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Who Really Is The Greatest? Part 2

FCAPentaltyKillBryanDenchPartII

by bryan Dench

Who is the greatest in your life? Who do you trust?

Gigi Marvin is an Olympic and professional hockey player who God blessed with an opportunity to place her full trust in Him alone. She had a choice to make. She chose to trust God with dramatic and powerful results.

Gigi grew up in the hockey hotbed of Minnesota. From an early age, she starred as a forward, scoring 55 goals one year in high school! She went on to the University of Minnesota, playing four years for the Golden Gophers. On top of that, she worked her way up in USA hockey representing her country. This led to membership on the US Women’s Olympic Hockey team that won silver medals in 2010 in Vancouver, B.C., and 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

She now plays for the Boston Pride women’s professional hockey team, winner of the inaugural Isobel Cup as league champions. It would be hard to imagine a more dedicated, disciplined, or successful athlete in any sport.

But the road for Gigi was not the straight path it might seem. At a high point in her hockey career, between the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, God put a roadblock in her way.

“It all happened in a short time between August and September 2011,” Gigi remembers. “The year before I had been an Olympic medalist. I had been on the USA team for five years. But that summer we had an odd tournament that the team was never in before or since. We had tryouts. I got left off the team. It was the first time I had ever been cut, the first individual failure in my hockey experience.” Until that time, hockey had always come easily to Gigi. She was sent home stunned.

FCAPentaltyKillBryanDenchPartII-2

“Honestly, hockey had been my idol. Then suddenly I had no team, no job, and nothing at all. I remember my dad asking me all the questions you would expect, ‘what now, where are you going to go, what will you do, will you ever be back on the USA team?’ I just answered ‘I don’t know’ to every question. Because I didn’t know! I had no idea what I was going to do.”

But God showed Gigi that He had a plan for her. “I was sitting on my bed, reading in Genesis about how God called Abraham out of his home and sent him to a new land. [Genesis chapter 12] I knew God wanted me to get up and go.”

Gigi found out about the new professional league for women developing in Boston. Although it was too late for her to join a team, she decided to move to Boston in a week, hoping she would be able to train with a team even if not compete. She knew one player on the Boston team who offered her a place to live, and she stepped out in faith.

“God was telling me to go, to trust him and him alone.” No sooner did she commit to the move than USA hockey contacted her to suggest she rejoin the team. Not as a forward, but as a defenseman, the position she went on to play in the next Olympics and professionally.

She made the move to Boston. God brought her to a sound and supportive church. In the space of a few weeks, as she puts it, “I went from Minnesota to Boston, from forward to defense, and from being cut to the Olympic team – a new position, a new home, and a new heart completely in love with Jesus and trusting in the Lord.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 became Gigi’s touchstone verse of scripture: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” She says, “It brought me complete peace in the Lord,” despite the huge changes she experienced so suddenly. Gigi’s story is a powerful example of how God can work in and through us when we trust in Him!

Reflection

  1. Has God given you a new heart to place your full trust in Jesus?

  2. Have you ever had an experience where everything you were trusting in this life was taken away? How did you get through that?

  3. If you must face something like that in the future, where can you turn for the way through?

Genesis 12:1-4 

Jeremiah 29:11