Losing someone is just hard.  And what a strange turn of phrase: “Losing someone.”

Mandisa died last night.  She was 47 years old. 

What a beautiful soul and a dear friend!

Corrie Ten Boom is a hero of mine, and she once shared a story about when she was a little girl and a train ride that she was going to take with her Papa.  She didn’t have the ticket for the train and was concerned about being allowed passage.  Her Papa gently encouraged with the knowledge that he had her ticket and that she need not worry but that he would give it to her when the time was right.

Our heavenly Father knows all, and I’m comforted by that.  I’m comforted that he knows my fears and my dreams.  He knows who I am, where I am, what I’m doing, when I’m doing it and how I’ll be in every moment.  He took account of me before I took my first breath, has been present with me every passing day, and will be holding my hand when I walk through this life’s last moment. “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8).”  But then it will only be a more realized presence because He promises that He will never leave us on this earth (Matt. 28:20).  I think then, the veil will be lifted, and we really see!

Before what would become Mandisa’s last visit to KSBJ we found out that she had been going through a dark time and had been very depressed. She told us how her closest friends scheduled an “interruption.” Here’s what that means… Mandisa had kept to herself in the middle of all that pain and discouragement and her friends who loved her were NOT having it.  When they found out that she was going to the movies, where she could “cave” away for a few hours, they got to work. After the movie, Mandisa walked to the parking lot and her car had been covered (top to bottom) with sticky notes of encouragement!  It looked like a giant Post-it note on wheels!

Carder and I got to work on collecting “audio” sticky notes.  We had you call into KSBJ with all sorts of encouragement for Mandisa!  Her songs like “Overcomer,” “Good Morning,” and “Unfinished” have been anthems for countless lives!  Her music has helped fuel restless hearts with peace and hopelessness with faith!  Your words, Houston, for our beloved Mandisa brought her to tears.  She was undone…and maybe a little frustrated that we had made her cry without waterproof mascara!

She wrote a song for a precious couple who were grieving the loss of their little one, Andrew.  It will always be my favorite song from her.  The lyrics share with his parents what Andrew is now seeing:

Blue has never been bluer
True has never been truer
Honey never tasted so sweet
There’s a song in the breeze
A million voices in praise
A rose has never smelled redder
The sun has never been brighter
If I could find the right words to say
If you could look at my face
If you could just see this place
You wouldn’t cry for me today

Mandisa, thank you, beautiful lady, for forgiving Simon Cowell on international television and giving the glory to Jesus.  Thank you for your marvelous heart and the words you collected to share songs from that heart.  Thank you for being our cheering section when we needed the reminder that God has us.  Thank you for writing the perfect words to help us say, not good-bye but, see you later.

We love ya!