I so enjoyed Ellie Holcomb’s As Sure As The Sun album, particularly it’s upbeat tunes such as Marvelous Light and The Broken Beautiful, that it was with excitement I downloaded the new album Red Sea Road. From the first line of lyrics, I related more deeply to Ellie’s songs and connected to the suffering described and desired the hope radiating out. The more I listened the more these songs have become my war cries and my soul balms. The start to this year has had many highs and lows, challenging me daily to remain obedient to God and faithful to the character He calls me to exhibit. Scripturally reflective lyrics enlighten and encourage. Ellie Holcomb describes her work beautifully on her website:

“It’s been a year in general of just aching with the people that we love and walking through a lot of brokenness,” says Holcomb. “A lot of life lived and lost.” But the suffering has created a collection of songs rich in lyrics, powerful in melody, and equal parts honest and hopeful.

Holcomb says, “This record feels more declarative because I have just needed to sing the truth into the dark.” It sounds more declarative too. From triumphant anthems to contemplative, piano-driven melodies to upbeat and catchy ones, each song on Red Sea Road is connected by a common thread of bold and much-needed truth.

As Holcomb began writing for the album—before she knew it would be an album—she thought, “I don’t know if this is for anybody else, but I need to sing these songs. I need to sing these for my own soul.” It’s what David did in the Psalms, she says. “He bosses his soul around in song.”

She wrote this idea into the chorus of the title song on the album, “Red Sea Road”: We will sing to our souls / We won’t bury our hope / Where He leads us to go there’s a red sea road / When we can’t see the way, He will part the waves / And we’ll never walk alone down a red sea road.

She wrote “Red Sea Road” for several close friends who suffered tragic losses in their families, yet clung to hope in Christ in the midst of it. As she worked on the song with longtime co-writers Christa Wells and Nicole Witt, Wells recalled something author Ann Voskamp had written on her blog: “…we believe that an unseen Hope makes a Red Sea Road where there seems to be no way.”

Holcomb says that phrase captured the essence of what she was trying to say through this song. During trying times, just like the Israelites experienced with the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptians behind them, our temptation is to throw our hands up in despair. “What I was seeing in all of this,” she explains, “is that He was drawing near and making a way for us to carry on when we felt like we couldn’t carry on any longer.”

My favourite tracks are: Red Sea Road, You Are Loved, Fighting Words, Wonderfully Made and Rescue. I have shared the lyrics of Wonderfully Made as a reminder to us all but particularly those with physical ailments of the beauty crafted into each of us:

It’s two in the morning and I’m still awake in my bed

And I can’t shake these lies that keep running around in my head

What if I saw me the way that you see me

What if I believed it was true

What if I traded this shame and self-hatred

For a chance at believing you

That you knit me together in my mother’s womb

And you say that I’ve never been hidden from you

And you say that I’m wonderfully, wonderfully made

You search me and know me

You know when I sit, when I rise

So you must know the choices I’ve made and the pain that I hide

What if I saw me the way that you see me

What if I believed it was true

What if I traded this shame and self-hatred

For a chance at believing you
‘Cause you knit me together in my mother’s womb

And you say that I’ve never been hidden from you

And you say that I’m wonderfully, wonderfully made

You’re eyes, they have seen me before I was born

And you know all the good things that you made me for

And I’m wonderfully, wonderfully made

Oooh, Oooh

Oooh, Oooh

When I consider the heavens above

Oh what is man that you’re mindful of us

‘Til you say that we’re wonderfully, wonderfully made

And you promise that you’ll never leave me, Oh Lord

Oh that you hem me in, both behind and before

And I’m wonderfully, wonderfully made

And you knit me together in my mother’s womb

And you say that I’ve never been hidden from you

And you say that I’m wonderfully, wonderfully made

And You’re eyes, they have seen me before I was born

And you know all the good things that you made me for

And I’m wonderfully, wonderfully made

Wonderfully made

Help me believe it

Help me to see me just like you see me

Just like you made me

Wonderfully made

Purchase a copy here

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