Download Ellie’s album “As Sure as the Sun” on iTunes.
Ellie Holcomb’s heart seems to roll right off of her tongue as easily as the songs she sings. But perhaps the reason why her sweet words connect with her listeners so well is because they come from something much stronger and more powerful than herself — they come from the truth of God’s beautifully redeeming words.
For those of you who don’t know this new solo artist from her ties to the band Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Ellie is Drew’s wife. She has now found the road leading to the release of her own debut album this year with songs that each tie in to a truth-packed verse in the Bible. Of course, the story that brought her to this point began much earlier.
Ellie describes herself as a “recovering perfectionist who has found great delight in being fully-known and fully-loved by Christ Jesus.” Similar to many stories, she grew up in the church but somehow missed a big part of the salvation story. “I learned that following Jesus was about being good and strong and trusting Him. I didn’t know it was OK to not be OK,” she remembers. What she thought was the truth soon came to be her demise as this people- pleaser and performer found herself joining her husband full time in music — and found her in desperate need of counseling.
Admitting The Truth
“I didn’t want anyone to know about my fears and struggles and doubts. I was lying to myself and to everyone around me.” When Ellie’s counselor reminded her of the age-old saying, “Where there is truth, there is freedom,” something began to stir in Ellie’s heart. “Walking in the truth is harder than pretending you are fine, but I believed her. There was an invitation to freedom and grace, being fully known with all my past mistakes, shame, doubts and struggles and still being fully accepted and fully loved.”
Ellie’s heart-transformation didn’t stop there. With her zeal for the truth now blossoming inside her, she began to pore even more over the Scriptures on her own and with friends going through hard times in their own lives. “If I can be a part of helping other people to find the joy I’ve found,” Ellie said, “then I want to be a part of that story, because He’s changed my story so much because of His love. He’s freeing me up!”
When Ellie started memorizing Scripture with a certain friend who believed lies in her life, Ellie realized that she was struggling with the same thing. “There was an enemy, the father of lies. His lies steal all of our hope, all of our peace, and all of our joy. I started telling my friend to write all these verses down (I don’t think we need to say these are all the lies, but we need to point out all the truths in order to fight back). It was amazing what happened. We began meditating on these promises, and they started sinking into our hearts, and we started believing them. They didn’t take the depression away, but they gave us something to anchor our souls to. When He says his truth will not come back void, He wasn’t kidding!”
Time To Share
Ellie knew she had to share these powerful truths in a powerful way. She had learned about the ability of songs to be a bridge-builder when she was in college, when she would sit in the stairwell of her dorm and play songs about having her heart broken. “I was in a season of heartache. I’d have my eyes closed, and more often than not, I’d look up and see girls lining the stairwell, a lot of them crying. I thought it was strange, but they’d come and sit with me and say, ‘Me too.’ I didn’t even know them, but somehow by singing a song we became connected.” Those moments in the stairwell made Ellie realize part of why the songs made a difference to those girls. “The beginning of a true friendship begins with two words, ‘Me too.’ But we struggle with that,” Ellie said. While it may be hard to admit struggles, opening up about them can be the key to connecting and helping each other grow in truth.
As the truth continued to break into Ellie’s heart, she couldn’t help but let it pour out. “My songs were born out of wanting to hang on to that truth I so often forget, knowing that I need to do that or else I will get in a really dark place.” If you’ve heard Ellie’s songs, you might think they sound like the cries of someone else who is known for his ups and downs in life — David of the Psalms. And you’d be right. “He’s not a perfect character!” Ellie realizes. “But he’s called a man after God’s own heart, and I think that’s because he turned to God. That resonates with me so much. I can’t be perfect, but I can definitely turn to Jesus! That sounds doable.”
The Power Of His Truths
In fact, Ellie began to admit more of the lies she believed in her own life as she saw the power of authenticity. “I’m a worrier,” she says. “I don’t want to be, but it’s a struggle for me.” On her new album, the title song “As Sure as the Sun” was written from studying the truth in Hosea 6:3, which says, “Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Ellie and Drew had been planning to start a family, and as Ellie was pregnant with her daughter, she wanted to cast her worries aside and raise a family grounded in God’s truth. “One thing I never worry about at night is that the sun will come up in the morning,” says Ellie. “His presence, mercy and love are as sure as that, yet I doubt His presence, mercy and love all the time! I realized that I needed to realize that truth as I’m raising my little girl.”
As Sure As The Sun
As Ellie shares her passion for truth with all who hear her songs, it’s clear to see how much the process has helped her grow. “It’s been sweet to remind myself of something my heart doubts a lot. God promises the sun will appear — not an easy, pain-free, struggle-free life. I look at the world and see we are all messed up. But He promises He will be with us. When I sing, I believe that. There’s something that solidifies what’s true to me.” Her heart now sings a new song of light in the darkness, of hope for the hurting. “If [my songs] can trigger a memory of His promise, they can wash over people and show how God’s Word accomplishes the purposes for which He has sent His word, to refresh His children. I’m so happy that I get to be a part of that story.”