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From Fan to Follower

By Lisa Fitts
By Herbert Yoo
By Cymone Canada
By Dave Grogan
By Arnie Fenton
By Dan Millner
By Alex Joseph
By Samantha Harton
By Bailey Catone
By Colin Campbell
By Barb Harris
By Mark Mercer
By Sereena Bexley
By Vennecia Jackson
By Mary Lata Thottukadavil
By Michael Agnew
By Kristie Davis
By AJ Jerkins
By Caroline Smiley
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Dawn Johnson
By DJ Newman
By Mary Weyand
By Rob Nickell
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Nila Odom
By Sherene Joseph Rajadurai
By Kristi Sheffy
By Sharon Arrington
By Sarah Crawford
By Betsy Paul
By Angel Piña
By Elizabeth Piña
By Chris Kuykendall
By Matt Holland
By Jessie Yearwood
By Brian Severski
By Brian Arrington
By Will Meier
By Clint Calhoun
By Jen Mayes
By Jim Henry
By Kevin Harwood
By Leah Vanhorn
By Janett Miller
By Isaac Harris
By Chad Golden
By Jonathan Cortina
By Kuruvilla (K.O.) Oommen
By John Dyer
By Abe Paul
By Lauren Geppert
By Jennifer Durrett
By Jill Asibelua
By Jared Barnett
By Paul Martin
By Norm Headlam
By Kristi Herring
By Sissy Mathew
By Shannon Pugh
By Al Palamara
By Michelle Garza
By Armando Galvan
By Camille Holland
By Rod Myers
By Crystal Elwell
By Darcy Peterson
By Jason Elwell
By Barry Jones
By Bryan Eck
By Tricia Kinsman
By Craig Pierce
By Jim Woodward
By Andy McQuitty
By Kevin Dial
By Corbin Pierce
By Claire St. Amant
By Julie K. Rhodes
By Anonymous
By Jasmine Bibbs
By Debra Fournerat
By Kat Armstrong
By Jeffery Link
By Courtney Faucett
By Lenae Moore
By Tiffany Stein
By Andy Webb
By Catherine Boyle
By Catherine & Elizabeth Downing
By Gerald Ridgway
By Jill Hoenig
By Sunitha John
By Tarrin Henry
By RozeLee Rugh
By Beverly Hogan
By Kendra Cordero
By Lisa Gajewski
By Bonnie Goree
By Young-Sam Won
By Chris Beach
By Tom Rugh
By Nick Vuicich
By Andy Franks
By Lead Team
By Jason Roszhart
By Harvard Medical School
By Justin K. Hughes, MA, LPC
By Sherene Joseph
By Earl Davidson
By Rebecca Perry
By Joe Padilla
By Christian Melendez
By Bruce Riley
By Isaac Harris
By Amy Leadabrand
By Ben Haile
By Shaun Robinson
By Natalie Franks
By Cathy Barnett
By Ryan Sanders
By Casey Pruet, The Grace Alliance
By Sharon Arrington
By Lauren Chapin
By Betsy Paul
By Alberto Negron
By Kelly Jarrell
By Michelle Mayes
By Jenn Wright
By Jill Jackson
By Terri Moore
By Robyn Wise
By Katherine Holloway
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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