You may know Jeremy Camp for his hit Christian Contemporary music– he’s got twenty-four! No. 1 hits and has won several major Dove Awards. He’s spending time with us at Bloom (in)courage to share his inspiring story of Discovering hope and healing in the midst of life’s deepest valleys—all chronicled in his new book, I Still Believe. Jeremy will be back again tomorrow with more of his story and a giveaway of his new book.
I think one of my greatest desires for writing I Still Believe and having people read it would be to show that I’m just an ordinary person like you.
People say to me
“You must best a great man of faith to go through this.”
Or they say,
“I don’t know if I could handle that and continue to walk through proclaiming God’s goodness.”
When I hear these comments, I always tell people that first of all God will give you the same grace, ability and strength to walk through whatever He has laid before you because we all have the same Spirit. I’m not this great, awesome guy — well hopefully my wife thinks so — but I desire to grow more just like each of you.
For me this book was an amazing opportunity to share deeply about my story and in that process show you how the Lord has taken me from a life of faith with my childhood and observing how as a young child, God has instilled strength in my life to endure what I went through.
At a young age in California, I met the love of my life- her name was Melissa- she was an amazing woman. She loved Jesus more than anything else in this world. I quickly fell in love with her because of her heart for The Lord. I quickly told her, “Hey I think I’m in love with you.” My quick proclamation of love caused the relationship to kind of go south a bit. It was a little too soon at the time to share my love for her, but I for sure knew she was the one. To make a long story short, we ended up getting engaged. However, before we got engaged, I found out that she had cancer, so we were walking through that at the time.
During her treatment she lost all of her hair, and I used to call her my beautiful, bald-haired, brown-eyed babe. She loved that. It was one of our little things we had together. I was so thankful that God prepared me for that time, but you can never really prepare fully for that type of thing yet I know God had prepared my heart in the beginning.
We were married and when we got back from our honeymoon, I remember us going to the doctor to have her re-tested to see how the progress was coming with the cancer treatment. The doctor pulled me aside and he said, “Jeremy, it has come back. It has spread rapidly and there is nothing else we can do for Melissa.” And I was like, “What do you mean? What’s the next step?” He then shared that she had weeks to months to live.
Melissa & Jeremy, October 2000
This was the most devastating thing you could ever hear being 23 years old and your wife is 21 and you just got married. It was such a battle — having everybody in the world praying and really seeking The Lord. I remember one time Melissa asked me when she was very weak from the cancer – she said, “Jeremy, let’s worship The Lord.” And so I pulled my guitar out and here we are singing, I cry out for your hand of mercy to heal me, for You are good, for You are good, You are good to me.
This moment meant so much to me. In the midst of no matter what kind of hardship, what kind of trial, He is still good. We still cry out. We cried out until the day she went to be with The Lord.
I remember that day when she took her last breath. God spoke to my heart and said I want you to stand up and worship me. And I did. I stood up even though it was the hardest thing I ever did. I lifted my hands – at that point, I remember understanding obedience. Even in the midst of hardships. And understanding that no matter what we go through, He is worthy to be praised.
So, I hope you can see that no matter who you are, God will give you the grace and the strength to go through whatever trials you may be going through. And He loves you.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17,
He says- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
We are a new creation so we can walk through those things together as the Holy Spirit has given us this time.
There is also a scripture in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 that says:
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
What He has in store for us is such a beautiful thing. I pray that you are encouraged, you’re comforted and that others will come to know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior through my story. And I tell people, give it [the book] to someone that doesn’t know Christ or someone that is going through a difficult time. And I pray that they come to know Christ through this.
That’s my heart, that’s my desire. So, I pray that God ministers to your soul through I Still Believe.
By Jeremy Camp