God can speak to us in many ways.
Here is a sample of how He spoke to and through the young people at Upward Challenge North Carolina, (2012).
A picture shared by Tori after the group spent time confessing their brokenness:
A love letter from God. Received by Nicki during Solo Time and shared with the whole group:
I am always there and will never leave your side. Come to Me and I will give you renewed strength. Nothing I do is by mistake and surely I wouldn’t start with making one with you. You are perfect to me and I wouldn’t change one hair on your head. I want to be your everything, and when you sing, and raise your voices to me, I hear beautiful music. Do not worship in the way that takes away from praise. Do not focus on how good you hit the notes nor how you look when you are worshiping Me, I do not care about either of those things; be yourself, the person I made you to be. I want you to let go of all the baggage that you brought with you here and do not hold back. You asked Me to do big things for you this week; to break your heart for what breaks mine and I can’t do that when you keep putting up walls of insecurities. You are more than that! You are more than the things you’ve done to sin against Me. Come again and sit in silence, praying to Me that I will help you break down the walls. Go ask for prayer from others around you because as I am in you, so too am I in them. I love you dear child.
Isaiah 26:1-9 shared by Zachary as part of worship:
New Living Translation (NLT)
A Song of Praise to the LORD
In that day, everyone in the land of Judah will sing this song:
Our city is strong!
We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation.
Open the gates to all who are righteous;
allow the faithful to enter.
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the LORD always,
for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.
He humbles the proud
and brings down the arrogant city.
He brings it down to the dust.
The poor and oppressed trample it underfoot,
and the needy walk all over it.
But for those who are righteous,
the way is not steep and rough.
You are a God who does what is right,
and you smooth out the path ahead of them.
LORD, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws;
our heart’s desire is to glorify your name.
All night long I search for you;
in the morning I earnestly seek for God.
For only when you come to judge the earth
will people learn what is right.
This picture, drawn by Abigail on Tuesday night, was shared after teaching the following day which matched the message of the picture:
A word shared by Nicola at the closing session of Upward Challenge:
Come along now, we have to move on from here. We will be back at some point, but we need to go, for now. For NOW you will benefit in some way somewhere else. Your gifts are there for a reason; let me use them in a different way than you imagine.
But that means you have to put your shoes on and come with me, trust me. Run with me through the plains, I’ll carry you over the rocks, you’ll fly with me over the seas of beauty. ‘As you pass through the dry and desolate valleys, they will become places of beauty and life; rains will cover them with pools of nourishment. You will go from strength to strength to strength, until you come to be with me in Zion, the holy place’ (paraphrased from Psalm 84:6-7).
You cannot fathom just how much I am going to do with you. Trust me. I will hold your hand, I will be your steadfast support, I am your strength. Keep pressing in to me, into my heart for you, into my gifts, into the life I am bringing you. Pure joy and love will burst from your heart, and you have no idea, you cannot comprehend how much this will impact someone, and you will not know who this is until I reveal them to you. But for now, put on your shoes and come with me. Trust me and I will lead you.