Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer who survived a shark attack in 2003, encouraged women to pursue motherhood at a pro-life event hosted by Save the Storks.

At the age of 13, Hamilton was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing. Instead of succumbing to her life circumstances, she grounded herself in her faith, which she says is a source of “truth, hope and strength.” She overcame the loss of her left arm and went on to achieve her dream of surfing professionally by the age of 17.

She shared her story in the 2004 memoir Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the BoardIn 2011, Hamilton’s story was turned into the film Soul Surfer, and in 2019, the film documentary Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable was released.

Hamilton sees obstacles in life as opportunities to be unstoppable. Her resilience and unapologetic boldness about her faith set her apart as a counter-cultural role model.

On her website, she boldly asserts, “The strength, identity, and foundation of my life is in the faith that God has given me.”

Since the shark attack over 20 years ago, Hamilton has not only followed her dreams of becoming a professional surfer but also married Adam Dirks, a former youth pastor. They have four children together — three sons and a daughter.

During Hamilton’s keynote address at Save the Storks’ annual benefit, she told the audience that before she had children, she, too, was tempted to believe the cultural lie that women should put motherhood aside for later and pursue their careers first.

She recalled that she and her husband were surprised when they found out they were expecting a baby. They thought they would put off having children until they were older, but God had different plans.

I could not wait to be a mom, but not that day. All of a sudden, I felt like I was rejecting motherhood. Sometimes I feel so ashamed of that version of me. Why didn’t I want to be a mother?… Cultural mindset says we have to go live our life and have a career. Motherhood can come later. I was led on by this…I struggled through the first half of my pregnancy. [But when my son was born], I had this overwhelming feeling that I would give my life for [him]. No one can truly explain that feeling…If there is one thing that motivates you, it is your children.

Hamilton also inspires women to embrace motherhood through her partnership as a brand ambassador with the pro-life diaper company EveryLife.

EveryLife made headlines earlier this year when it launched an ad campaign in Times Square with the message, “Make more babies.” The campaign featured an X post by Elon Musk that read, “Having children is saving the world.”

EveryLife’s mission is simple: “to provide premium products for every baby. Because every baby is a miracle from God who deserves to be loved, protected, and supported.”

Since becoming a brand ambassador with EveryLife last fall, Hamilton has used her platform to motivate women to embrace motherhood as a blessing.

Last month, Hamilton released this reel in partnership with EveryLife on her X account, captioning it “Motherhood a gift beyond measure.”

Motherhood sharpens you.

Calls you to a greater purpose,

To guide, serve, and protect,

To love someone beyond yourself.

Some days you count the minutes till bedtime…

All the while wishing you could slow down time.

What a gift.

Motherhood is the gift of a lifetime.

Thank you, Bethany Hamilton, for inspiring the next generation of moms to step into that role wholeheartedly with enthusiasm, purpose and love.


Image credit: Bethany Hamilton.