(This is a post by my 12 year old daughter Haley)
The story “Soul Surfer” is an inspiring book about a surfer named Bethany Hamilton. One day, on Halloween morning, she experiences a gruesome shark attack while surfing with her best friend, and her best friend’s brother and dad. Thankfully, she is able to get to the hospital and receive proper medical attention. However, when she wakes up, the doctor informs her that her left arm is missing from the shoulder down! When her arm is fully healed and she returns home Bethany discovers that her attack is known worldwide! She remains very modest about her stardom and with God’s help she catches her first wave after the attack. Later that year, she entered a surfing competition. Everyone in America knows about her admirable courage and faith in Jesus. Her story has inspired millions. YM magazine calls her the “bravest girl in America”. Here are three reasons why I think they called her that.
First of all, she demonstrated unbelievable courage by willingly getting back into the ocean, even with the risk of another attack. In fact, one of the first questions she asked the doctor was when she could go back in the water. It was more than twice the work than before when she began re-training to surf. But even without a left arm, she stuck to it, no matter how difficult the task. Also, she had the support of her family to keep her going. They promised to stay with her no matter what Bethany did. She showed incredible perseverance and determination.
Also, she never gave up. Despite her unlikely circumstances, she kept faith and eventually caught her first wave with one arm. Bethany’s friends and family cheered her on as she tried one wave after another, always failing. Until, her perseverance finally paid off. She struggled to stand, placed her footing and made her way across a wave while her friends cheered with delight, watching from the beach and some in the ocean. After that, she caught another, and another, sometimes failing, but always getting back up again. Soon enough, her first day back surfing was over, her heart content as she watched the sunset on the beach.
Finally, she had constant faith that no matter what, God had a plan for her. Even though she had lost her arm, she stayed loyal to God. Bethany didn’t know how God could use her to spread his word after the attack, but she listened to him anyway. When she was asked to do interviews, she saw a great opportunity to tell the world what God had done in her life. When she was asked if a movie could be made about her life, she made sure that the movie honored God Bethany even made sure the background music was appropriate. Also, she suggested a church scene. When the world knew her story, she was sure this was God’s plan for her. If she had given up or gotten angry with God for allowing her to be attacked by a shark, none of that would have happened. Would you have done the same thing Bethany did? Or would you have given up?
I admire Bethany’s courage, and YM magazine did too. The moral of her story is that even when things seem like they can’t get any worse, God will always make good out of it.