Licy Be released her new single Be the Change on Suicide Prevention Day last year. Inspired by her own struggle, it’s a powerful message about the importance of reaching out to people who are in pain. She told Alex about the people who reached out to her, and the miraculous ways God changed her life as a result.
‘I went through stuff when I was younger,’ she said, ‘particularly in high school. And I got to the point when I was 17 where I didn’t really want to be here anymore, and attempted to take my life.’
‘I’d been kicked out of school. I was working at a shop called the Warehouse, which is kind of like the Kiwi version of Target, except maybe a lot cheaper.’
‘This random dude came up to me, in the toys aisle, of all places, and he just started talking to me about his life. He was like, man, I used to be real depressed, and then God filled this gap in my life. I didn’t tell him, but I was like, I’ve got that gap. I know what that’s like. He had no idea that two weeks earlier, I’d just come out of hospital, from trying to take my life.’
He invited her to church. She thought of God as some kind of space creature in the sky, but she decided to go, partly because she thought he was cute, but mostly in hope of filling the gap they’d talked about. After the service, a stranger came up to her and said God had something to tell her. ‘I was like far out; it can talk?’
We could be the change for someone who needs it
‘God knows who you are. He knows where you’ve been, and that you’ve been hurt in the past by men. She shared a bunch of stuff that was so personal to me that I knew only God could have known.’
Needless to say, Licy Be was all sold out. As she puts it, she’s been ‘kicking it with Jesus’ ever since. But that’s not the end of the story. Three years later, her life was looking very different. ‘I’d been hanging out with God for a while now. Life’s gotten a lot better. I was going to university, doing all sorts of cool stuff.’
At a friend’s house one day, a woman arrived, said hi, and walked into the kitchen. ‘I started feeling my heart race, and my spirit inside me started saying prayers.’ What could that mean? She followed the woman into the kitchen and started talking to her.
‘It turned out that she was the nurse who had found me, when I had tried to take my life. And she had prayed for me, that I would come to know God. Literally two weeks later, I’d gone through that, come out of hospital, and met God.’
That nurse’s prayers, and the people who reached out to her at that crucial moment changed Licy Be’s life completely. She’s now dedicated to encouraging others to reach out and offer God’s love and hope to the people around us. We could be the change for someone who needs it.
As a teenager, Cass struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts. Now, at 23, she has two acclaimed albums under her belt, and she’s been tapped by some of her favourite artists for collabs.
Most recently, she teamed up with Licy Be to release Be the Change in time for World Suicide Prevention Day. She caught up with Alex to talk about the song, and how God has changed her life.
Cass was in Australia on a school tour, talking to teenagers about mental health. Determined to help people like her, she is telling the story of her struggle, and encouraging kids to speak up when they’re hurting. ‘It’s ok not to have it all together,’ she said, ‘but as long as you talk to someone about it.’
She encouraged us to try to be aware of peoples’ feelings, and to take action when things don’t seem right, even if someone isn’t openly upset. ‘I remember in school, I was really good at hiding it,’ she said. ‘I would do things to try and get attention. Sometimes, when you look back, you can be, like man, there was something weird going on with this person.’
At her lowest point, Cass could never have believed the highs God would take her to. But for her, it’s not just about being famous and having people come to her shows. ‘That’s all good, and that’s fun. But it’s more about being, like man, if He did it for me, He can do it for you.’
In Be the Change, Cass and Licy Be draw on their shared experience to send a powerful message of hope. ‘She brought the idea to me of writing a song about it, mostly to do with not glamorising suicide, but talking in terms of what you can do about it, if you’re dealing with it. Because it’s a real thing, that teenagers, and even young adults are facing and dealing with.’
if He did it for me, He can do it for you
Alex asked her about her other recent collaboration, on Light Work with the 116 Clique. She said that living in New Zealand feels like being isolated from the rest of the music world. So when they asked her for a verse, she didn’t believe it at first. ‘I was like wait, is this a joke? Surely this can’t be 116. How do you know who I am? How did you find me?’
She could never have imagined as a child that she’d one day get to work with the rappers who comforted her and inspired her own career. ‘To even have their numbers, and just that relationship now, it’s crazy to me.’
But Cass is careful not to let her fame get in the way of what’s important. Her recent single, White Noise, is a warning to herself not to lose perspective. ‘Especially with what I do now, it almost seems like other peoples’ opinions and their voices can be louder than God sometimes.’
‘Do you mind if I sit right here?’ she sings, ‘cos when I’m with you there’s one thing that’s clear. All this white noise in my head dies down, cos your love drives out all fear.’
‘It’s comical,’ she said, ‘but it’s just like, sometimes I’ve got to turn my phone off. Sometimes I’ve got to stop talking to certain people, just to be, like, I’ve got to spend more time with God to get more clarity in the situation that I’m going through. That was the heart behind it.’
Licy Be and Cass’s Be the Change is out now. It’s a powerful anthem of hope, and if you haven’t heard it yet, you need to check it out. We’re also loving Cass’s new album, Not for Sale, which dropped last month.
