Sunday, October 2, 2016

God's Plan for Me

Recently, on a beautiful late summer morning, I went running in a canyon not far from my home. While running, I listened to the audio version of Bethany Hamilton's memoir Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. Are you familiar with the story? Maybe from the movie?

Bethany was just thirteen when she was attacked by a shark while surfing off the coast of Kauai. Despite losing her left arm, she was determined to continue surfing — and anchored in her faith and with the support of her family, she has done just that. The book is a quick read, and I found it inspiring.

During her account of the immediate aftermath of the shark account, Bethany describes the thoughts, feelings, and actions of her family members and close friends, including the youth leader from her church, Sarah Hill. As I recall the account, Sarah was rushing to get to the hospital, struggling to find the words she would need to comfort Bethany's family. As she prayed, the words to Jeremiah 29:11 came into her mind:
"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."
Listening to the words of this scripture as I ran down a hill, I gasped — but not because I was running hard. I had chosen this Bible verse months previously as my inspiration for The Year of "Yes"! Hearing it in the context of Bethany Hamilton's horrifying experience, the words hit me hard with their truthfulness. If God had a plan for Bethany following the shark attack — a plan to bless her, not to hurt her — a plan for her future, then surely He has a plan for me too!

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