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So I watched Soul Surfer… after a long (and I mean LONG. no explanation can describe. just trust me.) week at work, really the last thing I wanted to do was go to a movie that didn’t start until 9:35pm. I wanted to stay home. But my family was going for my brother’s birthday, and I did want to see this movie, so…

I am so glad I went.

As I said, I’d wanted to see this movie… but I really never considered that a movie about a surfer and a shark attack could relate so much to my own life. Who would have thought?

Well, it did. This one will be in my personal dvd collection asap.

The film follows the story of Bethany Hamilton through getting sponsored as a surfer, and it makes no small thing of her being a Christian and a homeschooler. Which I love. It takes you through her love of being in the water and through her shark attack.

When she gets out of the hospital, she goes to see her youth leader from church one day, and when asked how she is, she at first says she’s good. But her youth leader sees through the wall Bethany’s tried to build up, and suddenly that wall comes tumbling down.

Bethany asks how this could be God’s plan for her. She says she’s been trying to get a new perspective on it all, but she just doesn’t understand why God would let this happen to her. She wants to know what in the world she is supposed to do now. She is sobbing by this point. And I could so relate to this girl. I could feel the pain in her sobs.

The “attacks” in my life have been in different shapes than hers, but I completely understand what she was saying. She wasn’t complaining about her life, but she was grasping for understanding and a new perspective. God’s perspective. Sometimes looking at something in a new way is the only way to go. She wanted to learn how this tragedy could fit into the bigger picture.

Through a missions trip to Thailand in the aftermath of a tsunami, and using her love of surfing and her compassion for others to reach the people there in the midst of their pain and her own, she came to a realization… and when faced with a reporter asking if she could go back to the day of the attack and choose not to go surfing, what would she do… she said she wouldn’t change what had happened to her. Because she’d come to realize that she could embrace more people with Jesus’ love with one arm than she ever could with two.

Well… there are definitely some things I would go back and at least try to change if I could live the past two and a half years over again. But I know that God is using those things in my life to reach others in ways that I can’t even imagine. Because it’s not about me. My life is and must always be ultimately about my Creator. The One who gives me my every breath. He’s the One who’s set my heart in Nicaragua to the point that I intend to keep returning, taking my own kids there too someday.

He’s shown me through these past couple of years that He truly does work all things for good for those who love Him. The things that go on in our lives.. when we let Him, He will use them to bring us and others closer to Him. He will use them to teach us how to praise Him, even when it’s hard and even when we don’t feel like it.

Focusing on Him and on loving others in their pain can help give us that new perspective that we need to see the bigger picture about our own pain. Sometimes it takes courage, and it takes a lot of love and selflessness, and it is always worth it. Always.

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Thank you so much for your every prayer for Jon and his family. Please keep on praising, praying, and believing for his next scans to be great. Praise for all the healing that has been taking place and pray that it will continue, with no returning tumors. If you’re not familiar with this family, please take a few minutes to catch up on his story. Also, please continue praying for a job for my daddy. We heard back from the man we were waiting for a call from… and he said that my dad didn’t get that job, but that he will be making a new position in a month or two. He wants to keep his resume and call him about that job. Please be praying for that to actually happen.