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Elyse Sandberg
Dr. Townsend
Passage Personal Manifesto Paper
5 October 2013
A Time To Grow

Passage was the best possible way I could have started my college experience at

Wheaton. I am so thankful for the people I met and the relationships that were started while at

Honey Rock. God used this experience to prepare me spiritually and give me the right heart and

mindset for entering college. During this time, God really laid the verse Matthew 6:33 on my

heart: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all else will follow. There are so

many things we want to seek in life, especially at the beginning of college; a few of those being

friends, security, or fulfillment. God put Matthew 6:33 on my heart to remind me to seek Him

above everything else, and all other things will follow after that. This helped me recognize I need

to find my fulfillment in him so that I am not looking to be fulfilled by other things.

During my solo, God called to my attention his unfailing love for me by reminding me

that he has called me by name, and will not forsake me. He has been faithful all of my life and he

is going to continue to be faithful as I seek to trust him more and more in all areas of life. The

beginning of college has been somewhat hard, but the Lord has already grown me so much in my

faith, reminding me daily of my absolute need to rely on him. Participating in passage was a

great precursor for the next four years, and I am feeling truly blessed to be at a place like

Wheaton which gives me the opportunity to grow immensely as a person. I know the Lord will

be faithful and I cannot wait to see the journey he has for me and the adventures he leads me to.

During my next four years, I hope to truly see myself develop as a whole person through forming

spiritual habits, gaining intellectual skills, being involved in Young Life and church, and making

life-giving, life-long friendships.

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I hope to form spiritual habits during my time at Wheaton that will last for the duration of

my life. Making it a priority to take time to be still before God in solitude every day is a habit I

undoubtedly want to cultivate. I believe this time is such an essential part of my day because it

requires me to sit peacefully in the presence of my heavenly Father. This is time put aside to

allow the Lord to renew, refresh, and fulfill me, and this time will keep me from seeking

fulfillment in other places.

Being consistent in the Word, thirsting and hungering for more Jesus is also one of my

top priorities. Matthew 5:6 says, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for

they shall be satisfied. Being in the Word daily will keep me thirsting for righteousness instead

of looking to other things in my life for that fulfillment. This thirst for righteousness will

hopefully lead me to actively pray and rely on God throughout my whole day. I want to be

molded into a person full of gratitude no matter what the circumstances. A lot of the time, I tend

to focus on what I dont have and what I feel like I need, rather than focusing on what God has

given me and the ways that he has already provided for me. Making it a habit of placing my

desires and prayers completely in Gods hands is crucial. I want to focus on the blessings He has

already given me while waiting patiently in trust, knowing that he is fully aware of my heart and

my desires, and will be faithful even to the end. My number one prayer for my time at Wheaton

is that I would seek Christ and his kingdom above all other things, always trusting that he will

take care of everything else.

During my time at Wheaton, I hope to grow intellectually in my abilities to learn and

think critically when confronted with the debated topics of the world today, in hopes that I can

contribute to the spreading of the gospel in this broken world. I aspire to become a more

effective writer so I can then communicate my thoughts more clearly. Proverbs 15:7 says, The
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lips of the wise spread knowledge, But the hearts of fools are not so. I want to be able to spread

knowledge no matter what the circumstance, and in order to do this, I must not only have

knowledge but also be able to effectively communicate that knowledge with others. Whether I

am writing an article or giving a speech, I will strive to effectively reach people with my words

for the sake of Christ.

Besides being able to write more effectively, I also would like to grow in my critical

thinking when reading. Often when I am reading something, I find myself simply molding my

views into the views of the author and accepting the authors thoughts or ideas as fact. Instead, I

want to have a firm understanding of what I believe and why I believe it coming from an

academic standpoint, so then I will not be swayed by the false opinions of an author or the

deceits of the world. While engaging in intellectual conversations with those who believe

something different than myself, I hope to be able to stand my ground and effectively argue my

beliefs. As we read in our Passage booklets, the liberal arts are meant to prepare the whole

person for all of life. I desire to be stretched intellectually so that by the end of my time at

Wheaton, I am prepared for the numerous conversations I may find myself in.

Young Life is something I have been interested in ever since I went to a young life camp

the summer after my freshman year, so consequently, this is the main activity I plan on getting

involved in during college. I know that being a Young Life leader will stretch and grow me like I

have never been stretched or grown before, and this makes me really excited. Young Life gives

me the opportunity to love on and be there for girls who may not have anyone else who is caring

for them. I want to show them the acceptance and grace of God in a world where they may feel

ashamed and rejected. Sharing with them the gift of Christ and the grace, peace, and love that

comes with that gift is my goal. Being a Young Life leader is going to stretch me emotionally,
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spiritually, socially, and intellectually, as I will be an example and possibly a mentor to many of

these younger girls. I pray that I would rely on Gods strength and power alone to do this,

because without him I can and will do nothing.

God has already blessed me with a church during my short time at Wheaton and I am so

thankful. The church I have found and already come to love is Church of the Beloved in the city.

I love the pastor and the passion he preaches with, I love the community, and I love the fact that

it is in the city. It feels sort of like an adventure for me, being a part of something so new. I

definitely feel like its where God wants me to be and I really hope to be deeply involved in this

church during my time at college. Finding ways to serve and get involved with their community

is something that is very important to me. I truly believe that going to Church of the Beloved

consistently and being involved through serving will challenge and grow me to be the true

Christ-follower God has called me to be.

One of my greatest hopes for my time at Wheaton is that I will make life-giving, life-long

relationships. I am praying that I will find people at Wheaton who build me up and push me to

grow in my relationship with Christ, but who I, at the same time, can have the best of times with.

I am very affected by the people I spend my time with, so it is my prayer that the Lord would

bless me with solid Christian friendships that resemble his friendships. I also would love to find

a mentor to disciple me amidst my time at Wheaton. However, even more than a mentor, I would

love to have an older and wise friend with whom I feel comfortable going to with my struggles

and doubts, someone who will remind me of Gods love and faithfulness when I may be

struggling to see or feel him with me. It is my prayer that the Lord would bless me with

relationships that help me grow ever closer to him throughout my time here.
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2 Peter 3:18 says, But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus

Christ. Above all else, this is what I hope for my time at Wheaton: that I would grow in the

grace and knowledge of my Savior. I hope to do this through the spiritual habits I discussed, the

intellectual skills I hope to develop, being involved in Young Life and Church of the Beloved,

and finally through the life-long friendships I form. When I think of the next four years and what

God has planned, my excitement is uncontainable. Questions of what I will learn and where I

will go consume my mind and leave me feeling anxious and eager. I know it is going to be a

crazy time full of ups and downs, and many, many adventures. My prayer is that no matter what

the circumstances, I would cling to the Lord my God with all my strength, and that he in turn

would continue to grow me into the woman of God he has always been shaping me to be.