|Written by Austin Livingood, "Redemption Song" is Crossroads Music's latest single. Austin shares the song story in an exclusive guest post on our blog. He writes, "I wrote 'Redemption Song' because the best thing I could do to recount my own redemption, is to write out God’s redemption story." Read all of his story below.
Redemption Song (Story of the Song) by Austin Livingood
C.S. Lewis once said in his book Mere Christianity, “Mere improvement is not redemption, though redemption always improves people.”
Before writing “Redemption Song,” I remember reading this quote and recounting how much my life had greatly improved since I decided to follow Jesus with my whole life. I grew up in a very traditional church where my Dad was the pastor and I felt like there were a lot of rules and expectations to live up to. Growing up as a pastor’s kid, led me a lot of times to a place of rebellion because I didn’t quite understand at an adolescent age the concept of living in true freedom.
I had my understanding of freedom. Drinking whatever was in front of me, smoking what was handed to me, promiscuous relationships; all of these sounded like freedom to me. I can do what I want, when I want.
I was 21 years of age when I hit rock bottom. I was at this party in a cheap apartment complex where I was the most inebriated I had ever been. I sank to the floor with my back against a toilet and in front of me was a cheap mirror. As I saw my reflection, immediately I began weeping. I had no idea what had come over me other than the shame I had accumulated all these years. When my eyes began to dry, I looked over my shoulder and there was a bible (opened), face down in a bathtub. As I picked up this bible and turned it face up, the first verse I looked at was James 1: 22-24.
It says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”
In that moment, I felt a healthy challenge and a gentle urging to simply repent. I did, right on that bathroom floor and God redeemed my broken life in that same place. Since that moment, I never looked back and I know that God always takes my repentance and leads me every second towards redemption. Looking at my life now at 29 years of age, I have a house, a beautiful wife with two amazing children. Following Jesus completely turned my life around.
I wrote “Redemption Song” because the best thing I could do to recount my own redemption, is to write out God’s redemption story. I want people to celebrate, praise, and give honor to the savior who redeems and also realize their story in the process. So that in the days that are to come, someone can sing “Son of David. King of all the ages. For all that You’ve done, I sing my redemption song.”