Bethany Hamilton ODonnell / Blog

How Great is our God

A year ago, on a day not unlike today, I was on my way to my in-laws for a day of prayer and tears with my mother-in-law. On the drive there the song "How Great is Our God" came on the radio, a song that I had heard, played, and sang a million times before. In that moment I became acutely aware how incredible in love I am with Jesus Christ. I remember pulling over and just singing the word "how Great is Our God, sing with me how Great is our God, and all will see how Great, how Great is our God." and I cried and mourned over my marriage. Today on the way how that song came on the radio again, bringing me back to that moment in time, and I realized how blessed I have been this year. God has taken care of my every need. When I needed a place to live, he gave me a beautiful place of solace in my brother and sister. When I needed a job, he provided me with one that I love surrounded by wonderful people. When I needed a shoulder to cry on or a joke to make me laugh, He provided friends and family. Yes, losing Josh has been heart wrenchingly unbearable, But God has stayed Great, and He has calmed the waves and given me peace in this storm. I am secure in knowing that he holds me future.

1 year Hurt,Heartache,Hope (2)

When I moved to Ohio, I knew that I would be surrounded with family and friends who loved and supported me, but I was without a job and living on the small savings that Josh had left me. 4 months went by of searching for work until finally the perfect opportunity came by, and I am glad to say that I really do love my job and the people who I have had the pleasure of working with. I have made new friends and started a bible study with a woman who I have been able to confide so much in, who has been nothing but a light and encouragement to me. I have been able to rekindle a friendship with a family I knew from camp who I have gotten my weekly hugs from every Sunday and continue to encourage me and love on me. I have been sent numerous texts, cards, messages, and phone calls, from so many people who have been daily praying for me. Every day has been a struggle just to hold on and keep living for Christ. Every word I say, everything I do, I want it to be pleasing to my Lord and Savior. I know I have failed so many times. Without my relationship with Christ, I honestly do not know if I would be here today. There were definitely moments where I wanted it all to end, and Josh was a cop, I could have made it happen… but God kept me wrapped in His embrace daily reminding me that I am here in this earth to glorify Him. And how selfish it would be for me to end it, I still had so much living to do; maybe someday I could use my story to help another woman struggling. God was not done with me. Today I have hope. Hope in a future not filled with hurt or hate or despair, but a future filled with life and love and joy that can only be found in Jesus. He has been carrying me all this way and I know he has something greater in store for me. The greatest thing I need to work on not is forgiveness. And to me at this moment, forgiveness sounds like a 4 letter word. I cannot imagine being able to forgive my husband for when he has done, yet alone his mistress. But I know that forgiveness does not mean that I excuse their actions in anyway. I still think that what he has done and is continuing to do is deplorable. I still cry, I still hurt so deeply I’m not sure if I will heal, but I have Hope. My story is not over; it is just starting a new chapter…. “My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus blood and righteousness I dare not trust the sweetest frame But wholly trust in Jesus name Christ Alone Cornerstone Weak made strong In the Savior's love Through the storm He is Lord Lord of All When darkness seems to hide His face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil Then He shall come with trumpets sound Only then in Him will I be found Dressed in His righteousness alone Faultless standing before the throne”

1 Year Hurt,Heartache,Hope

A year ago today, what I dreamed and imagined would be my future with the man that I madly loved, was turned around, flipped upside down and twisted into something unrecognizable. A year ago today Josh told me that he had met someone else, and that she was his soul mate. My world shattered in those moments. I felt like I was in a dream or he was playing some twisted joke. I felt like I was dying; the man that I had given my life to, to hold, protect and cherish, suddenly no longer wanted me. I wracked my brain over and over wondering what it was that I had done wrong, and what I could do to bring him back to me. I was on my knees on an hourly basis praying that our marriage would be restored. I did not want our story to end. He made it very clear to me that I had been nothing but a loving caring wife and that any man would be lucky to have me, he was just done and found someone else to cherish. Over the next few months, I watched as he continued his relationship with her. I did everything I could to try to make him come back. I prayed and fasted, sought counseling, pulled together friends and family to help him see reason and the sin of his actions. I never kicked him out of our home. I wanted to be above reproach in everything I did. I wanted to be able to look back on that time and be able to say that I stayed faithful and followed God, no matter how hard it got. I sat by him and held his hand when the State police came to our apartment and took everything away that he had contacted her with when they found out she was under aged. I sat and held his hand as I listened to him describe to the police that things he had done with her. I stayed; physically, mentally, and emotionally, I stayed…. I didn’t know what else to do. My in-laws became my biggest support and place of comfort. I was constantly at their house, seeking their counsel and prayer. I did not want to lose them either. August came and Josh moved out and never looked back, and I made plans to move to Ohio in October to live with my brother and sister-in-law, who were gracious enough to open there home to me. Those 2 months alone in our apartment were probably the worst; my life consisted of going to work then going to bed. Every moment was a battle to go to work and not break down at every moment.

