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The Story of Loved to Life

I wrote one of the songs on this album called Loved to Life under immense pressure.

But who knows that when you find yourself in a pressure situation, it forges a diamond?

I was at DIVE school in Dallas, with Rita Springer.

That’s her and I pictured together above.

Smile.

Rita has mentored what would be fair to say, thousands of women and men around the world in the arena of worship

And is currently an artist in residence at Gateway Church with Kari Jobe.

She sings to 30,000 people at church every week and travels the globe extensively with her beautiful boy Justice

To release and inspire women to develop into all they can be in their calling as artists.

She also has one of the most prolific song writing and recording careers for a worship artist in the world.

I found myself at one of her DIVE schools for a week long intensive with 20 other women who wanted mentoring in this area.

One of the ‘tasks’ we had was to write a song and sing it to a panel at the end of the week.

In my short song writing career, I couldn’t think of anything more terrifying.

I laugh now, but at the time it caused me sleepless nights in my little hotel bed in Dallas, Texas,

Next to my roomie, Amie (my drummer pal with green hair).

Anyway…..

On the ‘panel’ was Jennie Lee Riddle (aka Revelation Song)

Oh yes, just one of THE MOST sung and recorded worship songs in the world,

Also, Brandon and Sean

Of Dove award and One Republic collaboration fame….

Kari Jobe’s PA sitting up the back inconspicuously,

And of course

Rita :)

So, I try and write this song.

It’s there in me somewhere,

But the whole week I couldn’t find the words to say what I really wanted to say, the way I really wanted to say it.

Rita was like,

‘Hey Cate (Californian accent), you know you don’t have to stress about this song right?’

I’m like, ‘Yeah. Nah, I’m cool.  Nervous laugh.  Haha…..’

DIVE school came for me at a time in my life when things were a little topsy turvy.

I really needed to know that God had forgiven me for some stuff and that He was still on my side.

I got some lyrics for the chorus…

‘Cos You have loved me to life, turned my crimson to white, I’ve been bought for a price, Jesus, my sacrifice.’

And I knew that’s what it was about.

It was about no matter what I’d done, that Jesus had paid the price for me.

I found words for a verse…

‘Jesus, precious sacrifice,

You gave it all,

Laid down Your life,

And said what’s mine is Yours and Yours is mine,

And in that trade You made a way,

For me to know Redemption’s grace,

Your blood has sanctified and set me free.

So I lay it down,

Walk away,

As far as the east is from the west,

You removed my sin.

You have loved me to life…..

Yes, Jesus really has loved me to life.

Actually, if we’re being honest, there have probably been times when He has loved ALL of us back to life.

He has taken all our brokenness and sadness and mourning and pain and discontent and disappointment and loss and heartache and wilderness seasons and so on and so on and so on…..

And has TRULY loved us,

Resuscitated us,

Back to a place of abundant spiritual and emotional life.

The words of this song will always remind me of that week at DIVE school

But more than that,

They will remind me of a season of immense turmoil

Where I needed to hear the word of the Lord over my life

Reassuring me that I was still His girl, His royal kid.

Out came this song,

And in the same way as it ministered to me and to all those who sat their listening to me at the end of the week at DIVE school,

I pray that it will minister to you as one of the songs on the Forerunner Collective EP.

Cate x

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I’m Actually an Introvert

I’ve always been someone whose been happy to stay in the background,

Blend in,

Not cause a scene or a fuss.

Until recently.

I think my personality changed,

Or morphed,

Or something.

I now find myself being vulnerable,

Sharing my heart,

My thoughts,

My visions,

My dreams,

With a much larger world.

Why?

I have asked myself the same question.

And the answer is this:

I do it for others.

My reason is a mixture of wanting to see other people not have to go through the same stuff that I have,

Wanting to bring healing to hearts that have been damaged and minds that need to be restored.

I do it because I know that unless someone is brave,

Then the whole world goes on thinking that what they’re experiencing is somehow freakish or abnormal,

And that their crisis, their pain, their trauma, their story,

Is the only one of its kind.

I do it for others.

I risk being seen

So that others can find freedom.

These last few weeks, putting unlimited ‘Pozible Campain’ updates (uggghhhh) on facebook

And spamming social media with my financial needs for this album,

Has come at a cost for me.

I risk being seen as pushy,

Or worse, as needy….

