I missed the Grammy Awards…and I won!?!?


“Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind.” Romans 12:2a (Voice)

At 4PM yesterday, I was not glammed up in a fancy gown, sitting in my seat at the Grammy Award Pre-Telecast, listening to the man reading the nominee list for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) Performance, Best CCM Song, and Best CCM Album. I was rockin’ some purple sweats, sitting in front of my computer, watching the live stream online. If you saw the video I posted yesterday, you heard my utter shock and immediate flood of tears, not to mention my phone blowing up when Overcomer was read as CCM Song and Album of the Year! I could not believe it!

Since then, many have asked why I was not there to accept the award. Ok. Are you ready for my brutal honesty? I have several reasons:

1. Over the next 100 days, I’ll be home for about 20 of them. I’m taking every chance I get to enjoy my time here…and Rufus (my bed, yeah, I said it!)

2. I can’t tell you how little I enjoy people scrutinizing what I am wearing and how I look. I’ve been on the receiving end of such mean comments coming from the other side of the anonymity the world-wide web provides. I can usually handle it, but recent events have left me feeling insecure about such things these days (if you missed my Facebook post a couple of weeks ago, I explain more about that here.) I wish I could tell you it doesn’t hurt my feelings. Honestly, it does. I’m still learning to believe the truth about me, remember? 😉

3. All of my previous albums (True Beauty, Freedom, and What If We Were Real) were nominated for the Grammy Album of the Year award. It really IS an honor just being nominated. And I really WAS honored to be nominated with Israel Houghton (2007 & 2009), and Chris Tomlin (2011), the winners of each of those years. Following that trend, I naturally assumed Chris Tomlin would win this year, too! I figured I would cheer Chris on from the comfort of my home!

Finally, the fourth reason I chose not to attend this year: Yes, both times I have gone to the Grammys I have witnessed performances I wish I could erase from my memory, and yes, I fast forwarded through several performances this year; but my reason is not because of them, it’s because of me.  I have been struggling with being in the world, not of it lately. I have fallen prey to the alluring pull of flesh, pride, and selfish desires quite a bit recently.

“Don’t fall in love with this corrupt world or worship the things it can offer. Those who love its corrupt ways don’t have the Father’s love living within them. All the things the world can offer to you—the allure of pleasure, the passion to have things, and the pompous sense of superiority—do not come from the Father…” 1 John 2:15-16a (The Voice)

I knew that submerging myself into an environment that celebrates those things was risky for me at this time. I am taking steps to renew my mind to become the Heavenly Father-centered, completely satisfied with Jesus, and Holy Spirit-led woman I felt I was a few months ago, but I’m feeling a bit like an infant learning to walk again on shaky legs. Perhaps being alone with Him as my name was announced was protecting myself from where my flesh would have tried to drag me had I been up on that stage. It gave me time to focus. With what I do for a living, and the doors that have opened for me to sing about Jesus on mainstream platforms, I take the phrase from John 15:19, “be in the world, not of it” seriously. God never taught us to stay in our safe Christian bubbles, completely separating from those who do not share our faith (see 1 Corinthians 5). After all, how else will people come to know Him, if not by His children? We must live, look, and speak differently so that we shine (see Matthew 5, Philippians 2, and 1 Peter 3)! I can’t force my morality on anyone else. What I can do is live my life in such a way that reflects well on my Savior, stand firm in my values, and do all of these things in love.  If God can use this Grammy win to advance His Kingdom, I’m all in!

So yeah, should I ever be nominated again, and I’m feeling up to it, I’ll go. I recognize that I may feel a bit like an alien in a strange land, but Jesus, friend of sinners, felt that way and still managed to shine…by His Holy Spirit, so can I! Plus, I can’t lie…it”d be pretty cool to see Ryan Seacrest on the Red Carpet now! 🙂

As for the Grammy Award, I know I keep saying it, but “whose life is this?!?!” “Overcomer” is an album that speaks life, hope, and encouragement to so many, yes, including me. While this affirmation feels unbelievable, I lay this trophy at the feet of my Jesus in humility, honor and gratitude for all He has done in, to, and through me.

“You, dear children,are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 (NIV)


6 pings

  1. Carol says:

    I have loved you since American Idol and am so proud of all that you have accomplished! You are a beautiful person inside and out and the people who critize you are just insecure about themselves so feel the need to lash out againist others. The only approval you need is God’s and with all that you do to spread the word I am sure he is proud of you also. I listen to Overcomer at least once a day and it always gives me a boost! Keep doing what you are doing and God Bless You!

  2. Michele says:

    I totally understand but you really did not need to explain your reasons. God has truly blessed your spiritual gifts and your ministry. Thank you so much for your openness and testimony. Overcomer has been a blessing to me and the world.

