The 48-year-old single mother of Noah, 10, and Jonah, 7, was diagnosed with cancer in 2017. She said her battle is ongoing but her faith hasn't wavered — and it goes back to an encounter she said happened five years ago.
"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 and other media, explaining that Jesus was lovingly referring to her.
Messina added: "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.'"
After the visit her faith became more real than ever, she said, and decided to record Cory Asbury's song "Reckless Love," which he released through Bethel Music early last year. Messina did a cover of the song in a country style.
"I spent my entire career, my entire life glorifying myself. It's time for him. He gets the glory from this point on," she added. "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 was recently invited to get back onstage for the CMA Fest, which filled her with gratitude.
"To be able to stand out there," she said, "and sing a few songs, and tell them, and not leave the stage without saying, 'And tell you what, God loves you more than you can even imagine. That's the greatest gift of all.'"