Right before she hit “rock bottom” Billboard-topping country singer Jo Dee Messina said that Jesus visited her on her front porch.
In 2017, Messina, a 48-year-old mother to Noah, 10, and Jonah, 7, was diagnosed with cancer. She found herself uncertain of her future as medical bills mounted, and her career crumbled in front of her.
The artist, who has six No. 1 country singles, not only found herself struggling with her physical health, but also her mental health when her and her husband of 10 years, Chris Deffenbaugh, separated.
Although Messina’s battle continues to wage, she has not wavered in her faith, and in fact, it is the one thing that keeps her going.
In an interview with Popculture, Messina explained that an encounter with Jesus five years ago is what has kept her faith strong all these years later.
“Jesus Christ walked onto my front porch and argued with me all day long. As real as I’m sitting in this seat, Jesus came to my front porch and He’s like, ‘She’s mine,'” she told PopCulture.
“I was trying to sustain a career. I had a lifestyle and a family and everything, all on my own, and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t. I was pulled way too thin and so, I was just standing on my porch one day, and Jesus Christ walked out and said, ‘She’s mine.'”
“I just knew it, in the middle of that, in the middle of my spirit and my soul, I’m like, ‘That’s Jesus,'” she added.
After encountering Jesus, Messina knew she needed to know more. She ran over to her neighbor’s house, who she knew was a Christian, as quick as she could to ask for information.
“I know the stories,” Messina explained. “I know the Christmas and Easter. He was born on Christmas, died on Easter. You know what I mean? But I didn’t know Him. Just having that intimate relationship with God, and I’ll sit here right in front of you and tell you He loves you more than you ever even imagine.”
Messina, so moved by her encounter with the Holy Spirit, decided to record the song “Reckless Love,” by Cory Asbury.
“This message needs to be heard across the board. So I recorded it and I prayed that at some point there’s a major label that is brave enough to pick it up and release it because we just did a digital release of the song,” she maintained.
Messina added that she hopes her new music is received in a positive light.
“I spent my entire career, my entire life glorifying myself. It’s time for Him. He gets the glory from this point on. When you are going through a hard time in your family situation and you are diagnosed with cancer, and you don’t know what’s going to lie around that corner, and you have the arms of Jesus there, holding you. You never want to walk away from it,” she concluded.