When you think of country music star Jo Dee Messina, you often think of the windows down, radio blasting ear worms that got you through a heartbreak. And while Messina’s catalog is chock full o’ the songs that make up the soundtrack to your life, the new material she is adding will impact your life in other ways.
Over the last five years, Messina has found a new inspiration for her music and every day approach to the world. In a moment of despair, the No. 1 artist realized God’s presence and, since that fateful day, has focused on her relationship with Him, as He is the one who walks next to her down each path — no matter how bent or broken it may seem. So, when Messina heard “Reckless Love,” written by Cory Asbury, Caleb Culver, and Ran Jackson, she was immediately drawn to the lyrics, sharing that the words “knocked the wind out of [her].”
It just resonates so much with my soul and my spirit that we have a God, a Father that loves us just the way we are. As broken and as flawed as I am, as many mistakes and bad choices I have made in my life, He’s still right here saying “I love you and you’re worth it and you’re precious.”
It was when she began performing it during her live shows, recognizing that audiences were unfamiliar with the song, that she decided to record and release it.
I had no idea people outside of that genre had never even heard it until I started playing it live. I was saddened that the message was being “formatted.” It is so important that I wanted it to cross into other genres so it can be heard by those who may not already know how loved and treasured they are; how much we are worth, even on the days we feel worthless. To me, this song is not about chart position. It about the message of God’s love for every one of us.
To bring her own rendition of the chart-topping Christian song to life, Messina called on producer Seth Mosley and X O’Connor of Full Circle Music, the same team that worked with her on her tremendous track “Bigger Than This.” Returning to the studio with Mosley was a no-brainer for Messina, as the award-winning producer has a way of making her feel completely at home inside of his four walls.
I just know that when I show up there, in the studio, everything is started with prayer. I love working with Seth. He always starts the session with prayer, and we just say, “God, you be the glory.”
In giving the glory to God and praising His love by way of her new single, Messina hopes she is able to share a very important message with those who are still learning, or have not yet begun to learn, about the Lord.
There is a God, He is alive, He is real, and He loves us with a love that we will never understand. We will never get it. Because our human love is so conditional. I love you as long as you do this. I love you because you give me that. Or I love you because you are this. But, in all reality, He just loves us.
Messina doesn’t expect everyone to fully understand the enormity of His love from a first listen, but hopes it translates into a first step for many. She acknowledges that her relatively young relationship with God is especially and uniquely deep. This is because she dove into the Bible head first and never came back to the surface. She was so overcome by His word, His promises, and how her heart was changing that she enrolled in theology and ministry classes at The King’s University to satisfy her thirst for knowledge. Her devotion to this relationship that swept her off her feet in the moment she needed to be carried the most led her to the point she is at today; one at which she can belt the lyrics to “Reckless Love” and make every listener realize she feels each word.
There’s no way I could have sung [“Reckless Love”] ten years ago. You know, a long time ago I passed on a song called “I Hope You Dance.” I did not have children at the time and I didn’t get it. I didn’t get the song, but the person who recorded it was Lee Ann Womack, who had children at the time, and just put so much heart into it because she was in that space. The same thing applies to this song. Ten years ago, I didn’t have the relationship with the Lord that I have today. I didn’t have that intimate knowledge of who He is or hadn’t walked with Him in the desert like I’ve done the past couple years. . . . I could not have sung it ten years ago with the soul-bearing experience that it was now. That it is now.
Knowing how loved she is — and not just by her adoring fans — has instilled a new softness and brightness in Messina for which she is so grateful. In her words, “people can’t change a heart. Only God can change a heart.” The light she shines everywhere she goes as she repeats her daily mantra of “it’s a beautiful day!” has a way of bringing peace, comfort, and joy to everyone around her. And now, she hopes to encourage others to explore a relationship with God and allow Him to touch their lives the way He has touched hers. Her first stop is the country music genre; a group of music fans who have not yet necessarily been exposed to “Reckless Love’s” life-changing message.
Jo Dee Messina’s new single, “Reckless Love,” is available everywhere to download and stream now. It can also be requested at all country and Christian radio stations.
Listen to “Reckless Love” here: