March 30, 2008

A Book Review ~ #3

Soul Surfer

The amazing story of the thirteen-year-old surfer girl who lost her arm in a shark attack but never lost her faith -- and of her triumphant return to competitive surfing.

"They say Bethany Hamilton has saltwater in her veins. How else could one explain the tremendous passion that drives her to surf? How else could one explain that nothing -- not even the loss of her arm in a horrific shark attack -- could come between her and the waves? Soul Surfer is a moving account of Bethany's life as a young surfer, her recovery in the wake of the shark attack, the adjustments she's made to her unique surfing style, her unprecedented bid for a top showing in the World Surfing Championships, and, most fundamentally, her belief in God. It is a story of girl power and spiritual grit that shows that the body is no more essential to surfing -- perhaps even less so -- than the soul. ~A True Story of Faith, Family and Fighting to Get Back on the Board."

I remembered hearing briefly about Bethany's story a while ago but didn't realize she had a book out. Her story intrigued me because of our Chloe and there were alot of ways I could really identify with Bethany and her family. Bethany's testimony is so clear and pure of how she has allowed God to use her in and through this difficult circumstance. This was her question, "Why did God choose me and what does He have in mind for me?" instead of the typical "Why ME?" Here are some other BIG things she says in her book that really stood out to me...
"And I am working on plans to do other things to help kids who have limbs missing. I'd like to meet as many as I can and share with them my story, maybe help them work through all the fear and self-doubt. I've experienced it all firsthand, and I'm living proof that there's NO such thing as a handicap--it's only in your head...

I know that God has put me in a place where I have a chance to be of help to people all over the world...

But for me, knowing that God loves me and that He has a plan for my life that NO shark can take away it like having solid rock underneath me. Look, lots of bad stuff happens to people. That's life. And here's my advice: don't put all your hope and faith into something that could suddenly and easily disappear. And honestly, that's almost anything. The ONLY thing that will NEVER go away, that will NEVER fail you, is your faith in GOD...

So I think this was God's plan for me all along. I am not saying that God made the shark bite me. I think He knew it would happen, and He made a way for my life to be happy and meaningful IN SPITE of it happening."

HELLO??!! How old is she??! I think she has a thing or two she could teach all of us about trusting God in the tough times and clinging to truth! It's my prayer that one day my Chloe can come to these same convictions in her heart about her own story.

This was a great book and a quick read since it's on a reading level of about 6-9th grade. But Bethany's story is so relevant, impacting and encouarging for all ages. I DEF encourage y'all to read Soul Surfer and even check out her website for more background on Bethany and see what she's up to now!

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