From a worshiper to a songwriter, Lee Seow Ting shares her journey of piecing together heartfelt worship songs.
Lee Seow Ting may be an unfamiliar name to some, but the songs she has written has made waves even in churches outside of Singapore. The 28 year-old is the composer of “Pure As Gold”, “How Much Do I Love You” and “Jesus, You’re Enough”—songs that have brought people into worship and encounters with the Lord.
Seow Ting gave her life to Jesus and joined one of City Harvest Church’s youth cell groups when she was only 13. Today, she’s leading her own youth cell group in the pastoral zone led by Pastor Edmund Tay, while serving in the church’s Choir Ministry, a back-up vocalist in the Emerge Band, and a songwriter in CityWorship. Seow Ting is also married to Amos Ang, one of CityWorship’s song leaders.
THE START OF HER SONGWRITING JOURNEY
Her journey as a songwriter began in 2017 when God spoke to her to write a song. The song “Pure As Gold” was initially meant to be sung in her cell group. She had never imagined that it would find its way into CHC’s weekend services, let alone all over the world. At this point of writing, “Pure As Gold” has already reached 1.5 million views on YouTube and is still steadily increasing.
“I am always so moved and thankful when I hear that the song has blessed so many people. One of CityWorship’s bassists, Mervyn Lim, even told me that the song was sung in a Bible school all the way in the United Kingdom, Wales! A Singaporean was leading it and many in that meeting were moved to tears, touched by the presence of God. I am so grateful that God would use somebody like me, who did not even grow up with a background in song-writing, to write a simple song that would help people to encounter Him so powerfully—especially in Wales, the land of revivals!” says Seow Ting.
Since then, Seow Ting continues to pen down her experiences with the Lord, sharing how songwriting is a by-product of her relationship with Him.
“When ‘How Much Do I Love You’ was written, it was actually just me talking to God on my bed when I was feeling very down. I asked Him, ‘God, I sometimes wonder how much I love You …’ and then I wrote the rest of my conversation with Him on my phone’s notepad. Two months after that sad season had passed, I found this note I had totally forgotten about! I was so touched and teared as I read what I’d typed. It was then I knew I had to put a melody to these words.”
She adds, “I feel the most beautiful pieces come when you’re not thinking hard and focusing on getting a verse, chorus and bridge written out. We shouldn’t be doing our quiet time just to have a song written out of it. Sometimes it gets to the point where we want to record all our time with God just in case He speaks at that moment, but that can sometimes be distracting. We should be worshipping God without any agenda. Whatever songs that come out of it, comes from that relationship we have with Him. It is more important to build that connection and hear exactly what He wants to tell us—whether in prophecy, prayer, word, or visions. I don’t want to be caught up in getting a song out of my time with God. I want it to be a personal worship session between Him and me.”
LEARNING TO TRUST GOD
Last weekend, CityWorship introduced Seow Ting’s most recent song, “Trust”. It came about during one of Pastor Edmund’s Zone Leaders’ Meeting in November 2020 when God stirred it into her heart. At that time, safe distancing measures allowed for up to five people to gather. So Seow Ting and four others came together in her home to worship God, and God met them in a very powerful encounter.
“During the worship session, God clearly gave me every single word for the lyrics of the chorus, together with a vision. In the vision, I saw people standing at the shores of the sea. I also saw some of my friends already immersed in the waters, laughing and enjoying.
However, the people who were at the shore were shaking, trembling, and very fearful. They just couldn’t take the first step to enter the waters, even though they could see that their friends were already basking in the pool of God’s love.
“I feel that the Lord wants to speak to those who are scared and unsure. They may have many questions and doubt in their minds, but God wants to encourage them to trust Him and cry out, ‘Lord, hold my hand / Even if I tremble / Because I still want to go / Go deeper with You.’ We face many uncertainties, fears, and disappointments when life suddenly hits hard. Sometimes, that season could even turn into a traumatic experience for us, and we stop trusting God because we are so afraid of getting hurt and disappointed again. But ‘Trust’ is about choosing to step forward and holding God’s hand, despite all of it.”
The message of the song also reflected the difficult season Seow Ting went through in 2020. She was making a career switch from Banking and Finance to UI/UX Design, and full-time job opportunities were scarce due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although she sent out several job applications, she did not receive any replies for months. Then suddenly, an opportunity for a traineeship came. She was initially disappointed because it was not what she was praying for—a full-time job. There were household bills and expenses that a traineeship-level salary would not be able to cover. However, she knew that it was from God because various ones prayed and prophesied over her for this moment to come at a specific time.
“I told myself to go ahead with the traineeship but to continue trusting God to provide and that eventually, I will have a good full-time job,” she says. By God’s grace, the door for a permanent position in a tech company opened a few months later, and Seow Ting clinched the role. “Sometimes, it’s really easy to say that we trust God at the beginning. But when crises or roadblocks happen and things don’t go according to plan, we realise that we still feel anxious no matter how much faith we have. So God wants us to trust Him despite our fears.”
As she took up her guitar to continue writing the song, the lyrics came quickly, and the entire piece was completed within half an hour. “When God speaks a word, immediately the direction and purpose of the song become very clear,” says Seow Ting. “There will always be some songs that are harder to develop. You’ll constantly be writing but still feel it’s not going anywhere. So, I put those on the shelf. It’s difficult when there’s no clear direction of what the song is about. But ‘Pure As Gold’, ‘How Much Do I Love You’, and ‘Trust’ are songs that came about from an encounter with God. And that’s when it’s very easy to put it together.”
“Trust” is now available for streaming on City Harvest’s YouTube channel.