Tony Rossi, Director of Communications, The Christophers
Friends Pull Singer Out of the Dark
Known for her upbeat and empowering hits like “Good Morning” and “Overcomer,” Grammy Award
-winning Christian singer-songwriter Mandisa had every confidence in the world that God would heal
her friend Kisha Mitchell of the breast cancer which threatened her life. Kisha was pregnant when
she was diagnosed, so she lessened the intensity of her chemo treatments to save the life of her
unborn son, whom she and her husband named Brennon. Kisha lived for another year, but then succumbed to the cancer.
Her death left Mandisa feeling betrayed by God. She sunk into a pit of despair that resulted in her isolating herself from her family and friends for three years and gaining almost 200 pounds. That emptiness and isolation allowed the darkest of thoughts to enter Mandisa’s mind, thoughts of taking her own life.
During an interview with me on “Christopher Closeup” about her album “Out of the Dark,” she explained, “If you are somebody who is trying to live a life that is holy and pleasing to the Lord, the enemy’s gonna come harder after us than anybody else…With me, [he said], ‘Mandisa, God does not want you to live in this misery and pain. He says in His word that He wants you to live an abundant life. So, if you were to take your life right now, you could be living in eternity, living that abundant life with Jesus right in this moment.’ And so, it was a little bit of truth, but he twisted it just enough for his perverted purposes. Year one, I probably was quick enough to say, ‘Get behind me, Satan.’ Year three, it was feeling a little more tempting.”
Around that time, Mandisa decided to actually leave her house to go see the Christian film “War Room” because one of her songs was used in the movie. She didn’t like the story, though, because everyone got what they prayed for. “I remember thinking that is not reality,” she said.
As she left the theater, she was confronted by eight of her friends, who had covered her car with sticky notes containing messages like, “We love you,” “We miss you,” and “Come back to us.”
Mandisa recalled, “They had an intervention and basically forced me to go get counseling. I look back at that and feel like God put it on their hearts because I was getting to a bad place. Had that not happened, I don’t know that I would be here today, because I was just starting to contemplate [suicide]. It was in that moment [that] my friends were the literal hands and feet of Jesus lifting me out of that dark place.”
While Mandisa wishes Kisha were alive today, she says that looking at this – and other – tragedies through the lens of eternity has helped her find a level of peace that allows her to “trust in God’s goodness, even when I don’t understand His plan.”
And in keeping with The Christophers’ focus on lighting candles rather than cursing the darkness, Mandisa believes her story and album can do just that. She concludes, “It just takes a flash of light to dispel darkness. For me, those flashes came in the form of my loved ones…We’re called, as brothers and sisters in Christ, to be those flashes of light for other people, because you never know what somebody’s going through. We could be the one that God uses in order to pull somebody out of the dark.”
For free copies of the Christopher News Note GETTING THROUGH GRIEF WITH GOD, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org