Arizona Diamondbacks player Nick Ahmed is known for his successes on the ballfield and for his Christian faith.
But life wasn’t always this way.
Over the years, Ahmed, 32, has openly shared his Christian faith and the journey that led him to Jesus. He recounted in a recent Sports Spectrum video for the “I Once Was” series how, in 2013, he faced difficult struggles in his personal life.
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Ahmed was grappling with “a lot of different things” at the time, including navigating a long-distance relationship with his then-fiance, who later became his wife, and fears about his future.
“[I] was struggling with fitting in with a new team – I just got traded. And I struggled. I was dealing with failure on the field like never before,” Ahmed said. “And every day, I just had this anxiety and fear and depression and worry about what the future might hold.”
All of that fear and consideration led Ahmed to a key moment that changed everything. During a minor league baseball game, he surrendered his life to Christ, according to Christian Headlines.
“It’s a super hot night in Mobile, Alabama, at the end of May, and I stepped out in the field for that game that night. I had just finished my second strikeout,” he told Sports Spectrum.
In a previous telling of this story, Ahmed offered even more details about what unfolded. With so much pressure and worry, he felt fear over potentially losing his career and seemed at the end of himself.
“I had all this fear and anxiety and worry about my dream being ripped away from me,” Ahmed said at a 2019 event at Hillside Community Church in Bristol, Connecticut. “Every day I showed up to the ballpark, I was like, ‘Man, this is going to be my last game. I’m going to fail again. The next day I’m going to get released. I’m going to have to give up on my dream and it’s going to be over.'”
He was carrying those worries with him on the field during that fateful game.
Rather than follow his typical routine of taking ground balls to warm up, he turned toward the outfield, closed his eyes, and prayed an invocation that would forever transform his heart and mind.
“Right at that moment, I asked God to come into my life and save me, and I just said, ‘God, I surrender. I’m going to do life your way,’ and I asked Jesus into my heart,” Ahmed said. “And I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit come in and flood me and give me a piece that I’d never had before.
He continued, “And I still have it with me to this day.”
Speaking about his conversation in the past, Ahmed said it wasn’t a mere prayer; he pledged to follow God throughout his life — and live life the Lord’s way.
“At that moment, I started following God, and I said, ‘I’m going to do life your way. I’m going to walk with you. I’m going to follow you,'” he said.
Watch him tell the story:
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