Sunday, August 7, 2011

Soul Surfer...

“Knowing that God loves me and that He has a plan for my life that no shark can take away is like having solid rock underneath me.

Look, lots of bad stuff happens to people. That’s life. And here’s my advice: don’t put all your hope and faith into something that could suddenly and easily disappear. And honestly, that’s almost anything. The only thing that will never go away, that will never fail you, is your faith in Christ.” -Bethany Hamilton, quote from the book Soul Surfer

The Soul Surfer movie is based on the true story of surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her left arm in 2003, at thirteen years old, when a shark attacked her in Hawaii. I expected the movie would probably be like a made-for-TV (think lower budget) show but I still wanted to see it because I read Bethany’s book (published back in 2004) and find her resilience and her faith so inspiring.

Bethany’s story is touching and also motivating. Her will to keep surfing after losing her arm was so strong she was in the water a month later. And she’s been surfing (and competing) ever since!

I really admire people who don’t let stumbling blocks in life slow them down. Bethany’s determination has been a blessing in her own life but also for many other people. Since the shark attack she’s stayed in the limelight while sponsored by Rip Curl as a competitive surfer and people take notice. Bethany gets plenty of mail reinforcing the difference her optimistic can-do attitude has on people who struggle with similar challenges.

I’ve heard it said that the only handicap someone has in life is a bad attitude. And, the converse, with a good attitude people can pretty much overcome any disability that life throws them. Bethany Hamilton’s perseverance with surfing, her gratitude for life despite challenges and her faith in God is an wonderful example for all of us! (photos of Bethany: on left in 2004, on right in 2010)

“I am thankful. I could have died. I could have been really mangled or hurt so bad I might not have been able to surf again. I have lots and lots of things to be thankful for.

I don’t know how to sound smart or sophisticated in interviews. I just say what’s in my heart and and hopefully my mouth cooperates.” -Bethany Hamilton, Soul Surfer