- (Photo: Reuters)
Mike Fisher, Nashville Predator hockey player and husband to country singer Carrie Underwood, was featured in an "I Am Second" video where he shared his testimony of how reaching success proved to be unfulfilling until he turned to God.
"I make it into the NHL, I'm making a great salary ... I made it. Everything was great on the exterior but the interior was not good at all … I'd still go to church but maybe be hung over, not really into it but just putting up a façade," said Fisher.
Fisher, who grew up in Ontario, Canada, was drafted into the Ottawa Senators hockey team at 17 years old, leaving behind his family, home church, friends and security. At the time, he focused on trying to fit in with teammates. However, once he reached his goal, he soon realized he needed an internal change.
"I remember signing my first contract. I was 19 years old. It's kind of a little bit unbelievable … that's every kid's dream, to sign a contract, and I remember going out that night to a bar, getting drunk, making a bad decision and waking up the next morning feeling like the worst piece of crap ... I was letting people down, letting God down," said Fisher.
Desperate for a spiritual outlet, Fisher began doing Bible study sessions with his cousin when he came upon Luke 9:23-25, which speaks about following Christ at the expense of a person's life and worldly possessions.
"I remember that scripture hitting me, that was for me because I reached my dreams, I had money and everything I thought was cool but it wasn't working and I knew the answer but I hadn't been looking for it in the right places," said Fisher.
Through time, he began to pray and delved into the study of the scriptures even more.
"For the first time, I remember thinking, 'man this is really real,'" said Fisher. "It wasn't because of my parents or because I was supposed to be in church but it became real to me. It didn't happen overnight but slowly God changed me on the inside ... it wasn't religion anymore, it was a real relationship and it was awesome."
Despite stardom in the NHL and his marriage to Underwood, Fisher has not deterred from his strong faith. He is also currently involved with Hockey Ministries International, an organization of NHL players that helps youth through mentorship and Christian-based fellowship.
His success in the league has been measured, in part, to accolades that have recognized his commitment, perseverance and teamwork on and off the ice. However, achievement is solely temporary, according to Fisher who says his change continues to be a work in progress.
"I fail, definitely. I'm a guy that's not so patient at times and I'm a slow healer but I finally figured out it's not about performing, it just about accepting His love in spite of our failures and mistakes ... and that's a good feeling to know how much He loves me," said Fisher.