I’m Calling, can you hear me?

Often there are roller coaster moments for anyone who has made the commitment to serve the Lord with their life. There are times of great fruit, seeing God do amazing things in the lives of those you minister to daily. People can tend to have a false perspective that you are always good, almost forgetting that you too are dealing with life’s issues as well! There are seasons that seem dry, almost as if you are in the desert. Those seasons are difficult for any of us! You find yourself taking each step with eyes focused on the horizon, just waiting for the cooling rain to come and refresh you again.

Coming to Kauai was a huge step of faith in my walk with the Lord. I knew that God had put Kauai on my heart and had confirmed it in several ways. It is important to have assurance of the calling God places on your life. With assurance you will walk even when it is difficult (being a girl in ministry can be difficult, couple that with telling people God was calling me to Hawaii was definitely a major difficulty). One of the largest confirmations was when I found out how great the need was on the North Shore. There were a ton of kids yet no youth groups.

Upon arriving to Kauai I knew I was to reach out to the youth but I really didn’t know what that would look like. When my car came in on the barge, I picked it up and was like, “Ok Lord, what shall I do?” On my way home that day, I saw four kids hitchhiking on the side of the road with their boogie boards. Clearly, they needed a ride to the beach! I felt the Lord prompt my heart to pick them up, so I pulled over and they all got in. I took them to the beach and felt like I was to stay until they were finished and then take them home. It was a bit awkward for me; I was hoping I wasn’t scaring any of them (I really was hoping they didn’t think I was a weirdo)! When they were done I offered them a ride home, they were so stoked!

After dropping them off, I gave them my number and shared that I was there to hang out with youth and that if they needed anything, to just call and I would be available for them. The next morning, these smart boys called me again for another ride to the beach. The phone calls turned into a daily thing and we quickly became friends. They were trekking me all over the Island, showing me all the best spots. Within two weeks of meeting them, God opened the door for me to share Christ with them. They would ask me a hundred questions about the Bible and the Lord. These boys all within a month came to know the Lord and started inviting their friends to hang out. By the end of that summer I was squeezing 13 kids into my little Hyundai hatchback (Hawaii is much more lenient on those issues than the mainland). This birthed the start of the youth group.

Within a couple month of being on Kauai, I started working along side a church who had recently hired a new youth pastor. We were a great team for the Lord and saw God do amazing things. There were some issues that came up about me being a girl leading youth. I really didn’t give them much thought. For me, it was all about being obedient to the calling the Lord had placed on my life. People will always talk and or have their opinions. The only thing that matters is being obedience to the call placed on your life.

Is there a problem with a girl leaders? I won’t say that I too didn’t question it. There was only an issue for me when people tried to put a “title” attached to my name. In my eye, yes I was a girl, just being obedient!There was a need, God saw it and put me there to do something about it. I knew I was exactly where God wanted me! Girls, God can and will use you! It is unfortunate how few guys there are stepping up to the plate to serve. I’m not saying there are not guys,not that God only uses girls when there are no guys…that is not true!! I’m just saying there seems to be less and less guys willing to step up. Why is that?

I really didn’t know what a heated topic this was until we were filming Soul Surfer. Every media interview I did seemed to want to place a title to my name; they wanted to know what I called myself… Really title? I am a servant, I am a Jesus loving, youth leading, Bible teaching, praying without ceasing, seed planter, who is a girl. Yes, I have had churches and people debate weather or not I as a girl should be leading youth. God called me so the issue needs to be taken to Him.

There have definitely been times that this topic has taken a toll on me. There have been times that I have been out right disrespected as a girl. I have been talked down too, ignored, looked at funny, left out and even talked about. I have been weary, discouraged, I have cried tears privately with the Lord. I have questioned giving up and walking away. The one thing that I could not escape from was knowing the calling God placed on my heart. 1 Peter 2:10 say’s, “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble.”

I knew the Lord would fight the battle for me. That might sound easier said than it was living it out. The road was difficult at times and still is. There will always be people and their bias of weather a girl could/should be leading such a ministry. God calls us to go into the harvest…He will use the ones who are willing to go. Everyone else who wants to sit and debate that issue is only wasting precious time!!

The Bible says we are to walk by faith, even when the storm is at hand and the end is afar off. If we say we believe in God, then we must trust Him even when people question us or our ability. We are to trust and walk even when we feel forgotten or even worse, rejected! You see God is not good and faithful only in the smooth seasons. He is faithful all the time.

