In the book “I Still Believe,” Christian singer Jeremy Camp, 35, shares his heartbreaking and uplifting life story. He opens up about his rebellious teenage years, spiritual awakening at 16 and the tragic loss of his first wife Melissa. Now happily remarried with three children, Camp spoke to FOX 411 about his book and his new album, "Reckless."
FOX 411: Why did you write this book?
Camp: I lost my wife to cancer and I saw the impact of telling my story - this is what happened, this is what God did and why he was faithful. Everyone always said, ‘I want to know more about your life, your testimony and your wife Melissa before she went to be with the Lord and your life afterwards. I knew that eventually I wanted to write a book and share that story. It wasn’t the right time 12 years ago when my wife went to be with the Lord. God had to teach me a lot of things. There were so many things God had to teach me in order to write this book and really share what God has done. Through tragedy has come healing and restoration.
FOX 411: Tell me about Melissa.
Camp: When we first started hanging out she was fine and we broke it off. I got a phone call six months later and a friend told me she had cancer. She was 20. I went and visited her. I walked into her room and she said, ‘Jeremy, if I die from this cancer and if one person gets to know Jesus as their savior because of it, it’ll all be worth it.’ That’s a true statement. I went home and wept. I said, ‘God, if you want me to marry her, I will.’
We got engaged. We didn’t know what would happen. She went through chemo. As we got married things were looking better but after the honeymoon they ran some tests and we were told the cancer had returned and spread. I dropped to my knees and cried.
She told me on the drive home, ‘Jeremy when I die I want you to find somebody.’ I told her that I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t realize it at the time how much of a healing statement that was.
We had been married four and a half months when she died. She was 21.
FOX 411: Had she not gotten cancer do you think you would have reunited?
Camp: I don’t know. To be honest, probably not. It brought me down to go to the hospital and when I saw her face she was smiling. I saw that heart, that’s what drew me to her, her love for the Lord.
FOX 411: Weren’t you angry at God?
Camp: Absolutely. It’s not like I said, ‘Yeah it’s fine. It’s great.’ Once I was reading my Bible and I literally threw it across the room. I shouted to God, ‘I believed!’ because we did. We prayed because I know God can heal, I’ve seen sick people being healed.
It’s like your face is shoved up against a picture and when your face is that close you can’t see the picture clearly. You’re like, ‘This is a mess!’ I remember God saying, ‘I’ll be with you every step of the way.’ I had my battles. I had my times of just being upset and God would show me, ‘Hey, I’m right here, I’ll walk you through this and it doesn’t make sense now but just trust me.’ That’s where faith come in - trust.
FOX 411: Does it bug you that some people look down on Christian music?
Camp: No, I say take a listen to this record, the voice, the lyrics, the passion behind it. There’s a definite passion in some of these records. You might hear it in the mainstream market. You hear the cry in their heart. That cry could be them searching. All these people have so much and a lot of them aren’t happy and into drugs. They’ve had everything and they go, ‘Man, I’m still empty.’ The only thing that can fulfill them is Christ.