Wednesday, 9 November 2011

 Lately my girls have been–how to say this?–obsessed (!) with the movie SOUL SURFER, which tells the real story of professional surfer Bethany Hamilton. I won’t spoil the movie if I say it’s about her recovering after a shark attack; it’s common knowledge (unless you were like me and just found out when the movie came out). But to say it’s only about her being attacked would ignore the most important point of the movie: how to go on with life and still fight for our dreams even when it seems impossible. Bethany transcended tragedy and the odds stacked against her, and became a real life heroine through her will to live and overcome, her family’s support, and her faith in God.

Bethany was already an amazing person before the accident. After the accident, she became a voice for those who go through traumatizing situations and don’t understand why bad things sometimes happen to good people.

I love the movie because the producers and director didn’t take out a central piece of information about Bethany: she’s a devout, practicing Christian. They show her going to church, right at the beach, still wet after a fun surfing session (wouldn’t I love that, especially in this Utah winter weather!), and going to a youth church meeting. She also goes to a humanitarian mission, and she constantly expresses her belief in Jesus-Christ.

Before the accident, her teacher, who by the way is played by Carrie Underwood, shares a scripture from the Bible, Jeremiah 29:11.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

This is the central theme of the movie, in my opinion. God always has a plan for us.

At the end of the movie, when a reporter asks her if she would undo what happened if she could, she shakes her head and says, “Surfing isn’t the most important thing in life. Love is. I’ve had the chance to embrace more people with one arm than I ever could with two.”

I never imagined a movie could have such an impact on a four-year old. My Princess Peach quotes the movie, goes to sleep listening to the soundtrack, and when she builds with her connectagons, she creates figurines of surfers, and let’s not forget the judges. Yesterday she declared that instead of having a Vivint. birthday party, she wants a surfing party. I had plenty of Vivint things to improvise a birthday party, although, what would I give as party favors? An alarm system? For a surfing party I’ll have to be more creative. Especially for a bunch of preschoolers.

Swan Princess is into all things surfing and Hawaiian too. Yesterday, when I picked her up at the bus stop, she declared that she finally knows where she’s going to college. Until now she wanted to go to Julliard, but now it’s BYU Hawaii 🙂

I’m grateful my girls have Bethany Hamilton as her heroine. The best heroines, after all, are the ones in real life, and they don’t even need special super powers to do wonders. They only need their powers within.  

Who are your heroes? Who are the heroes you borrowed from your children? 🙂

To end, here’s a video I found:

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Yamile Saied Mendez

Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American, Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult author.

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