Mandisa on God’s love and the reality of heaven

A reflection by Cheryl Weber

Mandisa Lynn Hundley was an incredibly bright light, walking in courageous transparency and open-hearted kindness. It was with shock that we learned this morning of the passing of Grammy award-winning recording artist Mandisa. The American Idol Alum is gone too young at 47 years old, but what an incredible legacy she has left all of us.

Speaking candidly about her struggles with mental health, abandonment and other deeply painful life experiences, she inspired tens of thousands with her transparency and wisdom. I had the chance to interview her on “100 Huntley Street” about the release of her new book, “Out of the Dark” which is a heartbreaking yet beautiful re-telling of some of the toughest days of her life.

The book had a profound impact on me, and I was deeply touched by her bravery in telling the world about her struggles. She wanted them to mean something more, and to help others who were also going through ‘a dark night of the soul’. I was immediately struck by how genuine she was, and the wisdom that poured out of her soul. Here was a woman who had wrestled with darkness and had come out the other side with incredible insight.

I really believe that in Mandisa, we saw ourselves. It might be our struggles with abandonment, emotional pain, food addiction or rejection. It could be in the questions we have for God about our painfully unanswered prayers. Or it could be the days when through deep pain, we have isolated ourselves from the love and care of our family, friends and our loving Creator. She let us know that we are not alone and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I was struck again today by her beautiful words to me at the end of our interview:

“I recognize that my time on earth is very short, that there is so much more to this life. I believe in heaven, I believe in eternity.  I think that when I see Jesus face to face and I see the long, beautiful story that He’s writing, it’s not just going to end when my time on earth comes to an end. So I’ve had to embrace the fact that God is God, and I am not… and to recognize that He understands the full story of His redemption.”


Those words will stay with me, and I’m filled with joy as I realize that she has had the experience she talked about. Full peace. Full joy. Complete fulfilment. Seeing Jesus face to face! None of us know the number of days that we have, but like Mandisa, we can leave behind a legacy full of beauty, honesty and impact. May we be inspired by her music and words for years to come.

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