I have had to trust that the Lord was training up something even in all the talk about me being a girl. I have had to learn to trust the calling the Lord put in my heart years ago, to step out in obedience and serve the youth of Kauai. I had to shut off the lies from the enemy and the world that told me how worthless or a failure. I had to daily look to Christ in order to gain strength to serve Him FAITHFULLY!!!

I have recently been asked more and more about being a girl in ministry. I have felt the Lord challenge me to be a voice on the topic. Not to set clear lines of what girls can or can’t do but to encourage young girls to be obedient when they feel called. Be obedient to the call. Consider the many female leaders in the scripture starting with Miriam (Micah 6:4)—she led during the time of Moses. In the New Testament we find Anna (Luke 2:36) and Philip’s daughters (Acts 21:9) the young prophetesses on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17) and all the women who prayed and prophesied in Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 11). This is far from being an exhaustive list. God used them because they were willing and obedient.

God is who places the call on our lives. Men and women alike make the choice to respond to that call. We need to make our prayer that God would remove the obstacles in our lives that keep us from absolute obedience to Him. I am a girl, I love Jesus and I love that He chooses to use me to be His hands and feet in this world. If you never step out of the boat, you will never walk on water!

1 Cor. 15:58

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About Sarah Rachel Hill

After graduating high school, a tragic surfing accident changed Sarah Hill's life. Suffering a broken neck and back, Sarah clung to Christ and through this painful journey, God's plan and purpose for her life started to become clear. After recovering from her accident, Sarah completed her Associate's Degree in theology from Calvary Chapel Bible College (CCBC). Trusting God, Sarah returned to surfing and became a missionary to the island of Kauai in June 2001. There, Sarah founded Kauai Child, a ministry geared toward the island's kids. Soon after arriving in Kauai, she began spending more of her time in ministry to junior and senior high students. Sarah has helped create youth groups on the North Shore of Kauai and ministers to more than 150 kids a week. Because of her fun and loving approach to youth, she has one of the largest youth groups on Kauai. Sarah takes the time to truly listen and understand the full scope of each student's needs. Her ministry also includes helping establish Christian clubs in public schools, discipling kids, counseling students and their families, and of course, her ministry to kids on the water while surfing! Grounded in her devotion and love for Christ for more than 17 years and in ministry for 12 years, Sarah's training allows her to recognize those in need and gives her the ability to reach out to them. After growing up in a tough and abusive home, through God's grace, she continues impacting lives for God's kingdom on Kauai ... and beyond. In SOUL SURFER, Sarah is portrayed by Carrie Underwood. View all posts by Sarah Rachel Hill

6 responses to “I’m Calling, can you hear me?

  • Jen

    I needed this!!! What revelation and confirmation you have given me. My brother-in-law who is a pastor believes woman should not teach boys or speak in a congregation. This topic comes up in our family often, and unfortunately has discouraged me from during what I know God has called me to do. I am encouraged to move now. I have been moving forward quietly, but this message encourages me to be bold.

    Thank you Sarah

  • Serena Williams

    This is so where my life is right now. With ministry, and with a lot of other things as well. I so needed to read this thanks for writing it.

  • toblerone2010

    Thank you for this blog post! The story of how your youth group started is so cool! It’s becoming clear to me that when God calls us to a ministry, He will always lead us straight to the people that need to hear His word.

    While I personally believe that women should not be ordained pastors (simply because of what I consider to be the best interpretation of passages such as 1 Timothy 2), it’s so important to support great women of faith like you, who are obeying God’s call to ministry. I find it sad that people would question the amazing things God is doing through you simply because you’re a girl. Keep up the good work! :)

    I agree

  • Vimax

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  • adrianelynee

    I stumbled upon this post today and I am so glad that I did.

    Since I was 13, I have known I was called into full time ministry and have traveled all over the world on mission trips for the last 14 years, including two year living in India. Finally after years of waiting, the Lord finally opened the door for me to step into full time ministry. It really is a dream come true.

    While the staff are incredibly supportive and there are several other women who work there, I constantly feel like I am viewed as lesser than and not enough because I am a single woman. Being a single woman at almost 30 is hard enough, without always feeling as though I won’t be respected or on the same level until I am married. I may not get married until I’m 40 or 50 or never and I would hate to always feel like I’m waiting to fulfill His calling until I marry a man. I am such an independent person and have had so many different life experiences, it can feel frustrating.

    It is encouraging to remember that God is the one who justifies me. He fights for me and makes me valid. It’s hard and doesn’t feel right or fair but I know that if I am faithful to do the work He has called me do, He will make His approval known. I guess it’s all about me waiting.

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