Soul Surfer: Bethany Hamilton

April 17, 2011

The story of Bethany Hamilton is an amazing story.  Bethany was only 13 years old when an attack by a Tiger shark left her with only 60% of her blood in her body.  Her left arm was severed in the attack.  Doctors who attended to her after the accident said that her survival was a miracle and attributed it to her strong faith in God, which kept her calm in the middle of the trauma.

2004 Teen Choice Awards red carpet

Right before the attack, Bethany’s youth leader led a devotion based on Jeremiah 29:11.

This verse became a really important verse to Bethany as she attempted to make sense of why God would allow her arm to be2010 Tahiti paddle smile ripped from her body.

Bethany said,

“After the shark attack is when I trusted in God the most…In the movie, they share that one verse: ‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’  And that was true.  It inspired me to just keep living and loving and enjoying…”

Padang Padang, Bali 2009

Most assumed that her goals of being a professional surfer were over.  Bethany began to wonder if her competitive surfing days were over too.  She wondered if her life would ever be normal again.  Loosing a limb is hard for anyone….especially for a 13 year old girl with dreams.

Bethany and the movie based on her life so far, “Soul Surfer,” is an inspiration.  Sometimes life is hard and it is hard to know what God is doing or why He allows bad things to happen to people that love Him.  Sometimes we just have to trust Him when we don’t understand.

Why does God let a good and godly dad loose his job?  How can God allow a child to get a terminal disease?  It’s hard, but sometimes we just have to trust God.

In Bethany’s case, her dream to become a professional surfer was realized.  When asked if she would change that day that she was attacked, she said, “No.  If it wasn’t for the attack, I wouldn’t have the millions of people looking to me for influence so I wouldn’t change a thing.”  Wow!  Keep pointing people to Jesus, Bethany!

If you want to be inspired, don’t miss Soul Surfer, the movie.  Guys, we won’t mention the man tear that will be in your eye as you watch.

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