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One-Armed Pro Surfer Bethany Hamilton Says God Is Her 'Stronghold' in Times of Struggle

Bethany Hamilton, the professional surfer who famously survived a 2003 shark attack that cost her her left arm, said in a recent interview that she has looked to God to be her "stronghold" during challenging times in her life.

The 24-year-old, who recently married Christian youth minister Adam Dirks, discussed her new book Body and Soul: A Girl's Guide to a Fit, Fun and Fabulous Life for Fox News' "Faith & Fame" series. The inspirational athlete told the media outlet that her advice to those facing struggles, whether big or small, is to remember that God loves them unconditionally.

"I think that we all go through different hard times in our lives and challenges and things to overcome and I just know that how I overcame was through Jesus Christ and that has been my stronghold," she told Fox.

"I think the thing God's taught me is first of all He forgives me when I make a mistake and He calls me to forgive the people around me that make mistakes and hurt me. In that is just God's gift of amazing love and forgiveness and that's why He died on the cross for our sins so just know that God loves you and He has this amazing love for you and He just wants to be a part of it."

Hamilton, a resident of Kauai, made headlines in October 2003, at the age of 13, when she was surfing in the early morning hours off of the island's Tunnels Beach. Hamilton was reportedly lying on her surfboard with her left arm dangling in the water when a 14-foot tiger shark attacked her, severing her left arm from her body.

Although Hamilton lost 60 percent of her blood after the attack, she managed to survive, and was back on a surfboard in the water less than a month after her traumatic experience. A dedicated Christian since the age of 5, Hamilton now contributes a large part of her time to spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ, as seen through the many Christian-themed books she has released, including the "Soul Surfer" series and multiple collections of devotionals.

Hamilton has also starred in a video for the "I Am Second" movement, a campaign founded by e3 Partners ministry that seeks to provide testimonials of evangelical public figures speaking candidly about their struggles and their relationship with God.

In her "I Am Second" video, released in March 2011, Hamilton said that in the end, her survival of her shark attack glorified God in more ways than she could imagine.

"From what seems like such a horrible thing, God has just brought glory to Himself," Hamilton says in the video. "I have been able to be just a good light to people and just share His love. I wake up every day and [try to] honor God in everything that I do and I may fall short sometimes, but all I want to do is love Him."

Last August, Hamilton married her husband in a secluded part of Kaui's north shore, near where Hamilton grew up. The pro-surfer told People magazine that the wedding was "the most amazing day of my life." The couple still resides in Kauai.

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