Hello! Let's get down to the nitty-gritty . . .
My name is Camille Cates. I am a public speaker, author, and biblical counselor with over 25 years of experience working with women, teens, and children. The comment I hear most often when I speak is "You are so real!"
People crave authenticity. We all want to be known and understood for who we are . . . mess and all.
While I am a speaker and author, I see myself as an advocate and recommender of resources to those in need. This site was created to help you discover real answers to real-life problems.
More than anything, I pray that you will see a gritty gospel life
is possible through a relationship with Jesus Christ!
Certified Biblical Counselor through the
For over 25 years, I have been actively involved in Christian ministry. It all started when I married my husband who had just graduated from seminary and was doing youth ministry in his first church.
While he knew about my "gritty" past, the pastor and the rest of the congregation did not.
This only allowed us to hide my previous teen pregnancies and the tragedy that surrounded them. I was a mess, and I made our marriage a mess. It is truly by the grace and mercy of God that we survived those early years of marriage.
You see, I was steeped in unresolved grief when we married. My past had poured over into my present. I was left reeling from the horrific murder of my daughter, Lauren, which had occurred only three years earlier. My former boyfriend had sexually assaulted and shaken her to death, and . . . I was pregnant with his baby (my second teen pregnancy). I had been so foolish to trust someone whom I barely knew with the person whom I loved most in the world. Drowning in grief and riddled with guilt, I decided to make yet another foolish choice - I had an abortion.
After the abortion, my life spiraled. I was sexually active in high school and my early college days. But after the abortion, I was incredibly promiscuous. I didn't care anymore. I wished that I was dead. Most nights I begged God not to allow me to wake up. I wanted to be with my babies.
Eventually, God rescued me out of the pit of my sin and despair and set my feet on solid rock.
I turned away from the selfish, worldly things I had been pursuing and turned toward Jesus once again in a desire to walk closely with Him. I married my husband whom I had grown up with in church. I had a peace and security that he already knew about my daughter Lauren, and the tragedy surrounding her death.
However, I didn't think he knew about my abortion. When he first expressed interest in dating me,
I was hesitant. I felt that a young woman with an abortion in her past could not be a youth minister's wife (I was wrong.) One night, we were hanging out and he shocked me by telling me he knew about my abortion! He told me that he didn't care and that he loved me anyway. What an incredible display of God's gritty gospel love for sinners!
So, we began dating and then married. But, I hadn't dealt with my abortion and the long list of sexual partners from my past. Both issues were wreaking havoc on my marriage. I wanted another baby so badly, and I was afraid God would punish me for my sins by not allowing me to get pregnant again. At that time, I did not have a very good understanding that Christians who have infertility struggles or suffer miscarriages are not experiencing God's punishment for a specific sin. Jesus took my punishment for my abortion (and all my other sins) upon Himself on the cross . . . once and for all. His glorious resurrection proves that His sinless life and sacrificial death were sufficient to pay for
all my sin! (See Ephesians 1:7.)
In His mercy, God brought me to a place where I received healing and restoration from my past, including my abortion and sexual sin. I went through a gospel-centered, grace-driven Bible study and God radically used His Word through that time of study to heal my heart and sanctify my soul.
Now, my deepest desire for others who are hurting is to receive the same glorious hope and healing Jesus offers to anyone who turns to Him in faith. Most likely, you visited this website because you have a gritty gospel life story of your own. May God bless you as you seek to walk with Him through His Word.
Warm Regards in Christ,