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Heart of an Athlete: Maggie Grisell, Furman University

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Heart of an Athlete: Maggie Grisell, Furman University

 

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”    

- Proverbs 27:17

Goalkeeper Maggie Grisell entered the Furman soccer program competing for a spot, while God competed for her heart. With help from FCA and teammate Claire Sullivan, she’s learned to let go of her “me” mentality and see soccer as an opportunity to play for a bigger purpose. Grisell enters her senior season knowing it is God who determines her success, whether on the bench or on the field.

FCA: What’s it been like competing for a starting spot?

MG: My freshman year was hard. I came in competing for playing time with my teammate Rose Hull. We saw each other as the enemy. I wanted things to go bad for her; when she did well, it meant bad things for me.

We played Clemson in the season-opener and ended up winning in overtime—a great win. But what I remember is sitting on the bench so unhappy because I didn’t play. It didn’t matter if my team won; I felt bad because I didn’t get what I wanted. That was the point where I was like, “Wow, there is something wrong with the way I’m thinking.”

FCA: How did that moment impact you?

MG: It was super humbling. I learned that everything that’s good for her is not bad for me. When she does well, I should be excited for her. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to compete, because I do. But I can be just as proud of what I do as what she does because we’re teammates.

Entering sophomore year, we had a moment where we both looked at each other and realized it’s OK that we both want to play. We’re in the same boat, and we know how each other feels. Competition can be healthy, and by training together we can make each other better. It’s funny—we are best friends now, and we’ve actually done a lot of talks at FCA about our story.

FCA: How has your faith grown and changed since your freshman year?

MG: I used to think the reason God brought me here was to play soccer. When I wasn’t playing, I thought I was failing or doing something wrong.

During my second semester as a freshman, one of the big things we talked about at FCA was how maybe we’re not here to play the sport we’re playing, but for a bigger reason. God used soccer to get me here, but I don’t think that was the ultimate purpose. Having a team you’re with every day is the perfect opportunity to show people God’s love and minister to them because you’re so close, and they really see who you are.

FCA: Why is FCA important to you?

MG: College is a really important time to figure out what you believe. It’s a great place to help stimulate people. There are people here struggling with the same things, and you can figure it out together. One of the phrases we used this past semester in FCA was, “What is God doing to chisel away at you?” It’s been a gradual chipping away process that a lot of times I don’t notice daily, but when I look back at the year I’m able to say, “Wow, God’s done so much in my life.”

FCA: What has God been teaching you?

MG: Take time to sit and listen, let the Spirit speak. When I actually start listening, I find God’s got a lot to say to me.

I really want to develop my faith in Him as Jehovah Jireh, as provider.

FCA Staff Quote:

“Maggie has made an incredible impact at Furman as an FCA student leader. Her attitude, effort, wisdom and grace cause the light of Christ to shine brightly through her life. Her true, abiding relationship with her Heavenly Father allows her to impact our campus.”

-Scott Shuford, Furman University FCA Campus Director

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Sarah Rennicke

FCA Magazine

FCA.org