In this Love Good exclusive interview, Love Good founder and podcast host Jimmy Mitchell sits down with acclaimed singer/songwriter Audrey Assad (and special guest Camila, Audrey’s six-month-old daughter) to talk about the deconstruction of self, maintenance of hope, and healing that comes from understanding that we are constantly evolving. Beforehand, Jimmy and co-host Janaya Trudel discuss family as the foundation of culture.
OPENING SEGMENT WITH JANAYA [SUMMARY]
As humans, we are born from a love so powerful that its overflow and sacrifice actually have the power to create life. And this newly created life, born from the love of a husband and wife, is the beginning of the bedrock of our culture: the family. In this week’s podcast episode, Jimmy Mitchell and Janaya Trudel define family and discuss its importance as we work together to rebuild our culture. Though rebuilding our culture is a global endeavor in response to a global issue, the solution isn’t “slapping a big, common cure” on it. As Janaya says, we must begin in simple ways. And those simple ways start between a husband and wife building the culture of love in their family.
More than ever before, this type of love requires courage. Our culture does not expect this type of self-giving, sacrificial love, and we are suffering because of that. But those who are bravely choosing to love this way must be seen. They must step out into the light, share their way of life with others, and ultimately become beacons of hope for others who strive to build families in that way. In a confused and broken society that has hijacked words like family and marriage, we must courageously love those closest to us because getting the family unit right will inform community and culture and ultimately change the world.
CONVERSATION WITH AUDREY [SUMMARY]
Every song has a story, and Audrey’s new album is a collection of stories that tell a lot about her current personal journey. In this interview, Audrey shares the journey behind her latest project Evergreen, an album she says is an expression of hope. “A lot of people that write music for the church write what you should say. For me, this record is, ‘What can I actually say that’s sincere and real and still hopeful?’ It was a real balancing act to make a record like that without all the songs bumming people out. And I feel like I achieved that, a hopeful but honest project for people who feel like they’re spiritual refugees.”
When talking to Audrey about her previous album, a hymn project called Inheritance, she said she can now look back at that time in her life and recognize the beginning of a deconstruction experience. “Religious people of all stripes go through times when they start to ask fundamental questions about what they really believe, and I hadn’t done that. And it was panic-inducing for me because I am a very rule-oriented person, so that was a bleak place for me.” Though asking these existential questions is a part of being human, she said she’s been able to find peace in the midst of that. Evergreen was an outpouring of that ability to find peace and hope under the darkness of that time.
After realizing that her identity was wrapped up in all the wrong places, Audrey allowed the deconstruction to continue and was unsurprised by the timing of this season. “I was dealing with the surfacing of a lot of trauma. And because so much of my trauma comes from a religious background that was spiritually abusive, all of my fundamentally held beliefs were up for question because I was starting to undo the cover over all this stuff that needed to be dealt with. As I realized how much abuse had gone on, nothing felt certain to me.” Intense trauma therapy bore many fruits, including the loosening up of her spirit and ability to let life move forward.
There is always hope in darkness, healing for our wounds, and power in the music that tells these stories.
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