Perseverance [5:57 min] – Bethany Hamilton – White Chair Film – I Am Second.
Halloween of 2003, I was 13 years old, and I was surfing with my best friend. It was like a picture perfect morning. It was beautiful out and the water was just crystal clear blue. We were just surfing, waiting for waves, and I was kind of sitting out further than everyone else. And within a split second, the shark came and took my arm. I didn’t really have time to think much. Right away, I just knew I had to get to the beach to just survive this. Immediately, my friends came and helped me, and I just kind of laid there and just prayed the whole way in, asking God for help.
I had lost about 60% of my blood, and as I was getting into the ambulance, there was a local paramedic. He whispered in my ear and said, “God will never leave you, nor forsake you.” I gave my heart to Jesus when I was about five years old, and being able to turn to Jesus during this crazy moment in my life, it gave me a sense of peace and calmness, and I think that’s one thing that just kept me alive. I’m 13, I have dreams and goals, and I was doing really well with surfing. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to surf again or not.
Surfing, there’s something just really special about it. The feelings that you get when you’re on a good wave, your adrenaline is just pumping, the blood is just flowing through your whole body. Every wave is different; it’s not like every wave is the same. Being out there in the ocean, and in God’s creation, it’s like a gift He’s given us to enjoy. I knew I wanted to continue surfing; it was more of waiting for the doctor’s orders to allow me to go in the water. I got out there and it was a pretty amazing experience, just learning how to surf with one arm. I knew how to surf, but it was just figuring out how to do it with one arm. I ended up getting up on my third wave and riding all the way in. And right then, I just knew I’d be surfing for a long time.
Just 2 years after the shark attack, Bethany Hamilton took 1st place in the NSSA World Championships.
She currently competes full tie on the ASP World Qualifying Series.
From what seems like such a horrible thing, God has just brought glory to Himself through me, and I’ve been able to just be a good light to people and share His love. I wake up every day and honor God in everything that I do. I may fall short sometimes, but all I want to do is love him.
My name is Bethany Hamilton, and I am second.