Our Love Story

22 Feb

In light of recent events… (getting engaged!) I was inspired to put our love story into writing. I’ve told it many times but never actually got to write it down. Plus some of you may be wondering how we came to be together.

The first time I met Cameron…. I have no memory of! We actually grew up in the same church together. My mom raised me there since birth and he began coming when he was young as well. We have a slight age difference (about 4 and a half years) so we were usually separated by our ages. He actually taught me in kid’s church on occasion! (Kind of creepy, haha) We spent many years together in our church’s youth ministry and we were both on it’s leadership team. He continued to be a helper when he was past the age group, so we spent many years planning events, going to bible studies, in prayer times, and just hanging out. It’s hard to remember what I was thinking back then. We were friends, but not especially close. I always remember having a great respect for him, and thinking he deserved a really great girl someday. I never really had a crush on him because our difference in age seemed so huge back then (He was 20 when I was 15… yikes!) But I always thought very highly of him and his family.

This picture was taken back in 2008 at the youth ministry we both served in.

In the summer of 2009 Cameron had a crazy idea that would change my life forever. Cameron was pastoring the college ministry of our church at the time. He had been feeling like God was calling him to plant a church for a while. When he took a trip to England for 3 weeks, God confirmed this call in crazy ways. (That’s a story for another day!) In 2009, I graduated from high school. I just started attending the college ministry that summer and had plans to attend community college and play volleyball. One night, Cameron made the official announcement that he was planning on leaving the college ministry to start a church. He said that if we felt like God was calling us to join this church plant, we were to seriously pray about it for a week and then talk to him. I can’t describe what I felt that night. I just knew God was telling me to go. I couldn’t imagine going to a church without him and his family. They had been such a great influence in my life. But more than that, God was telling me. I couldn’t not go! It was incredibly scary. I had been at the church we were at my WHOLE life. It was all I’d ever known. I was leaving everything familiar to join a group of people. We had no name, no building, just a call from God. That night I caught Cameron after service and told him I felt like God was telling me I was supposed to be a part of this. He was surprised and he prayed for me. I told him I would continue to pray and seek God about it, but I was pretty sure I was going. I remember feeling that even though I had so many new things coming up…new school , new team, etc… That none of that mattered in comparison. So I went.

Cameron and his mom Deb baptizing me in 2009.

There were less than 20 of us who left to join this church plant. Cameron was my pastor now! We spent a lot of time planning, praying, and meeting together. It was the most scary, exciting, and refreshing time of my life. At the end of 2009, we started to do the Alpha course as a team. One week in the course, there is a “Holy Spirit Weekend”. During this weekend, we spent a lot of time praying and seeking God.  During one prayer time, Cameron went around and prayed for each person individually. I will never forget what he told me. He said that he felt like God wanted him to give me this verse. It was Luke 22:31-32. It says “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” Cameron then said “When I look at you I see something special, unlike any other woman.” To be honest, I had no idea what any of that meant. The verse was odd and I was wondering why he said I was special? I wrote it down though, in case one day I understood. And sure enough I did.

Our church plant team.

Fast forward a few months. I was in the second semester of my first year of college. I have had seasons of depression in my life, but this was by far the worst. I couldn’t even find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning. I skipped class a lot and was failing some classes. I felt so disconnected from God. I was hanging out with friends that weren’t good for me. I felt like such a hypocrite. I remember thinking that if I couldn’t even feel God, how was I supposed to be in a church plant that was reaching out to people? At that time, our church plant had begun helping another church with their worship team so we were attending there on Sunday mornings. It was about a 40 minute drive from my town. I remember one day in particular, on the drive there, I was thinking about everything. It was this day in particular that I decided I had to leave the church… at least for a little bit. I thought I was not where I needed to be spiritually and I wanted to stop pretending I was. I made up my mind that I would tell Cameron after service. So I went to service that day. I remember trying to worship but still feeling so far away from God. I prayed that God would speak to me through the message before the pastor started. What happened blew my mind!

The pastor began her message with the very verse that Cameron had prayed over me… Luke 22:31. Now I don’t know about you, but I have never heard a message on this verse. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Could God have spoken to me any more clearly? But it wasn’t just that, it was the actual meaning of the verse that spoke to me. It says “Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat”…and that was exactly what was happening. Satan was trying to get me to leave the very place that God called me to be. I realized what was happening. But it’s the next verse that is even crazier, the part that says “But I have pleaded in prayer… that your faith should not fail.” God made it abundantly clear that I was undergoing an attack from Satan, but that he was fighting for me to stay. The whole experience is the craziest encounter I’ve ever had with God. I can’t believe that he cares for me enough to speak to me in that way through his word, then through Cameron, then through the pastor!  Once again, I was reminded… this is where I was supposed to be! There was no way I was supposed to leave. After service our other pastor, who just happens to be Cameron’s mom, felt that the message was for me. She couldn’t have been more right. I told her everything that had been going on, and also had her pray for me. But that’s not all. After we prayed, she told the pastor that her message had really spoken to me. She told her all about the verse and how it had special meaning to me. The pastor was amazed… that verse hadn’t even been in her message. She added it in last minute after feeling like God wanted her to share it. Whoa. I realize how crazy that sounds! God absolutely blew my mind. I walked out changed. I texted Cameron a thank you that day for sharing that verse with me months before, and told him that God had used it in a powerful way.

