And then they said, "Would you like to see some pictures that were taken the same day Martin died?" And they showed me the Abu Sayyaf guys who died the same day. I just grieved in my heart.

There was Lokman, a handsome, handsome kid with long hair who was so proud of his long hair. When our ransom came through they'd given the guys each their wad, and he had bought new shirts. He was so proud of his new shirt. And there he was lying dead in one of them, with mud all over it. And I was so sad, because he had met his maker.

The next time the FBI were here, they told me about the guys who tried to escape at night in the boat. The Armed Forces of the Philippines had rammed them, and shot a bunch of them, and dragged some of them out of the water. [The FBI] showed me the pictures of the guys, saying, "This guy right here, he died while he was in custody." His name was Aayub, and he'd been with us the whole time. And they showed me Aayub's picture, and I just burst into tears.

They said, 'Why are you crying about that guy?" I said, "Well, if I believe what I believe, Aayub's in hell right now." And who knows if he ever heard the gospel in an understandable manner. I doubt it. Did he ever have the chance to choose? I just preached to the FBI for a while.

What do you call what happened that last day? Do you call it the rescue?

That's what everybody calls it—our "rescue" [making quotation marks with her fingers]. Well, we knew there would be a rescue attempt, and we figured both of us would die in it.

We call it our rescue. I don't know. Sometimes I call it the day Martin died.

Do you still have shrapnel in your leg?

Yes. I do. They can't get every little piece of shrapnel or they would just totally mess up your leg going after it. And it doesn't bother me unless I get shocked. Even a little shock on the carpet, I feel it in my leg.

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Did you have another crisis of faith after you came back?

No. I haven't had anything like that. People said, "You're going to need to get counseling." I would get counseling if I thought I needed counseling. Maybe I'll need it down the road because people talk about needing time to breathe. There's been no time. I just keep asking the kids, "Are we doing okay? Do we need to talk to anybody? Are we okay?" I think we're okay. … I haven't seen the kids need anything. … Bless their hearts. The kids have just done so well.