Jeremy Camp, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter and now author, penned a book, his testimony “I Still Believe, Discovering Hope and Healing in the Midst of Life’s Deepest Valleys.” The novel, at firsts, tugs firmly on the heart strings; it brought me to tears as Camp tells the story of his first wife Melissa, and her battle with cancer which lead to her death just months after their marriage when Camp was but 23 years of age.
What is so poignant and stands out in both Jeremy’s book, his music, and at his concerts is his tremendous faith, his reliance on God and his strong kingdom perspective. Melissa, as she lies dying, displays that same viewpoint. Jeremy states that a year before her death as she struggled with cancer she stated, “, , , If I were to die from this cancer, and just one person accepted Jesus because of it, it would all be worth it. (Camp, Jeremy, with Phil Newman “I Still Believe, Discovering Hope and Healing in the Midst of Life’s Deepest Valleys, Nashville, 2011, p. 57). Because of Jeremy and Melissa, a nurse in the hospital accepted the Lord, according to Camp. And, how many more may also have come to the Lord as a result of Jeremy sharing his testimony at his concerts, in his book, and on his website, www.jeremycamp.com.
His book mentions receiving countless testimonies of people affected by his testimony. Camp says in the book, “He (God) knew that writing songs, and then sharing the music that poured out of my heart would play an important role in my healing and in encouraging others.” (Camp, p. 76).
The book mentions Jeremy’s childhood. He came from a poor, but Christian family who witnessed the provision of God over and over throughout the years including food being left just when they needed it, cars provided by others. Camp tells very humorous anecdotes about experiences with two rusty old Pintos that add levity which included holding a leather strap to prevent falling out when the door flew open around corners, and having to climb in the window of another because the doors wouldn’t open as his girlfriend watched. My pastor, in Powell, Ohio, frequently mentions to our church that children raised in Christian families that pray and witness answered prayer grew up to be people of faith. The Camp’s certainly saw the Lord answer prayer, and I wonder if this contributed to the development of Jeremy’s faith. At Jeremy’s concerts, the Word flows from his mouth as he testifies to the Lord’s love and faithfulness. He is humble, and gives God all the glory. Even out of his tragedy, he testifies to the goodness of God. He quotes his Dad in the book, when he says, “life is hard, but God is good.” (Camp, p. 45).
Even having faced terrible loss, Camp never blames God, but states that this is not our home; we are made for the eternal. Camp states in the book, “a deeper revelation was coming into my heart that the present world is not our home. Heaven was becoming more real and eternal things were becoming clearer than ever before in my life.” (Camp, p. 65).
The words to his song “Walk by Faith” says, “I will walk by faith even when my eyes do not see.” (Camp, Jeremy, “Stay,” 2002). His kingdom focus appears evident. If all of us could see circumstances from God’s vantage point, or at least understand his view sees the beginning from the end, and it’s not just about the one but the many. I think we’d all be better people. At his concert, Jeremy quotes scripture when he says, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2-3). Camp mentions in his book that, “I can say for certain that music is not my life, Christ is my life.” (Camp, p. 123).
When I read Camp’s book, then just last week saw him in concert, my own level of faith increased dramatically. Camp imparts faith and encouragement. These gifts he shares. I find myself looking at my own circumstances and focusing a little less on the pain and more on what God doing with it – what he’s doing in and through me. Reading this book, really shifts focus off self. I recommend it to anyone needing encouragement, and as the title implies, hope and healing. If you want to be uplifted, and encouraged,
Congratulations also, to Jeremy and his wife Adrienne on the birth of their third child, a son, Egan.