During the courageous true story of Bethany Hamilton who miraculously recovered from a 14 ft., Tiger Shark attack, leaving her with only one arm, left me in awe as I watched her “Snap” a wave just as if nothing had ever happened. For those of you who are unfamiliar with surfing terms, “Snap” means a “sharp turn” executed at the top of a wave.
What also astounded me as I watched “Soul Surfer” which was released on Friday, April 8th 2011 was her courage to get back-on-the-board only one month following the shark incident.
Even though Bethany was the victim of a shark attack, she did not play the “victim role” in real life. AnnaSophia-Robb who played Bethany Hamilton in the film did an amazing job at portraying her as a fighter! Bethany did not want to be looked at or treated differently. In the movie, when offered a 5 minute “head start” by surf competition officials, Bethany turned it down. As I watched Bethany’s life unfold I saw her inner-strength and courage powerful enough to inspire us all!
So how did she do it?! How did Bethany go from being a shark attack victim to taking 1st place in the 2005 National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) circuit? “I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength” Bethany gained her courage from her faith in God and in His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus, the FIRST to ever walk on water, literally. He is the same One who spoke to a storm while he and his disciples (followers) were on a boat. And as the disciples came to wake him saying “Lord, don’t you care that we’re going to die?!” Jesus responded and said “Oh, you of little faith” and immediately calmed the storm. This “faith” that Jesus speaks of in the Bible, “faith” to “move mountains” FAITH to conquer any “storm” in life, is the same faith that Bethany and her family believed in and together they grabbed hold of. It was this amazing faith and hope that ONLY the Lord God can give that turned what could have destroyed Bethany and her family around for good: Bringing hope and courage to all who are willing to open their hearts and minds, “All things are possible to those that believe”