Unconditional Love 2

I have not given up on Josh, I will never stop praying for him. One of the hardest part about all of this is that I haven’t done anything, and he has made that perfectly clear. This is all him, which also means, I can’t do anything to fix it. This is in his hands. Unconditional love for him is what makes me hate him so much sometimes. Being betrayed, hurt, and tossed away like trash has been unbearable at time. The knowledge and understanding that God will be with me, and knowing that even in the pain and sorrow, God can give me immeasurable Joy, is the truth that is glue holding my broken heart together.

I want to urge every young woman who plans on one day getting married, that as much as they love their husband, they Must love Jesus Christ more. Because I never ever thought that this would happen to me; I assumed that I would have a happily ever after with Josh, that the promises and covenant he made to me before God and 200 people on October 2, 2010 would last forever. I never dreamed my marriage would last only 2 years, and If I did not have the relationship with God that I do, I would not have been able to handle things the way I have. Christ has been my refuge and strong tower, the Word of God has been my security blanket, and my family and wonderful Christian friends have been my prayer warriors.

I do not know what God has planned for me, I hope that someday I will be able to look back at this and see his hand and blessings. There are days right now where I cannot even get out of my bed, and after he left, I thought my world was ending. One day at a time, I “fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith” (Heb 12:2)

Unconditional Love 1

So I just wanted to write this down. For the first time on my life I really understand what unconditional love is. The 1Coronthians 13 passage talks about his kind of love. It is so often quoted at weddings to describe a love that should be between a husband and wife, but let’s face it when in the course of marriage are we Always loving and caring towards our spouse? There are definitely moments where we really don't like them and our patience runs very thin.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

When have any of us actually shown all these qualities; as flawed humans we are impatient, unkind, envious, boastful, proud, self-seeking, angry, and always remember when we are wronged. Maybe not all the time and there are definitely times when we do and can demonstrate with biblical kind of love, but the beautiful thing about this passage is, it was not necessarily an attainable kind of love for us as human beings, but it is the kind of love that God has towards us, a love that we in no way deserve, Unconditional love.

Over the last few months, I have really started to understand this Agape love. Josh has done something so horrible and disgusting. He has treated our marriage as something that can be tossed aside. Yet through all the lies, deceit, and adultery… I love him. Yes there have been moments of anger and disgust at him, but I know that if he were to come back and once again follow God’s direction for his life, then I can forgive him, someday. Unconditional love doesn’t mean that there will not be consequences and that I will be able to over look everything that he has done, but it can be kind and patient. If he is truly repentant someday, then we can move past this. The idea of him coming back actually scares me more right now than me moving and starting over. That trust and faith that I had in him is gone and may be impossible to ever fully regain. Unconditional love can forgive.

Christ forgave those that spat at Him and crucified Him. I can forgive my husband for the affair, but I may never be able to forgive her, nor do I really have any intention of forgiving her to be completely honest.


rescently my life has been filled with pain and suffering, my husband is having an affair and moved out a few days ago. God is still Bigger than all of this, and I am trusting Him and staying loving and faithful. The girl he is having an affair with has a page on here and is delusional, Naomi Fowler from Syracuse NY.... I am praying to God to take away the Hatred I have for her for being so ok with having an affair with my husband and still claiming to love God...