Country Singer Celebrates Power of Forgiveness in New Album
By Cooper Dowd, Contributing Writer
With the release of country artist Lindsay Ell’s new album, “Heart Theory,” she revealed that she is a survivor of sexual assault, but she is not without hope.
Ell said that forgiveness played a significant role in the healing process and chose to release the album on Global Forgiveness Day.
“Forgiving people in our past is a huge thing for whatever reason, but forgiving yourself is so important. There’s an incredible amount of healing that can happen, and it can’t happen until you can truly open up that forgiveness for your own heart,” Ell said.
In July, the 31-year-old singer-songwriter released one of the tracks off her new album called “Make You,” which speaks to the seven stages of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance.
“I just hope that this music can be of help and support if people are looking for that, or maybe it can be of inspiration and they can want to embark on their own journey of you know, a transformative time in their life,” Ell told Fox News.
Despite Ell’s heart for forgiveness, she recalled the dark place that she experienced due to the sexual abuse from a man at her church.
“I was raped when I was 13, and it happened again when I was 21,” Ell told People Magazine. “The song only talks about the first time. It’s just a difficult thing to talk about, and it’s something that I process every day still.”
As a young child and young adult, Ell said she attached shame and guilt to herself and her experience.
“I felt like I had really messed up, that everybody was going to judge me and that the rest of my life was ruined,” Ell explained.
Though her parents did not know about the experience until years later, Ell said her parents’ support helped her find healthy ways to heal.
“They had no idea it happened, and they were absolutely horrified,” she said. “I’m so grateful towards both of them because they helped me not go into any unhealthy mechanisms to cope.”
One of those mechanisms was writing music about her trauma to help her heal.
She then shared this healing journey with other young people who shared similar traumatic experiences.
“Three years ago I went to this place called Youth for Tomorrow. They’re an organization in the states that deal with kids who’ve gotten themselves into the wrong situation or specifically youth [ages] 12 to 18 who have been victims of sex trafficking and rape,” she explained.
“I sat down at this conference table with 12 girls and told my story,” Ell said. “As I told more of my story, they felt more inclined to share theirs. I remember walking out of there just feeling so empowered and like I was 10 feet tall.”
Ell hopes her new album will provide hope and healing and encourage fellow abuse survivors to seeks forgiveness and not allow the pain to control their lives.
Furthermore, Ell also started a foundation called the Make You Movement, which seeks to comfort sexual and domestic violence survivors and walk with them through the healing and forgiveness process.
“[It] focuses specifically on disenfranchised youth and survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse. I just want to be able to be there for other survivors,” Ell said. “You know, if I would have had somebody to hold 13-year-old Lindsay’s hand and hold 21-year-old Lindsey’s hand and tell them that it’s going to be OK and that you’re not alone, I think I would have healed so much faster.”
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