Soul Surfer: Inspiration From A 14-year-old Girl

It’s been about two years since my family convinced me to watch the movie ‘Soul Surfer’. I wasn’t sure I could handle seeing a young girl deal with a shark bite. However, the cast was too good to be ignored so we bought the DVD. And of course, I cried through half the show because honestly, I am a crybaby.

Most of you know the story of Bethany Hamilton who at age 13 went surfing one morning and her arm was severed by a shark. After a couple surgeries and lots of prayer, she began to recover. A month later, she was back on a surf board. Eventually she won some championships and turned pro.

soul-surfer_bookWhen I discovered that Bethany wrote a book when she was only 14, I had to have it. During the summer I read the book, which delves more into her faith, to my children.  (They teased me about crying but I made it through without a tear!)

As a mom, Bethany’s story greatly inspired me. When I was young, my own mom always told me I could do anything, and when I see a teenager with one arm teaching herself to balance on a surfboard, I know it’s true. I use Bethany as an example for my children that with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26) and that He has a plan for everyone (Jeremiah 29:11). We talked about how God always watches over us, no matter how big our problems (Hebrews 13:6) and that He can use any situation to bring about something positive (Romans 8:28).

This last October marked 10 years since the attack, and I’m amazed at all Bethany has accomplished. She’s created a foundation to help shark attack victims and she recently married a youth minister. She has also written a couple devotion books and some fictional stories which you can view here. My daughter has enjoyed reading all of them. Here is a book review for Clash.

I’ve also mentioned Bethany’s story when I teach at the local teen writers conferences. The kids view her as a person who never gave up, who worked hard to beat the odds. She’s a great example for young people to follow.

Tunnels BeachAnd she’s been a great example for me as well. There have been times in my life where I doubted God’s plan for me, even though I believe 100% He called me to be an author.

A year and a half ago I was able to visit the island of Kaui. My husband shot a photo of me at Tunnels Beach where the shark incident took place. I remember being overwhelmed with wonder to be standing in the place where God’s amazing plan for Bethany first began.

It got me thinking; where exactly did His amazing plan for me, and you, begin?

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