Bethany Hamilton

by Kayla from Las Cruces

  The miraculous, inspiring story of Bethany Hamilton's faith and gift for surfing gives me a desire to become more like the characteristics that remain presented in her life. She immediately knew that she was made for surfing when she continuously excelled in the sport along with unremitting competitions and a desire to spend time out in the water. Bethany uses her awe-striking testimony as a way to share her faith in Christ with others, rather than taking advantage of her circumstances to bring glory to herself. Her walk with Christ began at the age of five, and along with spiritual support from her parents, her love for Christ grew along with her talent and passion for surfing. Although Bethany's life seemed to start heading in the same direction for a while, circumstances took a turn for the worse when she was thirteen years old, surfing on the north shores of Kauai. This event changed Bethany's life forever.

All of a sudden, a fourteen foot tiger shark attacked her from behind, taking her left arm, while she existed half a mile away from the shore. She lost over sixty percent of her blood, and her life suddenly became extremely fragile. After enduring several surgeries and the traumatic state of shock, Bethany still remained positive about what God had in plan for her life and she believed that He still had work for her to do. Unbelievably, only after one month went by, she again returned to the water to pursue the sport of surfing and eventually involved herself in competitions as she had done before. Even in the midst of her trial and struggle, she did not let her circumstances stop her from enjoying what she had enjoyed before, and her relationship with God only grew stronger. On her website Bethany states, "But for me, knowing that God loves me and that he has a plan for my life, that no shark can take away and no contest result can shake, is like having solid rock underneath me" (Hamilton). This statement truly shows what Bethany sees as most important in her life, and that is what I most admire about her.

  I admire several of Bethany's character qualities such as her hope and faith in Jesus Christ, her courage to fight against her struggles with God's help, and her positive attitude when her life seemed to go downhill. Despite her tough situations, she always turned to her Lord when she felt confused or discouraged, and now she is using her story to encourage others to also put their trust in God. Found in Jeremiah 29:11, Bethany refers to the verse, "For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future" (NIV).  I believe that perseverance and standing up for the truth is what really makes someone a hero. Most certainly, Bethany represents both of these aspects and goes beyond what I expected to notice as a result from her walk with God. She serves as a human model of the fruits I would eventually like to see producing in my life. Bethany's love and devotion to God during both her easy and hard circumstances serve for why I consider her my hero.

Works Cited:



Hamilton, Bethany. "Surfer, Soul." Bethany Hamilton. Collaboration Reverberation, n.d. Web. 28 Mar 2012. .


Jean E. Syswerda. The Teen Study Bible, New International Version. Great Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1993.        



Page created on 3/29/2012 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 3/29/2012 12:00:00 AM

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