I am beyond excited for the new Colony House record Only the Lonely which comes out on January 13th. So I thought it would be fitting to reflect on Colony House’s debut record, When I Was Younger in anticipation of their sophomore effort. When I Was Younger explores the journey of growing to love wholeheartedly in the broken world and bodies we live in. This journey consists of mistakes, uncertainty, and struggle, but even more evidently persistence, progress, and hope. The approach I want to take with this reflection is to focus on both of the two major themes—struggle and hope.
These ideas are found everywhere in the record. Please look up the lyrics or listen closely to the record and you will see what I mean. But rather than show how these ideas are spread throughout, I would rather focus on one song—Learning How to Love—which has had an internal effect on my heart and outlook.
I’ve been waiting for things to change in my heart again. This is a lyric that reflected where I was at in the majority of college. I was constantly rotating through a cycle of indifference and questioning if Jesus really could change me. In many of these moments, I grew impatient with the lack of progress. I questioned sanctification and the transformational power of the Holy Spirit. But what I love about this lyric is the word again. What this means is the waiting stopped at one point. There was a time where change had arrived. During my time at college, the breakthrough for me began to happen when I reflected upon the moments of my past where I was able to notice God’s work in my own heart. It was and still is important for me to remember that Christ has brought me this far, but where I am at is not the end.
But sometimes past progress does not feel sufficient. I continue to doubt God’s ability to shape me into an adequate reflection of His presence, I realize that my doubt comes from fear. I feared that love wouldn’t take me. I feared that rest was a maybe. I feared the cost of my broken words. This is a fear I currently have—that the peace of God is not inevitable and that I am incapable of achieving it. One of the reasons for this fear is I can be so afraid of the broken promises I have made. I would rather not commit and say I was not trying than give my word and fail. I am terrified of being a fake and a liar in the face of God. So why not be honest about who I really am—not enough.
By God’s miraculous grace through Christ, I do not have to be enough. God says Trust me…Love me with who you are—not with who you were. And who am I? I am a child of God. My old self is dead and I am now alive in Christ.This is hope. I was broken but now am made whole through receiving life in Christ. And I have the choice to choose who I am in Christ over who I have been in myself.
Yet even in this newness, I find my bad habits still know their way around my mind. I find that sin still lurks in places it has no authority to be in. But I understand that this process takes time, and I will never fully overcome myself until I am no more. In both the times I choose Christ and the times I don’t, I’m still learning how to love. I cannot expect perfection when I am not perfect. What I can do is trust that Christ is living in me as He helps me take the baby steps it takes to become more like Him in despite of all that tries to hold me back.
When I Was Younger provides the encouragement to hope in the struggle and also to rely on who we are in Christ now in spite of who we once were. If Only the Lonely carries any similar sense of honesty and trust, I am sure it will be a record that not only promotes but catalysts change in the hearts of those who listen to it.
Album Artwork: http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/cdreviews/covers/wheniwasyounger.jpg