How music — and the artists who create it — inspired me to overcome a deep personal tragedy.

2-25-16,Kassebaum,PotentialArt4-2Photo by Jesse Kassebaum


Music is one of the most powerful gifts God has blessed us with creating.

Whether you love rock, rap or pop music, it is hard to deny the fact that the music industry has had such a powerful effect on our culture.

For me it was a way of healing from deep personal tragedy.

March 11 marks two years to the day when my world came to a startling halt.

That was the day when two influential men in my life, my uncle Matt and good friend Jacob, went home to spend eternity with our Heavenly Father.

They had decided the previous day to ride their motorcycles into work as the weather had been so nice.

That morning as they were riding into work, a school bus pulled out in front of them, causing Matt and Jacob to hit the side, dying on impact.

The months that followed were the hardest of my life. Nothing made sense to me, I was battling depression and just felt like I could never really move on from such a tragedy.

Certainly my faith in Christ is what got me through such a difficult time, but music also played a vital role.

Whenever I wanted to just shut the world out for a bit I would pop in my headphones and just get lost in the music and lyrics.

One band I fell in love with was a band called Colony House. To me they were more than just a band, they were an inspiration as their story was relatable to me at the time.

The band is made up of three members: Caleb and Will Chapman and their longtime friend, Scottie Mills.

Caleb and Will are sons to the famous Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman.

Eight years ago, the Chapman family experienced a personal tragedy of their own as they lost their daughter and sister, Maria Sue, to a fatal car accident.

In the months that followed the Chapman family grew closer to God and each other amidst the great suffering they all shared.

Now brothers Caleb and Will have started a band that has taken the indie rock world by storm.

It was a slow start but they have been able to cement themselves as one of the next great up-and-coming bands.

Their album “When I Was Younger” is what inspired me to overcome the tragedy in my own life.

The songs they composed told the story of their journey, of what it was like for them to move forward, and how God was with them every step of the way, even when it didn’t seem like he was.

I often tell people that I feel like this album was written for me, because the songs they sing are the same emotions I experienced.

Whether that was feeling like I couldn’t move forward, or finding the strength and hope that only comes from God, their lyrics inspired me to see my tragedy in a different light.

It enabled me to find strength in my weakest moment and find hope amidst my darkest time.

While I certainly credit the music and lyrics written by Colony House, I also thank God that he has used their talents to inspire others.

I am thankful that God has created music as an outlet for us to express our deepest pains and our greatest triumphs.

In one of their songs titled, “Moving Forward,” they sing the following lyrics: “I’ve found life and I’ve found laughter, in forgiveness I’ve found rest, on the shoulders of redemption, I’ve found hope when hope was dead. I could lose it any moment, so I dare not close my eyes, I watch fear fall with the sunset, and see hope rise with the tide.”

Indeed, I rejoice in the fact that God has seen me through my darkest moment. He has not only seen me through but has made my faith stronger, my joy constant, and has given me a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Every day I wake up with joy, peace and hope in my heart, confident in the love that Christ has for me.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of those two men in some way, but I know I will see them soon.

For now I will hold their memories in my heart, and live my life in a way that honors them, my family and, most importantly, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

By Jesse Kassebaum

Jesse Kassebaum is a staff journalist for MBU Timeline. A junior majoring in mass communications, Kassebaum is also a manager for the men’s soccer team. He loves sports, and has a passion for film, photography, music and writing. Kassebaum will graduate in the spring of 2017 and hopes to pursue a career in public relations.