When Jeremy Camp mentioned he was writing the book and the various tentative dates for it, I knew I wanted a copy. I’ve heard his testimony is various formats over the last few years and it moves me everytime. I listen to his music often and can see the progression of God’s hand in Jeremy’s life through his music. Jeremy’s book is basically an autobiography that has a big emphasis on how God has drawn Jeremy to Him during his young life with most of the chapters covering his life before Adie.
When I ordered the book a week ago, I also downloaded the preview section that included the Forward, Prologue, and First chapter. It was basically a PDF of the first 24 pages that occur after the front cover. I read that section right away and cried, laughed, and laughed so hard I cried (in that order). The actual book arrived Friday while I was dogsitting a friend’s dog so I had to wait about 6 hours before I could hold it and another 2 before I could read it. When I was finally able to start the book (from Chapter 2), I could not put it down.
It’s obvious that Jeremy is being transparent as he wrote the book. I tend to be an empathetic person especially if someone is speaking about a past physical or emotional pain. If you have read one of my first posts, you have read my testimony and know that I tend to get emotional easily and what comes out is a flood of empathy many times. Reading Jeremy’s book, as much as there were times of laughter and giant grins, there were plenty of tears. Jeremy shares the struggles he went through growing up before meeting Melissa as well as during their time together and after God called her home. He mentions being angry with God after Melissa went on to the point of throwing his Bible across the room where it hits the wall before falling to the floor. Having watched his Faith & Fame (from the Gospel Music Channel) several times, I knew Jeremy had tossed his Bible. I always wondered what it had hit. Everytime I would watch that episode of the show, I would picture him chucking the Bible with a lot of force & always pictured it hitting a wall wondering if anything else got hit during that flight.
As I read the book and re-read parts of it, I kept having Jeremy’s songs going through my head especially the book’s namesake I Still Believe. He includes lyrics to several of his songs with part of the back story on when they were written and what God was bringing him through or teaching him at that point whether before or after Melissa’s home going. He included the lyrics for Beyond Measure, one of my many favorites of his, and as I was reading the lyrics imagining Jeremy singing it, the tune to I Still Believe would be going with the verses while the chorus would have the correct tune. (Yes, I know I’m weird that way.) Jeremy mentions in the first chapter the various cars his parents were given. That section of his story reminds me of Bon Jovi’s song “Living on a Prayer”. Most of Jeremy’s life could be summed up in that song title. Jeremy writes later in the book about a car he received in California. Like the ones his parents had, it had seen better days. He mentions his dad stating the song “Walk by Faith” could easily be titled “Drive by Faith”. I can totally see that. When I was thinking about it while reading Jeremy’s book here is what popped into my head for the possible re-working of the chorus as sung on Jeremy’s albums: “Well I will drive by faith/ even when I cannot see/ well because this broken car prepares Your will for me” or as I came up with today while finishing this post: “Well I will drive by faith/ even when I cannot steer/ Well because this broken car prepares Your will for me”. And yes I started laughing as I thought of having steering issues.
2 things that have always made me laugh when watching Jeremy’s Faith and Fame is how the proposals come out both to Melissa and to Adie. The way Jeremy describes talking with Melissa about the 2 of them getting married in the episode and how he describes that situation in the book are near identical. As for Adie, he did do a more formal proposal after his initial question regarding marriage. When I read how Jeremy proposed to Melissa, I was wondering if there was more to his proposal to Adie or if it was near identical to how he mentioned on the show. I think that is part of the reason why I couldn’t put the book down. I wanted to find out how that proposal happened but did not want to jump ahead.
Would I recommend this book to anyone? Of course and that is completely separate from the fact that I would recommend any of Jeremy’s albums in an instant. The book is well written and heart felt. It is full of raw emotions of hurt, sorrow, grief, and anger. But it is also filled with joy, hope, faith, healing, and knowing that God is in complete control of the whole situation. That helps lead to a heart that wants to worship God unrestrained and be completely abandoned to Him and His will. One that gives God all control. Another thing that you might notice if you have heard Jeremy’s songs is that many of the chapter title headings are titles or part of lyrics to some of his songs. They all fit as they describe Jeremy’s life journey. So get Jeremy’s book available at his site jeremycamp.com, get all of his CDs that you don’t own, and be prepared to be encouraged, challenged, and willing to pursue God more.
Thanks Jeremy for expressing your heart and what God has brought you through. I’m excited to see what God continues to do through you, Adie, and your girls and the ministry He has given you.