Actress and singer Selena Gomez has revealed her best friend gave her the gift of life, donating her kidney to the "Hands to Myself" singer as she battles lupus.
In a recent Instagram post, the 25-year-old singer revealed that the reason she took a hiatus from her career over the summer was because she was recovering from a kidney transplant.
"I'm very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn't promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of," Gomez captioned the Instagram post. "So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health."
The donor, the singer said, was her longtime friend Francia Raisa. Gomez shared a photo of the friends holding hands from their hospital beds as well as photos of her stomach following the surgery.
"There aren't words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa," said Gomez. "She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis."
She added, "Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org."
Gomez concluded her post with the words "by grace through faith" - taken directly from Ephesians 2:8 which reveals the means of salvation through faith in Christ: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."
As of Thursday morning, the Instagram post had over 3 million likes and thousands of comments from fans sharing prayers and praising the young singer for her bravery.
Gomez first revealed her struggle with lupus in an October 2015 interview with Billboard and said she was undergoing chemotherapy for the disease. In August 2016, the singer took a career break after suffering from "anxiety, panic attacks and depression" due to her lupus diagnosis.
The former star of the Disney show "Wizards of Waverly Place", Gomez has become more vocal about her faith in the recent years. She describes herself as a Christian, and regularly attends Hillsong Church during Sundays. She's also cited The City Church pastor Judah Smith as one of her greatest inspirations.
Last year, she surprised fans at Hillsong Church's Young & Free Revival concert in Los Angeles. There, Gomez sang the worship song "Nobody" for the first time ever.
"Tonight is more than a concert, it's more than Hillsong, it's more than me coming on stage and singing a song for you. It's about a relationship that is greater than anything, guaranteed."
"I got to perform my first worship song I ever wrote. So grateful for His grace and understanding," she later wrote in an Instagram post.