It’s been one year since Joey Feek passed from this life into eternity and into the arms of Jesus. Actually, when I picture Joey, I suspect she’s dancing and singing before the Throne. But whatever Joey is doing in Heaven, we haven’t forgotten her nor have we forgotten the beautiful family she left behind.
In what can only be described as a work of beauty, Rory Feek took to the page and penned what is one of the sweetest journal entries I’ve ever read from him.
Instead of looking at life through the lens of deferred hope and unmistakable grief, Rory has chosen a higher road: the path of trusting God and resting in His goodness even when circumstances didn’t turn out the way that he expected.
Not only has Rory been grappling with the loss of his beloved wife, he has a little daughter to raise and two older daughters to love. Rory has over and over again shown how not only is he a strong individual in his own right, but he leans on the strength of the Lord as well.
In a poignant post, Rory wrote eloquently on life since Joey passed and how he has been viewing their daughter Indiana. At first, when they learned of her being diagnosed with Down Syndrome, they were not only surprised, but the community around them was as well.
“When we first learned that Indy had down-syndrome, Joey and I weren’t really sure what to think, or what it meant to our lives and hers…” said Rory. “All we really knew was that Indy had an extra chromosome and that was going to make her different. She would look different and develop slower, but outside of that, we weren’t really sure of anything else. Until we called the people around us. Everyone was anxious to hear how the birth had gone and how Joey and the baby were doing, and so in those first few days, I dialed and spoke to many close friends and family members and told them that it all went well, and then I told them how the doctors suspected that she has down-syndrome. And almost everyone said the same thing. “I’m so sorry”.”
“That’s such a strange response to the birth of a child. Maybe they were just sensing the confusion in my voice or more likely, they didn’t know what to say. I didn’t and don’t think anything negative about their responses. I probably would’ve said the same thing in their shoes. It’s what society has told told them – told all of us… …awe, you didn’t get a regular baby… you got something less… a burden that will last a lifetime. And I get it it. That’s the messaging that is out there most I think. But it’s wrong. At least I think it is. And I know Joey did too.”
Along with his words, Rory released a video he created honoring Indiana. When I saw the film, I couldn’t help but tear up at the amazing impact her life has had on Joey, Rory, and now the world. Watch the beautiful video here for yourself:
I can see why the video is going viral online… It’s a message that everyone needs to hear. And Rory put it so well when he wrote further in his post.
“God doesn’t make mistakes.” -Rory Feek
Indiana is not less than any other child. Different is not less. Having down-syndrome doesn’t make her life any less meaningful than someone else’s or her dreams or feelings any less important. Not as a child and I suspect, not in the years to come when she grows to be an adult,” wrote Rory.
“Joey and I have since met many many kids and babies with down-syndrome and other special needs. I’ve had the blessing of seeing lots of them at Indiana’s school High Hopes in the past few months alone, and they aren’t less. None of them are. Like typical kids, they come in all shapes and sizes. Some learn faster, some slower. Some are silent and some vocal. Some crawl and walk earlier than others and some, like Indy…take their time. But they are all beautiful. All gifts from heaven above.”
Rory said how the film honoring Joey’s life is set to be released September 20 and it is something that has allowed him to truly view her life in a special way. I know that Joey is smiling down from Heaven at her husband and daughters and loving every minute watching their lives from the view with Jesus.
Please continue to pray for Rory, Indiana and their entire family. If you appreciate Rory’s perspective on life and his beautiful daughter, please share this post with others so they too can see how each and every life matters!