Sometimes you’re cruising along through life and out of no where you get side swiped.
Sometimes there’s a warning.
You know a storm is coming.
But then there are times when you get knocked down by a wave you never anticipated.
Last night we watched the movie Soul Surfer
For the SEVENTH time!!
You know how sometimes your children get stuck on movies
That they just watch repeatedly
Well, my daughter Charlotte just LOVES this movie
Bethany Hamilton is her hero
Here is Charlotte with some of her Bethany Hamilton books
This movie is the true story of Bethany Hamilton
Who at age 13 was on the brink of greatness in her surfing career
When very suddenly a shark came out of no where and took her arm.
Can you imagine out of all the cruel twists of fate–why that?
Why her arm?
Why a shark attack?
It’s true that tragedy can strike us at any time.
But the irony is that what she loved the most–the water
Would also be the location of her worst nightmare.
It’s easy to become bitter.
So many things can happen in this life
That it’s almost natural to just shut the door
And never let something back in
That could potentially twist the knife even deeper.
Yet, Bethany Hamilton returned to the water.
It was never even a question in her mind that she would.
Can you imagine being only 13 and having that much resolve?
To me, the most inspiring part of her story
Is an interview she gave back in 2003 right after it all happened.
The interviewer asked her if she’d ever surf again.
You can watch the look on her face.
It’s almost one of confusion.
As if she can’t even believe he’s asking her that question.
He asks her: Do you think you’ll get back in the water again?
Her answer: Do I think? I know.
We don’t always know what obstacle will come our way.
But there is one thing you can know.
It will come.
When you find yourself knocked down by the waves of life
Don’t question whether you should try again.
Don’t wonder if you can.
Know you can.
And you will.
There’s really only one way to lose
And that’s to quit.
So don’t quit.
Don’t think about all the things that could have been.
How much better your life would be
If this or that hadn’t happened.
If I started dwelling on all the things
I wish had never happened
I’d probably never get out of bed again.
Husband left me. Check
Mom died. Check
Gained 300 pounds. Check
Lost job. Check
House flooded. Check
Nana died. Check
Dwelling on those things
Never got me anywhere
Except straight into a bag of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
With some Kit Kats on the side
But what if we looked at those tragedies as an opportunity instead?
Have you ever heard the phrase
When God closes one door, He opens a window
I think sometimes we just sit staring at the closed door
Instead of focusing on the window He has opened
And exploring where that can take us
Bethany Hamilton was asked if she could back and change what happened, would she?
Her response was this:
Isn’t that amazing?
Who would have thought losing one arm would give her more opportunities than she ever had with two?
And that she would be willing to consider those opportunities instead of dwell on her loss?
That takes courage.
It takes being willing to stop staring at the shut door and start looking at the open window.
When I face obstacles, I remind myself of the people who have had to overcome so much.
And I tell myself to go to the window
I hated breaking furniture
I hated never fitting anywhere
Or not being able to wear shoes
Or sleep in a bed
Due to my weight
But if none of those things had happened to me
I never would have met all of you!
Those of us who have been down that road
Share a bond
Something almost no one but us will ever understand
And because of our very personal experiences struggling with this
We can now use that
To help others still trapped
In that pit
Consider the possibilities
And don’t look back
I’m inspired by Bethany Hamilton. I hope you’re inspired to!