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I was blessed the other night to see Mandisa, a Dove Award winning Christian singer, in concert at my church. As she shared her testimony about being sexually abused as a child and using food to fill the emptiness that heartache created, I was struck at how often an unresolved hurt can lead to so many other consequences in our lives. She shared that she wanted to be overweight because it caused her to get less attention from men and that felt safe. In the last few years, God has done a healing work in Mandisa to the point she has shed 100 lbs. and now can share openly at her concerts about how God is healing her from this hurt she has carried since she was five years old.

And yet, this very same hurt is what the singer/song writer uses to write such tender, poignant songs about pain. Her songs connect because they ring true. She has a gift to express how pain makes us feel, as well as to celebrate the freedom found when Christ begins to heal those hurts and the pain subsides.

So here again is another example of how God’s promise, to work all things together for good, is a promise we can count on (Romans 8:28). Mandisa’s gift comes out of her pain and God is using her every time she shares her testimony so openly. My prayer is that He would do the same with my testimony and willingness to share such a difficult thing in my own life. She encouraged me last night because, although our heartaches came from different sources and mine was my own doing, I saw so clearly how God was using her pain for good, to remind others that nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).

~ Kyleen Stevenson-Braxton