(Republished with permission from Pure Flix)
Joey Feek never wanted to be a mother. As her husband Rory shared, “being a mother was her greatest fear.” Then, one day in the summer of 2013, Joey said to Rory, “I’m ready.” Immediately, Rory knew what she was referring to — Joey was “ready to trust Him” and have a baby. At the height of their successful country music career, Joey trusted God and became pregnant later that year.
To focus on “the simple things,” Joey and Rory decided to take a year off from music to have their baby at their farm, in a small town located an hour outside of Nashville.
As they slowed their careers down to prepare for the birth of their first child together, Rory decided to document the moments on camera and on his blog, This Life I Live.
“…something told me that I needed to remember these moments, big and small, and that someday they would be important.”
A Story From God
Rory was called to capture the moments of his life because,
“…we believed that God would give us a great story, and He did.”
The story that God gave to Joey and Rory is great and yet, it is heart-wrenching. Rory captured it in the film he created, “To Joey, With Love.”
The film begins a few weeks before Joey and Rory’s baby is born. In the opening scenes, the love and excitement that they share is palpable.
The emotions grow even stronger as Indiana “Indy” Feek was delivered at their farmhouse by a local midwife. Moments after her birth, Indy was doing well, but Joey needed to be rushed to the hospital from labor complications. While Joey was in surgery at the hospital, Rory was informed that their beautiful baby girl had Down syndrome.
On that same day, the doctors discovered spots on Joey’s cervix. Not long after, it was confirmed that Joey had cervical cancer.
Trusting God in Tough Times
When Joey learned of Indiana’s Down syndrome and her cancer, she was devastated. But Joey’s conviction was strong. She knew that Indiana was the baby “God wanted her to have.”
Home from the hospital, Joey did everything she could to create a normal life for her family. Everyday, the family said their prayers, and in March of the following year, Joey began to plan her summer garden. Rory explained,
“Not because she needed to, but because it was important to her. She didn’t just want to feed our family, she wanted to know where the food came from and be part of growing it.”
In spite of her cancer, Joey’s spirits remained high. Each day, she fell more and more in love with Indiana and enjoyed farm life.
When the time came for Joey to have the surgery to remove her tumor, she trusted God. A few minutes before she was rolled into the operating room, she shared the following message with Rory:
“When you are worried or when you are afraid just call on God and he’ll wrap his arms around you, and know that I am wrapping my arms around you, too… We are going to be fine, it’s all going to be fine.”
Find God in Life’s Little Things
The film continues to follow Joey’s battle with cancer, as well as the sweet moments the little family shared together. Joey received support from family, friends, and fellow Christians while finding pleasure in God’s littlest gifts – like giggling with Indy, ironing Rory’s shirts, and planting in her summer garden.
Joey and Rory’s story will move you to tears but will also inspire and deepen your faith. Rory expressed the sentiment perfectly when he said that God created a miracle when helping Rory share Joey’s story.
Watch “To Joey, With Love” to be reminded that God truly loves us and sees us through everything.