Two things I don’t ever like being labelled

But I have done this for the greater purpose of making this album

Because for me,

Making music is so much about others and not about me.

I hope you hear my heart on this.

Thank you everyone for your overwhelming support towards this project.

With less than 48 hours to go,

We have raised $8045 of $10,000,

An impossible goal I thought to start with.

But now it seems it is within reach because of you.

Thank you.

Cate x

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Who’s Got Your Back?

My goals were front and centre, my track was set.

Everything was under control.

Then the phone rang.

The voice on the other end was trembling,

Whispering and rattling with that familiar tone of shock and disbelief.

As the air thins and the last of the leaves from the huge American plain tree

Lay burnt and rust coloured on the ground in my yard,

I know that winter is now here.

It has settled in.

And if you,

Like me,

Have had your share of winter seasons,

Where you have found yourself cold and searching,

Rugging up in protection from the cold that threatens to erode you with its frost bitten, wintery fingers,

Then listen for a moment.

I have a few things that I have learned through my winter seasons that may shed light on yours.

A few days ago I was sitting here, at my computer, where I am right now.

I was working,

De-cluttering and ‘doing’ life.

My goals were front and centre, my track was set.

Everything was under control.

Then the phone rang.

The voice on the other end was trembling,

Whispering and rattling with that familiar tone of shock and disbelief.

I listened,

And learned that one of my closest had just been diagnosed with a disease that would change their life from this point forward.

Winter had suddenly descended.

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‘In the midst of winter, I found within me an invincible summer.’

The expectation of rosy hues and the ripe shot of summer’s balmy breath,

Were all at once extinguished.

It wasn’t fair.

It wasn’t deserved.

It didn’t make sense.

But none of that mattered.

Winter was here and it was making its home whether I wanted it to or not.

No matter how despised some winter seasons are in our lives,

I have learned that Winter,

If given the chance,

Can be a Master teacher.

And without it, we would be left shallow people,

Not understanding others’ pain,

Not being able to appreciate the sweet smell of summer when it came,

And we’d be left living half lives of existence purely for ourselves.

Winter seasons dig our roots down so deep so that we cannot be shaken in seasons to come,

Teaching us that laughing boldly in Fear’s face is possible when we previously cowered in its presence.

Winter forges levels of resilience and courage in us that we never knew we had.

Laughter and joy come in winter,

True joy,

The joy that comes from knowing you have survived something that can never touch you again,

You have overcome,

And that when winter comes around again next time,

That thing will be but a distant memory, with no power over you.

The winters of our lives produce the truest friends.

We find loyalty and faithfulness

And fighting til their last breath with you kind of kin.

Compassionate and outward looking,

Real and non judgmental.

Vulnerable and true.

These are the friends who have been through their own winters and come out the other side

Knowing that it can be a very lonely place without understanding and unwavering love.

Let the winter show you who and where these ones are.

Winter is also a welcome chance to retreat and rest in God’s ability to fight for you.

You often lack strength of your own in the winter,

And its a divinely breathed moment in which to lift your arms up to your Father and King,

As you discover new dimensions of what it means for Him to ‘have your back.’

No longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me.

I am weak, but He is strong.

One of the greatest paradoxes,

Yet something that cannot be tasted unless you endure a bleak winter.

But finding the yielded life,

Taking the low, snow ridden road in the winter months is perhaps one of the greatest gifts that can come from it.

And lastly, I have learned that winter doesn’t last forever.

Although waiting for the thaw of winter is an uncertain place to be,

Where your greatest fears, insecurities and heart breaks lay hidden,

Like every season,

It too comes to an end.

It’s grip will loosen and you will come out into open spaces,

Where the air is sweeter than it was last spring and where blue,

Cloudless skies resume their dance across the horizon.

How we navigate it’s harsh landscape will endow us with golden virtues that stay with us for a lifetime.

Like medals and badges of honour.

No one can take them away from you.

You can’t time the winters of your life,

But if you let them, they will yield in you and your world the greatest beauty,

Lifetime friendships,

Resilience and compassion that astounds,

Wisdom of the highest order,

And a relationship with God that many seek after but can’t get unless they’ve traversed the winter months of their lives

With bravery and a face like flint that just keeps putting one foot in front of the other.

And even though you feel cold right now

And your lips may very well have turned blue because you are so exposed in this season,

He is in the process of putting a blanket on your back and rugging you up in His fierce, protective embrace.

He’s got your back.

Cate x