If you’ve been affected by issues discussed in this article, you can call Lifeline, 24/7, on 13 11 14, or get in touch with Vision’s prayer team, on 1800 772 936.
‘All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord.’ Deuteronomy 28:2 NIV
In a survey hundreds of people were asked, ‘What’s the best thing that’s happened to you in the last five years?’ Amazingly, many answered, ‘Nothing.’ God’s Word promises us daily bread, daily benefits and daily blessings, yet these people couldn’t think of a single good thing that happened to them in 1826 days! Is that sad? Or is it ungrateful? Or just blind?
Author John Mason says: ‘We typically see things not as they are, but as we are. By how we position ourselves, we’ll see the evidence of God everywhere or nowhere. Too often our minds are locked on one track. We’re looking for red, so we overlook blue; we’re thinking tomorrow and God’s saying now. We’re looking everywhere and the answer is under our nose. When a person is positioned correctly, he’s ready to receive all God has for him.’
The Bible says, ‘All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed… You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven…The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity…The Lord will make you the head, not the tail.’ (Deuteronomy 28:2–13 NIV)
Notice the words, ‘if you obey the Lord.’ God’s love is guaranteed and unconditional. But His blessings require cooperation on your part. So today, walk in obedience.
SoulFood: Job 38–39, Luke 19:28–36, Ps 38:13–22, Pro 8:24–26
word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2020
38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.
13 But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear,
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
Job 38–39 ()
3 Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
7 when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8 “Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
9 when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
11 and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
13 that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
14 It is changed like clay under the seal,
and its features stand out like a garment.
15 From the wicked their light is withheld,
and their uplifted arm is broken.
16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.
19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
20 that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?
21 You know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great!
22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war?
24 What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
25 “Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain
and a way for the thunderbolt,
26 to bring rain on a land where no man is,
on the desert in which there is no man,
27 to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
and to make the ground sprout with grass?
28 “Has the rain a father,
or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb did the ice come forth,
and who has given birth to the frost of heaven?
30 The waters become hard like stone,
and the face of the deep is frozen.
31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades
or loose the cords of Orion?
32 Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season,
or can you guide the Bear with its children?
33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you establish their rule on the earth?
34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
that a flood of waters may cover you?
35 Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go
and say to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts
or given understanding to the mind?
37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
38 when the dust runs into a mass
and the clods stick fast together?
39 “Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40 when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in their thicket?
41 Who provides for the raven its prey,
when its young ones cry to God for help,
and wander about for lack of food?
39:1 “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you observe the calving of the does?
2 Can you number the months that they fulfill,
and do you know the time when they give birth,
3 when they crouch, bring forth their offspring,
and are delivered of their young?
4 Their young ones become strong; they grow up in the open;
they go out and do not return to them.
5 “Who has let the wild donkey go free?
Who has loosed the bonds of the swift donkey,
6 to whom I have given the arid plain for his home
and the salt land for his dwelling place?
7 He scorns the tumult of the city;
he hears not the shouts of the driver.
8 He ranges the mountains as his pasture,
and he searches after every green thing.
9 “Is the wild ox willing to serve you?
Will he spend the night at your manger?
10 Can you bind him in the furrow with ropes,
or will he harrow the valleys after you?
11 Will you depend on him because his strength is great,
and will you leave to him your labor?
12 Do you have faith in him that he will return your grain
and gather it to your threshing floor?
13 “The wings of the ostrich wave proudly,
but are they the pinions and plumage of love?
14 For she leaves her eggs to the earth
and lets them be warmed on the ground,
15 forgetting that a foot may crush them
and that the wild beast may trample them.
16 She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers;
though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear,
17 because God has made her forget wisdom
and given her no share in understanding.
18 When she rouses herself to flee,
she laughs at the horse and his rider.
19 “Do you give the horse his might?
Do you clothe his neck with a mane?
20 Do you make him leap like the locust?
His majestic snorting is terrifying.
21 He paws in the valley and exults in his strength;
he goes out to meet the weapons.
22 He laughs at fear and is not dismayed;
he does not turn back from the sword.
23 Upon him rattle the quiver,
the flashing spear, and the javelin.
24 With fierceness and rage he swallows the ground;
he cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
25 When the trumpet sounds, he says ‘Aha!’
He smells the battle from afar,
the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
26 “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars
and spreads his wings toward the south?
27 Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
and makes his nest on high?
28 On the rock he dwells and makes his home,
on the rocky crag and stronghold.
29 From there he spies out the prey;
his eyes behold it from far away.
30 His young ones suck up blood,
and where the slain are, there is he.”
Luke 19:28–36 ()
Psalm 38:13–22 ()
like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
14 I have become like a man who does not hear,
and in whose mouth are no rebukes.
15 But for you, O LORD, do I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
16 For I said, “Only let them not rejoice over me,
who boast against me when my foot slips!”
17 For I am ready to fall,
and my pain is ever before me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
I am sorry for my sin.
19 But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty,
and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
20 Those who render me evil for good
accuse me because I follow after good.
21 Do not forsake me, O LORD!
O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation!
Proverbs 8:24–26 ()
when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.
13 But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear,
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,