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Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God's Joy
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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:
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.
|Title: Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God's Joy|
By: Mandisa, Suzanne Gosselin
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: K-LOVE Books
Publication Date: 2021
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 X 0.75 (inches)|
Weight: 15 ounces
Stock No: WW201009
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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. 2013s Overcomer won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album.
Mandisas 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.
Submitted: February 24, 2022
Tell us a little about yourself. I'm a Christ Representer, American Idol Season 5 Loser, Grammy, Dove, & KLOVE Fan Award Winner and I'm defined by none of these things! I'm passionate about faith, health and wellness, and mental health. And...I'm a die-hard football fan (GO TITANS), and consider NFL season the most wonderful time of the year!
What was your motivation behind this project? Out of the Dark is a huge piece of me and, to be honest, I feel very vulnerable sharing in such detail. So many of you have been a part of my journey and I know that I'm not alone in the struggles I've faced. Just like me, you may have struggled with the pain of grief and loss, surviving abuse or even coping with depression. It isn't always easy to trust God through the pain, but every day I make it my aim to. In my darkest moments, He was the only light I could see. My choice to trust Him overcame my need to understand why bad things sometimes happen, and it also helped me to embrace the joy and freedom that He freely gives us. Anxiety is a real thing. Depression is a real thing. Emotional pain is a real thing. But we can overcome. Out of the Dark is my story. Real, honest and vulnerable.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I wrote this for anyone who has found themselves in a dark place as the result of grief, depression, or even loss. If that's you, I assure you that even when you're walking through dark valleys, God can lead you on a path to joy and hope. I hope readers see 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. I hope this book challenges 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.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? To be completely honest, I struggled even while writing this book. Seeing how God has faithfully led me from the day I was born up until now has been encouraging, but revisiting my darkest moments was really heavy. So many of those things still hurt deeply. I have been tempted to walk away from this showing my scars and telling my scar story. I have even wondered if I'm qualified for others to learn from and follow. I'm not some Christian success story. (But when you look at scripture, neither were Abraham, Moses, or David, so I guess I'm in good company!) Here's why I've persevered: This is God's story. It's the story of how God broke into my life when I was sixteen years old and changed everything. It's the story of how He lovingly pursued me at times when I was walking away from Him. It's the story of how He gently guided me every step of the way and gave me opportunities I never could have imagined. It's the story of how He used people to come around me and be instruments of His love and grace, declaring truth over me and not allowing me to stay in the pit. It's not a story about Mandisa, really. It's a story about a big God who has changed one woman's life in un- believable ways. He's taken my heart of stone and replaced it with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). He's made me a worshipper.
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