Bethany Hamilton: Christian Faith, Bio & Quotes
Bethany Hamilton is a professional surfer from Lihue, Hawaii who has overcome many trials with God in the forefront. When she was just 13 years old she experienced a terrible accident that most people never encounter. While surfing the morning of October 31, 2003 with her best friend Alana Blanchard and Alana’s brother and father, she nearly lost her life when, in a split second without warning, a tiger shark sheared off her left arm and part of her surf board. The quick thinking actions of Alana’s dad in trying to control the bleeding and getting her to the hospital saved her life. Every second that passed put her in a more critical condition. By the time she arrived at the hospital she had lost more than 60% of her blood. She pulled through and made a full recovery. Bethany had been surfing since she was four years old, so she wasn’t a newbie to looking out for sharks while gliding through the water.
"The Truth": Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Getting Back into Surfing
In less than one month after the accident, Bethany was back to surfing. This carried many challenges as she was still learning how to live with one arm and facing fears that almost no one else could understand. She retaught herself how to surf and entered her first major competition on January 10, 2004 and hasn’t stopped since. It’s clear from reviewing many interviews that there were many fears about coming back and “what ifs”, but she focused on what she wanted to accomplish and trusted that God’s plan for her would prevail.
News stations around the country covered Bethany’s story, but her family protected her from too much attention. She later wrote the book Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. The movie Soul Surfer came out in 2011, featuring AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, Carrie Underwood, Kevin Sorbo and Craig T. Nelson. Through every article and interview, Bethany’s strong faith in God comes through. She doesn’t hide her fears and has said, “When we start to fear and not keep our eyes on the Lord is when we can become paralyzed in what we are doing.”
As a decorated pro surfer, she recently won the Surf n Sea Pipeline Women’s Pro tournament and has a long list of medals that include 2nd place at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championship, 3rd place at the Rio Surf International in Rio de Janeiro and 3rd place in the Roxy Pro Surg Festival in Phillip Island. Bethany married youth minister Adam Dirks on August 15, 2013 and maintains partnerships with Rip Curl, DamonSmile, Channel Islands Surfboards, Sticky Bumps, XTR Epoxy Pro and other organizations. Besides traveling and competing professionally, Bethany is a huge supporter of many non-profit organizations, including World Vision, Christian Surfers International and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. A complete list is below.
She is also a motivational speaker, author with her new book “Body & Soul” coming out in May and an entrepreneur with a cosmetic line for girls, signature collection of sandals for Cobian Footwear, inspirational posters and more.
Here are some of the quotes from Bethany Hamilton that express her faith in God.
“Being able to turn to Jesus after the shark attack kept me alive.”
“God had given me a passion and desire to surf and share my faith through surfing.”
“I got up on my third wave and I just knew that God had something great planned for me and in store for me.”
“I know that He gave me the ability to surf and do what I do.”
“I have to continue giving it up to Him and just know that He is in control.”
“I believe in God. Nobody made me believe; I don't think you can or should try to force someone to believe something.”
"The Truth": Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Organizations Bethany Supports
Christian Surfers International
“A group of surfers worldwide who are committed to be a Christian presence and witness to the world surfing community.”
Friends of Bethany
“A non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the hope and love of Jesus Christ worldwide by inspiring people through the life stories of Bethany Hamilton and others.”
“We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.”
The Foundation for a Better Life
“A non-profit organization who’s sole objective is to promote positive values, using print and broadcast media.”
Walking on Water
“A Christian non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with this generation’s global surfing community.”
Women’s Sports Foundation
“An educational non-profit who’s mission is to advance the lives of girls and women through sport and physical activity.”
“A Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.”