Bethany Hamilton has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of faith, determination, and hope. Born into a family of surfers on February 8, 1990, on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, Bethany began surfing at a young age. At the age of eight, Bethany entered her first surf competition, the Rell Sun Menehune event on Oahu, where she won both the short and long board divisions. This sparked a love for surf competition within her spirit.
At the age of thirteen, on October 31, 2003, Bethany was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing off Kauai’s North Shore. The attack left Bethany with a severed left arm. After losing over 60% of her blood, and making it through several surgeries without infection, Bethany was on her way to recovery with an unbelievably positive attitude. Lifeguards and doctors believe her strong water sense and faith in God helped get her through the traumatic ordeal.
Miraculously, just one month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water to continue pursuing her goal to become a professional surfer. In January of 2004, Bethany made her return to surf competition; placing 5th in the Open Women’s division of that contest. With no intention of stopping, Bethany continued to enter and excel in competition. Just over a year after the attack she took 1st place in the Explorer Women's division of the 2005 NSSA National Championships – winning her first National Title.
From a young age, Bethany’s parents instilled their faith in Jesus Christ; and at age 5, she made the decision to have a personal relationship with Him. Bethany’s foundation of faith has been her backbone; her source of truth, hope, and strength.
|With the actual surfboard she was riding when the shark bit her arm off!!|
Amazing right? Well then of course you all know that they made a motion picture out of her story. Have you guys seen Soul Surfer?! It is amazing. My emotions were going a little crazy the whole day anyway, and then we went and saw this movie. I am pretty sure I cried every five minutes. For many reasons...one of them being because I wish I lived in Hawaii and grew up there and was a professional surfer... The others were all associated with how stinkin amazing she is! Everything about her story is just sweet. Maybe I have been a little bored at work and reading Bethany's blog for like the last hour or so...and she is truly phenomenal!
|She is just ridiculously sic, and mostly I am just real jealous of her skill.|
I am grateful for people like Bethany who have that power to inspire and motivate.