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Cultivating Christ-Centered Connections

What Emma Groen loves most about playing softball is the camaraderie and care that she and her teammates have developed for one another.

“I love being part of a team. I love being with my teammates and having a common goal to use our gifts and abilities. I also think it’s a great platform to show the love of Christ to others in sports, a place that might be considered a more secular part of life.”

Groen and her teammates show the love of Christ in the little things: how they treat umpires, how they cheer on their fellow teammates, and how they don’t make snide comments about the opposing team.

“And if you run into somebody, you help them up,” she explains. “People notice a difference in us as a team, and we’ve been asked the question, ‘What makes you guys different?’ That’s an opportunity for us to share why we are different, and that is really cool.”

Building solid relationships with others is important in Groen’s professional life, too. She chose to pursue nursing in part because she wanted to interact with patients and “be there from beginning to end” through their stay. She loves getting to work with people and to help meet their needs.

Balancing her nursing coursework with the softball schedule has been interesting, for sure.

“It’s been tricky this spring, because I have to get 120 hours in at a hospital in Sioux Falls, and spring is also our busiest season for softball. What’s been most helpful is that my nursing professors and my softball coach have been flexible with me; they sat down with me and came up with a schedule that works for us all.”

Spending 120 hours on an oncology floor, Groen has been present for difficult conversations around cancer treatment options. “I get to be with people on some of their worst days. It’s a big opportunity and responsibility to be a light to others during those hard moments.”

After graduation, Groen plans to head back to the Des Moines area and find a job in nursing. She is grateful for the time she has spent both on the softball team and with Dordt’s nursing program.

“I’ve also appreciated being able to come to Dordt and make my faith my own. I’ve attended chapel, gone to Praise and Worship, and talked with my friends about my faith. It’s helped me to grow spiritually, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to experience that at Dordt.”