  3. Marla says:

    Absolutely beautiful! Heartfelt, sincere, real…this is something we all struggle with at different times in our lives, and at different levels. To recognize it and take the steps necessary to refocus our lives – now that is inspiring. Lovely girl, you are not alone! Thank you for your honesty and sincerity. You inspire so many through your music, your words, and the example that you set! You are an incredible daughter of God, using your talents to worship and praise him! From the bottom of my heart, thank you! I admire, respect, and love the beautiful woman that you are and what you stand for. Congratulations! You are an Overcomer!

  4. Chris Grindrod says:

    Mandisa, proud of you for keeping it real! Your authentic spirit shines through!! I am proud to be your friend and pray for you! Stay Strong!!

    Chris Grindrod

  5. James Chanbonpin says:

    That’s right Disa, they can’t stop us! I have so, so much more respect for you now, to give that glory up to God at the biggest stage in your profession’s history. God Bless, you are influencing so many people and the kingdom of God was made for angels like you.

  6. Patricia Boese says:

    Just to say congrats to you and all your hard work that got you to this point in your life. You are a great inspiration. And so proud of you example to all women! The Lord has blessed you with many gifts. Do not let the world destroy that. Love patty Boese

  7. Brinda Blair says:

    Mandisa, THANK YOU! For sharing your hopes, your fears, your acceptance of your weaknesses! So many Christians fail to discern those moments when Satan can swoop in and really make progress in destroying our faith! You are an amazing witness for so many young people. My granddaughter saw you in Clinton, ms last year and she really admires your music and your Christian walk. She is a beautiful, strong-willed 11 year old girl that is dealing with snide remarks and negative comments from some of her classmates, and you are aware of how those words wound us. My daughter and I continually try to encourage and explain the un-explainable to her about how satan uses both our friends and enemies to wound us. I know this is a long comment, but I want to encourage you to continue your walk and be vigilant in your faith; I will be lifting you up in my prayers!!! Love, Brinda

  8. Lisa in East Texas says:

    What an example of honesty you are. One of the things that I think makes our God smile the most is when His beloved children are humble, admit their shortcomings, and press on in their commitment to honor and obey Him. Blessings, sweet lady, as you grow in Him 🙂

  9. Debbie Baker says:

    Mandisa – I’m so sorry the world has made you feel this way. I know exactly how you feel. I’ve walked a day in your shoes (well – I’m not famous or wealthy, but I’ve battled with weight and weight related health issues for 20 years.) I know the hurt of the comments behind my back AND to my face. People who have never battled weight can be so hurtful. I’m turning that around now by using an all natural item called Plexus Slim. Feel free to check out the products at http://www.plexusslim.com/debbiebaker and let me know if I can help you in ANY way.

    You are truly an inspiration to me. Thank you for being REAL, especially with your battle of being in the world. I’ll be praying for strength and discernment for you and that you NOT get caught up in it. I know it’s easier to fall into the “stuff” that being a celebrity is about, but you’re more than that and I love who you are. Stay strong and carry on!! You’re awesome!!!

  10. Sherri says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful view and Godly stance in today’s society. I had no idea you won as I could not watch another awards show that has no morality left. What a blessing you are to show all young women that we do not have to be half naked or have a fountain of curse words flowing from our mouths to be somebody. So happy my daughter looks up to you! God is surely guiding your steps!!

  11. Carol Reynolds says:

    You have such wonderful honest music. Its all about what we do for Him.

  12. James Riley says:

    I respect your decision, and I agree with it. I personally did not watch the Grammy’s. But your song deserved to win. It has been my anthem since it came out. I also think you are a very beautiful woman. Keep doing what you are doing, and may God bless everything you do.

  13. Emily says:

    Thank you so much for your honestly and the perception to know what you needed right now! Its so refreshing!!! Overcomer is a song that I have claimed for myself and my life because with Christ I AM an Overcomer. I just need to be reminded of that. Keep allowing God to work through you to bless others.

  14. Linda says:

    LoVe YoU and the gifts that God has blessed YoU with <3 YoU are Smart,and Beautiful. YoU are wise to follow the Holy Sprit. By taking this time with God you Are prepared and ready for the next thing God has for you. I'm enjoying watching what God is doing in your life. One last thing God says I will Never Leave or Forsake YoU, I am with you always. Much LoVe Linda <3

  15. Karen Green says:

    Well said Mandisa! Loved your article and you shouldn’t feel bad about not being there…..you have to do what is best for you at each season you are in. God bless!

  16. Amanda S. says:

    Mandisa, I cannot begin to tell you how much of an inspiration you are to myself and many others. And just the simple, brutal, honesty about your own walk with Him & how even you waver at times, is a comfort. Our flesh is weak, but our God wil NEVER fail! I recently saw you in concert in Jacksonville, & you have no reason to listen to the scrutiny. Do I want to be the pot or the kettle?? I’m the same way, and “Overcomer” is such an encouragement to me. You see, 3 years ago, I was in what probably should have been a fatal car accident. I was in a coma for close to 3 weeks, with a severe traumatic brain injury and MANY broken bones. The doctors didn’t expect me to make it through. Still today, I suffer from cognitive impairment, migraines, and have so many scars that for a long time (and sometimes still,) send me into a state of depression, causing me to question why God lets things happen… then I think about your song “God Speaking”. That, to this day, as well as “Overcomer”, are a huge impact on my life. I AM an Overcomer, and only through Jesus Christ, can I say that… thank you for being an inspiration and huge source of encouragement!! I pray God continues to bless you in abundance!! Oh!! And I was wearing my Overcomer t-shirt and bracelet yesterday!!!

