Australian singer-songwriter Eloise Robertson began her career busking in malls, singing worship songs. Since then she has played in a number of bands and duos, and travelled to the United States in 2012 with the Southern Gospel Choir.
Eloise recently joined Matt Prater on History Makers to share a bit about her faith journey, and the new projects she’s been working on. Eloise is part of the ministry team at Genesis Church on the Gold Coast and is currently one of their worship leaders.
Though Eloise did not grow up in a Christian home, as a child she can remember her dad’s boss inviting her family to church a few times. Eloise admits to not understanding much of what the preacher said, but she’s sure that it was planning a seed.
Convicted by God
‘I was about 23, finishing up my Bachelor of Music,’ Eloise says, ‘and I had a relationship that didn’t work out. There were some Christians at my school who rallied around me and were really supportive. They told me about God and invited me along to a camp called A Passion for Jesus, which was really amazing. That kind of started my journey.’
Eloise says busking in shopping centres was an incredible experience for her. She felt very convicted that God wanted her to sing worship songs. ‘I sang all sorts of songs from things like “How Great Thou Art” to “Amazing Grace.” It was just incredible. Now I’m just being faithful to whatever God calls me to do. He ministers through me through the music.’
One of Eloise’s favourite memories is of singing “The Blessing” outside a supermarket on Remembrance Day. A man wearing medals had tears in his eyes as he came up and thanked her. Another lady had just lost her father, and the song reminded her that he was in a better place. ‘Singing The Blessing feels like praying over someone,’ Eloise says.
Singing and worshipping have been pivotal for Eloise in overcoming her mental health battles. ‘It’s been such a journey for me to realise what works and what doesn’t,’ she says. ‘Often it’s the things you don’t feel like doing that actually bring you out of that place. For me, it could be simple as going for a walk, doing some exercise, cooking a meal or reading the bible. There are so many things that can build you up again.’
Eloise also uses the “Lectio 365” app as a way to manage her quiet time. ‘You just listen to it,’ she says. ‘It’s a lot simpler than picking up the bible and thinking, where do I start? There’s a prayer, then it’ll read a section of scripture and pray again. So many times it’s been exactly what I needed to hear. You just can rest and listen to it.’
Downloaded from Heaven
Eloise is also an avid songwriter, and she feels that some of the songs she has finished have been downloaded from heaven. ‘It’s so powerful when He actually downloads to you and you just write what He’s telling you,’ she says. ‘You don’t realise that that’s what’s actually happening. But when you look back, God actually co-wrote with you. It’s really cool that He partners with us with that inspiration.’
A song that’s very dear to Eloise’s heart is based on Psalm 139 and it’s called, “You Know Me.” She feels it really speaks to people struggling with mental health, because one of the things many of us want to do is just close the curtains and stay in the darkness. ‘It’s amazing because it’s David who’s reflecting on all the ways in which God intimately knows us and we will never escape His loving presence.’
Eloise says that when she shares the gospel with anyone, she tries to share organically about what God has done for her. ‘I just tell them my testimony and how God has brought me through so much,’ she says. ‘And the hope that we have in Jesus dying on the cross. He’s achieved so much for us. ‘
‘Psalm 139 is another thing I use. When my friends who don’t know God are going through things, I share that with them because I feel it’s poetic. It’s a little bit easier than following some of the other scriptures.’
‘Psalm 139 is my big one,’ Eloise says. ‘That’s why I’ve written the song.’