The Joy Cannot Be Taken
The story of Cameron Miller and the ways in which he has grown into a man worth following.
On his way out the door to catch the school bus, Cam Miller was caught by his mom, Michelle, who sat the fifth grader on her lap. “Cam, I love you,” she says, just before it is time for him to arrive at the bus stop. These would be the final words they exchanged. Michelle Miller took her life on December 17, 2010.
Cam grew up in Littleton, Colorado with two older sisters, a mom and a dad. “Dad was in the military and mom was a stay at home mom,” says Cam. He describes his dad being a very disciplined Type A person and his mom being the opposite, very Type B, so Cam naturally gravitated towards his mom.
“Obviously I would love to give my mom a hug again,” he says, “and hear those words she spoke to me.”
Death is a complicated concept for anyone to grasp, especially for a fifth grader. Where did they go? Why can’t I see them? What do you mean I won’t see them again?
Then, there is the introduction of a step parent, step siblings. So many changes, unwanted changes, life keeps moving and all you want is your mom back. Cam had to learn how to navigate this as life went on. Adjusting, accepting, coping.
At a young age, he had to mature sooner than he would have liked. “Death is normal, life is not guaranteed,” says Cam, “whatever we have, we have to do the best with.”
Cam is now 21-years-old and he is just finishing his junior year of college at Colorado State University. He lives in a house called The Swamp, a two unit home just north of campus.
The home is filled with mature and joy-filled young men, fishing rods, video games and bibles.
The ways that we respond to tragedy shape our character. Some will turn to substances to cope, others to toil, anything to stay distracted from the realities of hardship. For Cam, he found faith.
Christian faith lies at the core of his being, it is the root in which everything branches from. Faith became part of Cam’s life shortly after the passing of his mother. His sister found a youth ministry group called Young Life and shared that with Cam.
Through high school, Cam attended Young Life at his school weekly. By the time he got to college, he knew that he wanted to continue growing in his faith.
He became a Young Life leader in Fort Collins for their ministry called Capernaum, which is for kids with disabilities.
“His high compassion makes him the first to respond when one of our Capernaum families is in need of help,” says Jodi Green, one of the Area Directors for Young Life Northern Colorado and the director of Capernaum.
“He will only become more and more effective as a leader as he grows in his own emotional intelligence,” she says.
The rarest wines, because of their unique taste, come from grapes who have experienced harsh weather conditions. Pearls come from a suffering mollusk. Beauty and character come from the hardships.
“With Cam Miller there is no such thing as exclusion or partiality, it does not matter who you are, Cam will be your friend,” says, Alex Clary, a roommate and close friend of Cam.
He is known for his kind and gentle heart. Cam has eyes to see the ones lacking in people who care about them and a heart to be their friend.
He understands mercy and grace deeper than most. The valley of pain and sorrow is what shows the sweetness of mercy, and the best teachers are ones who have suffered.
“I had to face what happened to me and then fully embrace the pain and hurt, while letting God invade my heart to heal my wounds,” says Cam.
Because of this, Cam has become a shoulder to the ones hurting; he knows what it feels like to hurt, and he knows the sweet taste of joy.