Power of Faith Amid Cancer
- Country Singer Jo Dee Messina, 52, just released new music that was inspired by her cancer journey. The music star turned to her faith to help motivate her during her cancer journey. Turning to faith is common among cancer patients.
- Messina was diagnosed with cancer in 2017.
- A study published in Cancer includes data that found "69% of cancer patients reported praying for their health" compared to "only 45% of the general U.S. population."
- New York City Presbyterian Pastor Tom Evans previously spoke with SurvivorNet about how faith can help people cope with the complex emotions that come with cancer.
- "It's important to reach out in a simple prayer to God, even if you've never prayed before, you don't know what to say, a heartfelt plea, 'God, help me, be with me,'" Pastor Evans told SurvivorNet.
Country music star Jo Dee Messina, 52, just released a new hit single that was inspired by her cancer journey. The singer rose to fame in the 1990s and has since reemerged with a new twist to her music.
"First new music in a long time. So grateful for the opportunity," Messina says in an Instagram post.
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Messina's new song, "Just to Be Loved" is about a fearless girl who became overwhelmed with self-doubt.
Lyrics to the song include, "Things that made her beautiful, started changing who she wasâ€¦Don't be somebody you're not, Just to be loved."
Messina's outlook on life was altered after she was diagnosed with cancer in 2017. Although she did not reveal specifics about the cancer she was battling, she turned to her faith in God to help her through her cancer journey. The power of her faith during cancer also influenced her music. Now many of her songs are faith-based.
Messina gained significant success in country music seen in the 90s and early 00s. One of Messina's biggest hits, "Heads Carolina, Tails California," helped thrust her up the music charts. According to Opry, she had "nine number-one hits and 16 Top 40 songs and was honored by the ACM Awards, CMA Awards, and Grammy Awards."
Despite not sharing many details about her cancer publicly, she's been open about how her faith in God.
"On her lowest of low days, she has been able to see God's hand at work and feel His love as she continues her walk. It is because of our Father's love that she has been able to find the beauty in the days that could have brought her the most fear, gratitude in moments that most would call unfair, and companionship during times she might feel the loneliest," Messina's team wrote on Facebook.
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How Faith Can Help Cancer Warriors Cope
Jo Dee Messina relying on her faith is quite common amongst cancer patients coping with their diagnosis.
A study published in Cancer includes data that found "69% of cancer patients reported praying for their health" compared to "only 45% of the general U.S. population."
Cancer psychologist Dr. Andrew Kneier helped co-author "Coping with Cancer: Ten Steps toward Emotional Well-Being." He also co-authored a column published by Stanford Medicine with Rabbi Jeffery M. Silberman, director of spiritual care at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut. They offer more context to the impact faith has on cancer patients.
"A person's faith or spirituality provides a means for coping with illness and reaching a deeper kind of inner healing," Kneier and Silberman said.
"Coping means different things to different people: it can involve finding answers to the questions that illness raises, it can mean seeking comfort for the fears and pain that illness brings, and it can mean learning how to find a sense of direction at a time of illness. Religious teachings can help a person cope in all of these dimensions," Kneier and Silberman continued.
WATCH: Turning to Faith During a Cancer Journey.
New York City Presbyterian Pastor Tom Evans tells SurvivorNet about the importance of finding ways to cope with the complex web of feelings you may be experiencing after a challenging health diagnosis, such as cancer.
"It's important to reach out in a simple prayer to God, even if you've never prayed before, you don't know what to say, a heartfelt plea, 'God, help me, be with me,'" Pastor Evans told SurvivorNet.
"You can reach out to God, and you can reach out to people, your friends and, family, and say, 'I can't do this on my own. I need you.' "It's in that willingness to be open and to receive that we can find something deeper that we never would've encountered without this hardship," Evans continued.