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Monday, April 11, 2011

Little Close to Home

This post discusses the movie Soul Surfer that came out this past weekend.  Thus, it may contain some spoilers that may or may not reduce your own personal enjoyment of the film.  You've been WARNED!!! 

This past weekend was the best weekend I've had all year.  Mexican dinner Friday night with friends, dog park on Saturday followed by a steak dinner at home while watching The Town (excellent movie!), and Sunday was church followed by a matinee movie.  The movie we saw was Soul Surfer--the story of pro-surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her left arm in a shark attack when she was 13-years-old.

I was initially drawn to this movie because of Bethany's outspokenness about her faith, something that I struggle with all the time.  While I'm definitely not a pro-surfer, there was one scene in the movie that felt eerily close to me.  The day after the shark attack, Bethany is laying in the hospital bed with her dad sitting in the chair next to her.  She wakes up and notices her dad crying and she tells him, "Dad, don't cry."   Her dad covers his face and says, "I'm not crying."  Yeah, right.

That scene took me back to that hospital room in early December 2006 when my dad walked into the room, took one look at me, and turned around to cover his face.  "I'm OK, Dad.  Don't cry."  It didn't matter, though, because my dad had already lost it.  I'm pretty sure I looked like death with a tube in my nose, IVs in my arm, and hair that hadn't been washed in 3 days.  My dad drove 5 hours to see his daughter like this, a hard site for sure. 

After watching Soul Surfer, I got to see my diagnosis from the point of view of my loved ones.  I could never imagine how Trey felt when he had to carry my lifeless body to the hospital after I had collapsed into DKA.  I can't imagine what my parents thought when they saw me giving myself shots, wanting to help, but not wanting to interfere because they knew I had to do this on my own . . . for the rest of my life.  I never knew how many countless prayers and phone calls were made on my behalf.  I never knew or saw the worry; I was just trying to recover.  But Soul Surfer brought me to the other side, and watching it was almost too much.

What really struck me about Bethany was her constant positive attitude.  Only once did she get frustrated and give up on surfing, but it was for a short while.  She gave God the glory to the fact that she was still alive and was given the public platform of professional surfing to give hope and inspiration to countless others.  She took her tragedy and turned it into her testimony.

I'll probably never have the platform that Bethany has, but I still wonder how my having diabetes is supposed to fit into my testimony.  I've written how having diabetes makes my soul stronger, but how can I use that for God's glory?  Other than this blog, I haven't really shared how my diabetes and faith fit together.  But I definitely feel a kinship to Bethany because we both lost something.  Her loss is more evident, whereas mine is invisible.  Her positivity, even through her actress playing her character, was infectious and I hope I can be as much of an inspiration as she is.


  1. i have always wondered how the two can fit together well. and i concluded that it's actually only by God's amazing grace that i get through each day with a smile on my face! :)

  2. I know I'm not the most vocal person about my faith. But it's there. And personally, I feel deep down that I was given Diabetes for a reason (or maybe several). God knew I could handle it, that I would make a difference someway, somehow. I think we are all inspirations to each other! Great writing Holly ;-)

  3. Honestly, I believe the best way to integrate your faith into all aspects of your life is to live your life in the way you see is best, and let others ask questions of you. I'm Jewish, and from experience I can tell you that the more zealous someone is who tried to Witness to me, the more turned off I am.

    Religion is such a personal experience. A person has to be ready for it, and for it to mean something I truly believe they have to seek it for themselves. Blog about your life, with diabetes & your family & your animals & your faith, and you WILL reach people. You've reached me, even though I do not have the same faith.

  4. Your blog totally summed up how I felt too about the movie, along with my faith too in Jesus Christ.
    Well said. Ditto.

  5. Great post H.

    As many have said on twitter, writing about faith is tricky, but you nailed it here. I also love Wendy's comment about living as a strong example versus coming off all bible thumping and faith pushing. That approach turns me off too.

    Love what you had to say here. Thank you!

  6. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. God's grace is sufficient for us and his power is made perfect in weakness. I know I would never have understood these verses if not for my son's diabetes. I know for me, that I believe God has used his D to strengthen my faith mainly because I had no other option but to TRUST God.

    If God means for you to have a public platfrom, he will give it to you. If not, your witness of living each day in spite of your challenges is a mighty big platform, even if you do not realize how many people it touches right now.

  7. I have come to a point where I can consider diabetes one of my gifts. Along with a strong mind for math, a love of cooking, an engineer husband and someone who likes to walk with me each evening.
    It all came as a package deal from a Heavenly Father who is all wise, so I take it as a gift.


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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.