Redemption's song

One other song from Freedom holds special meaning for the singer. It was inspired by a pregnant woman named Rebecca that Mandisa met at one of her shows last year. During this brief encounter, Mandisa placed her hands on Rebecca's belly and prayed for God's protection over the baby, little Andrew. The following week Andrew was stillborn.

One of Rebecca's friends e-mailed Mandisa the devastating news. Moved, Mandisa sent Rebecca a letter along with a CD of songs she compiled to encourage the grieving mom, including Natalie Grant's "Held" and Sara Groves' "Its Going to Be Alright."

"I remember thinking there was no song that was going to be from Andrew's perspective." So when Mandisa got together with Cindy Morgan the next week to write some songs together, she shared Rebecca's story. They contemplated what Andrew would say to Rebecca, and the result is "You Wouldn't Cry," a moving ballad about the wonders the boy is experiencing in heaven with God.

Mandisa got the chance to sing the song for Rebecca live, a gathering that was filled with tears and worship. "It brought her so much comfort to think that when she sees her son again he's going to be able to show her around heaven and show her all the things he's been experiencing. It's my prayer, and I know it's Rebecca's prayer, that Andrew's song would encourage others who are going through similar loss."

But Mandisa has confidence in God's ability to use our stories, even—and maybe especially—the broken parts, for his glory. She's seen God's redemptive power in her own life over and over again.

"Talking about my weight issues and childhood abuse isn't easy," she says. "But I get flooded with messages from people who tell me they've been through similar things. It means a lot to them that I talk so openly about these things. So I believe I'm walking out that 2 Corinthians 1 passage that says the comfort we receive from the Lord is there for us to pass along and comfort others with.

"Through my songs and stories, I pray God is going to set some people free even as he's setting me free."

See a video of Mandisa talking about her journey to lose 100 pounds here.

Camerin Courtney is senior editor of Today's Christian Woman magazine and editor of Copyright © 2009 Christian Music Today. Click for reprint information.