Life has been anything but easy for Jo Dee Messina over the last few years. The mom of 10-year-old Noah and Jonah, 7, was diagnosed with cancer in 2017, and continues to undergo medical treatment. Through it all, the 48-year-old has learned to rely on her faith more than ever before.
"I've been buried with trying to stay alive, and so you feel forgotten, because every day you're trying to get through tests or you're trying to get through screenings," Messina recently shared with PopCulture.com and other media. "I am a single mom now, and so my life never stops. I started a new medicine a few months ago. It's not been easy. There are days where I have to sleep in the midst of the day, to get through the day."
Messina recently returned to the stage, when she was invited to perform at Nissan Stadium during CMA Fest. The invitation was a reminder to Messina of the things that mattered most to her.
"When I got the call, I was like, 'They remembered me,'" reflected the singer. "Here I am, just trying to get to tomorrow, and CMA reached out and was like, 'Hey, we want her to perform on a big stage,' and my heart is so filled with gratitude."
Messina hasn't had the energy to perform as much as she used to, while she undergoes cancer treatment, but she relishes any time she can sing in front of others – and share her growing faith.
"I've always loved it," Messina said. "Anyone who's been with me for years, that has known me for years, there's always been a spirit of gratitude in my career. To be able to stand out there 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.'"
The Massachusetts native previously admitted she had already weathered plenty of storms over the last few years, including financial struggles when she had to come off the road.
"I know there was a day when it just came tumbling in," she told radio station WAY-FM. "I think it was prior to surgery where insurance had lapsed. And my tithing check bounced. Yes, people, my tithing check bounced! I'm like, 'What is going on?' And they're like, 'With no touring, there's no income. There's no cash flow.'
"And so, the insurance had lapsed" she recalled, "and I was going through some legal processes, and so I've got some legal papers that are never fun to get."
Thankfully, Messina is now strong enough that she can perform again, and has several dates on the calendar. See all of her upcoming shows by visiting her website.
Photo Credit: Getty images / Jason Kempin