Tag Archives: Recovery

BlueLagoon

Inspiring People: Bethany Hamilton

Bethany Hamilton loved to surf.  She surfed every day, often participating in competitions.  She lived on the islands of Hawaii, and was homeschooled, which gave her a more flexible schedule so that she could focus on surfing.  When Bethany was 13  years old, she was out surfing one day with her friend Alana.  All of a sudden, a shark came out of nowhere and attacked Bethany, severing her arm up to the shoulder.  Alana and her dad rushed Bethany to the hospital, where the doctors determined that she would live, though she had lost almost 60% of her blood.

The shark attack greatly discouraged Bethany, putting a damper on her dreams of becoming a pro surfer.  How could she surf with only one arm?  Although Bethany wasn’t sure how at the time, she knew that God would get her through it all.  Bethany knew that God had gotten her through that shake attack for a reason, and He still had a plan for her life.  She set her eyes on working towards surfing again.  Bethany trained and never gave up, eventually achieving her goal of getting back in the water and surfing, even competing, again.  It was not easy, but Bethany Hamilton trusted in God to get her through a hard time, and He did just that and more, giving her opportunities to share her story with others and be an inspirational speaker.

Why She Inspires Me:

Bethany Hamilton’s story reminds me of the story of Joni Eareckson Tata.  What’s the key element to both of these stories?  Both Bethany and Joni never gave up against all odds.  Both of their barriers were very physical, limiting them from doing something they loved, but they both trusted God and came out doing things they never thought they would be able to do.  Bethany Hamilton’s story shows how faithful God is, and how He uses every circumstance for good.  One of Bethany’s favorite Bible verses is 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  We can know that we do not have to fear, because God is in control and He will get us through with power and love.

NOTE: For more on Bethany Hamilton, I recommend this book: Soul Surfer: A True Story Of Faith, Family, And Fighting To Get Back On The Board by Bethany Hamilton.

 

skippingrocks

Inspiring People: Joni Eareckson Tata

Hi everyone!  Today I am back with another Inspiring People post.  This person inspires me so much, and here is her story:

Joni Eareckson was born in 1949.  She loved to be outside and do things like swimming and hiking.  One day when Joni was a teenager, she was swimming in the Chesapeake Bay.  Thinking the water was deep enough, she dove in head first.  She hit her head on a rock on the bottom and broke her neck, becoming paralyzed from the neck down.  Joni had to be in rehab for two years, during which time she had many spiritual struggles.  Before her accident she was a strong Christian, but now after her accident she doubted her faith in God as she lay useless in the hospital.  She had lots of friends who came to visit her, but she needed spiritual as well as physical healing.

One day Joni’s friend Steve came to see her.  She was so fed up and angry with God for letting her accident happen that she burst out with questions for Steve like, “Why did God do this to me?”, “If God is so powerful then why didn’t he stop it?”  Joni felt like she didn’t deserve to be handicapped for the rest of her life, and she was blaming God.  Steve shared a Bible verse with Joni that challenged her thinking.  Acts 4 :28, which reads, “They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.”  If you read a little bit above this passage in the Bible you can figure out that this section is talking about Jesus’ death.  Meaning Jesus dying was no mistake on God’s part, or anyone else’s.  God knew what was going to happen to Jesus way before it ever happened, and it was for a reason.

This gave Joni the assurance that God allowed her accident for a reason.  She soon learned to paints pictures with her mouth instead of her hands and was out of the hospital in a short time.  Joni now knows that God’s plan is not always the plan she has in her mind, and she uses her disability to praise God.  She is now married and often speaks publicly about her faith.

I find this story inspiring because Joni went through so much, and God never failed to provide what she needed.  Her injury did not stop her from living for God and glorifying Him.  She went through some very hard emotional and spiritual times as well, but God came out on top.  God will always be with us, no matter what’s going on in our lives.

Did you like this story?  If you would like to find out more about Joni or read a more detailed version of her story, I recommend this book:  Joni: An Unforgettable Story by Joni Eareckson Tata, or this blog post by GirlDefined.