"American Idol" finalist Mandisa won two Grammy Awards Sunday night, but instead of attending the glamorous event with other celebrities, she celebrated at home in her sweats.
The gospel singer, who won Best Contemporary Christian Music Song and Best Contemporary Music Album, stayed home to watch the pre-telecast ceremony online for several reasons, including her faith.
The day after the award show, Mandisa posted a note on her Facebook page explaining why she didn’t attend.
“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. … 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.”
Her fans left comments of love, support and admiration.
"I LOVE your honesty and so appreciate your heart! Congratulations on the special win, and even more on the stand you took to guard your heart and making your relationship with God the number 1 priority! He will honor that. Bless you!" Julie Shawbeck wrote.
Another fan, Hannah Percival, wrote, "Congratulations on your Godly strength to put your relationship with God above the world's expectations. Congratulations on your Grammys too!! You are such a strong woman of God and such an inspiration!"
He competitor for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song, Natalie Grant, had a similar experience. The Christian singer tweeted out that she left the awards show early, but didn’t specify any specific incident as the reason.
(1 of 2) We left the Grammy's early. I've many thoughts, most of which are probably better left inside my head. But I'll say this:— Natalie Grant (@NatalieGrant) January 27, 2014
I've never been more honored to sing about Jesus and for Jesus. And I've never been more sure of the path I've chosen.— Natalie Grant (@NatalieGrant) January 27, 2014
Despite keeping the reasons to herself, speculations behind her early departure ranged from Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” performance to the mass same-sex marriages performed during “Same Love.”
In response, Grant wrote on her Facebook page, “I never pointed out any one particular performance, I only said I had many thoughts about the entire show, which were best left inside my head and that is where they will stay. … I've judged no one. I hate no one. And I believe that every person has been created in the image of God. I will never stand on a street corner and wave a sign, I won't use my platform to engage in political arguments that will only divide and not unite. I will continue to pray that my life will be my message.”
Despite their struggles coming to terms with the awards show, both Mandisa and Grant acknowledged their gratitude for their place in the industry.
“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,” Mandisa wrote. “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). … 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.”
Grant wrote similar sentiments, saying, “I am honored to be a part of the Christian music community. I've had many people throughout my career ask why I never tried to go in to mainstream music and last night was a beautiful reminder that I love singing about Jesus and FOR Jesus.”