After that, I really began to seek God and try to figure out what his plan for my life was. I like to read, so I picked up the book Chazown by Craig Groeschel. It said “Find God’s vision for your life”… so I figured I’d give it a try! The book was amazing and I was uncovering things about myself that I had no idea were there. I was really praying through it and God was showing me some amazing things. I wrote down all my thoughts about it in a notebook.

One night in April of 2010, at one of our normal meetings for the church plant, after we were all done, Cameron pulled me aside and said, “let’s talk.” I remember feeling very scared… I thought I was in trouble! He told me that while he was praying for me one day, He had a vision of me teaching young girls and wasn’t sure if that meant anything to me.  I was absolutely shocked. I grabbed my notebook and tried to flip to a page where I had just written some things from the book. I found the page and on it had 2 words… “Young girls.” We were both kind of freaked out and just in awe of God! It was a confirmation for me that this was my calling. Then he prayed for me that God would keep helping me to find and follow his vision for my life. After the prayer we hugged. We had hugged probably hundreds of times before this, but Cameron said that this night something changed like a switch being flipped. In that moment he looked at me in a different way.

After that night Cameron made a special effort to talk to me and we began to develop a relationship other than just pastor/member. We started to talk as friends. And we started to really like each other! I never knew he was so goofy! I was surprised by how much fun we had together. In June 2010 we started officially dating.

After a year and a half of dating, we began to really try to seek God for where he was leading our relationship. We fasted for one week… and not just food. We fasted from speaking to each other. We really just wanted to seek God without any distractions. So after a week with no food and no talking… we were pretty miserable to be honest! We got together that weekend to reunite and see what we each felt God was saying. We talked for a while then finally Cameron said, “If you had to describe what you felt in one word, either wait or go, which would it be?” We counted to 3 and said it at the same time. We both said go. We felt that God was okay with us pursuing marriage at that time. It was really hard… but it was worth it.

The day Cameron asked me to marry him.

In February of 2012 he asked me to marry him in the same church that God spoke to me that day early 2010. If it weren’t for God stepping in, I would have left the church and we never would’ve happened. It was the first time God fought for our relationship.

I realize that this is just the beginning of our story. We already have seen God move in amazing ways while we have been dating, and I can’t wait to see what God does in the coming years in our marriage.

The reason I love our story so much is because; if you take God out of it, it doesn’t work. There’s no way we would be together if it weren’t for God. I realize that it is weird! Definitely not your typical love story! But that’s a good thing. The Bible says we are supposed to look different from the world, which means that our loves stories should look different than the world’s. And it doesn’t really make sense! I can’t explain what “changed” in Cameron that night or why we had known each other our whole lives and never felt anything before. But that’s exactly what happened! It was all God.

I can say without a single doubt that Cameron is God’s best for me. He is the kind of man that God would want me to be with. But not only that, he IS the man that God wants me with! After all God has done, there is no way I would try to pretend that I’m not supposed to be with him. There have been times where the reality of the enormous burden of marrying a pastor has scared me. I wanted to run. But there’s no way I can. God has made it too obvious that we are supposed to be together.

I don’t tell you my story to brag about our love, or my fiancé. I tell it to give glory to God. Without him there would be no us. God is that good and cares about us that much. I tell it to challenge you not to settle for less. I want you to have an amazing love story that doesn’t work without God in it. Don’t accept anything less! Let God write your love story and I promise it will be amazing, more special and unique than anything Hollywood could produce. Plus, it will be all yours. And you will tell it for the rest of your lives, thanking God and giving him glory for how great he is.

 

4 Responses to “Our Love Story”

  1. MC February 22, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    oh man, so sweet! xoxoxo congrats girlfriend, i’m so happy for you :)

  2. KariRyan February 23, 2012 at 12:07 am #

    Yep. I sobbed like a 3 year old =) This is such an amazing story. I’m so glad that Chris and I have an amazing story too =)

  3. Jess barney February 23, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    Hey girl, u really are a awesome christian example! Your story really touched my heart and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet u this season. I believe that God leads us to places where you can have a positive impact on people n complete his plan. I believe that coming to aurora was apart of his plan for you. Keep following your heart n his way.
    Jess

  4. Deb Graper February 23, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    Aimee- I am very happy to have you as a daughter in law. God has as many awesome plans for yours and Cameron’s future as much as He has in the past! Beautiful blog, and even though I know your story it still brought tears to my eyes. I remember the day in youth when I saw Cam and you talking and God said…”Cameron and Aimee” to me. I wonder if it was the day that picture was taken….
    I love you.
    Always have-always will.
    Deb

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