A Shoulder To Lean On
We could (and often do) go on and on about the incredible strength and unwavering faith shown by Joey Feeks. We’ve cried many tears as we’ve followed her battle with cancer. And our hearts have surged with admiration as she’s praised and trusted God through it all.
Joey deserves every ounce of praise she receives for her bravery and faithfulness. But so much of what we know about this courageous woman comes from her husband, Rory, who lovingly and diligently documents their journey on his blog, This Life I Live. So, we thought we’d take a minute to appreciate and admire the man behind the camera, who’s been a constant source of strength for Joey.
I bet if you asked Joey, she could list a million things about Rory that make him a great husband.
But here are the top 5 reasons we think he’s something special.
#1 He’s his wife’s biggest fan
Rory not only knows Joey has a special gift, but he recognizes that it’s a gift meant to be shared. What he has to say about her singing is just beautiful:
“Filled with nothing but love and life, and a light so bright... you can't help but smile when you're near her. Yes, my bride has a beautiful song in her heart... and I believe, the world needs to hear it.”
#2 He never stops supporting Joey
Rory has been his wife’s biggest supporter even before her cancer diagnosis. While Joey has always had big plans of being a singer, Rory much preferred to stay behind the scenes as a song writer. He had a huge fear of performing on TV and in front of people. When a friend suggested he and Joey audition for the CMT show, Can You Duet, Rory was terrified — certain that, as a 42-year-old guy who wears overalls, he’d be made fun of in that type of setting. He wanted to say ‘no’ to the suggestion that he and Rory audition as a duet. But despite his insecurities, he was willing to swallow his pride and face his biggest fear if it meant supporting his wife’s dream:
“But I also knew that if we got on the show, the world might get to hear my wife sing, and even if I was humiliated, but they kept her on the show, it would be worth it. So I looked at my bride and smiled and said ‘yes’ And just like that, we became Joey+Rory.
He’s remained just as supportive during Joey’s cancer battle.
When the couple got the terrible news that the all of the medicines and aggressive treatments simply weren’t working, Rory stood by Joey in the decision to finally say “enough,” and head home in hospice care. As he says,
“We came home. Not to die. But to live.”
As a devoted husband, Rory is protective of his wife, and wanted to be careful with how much to share as Joey’s condition has deteriorated. But, after a long conversation with Joey about how much is too much to share, Rory concluded, “my wife is braver than me.” Again, he chose to support her and honor her wishes, saying:
“So together, we made some decisions. This is our life. It's what He has given us to live. And share.
Sharing what we're going through with others is really all we have to give. If you share what you're going through with me... maybe I'll be able to draw something good from it if I am one day in your shoes.”
#3 He finds Joey beautiful, inside and out
Joey has always been an attractive woman. But that’s not why Rory loves her. His posts about his wife are filled with comments on the fact that her inner beauty truly outshines her outer beauty.
“She might look different to you. But not to me. Yes, she's a few years older and the chemo and radiation have taken their toll on her physical body. But the same joy in her spirit and the same beautiful smile is still there, shining through. Cancer can't take that away from her.”
#4 He’s romantic
As the cancer has continued to weaken Joey, Rory uses this as an opportunity to literally sweep her off her feet. He shared a touching moment where he took her frail body into his arms, and spontaneously slow danced right there in the living room:
“A few days ago, on the last day Joey walked, I took her in my arms in the living room and once more put her hand in mine and we danced. She steadied with her cane and I softly moved her across the room singing George Strait's ‘You Look So Good In Love’ in her ear. In the middle of the song though, as I was being careful not to step on her toes – she stopped and looked up at me and said, ‘How about if I lead?’. And I followed her lead as we slowly two-stepped on her mama's living room floor.”
The beautiful scene looks like it could have easily been pulled straight out of a romantic movie. But their love is as real as it gets.
#5 He’s a devout man of God
This is truly the source behind Rory’s exemplary behavior as a husband. Joey and Rory have experienced some of the best that life has to offer, but also some of the worst. And through it all, Rory has displayed unwavering faith and trust in our Lord.
While sitting in the waiting room while Joey was receiving one of her treatments, Rory wrote a blog post titled “This Is The Day,” and in it he says,
“No, this is not the day that I would've made. But God knows better than I do. He sees the bigger picture, I only see the one above. He is writing our story, not me. He is planning our days, not us.”
In the face of watching such a terrible disease ravage the woman he loves so dearly, even on the day they decided to stop the treatments and head home with Joey under hospice care, Rory trusts and praises God:
“It's hard for me to feel slighted, when I know that the career that Joey and I have had – this amazing last 7 years or so – has only been, because God reached out His powerful hand and chose us. He lifted us up from our little farm. and let us see and do things beyond our wildest dreams. And you can't be in awe of an amazing road that God leads you down, and then be any less in awe of a corner that He has you turn. I think in the end... the good and the bad, He just wants us to give it to Him. And so we do.”
Rory’s dedication to his wife surely stems from his dedication to our Heavenly Father, and he’s a wonderful example of a husband fully committed to the marital vows he took. Watching the difficult path Joey and Rory have had to walk down is heart breaking. But their love, for God and for each other, is truly inspirational.
Our prayers go out to this family, and we thank them for their enduring courage and faithfulness!
See what prayer God just answered for Joey that she says makes all the suffering worth it!
h/t: Q Political