Not only did Bethany’s family help her in the shark attack recovery, but so did her faith. Through the movie, book, and interviews Bethany shared how important God and her faith are in her life. A major question that Bethany had is “why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” (Hamilton, 106). When bringing this question to her church youth director, Sarah Hill, Bethany is referred to the Bible verse 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” (New International Version Bible, Jeremiah. 29:11). Bethany begins to realize how many ways the
Lord has helped her since the shark attack by putting people in the right place at the right time for her rescue and for the people from around the world who sent many encouraging cards and letters. Some of the letters included money to pay hospital bills while others told Bethany how her story helped them survive a hardship or injury. She realized that God wanted her to share her story.
Bethany then “focuses on steadying her ride while leaning on her faith” (Goodwyn). After her physical recovery, Sarah Hill invited Bethany to go on a mission trip to aid tsunami victims in Thailand. Bethany traveled with her church group to distribute food and offer medical aid to the
Taiwanese. While in Thailand, Bethany helped community members get back into the water despite their fear of water caused by the tsunami. Bethany gained a new perspective through compassion as she taught others how to conquer fear. In the film, she notes that “the Lord works in mysterious ways because teaching a boy to surf was more important than surfing” (Soul Surfer) herself.