  17. Lynne says:

    You are an amazing woman of God. Thank you for your honesty and your dedication to serve Christ!

  18. Wendy Gonzales says:

    I totally agree with you…we all struggle with temptations here on earth….reconnecting with God is a beautiful thing…God knew you were going to be home with Rufus…you are an inspiration to many…stay strong in yourself and your beliefs…..

  19. Lois says:

    Congratulations!!!! I love the song Overcomer! What a great message! Thank you for being used by Jesus!

  20. April says:

    Just wanted you to know I am so proud of you. I too struggle with this more now that I ever had. I was even sitting in church telling my self I did not want to be there and not understanding why I felt that way. And I realized it is the flesh pulling me into a way of life I don’t really want. I have been in church all my life I have been saved since I was 16 and I know these things happen but it is really hard to recognize it in yourself I pray that God will help us both continue in the way that glorifies him the most. Our lives may be on different paths but they are still lives that belong to the Savoir. Oh by the way your Overcomer song has been a tremendous blessing to my teenager daughter. Thank you

  21. Susan Stitch says:

    It is so exciting that this album won — but even more exciting is how many people have been touched by your message. thank you for sharing your reasons for not attending the Grammy’s — it is so helpful to understand that those in the spotlight struggle with their spirituality and can be authentic enough to share those struggles. You ROCK Jesus to the world.

  22. Revival says:

    I love your story and I am impressed with gospel artist like you. to my opinion you did the right thing not to be present at the grammy. Just as the scripture above which you mention John 15;19 “be in the world, not of it” . Men will Give Award but God Gives Reward. my prayer for you daughter of Zion is Divine promotion this year. In JESUS POWERFUL NAME!! blessings….

  23. Kim Ridgway says:

    Kudo’s to you.

    I totally understand your reasons. I get the whole not wanting to go anywhere, just curl up and stay inside, forever…(how I feel sometimes). I have my reasons also. Trying my best to get past it and I will continue to pray for you.

    History…I lost about 35 pounds a little over a year ago and I’ve gained 10 pounds back. I’m 5’2, so to me it looks as though I’ve gained it all back. I wear the same clothes every week at work cuz I got rid of all my fat clothes…NICE goin there. Going to church is even a struggle for me because I don’t want people to see the failure I’ve been.

    I’m trying very hard to get out of this mindset, so believe you me, I understand your reasononing for not wanting to go.

    I will continue to pray for you and listening to Overcomer! One of these days I be one! Maybe even make my own video to your song.

    Love ya M!
    In Christ,
    Kim Ridgway

  24. Megan says:

    Thank you for being honest. Your pulling away of the mask is something that many of us can take great inspiration from. Thank you and bless you and congratulations on the Grammy. I am grateful for your ministry!

    I’ve recently gotten back into “Made to Crave” (I’ve lost about a hundred pounds and have quite a bit to go) but in the mornings I will add you to my prayers. After all, you are part of the inspiration to never give up on health and my goals. God bless you, sister! Again, THANKS!

  25. William Crimm says:

    How proud I am of you! I always knew you and your gift would find room for you. I remember, when you were my first Effe in Dreamgirls. You were unsure about what you might bring to the role. I told you then, God gives the increase, and He has for you.
    Lots of love to you!!
    Bill Crimm

    1. Elizabeth says:

      Proud to hear that you won. I don’t watch such things as the Grammy’s because they don’t represent who or whose I am. I love you sister of mine. Elizabeth

    2. April Galvin says:

      AMEN! GOD’S GOT YOU AND ALL THE REST! i see no reason for you to explain god knows and thats all that matters, our answers are to him,our reasons are for him only.

    3. Lenear Royalty says:

      Awesome Mandisa, just reading your blog lets me know other heart felt Christians who desire to present their gift in today’s technology and still not be of the world’s belief’s against God’s word, is such a priceless stand. I did appreciate that the world can come together at the Grammy and allow each one to express their gifts and talent, yet the church condemns and projects personal preferences. Being spirit led is ideal. Thank you for your blog and congrads for the recognition at the grammy as the worlds see you as a believer as it will connect hearts to you as your music and experiences, direct them to Jesus Christ. Blessings

    4. Mandisa says:

      Wow! Mr. Crimm! How wonderful to hear from you! I remember my Effie fears all too well! Hahaha! Thank the Lord that He accepts us as we are, but loves us too much to leave us that way! Thanks for your encouragement!

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