Soul Surfer's Bethany Hamilton on Trusting God and Overcoming Life's Obstacles (Video)

( [email protected] ) Nov 03, 2013 08:33 PM EST
Bethany Hamilton at Liberty University
(Photo : Kevin Manguiob/Liberty University )

'Soul Surfer's Bethany Hamilton continues to be an inspiration even after ten years from a life-and-death encounter after a shark-attack, which bite off her left arm. In spite of her loss, her ever-increasing passions for God and surfing have enabled her to give the message of hope in Christ to countless lives.

On October 16, Hamilton spoke to thousands of students at Liberty University's convocation, where she explained how the shark-attack turned her world upside down from feeling being kind of on top of the world because she was able to do what she loves the most - surfing and loving God passionately - to losing the possibility of ever surfing again.

While her family kind of doubted her return, Hamilton said she was able to have peace in her heart. "I had the peace that God was in control...because I had that relationship and intimacy with him. I invest time and just praying and asking him to guide me in my life," she said. "It's just crazy how God can take crazy things and turn them into something really beautiful."

Then, the pro-surfer illustrated this with her husband Adam Dirk's life experience.

Dirks went through a phase of just "poor decision" during college, she said. He played football, was in track, and was a very "loveable" person, but his abuse of alcohol and other substances torn him away from his loved ones, which made him feel ashamed.

"We all have different obstacles," said Hamilton. "What I love about Adam's story was that he came to a point where all these choices were taking him nowhere...he felt empty inside...he had to face the reality of his decisions."

Dirks then made the decision to give his life to God and trust in Him and he came to his family that he is over the poor choices. He has since then started a youth ministry in Hawaii, where he reaches out to young people in the roughest side of the Island.

"He could speak into these lives the hope that God has for them and the power that they have in God to overcome the obstacles in life," she said.

Then Hamilton dived into another personal subject on how she met Dirks and that their love and marriage is a proof that God had a plan for her and provided for this struggle and doubt of whether someone will love her.

"After losing my arms, I had to face so much at just looking at myself in the mirror and I only have one arm. That's just how I am and that's not going to change," she said. "God loves me just as I am, and eventually God had someone special like Adam who would love me just as I am."

To those struggling with self-doubt, fears, or not confident in the way they look, the 23-year-old pro-surfer and evangelist encouraged the girls to invest into "what you have in God, instead of what you look like each day."

Hamilton lost her arm ten years ago on Halloween, but she realized that it was really a blessing in disguise, which she would not take back even if she had the choice. She believes that God allowed her to experience this to be able to share her hope in Christ and how one can overcome obstacles in Christ before so many people.

At times when the setbacks in life block our vision, Hamilton reminded the crowd to take a step back and ask God for help, for "He will open our vision and show us the bigger picture."

"I look back now and I am just in awe of how God can take a young girl like me from a tiny island like Hawaii and share my story all over the world and reach so many people," she said, adding that even if one person can be reached through our obstacles and trials would be just as beautiful as if we were able to reach millions.

In conclusion, Hamilton exhorted the students to dive into their relationship with God and allow Him to drive their passions, for the Greatest Commandment in the Bible is to love God, love others, and love yourself.

"The reason to go out and do things we may never have done before. Reason to live beyond just ourselves.... He will give you this love for other people that can't come on your own," she said. "I hope you can take the obstacles in life and give them to God and trust in Him and allow Him to carry you through that and take you on an incredible journey and overcome everything."