This year has certainly been a whirlwind of uncertainty; from a global pandemic to outspoken protests, and everything in between, things seem to have spiralled out of control. Despite holding onto hope, the future seems to be all but certain. The question almost everyone has pondered at least once has been—how do we find peace in the middle of crisis?
Certainty in tragedy
A few months ago, I had the privilege of conversing with Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer, author and speaker. Since battling through what was a life-altering event when she was attacked by a tiger shark at the tender age of 13, and amazingly survived, Bethany has refused to give up hope, despite losing her left arm. Bethany mentions that her faith was the only thing that kept her going, despite every setback she has since experienced.
“Knowing what is possible and realising how to be unstoppable comes from my faith in Jesus”, Bethany mentions. It is this stronghold of hope that has inspired millions across the world, and has also catalysed her own belief in herself and in God. Bethany’s surfing career actually began officially in Australia at a competition in 1998, and she is back in the water training for her return to the professional surfing circuit now in 2020.
Often in life, we struggle with the reality in which we find ourselves in—a reality beyond our own personal limits, and one in which it seems impossible to know how to overcome. But, as Bethany says, “I don’t need easy; I just need possible”.
Despite the ups and downs, Bethany has somehow found a way to maintain her joy in spite of her circumstances. When discussing the difficulties that COVID-19 has brought, including a slowdown of surfing competitions and events, training stoppages and restrictions, Bethany has managed to find the silver lining. “I can still go out every day and spend time surfing, as I live close to the water”, she says. “That’s a blessing”.
Bethany has also realised that keeping the secret to her serenity hidden was not something meant to stay that way. Her passion to share this with others, especially during the global pandemic, sparked her idea to launch what has now become known as “The Unstoppable Year”. She has been able to give away half a million worth of free access to online learning modules which help people to realise their worth and become unstoppable, just like Bethany.
She realises that knowing how to be present, overcome obstacles, fight comparison, anchor your identity, live with integrity, deepen friendships, optimise health, and forgive are keys to growth in all areas of life and something worth sharing.
God is (t)here
One of the biggest challenges that I have found, at least in my life, is really knowing if God is present, if he knows my situation, if he really cares. Speaking personally, my ability to understand that God resides in heaven and is all-powerful and all-knowing is a given. But is he able to trade that for earth?
The fact of the matter is, he already has.
In our daily lives, and in our own unique situations, we find, every time, that He is here. With us, for us, every day. Despite being bound by time, location, perhaps even by circumstances beyond our control, just as the coronavirus has shown, we all feel the pinch of realising our own limitations. Yet somehow, some way, God always finds a way to find us, wherever we are at, and in whatever place in life we happen to be.
As the Bible says,
“If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:8-10)
For us, we have to be able to become the people God intended us to be, not simply individuals who follow our own ideas of a future we can’t control.
That’s the key to becoming unstoppable.
Joseph Kolapudi's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/joseph-kolapudi.html