Bethany Hamilton, famous for continuing her competitive surfing career after losing an arm in a shark attack 10 years ago, started a new journey this weekend. On Sunday afternoon, Hamilton married her fiance, Christian youth minister Adam Dirks.
In 2011, the movie Soul Surfer made Hamilton’s story famous. When she was 13, a shark attacked her while she was out surfing near her home in Hawaii. She lost her left arm and almost gave up on her goal of becoming a competitive surfer. After encouragement and help from her family and friends, she fought her way back to competitive surfing and still competes today. Girls and women around the world admire Hamilton for her courage and faith in Jesus after her accident.
Hamilton met Dirks last year, when friends set them up on a blind date. She said they immediately hit it off. He proposed in April, and she accepted: “I know Adam and I are right for each other and that God has us together for Him.”
The wedding took place in Hawaii, on a hilltop on the north shore of Kauai, near Hamilton’s hometown of Kilauea. The entire wedding party went barefoot, according to People magazine. They each wrote their own vows and danced their first dance to Ben Harper’s “The Three of Us.”
Hamilton said she was nervous about the new step in her life: “To open up your heart to a complete stranger and learn to love a new person; it’s different; it’s beautiful. I believe it’s what God has created for us; but it can be intimidating.” But she said she is learning from God how to love well: “Christ is the greatest definition of love and it’s been amazing to learn from the greatest!”
In a blog post about her wedding, she wrote, “Today was the most beautiful, wonderful best day of my life! God is more than good.”