Over the past decade, shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton's resolve and heroism in the face of life-altering circumstances have inspired millions of individuals around the world.
On Wednesday, she brought her message of faith and hope to Liberty University's Convocation in Lynchburg, Va., where she shared her harrowing story and spoke about how God helped her overcome the loss of her left arm.
From her faith in Jesus to her struggles re-learning how to cope with her injuries, Hamilton, 23, related her monumental struggles back to the many plights that human beings face on a daily basis.
Surfer Bethany Hamilton speaks onstage at 'An Evening of Wishes', Make-A-Wish Metro New York's 30th Anniversary Gala at Cipriani, Wall Street on June 13, 2013 in New York City. Credit: (Credit too long, see caption)
Her central message, which was specifically tailored for a Christian audience, was her belief that living for God and trusting his will is essential -- and that life's difficult circumstances can sometimes be turned around and used for good.
[sharequote align="center"]"God taught me that He can take the hard times ... and turn them into something beautiful."[/sharequote]
"As I grew up with one arm and relearned how to surf, God taught me that He can take the hard times that I went through and turn them into something beautiful," she told the audience, according to Charisma News.
"I think that He can do that for each and every one of you. He can take what you have been through and use it for good if you are willing to share what He has done for you," she added.
Watch Hamilton's complete address, below (and read more about it here):
Despite the challenges she has faced in the decade since losing her arm, Hamilton told students that she'd never take back what she went through, as she believes that her own personal tragedy has allowed her to reach others with a message of true hope and redemption.
"I look back on my life now and I am just in awe that God can take a little girl from a tiny island in Hawaii and use my story all over the world to reach so many people," she said.
In 2003, Hamilton, who was then 13, was attacked by a 14-foot shark while surfing in Kauai, Hawaii. In addition to losing her arm, the teen also lost 60 percent of her blood and faced major challenges in re-learning many life skills.
Despite these setbacks, she went on to continue competing and surfing. Her success and fearlessness in the water has inspired the masses, but Hamilton credits faith with her ability to overcome.
Over the summer, she married Adam Dirks, a Christian youth minister.
(H/T: Charisma News)