Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God's Joy
Grammy award-winning music artist Mandisa tells an inspiring story of peaks and valleys, trials and joys, wins and losses. Through her gripping narrative, she shows that our choice to trust God can not only overcome our need to understand why bad things happen, but can help us to embrace a life of joy and freedom.
Out of the Dark is Mandisa's exploration of the journey she's taken from when she first became a Christian, to her rise as an American Idol finalist and receiving multiple Grammy and Dove Award nominations, as well as the dark and challenging times she experienced along the way. She writes personally and openly about the hardships she has faced and the way she felt betrayed by God, but also about how God has brought her out of the valley into His glorious light. Along the way, she also shares her struggles in learning how to love her body and care for her health.
Just as Mandisa's Grammy-award winning song "Overcomer" was topping the Contemporary Christian Music charts, her friend for whom "Overcomer" had been written passed away. After losing this close friend to cancer, despite years of prayers on her behalf, Mandisa descended into depression, isolating herself and turning to her familiar friend, food, for comfort.
Throughout Out of the Dark, Mandisa uses her experiences to address the following themes:
- The pain of grief and loss
- Surviving abuse
- Embracing true beauty and a healthy body image
- Coping with severe depression
- Healthy--and disordered--eating
- The role of faith in hope and healing
- Letting go of shame
- Following your unique calling and passion
- How friends and family are crucial for healing
- The challenges of 2020, including protecting mental and emotional health while navigating a public health crisis; quarantining; and coping with racial injustice
- Trusting God daily for hope and healing
In the darkness, Mandisa knew God was there -- but she wondered if she could trust Him. Even at her lowest point where she saw no human way forward, God was at work, powerfully redeeming her story and calling her out of the dark.
Mandisa tells her story with warmth and vulnerability, challenging us all to focus on God's purpose for our lives, surround ourselves with friends who will fight for us, and face life's challenges with courage and faith. If you've ever found yourself in a dark place as the result of grief, depression, or loss, Mandisa's story will reassure you that even when you're walking through dark valleys, God can and will lead you on a path to joy and hope.
"Since the first day that I met Mandisa she has been nothing but original and courageous. My touring family is better when she is out with us. She genuinely supports each artist that takes the stage as well as every crew member behind the stage. In a single word I would say without hesitation that she is one of the most authentic people I have ever met. Her heart is to help others and in this book she vulnerably shares her own real life experiences and struggles in an attempt to provide insight and love others well."
--TobyMac, Grammy Award-winning music artist
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About the Author
Contemporary Christian and gospel vocalist, American Idol season five alumna, and author of Idoleyes: My New Perspective on Faith, Fat & Fame, Mandisa is a Grammy award-winning and Dove-nominated artist who got her start singing backup for Trisha Yearwood and Shania Twain.
Her debut album, True Beauty, featuring collaborations with the Fisk Jubilee Singers and tobyMac, topped Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart. 2013's Overcomer won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album.
Mandisa's passions for faith, health and wellness, and mental health are common themes in her writing, both musical and literary. Her fifth full-length album Out of the Dark was inspired by the death of a close friend and the deep depression that followed.
Mandisa studied Vocal Jazz at American River College before earning a Bachelor of Music with a concentration in vocal performance from Fisk University. She now lives in Franklin, Tennessee. Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God's Joy is her second book.