From Fan to Follower

By Jennifer Durrett
By Penny Jones
By Amy Owen
By Melissa Hahn
By Jill Asibelua
By Madi McGraw
By Jared Barnett
By Paul Martin
By Jeremy Varnell
By Norm Headlam
By Emily Giuriceo
By Kristi Herring
By Alban Snider
By Sissy Mathew
By Glenda Root
By Oscar Camacho, Jr
By Shannon Pugh
By Al Palamara
By Don Robb
By Mike Pope
By Melanie Mechsner
By Kyla Mikusek
By Michelle Garza
By Moses Uvere
By Armando Galvan
By Jeremiah Betron
By Camille Holland
By Rod Myers
By Ruby King
By Shannon Lewis
By Susan Weiser
By Charles Pierce
By Chase Studdard
By Crystal Elwell
By Darcy Peterson
By Jason Elwell
By Amy Aupperlee
By Jodie Niznik
By Tiffany Stein
By Barry Jones
By Erin Hargrave
By Katie Geurin
By Mary Ann Connor
By Ryan Sanders
By Bryan Eck
By Ginger Holland
By Tricia Kinsman
By Jason Stein
By Bob Downey
By Nat Pugh
By Sarah Kemper
By Lynda Reynolds
By Dana Myers
By Craig Pierce
By Jim Woodward
By Karrie Cox
By Lindsey Sobolik
By Julie Rhodes
By Josh Wiese
By Scott McClellan
By Michelle Tibbatts
By Andy McQuitty
By Pete Hyndman
By Kevin Dial
By Richard Ray
By Kurtlery Knight
By Bruce Hebel
By Neil Tomba
By Tony Bridwell
By Grayson McGovern
By Luke Donohoo
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Mike Moore
By Wade Raper
By Mike Gwartney
By Jo Saxton
By Dieula Previlon
By Jonathan Cude
By Ken Lawrence
By Jay Hohfeler
By Barb Haesecke
By Lindsay Casillas
By JoAnn Hummel
By Shawn Small
By Alice McQuitty
By Jonathan Murphy
By Peggy Norton
By Brent McKinney
By Irving Bible Church
By Irving Bible Church
By Ashley Tieperman
By Betsy Nichols
By Trey Grant
By Debbie Lucien
By Sue Edwards
By Suzie Robinson
By Paul Smith

It’s 4 a.m. and, after 200 pages and five hours, Nick closed the book. He’d started it with the intention of winning back his ex-girlfriend, but now he was questioning the very fundamentals of his life. A pad full of notes and questions sat in his lap. 

Sometimes, Jesus shows up in the most unusual of circumstances.

But let’s back up to the beginning. Nick had grown up around church, and it had been a normal part of his childhood. As a child he had faith in Jesus: however, as he grew up, his faith did not grow with him. It’s a story that many of us can relate to in our own lives. Slowly his faith faded until it was barely a memory inside of him. He never stopped believing in God, but his faith was static. While he might not have lost his faith, his life no longer reflected Jesus. Church and God seemed a hollow and empty concept to him.

Fast forward several years. He was staring down a difficult breakup with no discernible path forward. He and his girlfriend Megan were in totally different spiritual places. She was actively trying to follow God and Nick was not. Instead he was relying on anything but God. It came as a blow when she told him they were done. She explained that her pursuit of God was incompatible with Nick’s fledgling faith. To help explain her reasoning, she reminded him of a book her father had given him a while back, Not a Fan. (Yes, you can laugh at the irony of a father giving his daughter’s boyfriend a book of that title.) The problem was, Nick hadn’t read it. But heartbreak can cause a person to do some crazy things.

Nick rushed home to find the book. Surely, this would hold the key to Megan’s heart. He started the book with only the intention of winning Megan back, but ended up with a pad full of notes and questions. Lunch with Megan’s father seemed like the rational next step, after all he had provided the book. The end result of that lunch was a startling realization: Nick had spent his whole life as a fan of Jesus, but not a follower. The light bulb clicked on in his head and everything changed. Life suddenly became very clear. His faded, old childhood faith was replaced by a new fervor and drive as he rededicated his life to Jesus.

As his heart was changed, Nick desperately desired to be around other believers. Church community became a central part of life. No longer was it just an item on the weekly checklist for good people. It was among other believers that prayer became more than a boring mechanism used only when you are in trouble; now, Nick he wanted to talk with God and know him. His number one thought was, “How do I become more like Jesus?” His life became a living demonstration of the simple fact that when God shows up everything changes. As Nick puts it, “It was the first time I had ever found peace in life. Sadness took on a different note. Anger dissolved.”

Fast forward a couple more years. Remember the breakup that was the catalyst for this whole rebirth? There’s a happy ending. Megan saw the life change that happened in Nick, and their relationship reignited. Nick Bruen and Megan McCauley will be married on June 17, 2016. Jesus has become the solid foundation upon which their relationship is built. After only six months at IBC Nick has found a home, joining and serving with multiple ministries, including the Young Adults group. His passion for Jesus has resulted in a love for bringing others into the center of Christian community and helping them to find their place.

The reality is that Jesus sometimes shows up in the most unlikely of circumstances. His voice can call out in the middle of a night of brokenness. It can change priorities in a moment. It can even give hope and clarity to a life that has faded into fandom; and suddenly, your whole life changes from one of pursuing yourself to one of showing the hospitality and love of Jesus. Nick’s life is a wonderful example of what happens when we surrender to God and allow him to transform our lives. 

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