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Mandisa Trusts God Through Her Deepest Pain

Contemporary Gospel singer Mandisa shares about the loss of a dear friend and how she is overcoming depression through trusting God. Read Transcript


NARRATOR: Ever since her appearance

on "American Idol" in 2006, Mandisa

has been captivating audiences with her powerhouse voice.

MANDISA: [SINGING] When the waves are taking you under,

hold on just a little bit longer.

He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger.

NARRATOR: And as she launched into her singing career,

it was her smile and positive outlook on life

that captured their hearts.

I kind of feel like I'm known as the cheerleader,

like you're stronger and you're an overcomer

and it's a good morning.

But it's hard.

NARRATOR: Mandisa admits that her ever-uplifting personality

was simply her way of masking her own struggles.

[LAUGHS] I don't like talking about my emotions.

I don't know, it's not the way that I was raised

and it's not something that comes naturally for me.

NARRATOR: But there would come a time she couldn't fake it

any longer.


MANDISA: [SINGING] You're an overcomer.

NARRATOR: In 2013, Mandisa released her fourth album,

entitled "Overcomer."

The title track was dedicated to her friend Lakisha, who

chose to forego treatment for her breast cancer

in order to protect her unborn son.

Mandisa prayed, convinced that God

was going to perform a miracle.

But less than a year after giving birth to her son,

Lakisha passed away.

In my mind, I was saying to God ahead of time,

I know you're going to heal Kisha

because this is what's going to give you the most glory.

If Kisha comes out of this, she can then use her testimony

to tell other people about the greatness of God

and how He heals.

And when it didn't happen that way, I didn't understand.

It shook my faith in a way that I

did not expect and really thought

that I would not battle with.

I thought my foundation was really firm.

But when that happened, I was angry at God.

NARRATOR: Mandisa went into isolation, shutting out

her friends, family, and God.

I didn't go to church, I didn't read my Word.

I certainly didn't pray, because I felt like He was not

hearing my prayers.

And the result was that I fell into the deepest

depression of my life.

I started turning to my old ways, which is food.

For years I'd battled it, and I'd actually

found some success recently when I lost over 120 pounds.

But I quickly gained every last pound

of that back and a whole lot more.

And so then I'm battling with shame and the enemy telling me,

how can you tell other people that they're overcomers when

you can't even overcome the same issue that you've been dealing

with your entire life?

NARRATOR: Months later, her friends decided to intervene.

The one time that I left my house,

I was at a movie theater.

And I think I was watching a marathon of movies.

And when I came out, I saw that my car had

a bunch of sticky notes on it.

And as I got closer, I realized a lot of these sticky notes

were Scriptures and Disa we love you and we're praying for you.

And then as I drew closer to my car, I saw about eight

of my friends started gathering around.

They found me at the movie theater.

And they said listen, this has been going on for too long.

We're not going to leave you like this.

NARRATOR: Her friends convinced her

to see a Christian counselor.

There, she uncovered the roots of her depression and addiction

to food.

I've battled with just a heaviness and a darkness,

I feel like my whole life.

I was molested at an early age, I was raped at an early age.

And I think the divorce of my parents

probably had an impact on my worth

and in placing my worth in the wrong things.

And I turned to food my entire life.

When you're heavy at a young age,

you deal with a lot of ridicule.

But then when you have sexual abuse on top of that like,

it's just a vicious cycle.

NARRATOR: And Mandisa soon realized

that she couldn't hide behind a smile any longer.

I'm realizing that the healthy thing to do

is to bring those disappointments

and anger to God.

God says that David was a man after his own heart

and David committed adultery.

He had somebody murdered.

He made mistake after mistake, but he brought those things

to God, and I think that's why he was

a man after God's own heart.

And I want to be a woman after God's own heart.

NARRATOR: Mandisa began taking her deepest pains to God.

And it was then she finally found freedom.

Now I feel like my verses, my theme verses are

Psalm 40 verses 2 through 3, that says,

He lifted me out of the pit, out of the mud and mire.

He set my feet on a rock and He gave me a new song to sing.

That's basically where I am today.

I was in the deepest pit of my life, but Jesus lifted me out

and I feel like I have a new purpose and a renewed

sense of worth.

NARRATOR: It was that experience that inspired her latest

album, "Out of the Dark."


MANDISA: [SINGING] He started something good

and I'm gonna believe it.

He started something good and He's gonna complete it.

So I'll celebrate the truth.

His work in me ain't through.

I'm just unfinished.


I'm just unfinished.


NARRATOR: Now when Mandisa wears that winning smile,

it's not to cover up the imperfections in her life,

but to show that no matter what happens, God is in control.

I don't just say I have overcome, because I still

have to on a daily basis make a choice

not to go into my default but to really walk

in faith and in confidence.

When I look in the mirror and I just want t list off everything

that I hate, or when I feel like I've

made another mistake, the same mistakes that I make over

and over again, instead of beating myself up

I say, no, God began a good work in me

and He will finish it on the day that Christ Jesus returns.

I'm a masterpiece in the making, I'm just unfinished right now.

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