Soul Surfer

Picture from IMDb
 Last Saturday I went out for a girls’ night with my two favorite girl cousins currently living in this state (yay! I said it in a perfectly safe way! :)). Lindy had texted me earlier in the afternoon, asking if I wanted to go see Soul Surfer with her and Rebekah. I had been busy all day cooking for Mom’s National Scrapbook Day, so the chance to spend a relaxing evening with cousins friends was very welcome.

We giggled the whole drive to the theater, talking about adopting babies from all over the world and nieces and nephews and jobs. We actually arrived at our destination way early, so we watched the theater screen, learning all these random facts about movie stars I’ve never heard about. (Okay, I have heard about Justin Bieber and Brad Pitt, but have I seen a movie they were in? No way!) πŸ™‚

Then the movie started. And I loved it. I would totally recommend it to any girl, but it’s definitely not a guy movie. The story is about surfers in Hawaii, and as the Dove Foundation phrases it, “typical beach attire throughout.” But practically speaking, it would be virtually impossible to make a perfectly modest movie about Hawaiian surfers without being completely unrealistic. So when I say I loved the movie, know that I only highly recommend it for an audience of girls.

Soul Surfer is based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, who is now twenty-one years old. Living in a family of surfers, she lived and breathed surfing and was on her way to championships. Her life drastically changed when a shark attacked and completely bit off her arm. Miraculously Bethany lived, even though she lost 60% of her blood. But her life would never be “normal” again. Everyday tasks became seemingly insurmountable challenges. However, Bethany rose to those challenges and actively searched for more, relying on her faith in God.

That whole paragraph could have been truthfully said about the real Bethany Hamilton’s life, not just the one portrayed by AnnaSophia Robb. After coming home I looked up Bethany Hamilton’s blog and discovered what an amazing role model she is. Her foremost goal in life is to glorify Jesus Christ, and she doesn’t hide her faith. Although the movie was filmed by a secular group, they left many references to spiritual truths in the script.

I cried in almost every scene following the shark attack. Bethany’s struggles became mine, and her courage to overcome them is so inspiring. For example, she learned to do sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups with one arm. Do you realize how incredibly difficult that would be? When I got home Saturday night, I told myself, “If she can do sit-ups and push-ups with one arm, I can do it with two.” Now every night I’m gradually working up to do more sit-ups and push-ups. Although that definitely wasn’t the only way I was inspired, working out is definitely a practical application of that inspiration! πŸ™‚

One of the pivotal scenes of the movie occurs when Bethany goes on a missions trip to post-tsunami Thailand. She meets a little boy who is scared of the water, and she wants to teach him to surf. Through him she learns to conquer her fears.

Probably my favorite part of the movie was when the credits started rolling. Off to the side, they showed clips of the real Bethany Hamilton’s life, including the first time she got back in the water. That’s what made Soul Surfer so awesome: it’s a true story of a Christian girl who today is a professional surfer and an inspiration to thousands.

Watch the trailer, find a theater, grab some of your girlfriends and go see the movie. You will be inspired and encouraged.

From the real Bethany Hamilton:
“…Knowing that God loves me and that he has a plan for my life, that no shark can take away and no contest result can shake, is like having solid rock underneath me. Bad things are bound to happen to everyone. That’s life. 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 God and your faith in Him. All I can say is He gives me a really strong foundation for everything I do in life.”

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. DelightinginHim
    Apr 16, 2011 @ 16:09:56

    I really want to go see this movie, even more now! heheI remember when the story first came out about her accident and then her courage, faith, and determination that followed, an amazing, inspiring, and encouraging story.

    Reply

  2. Samantha R.
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 04:01:32

    Now, I REALLY want to see this movie!! Maybe I'll follow suit, get together with my girlfriends for an enjoyable evening. :)I'm sure I'll cry too!Thank you for the wonderful review on the movie.

    Reply

  3. Matthew
    May 04, 2011 @ 21:23:07

    Thanks for this, Jessica. I saw the blog, and had heard about Bethany previously, so I was really excited that they had made a movie of it. Your review does confirm what I suspected, though – that I will be watching this with my girlfriends and *not* my husband!Liz

    Reply

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