Joey and Rory are preparing for the inevitable. The couple is in Joey’s hometown in Indiana, living out the rest of her days with friends and family. The Tennessean‘s Cindy Watts spend the day with Joey, in what might very well be her last interview.
“I wasn’t mad at him, I wasn’t upset,” Joey says, talking about God when she learned her cancer had returned. “I was just greatly disappointed. I really thought we had it. I thought, ‘I’m going to be that exception. I’m going to be that statistic that stands out and says, ‘She fought it.’ We did the most extreme surgery we can do in the gynecologic world, and she did well.’ But for whatever reason, it wasn’t enough, and God had different plans. I was disappointed. I was exhausted.
“More than anything, I felt like I failed at something,” she says, crying. She smooths the tassels of her shawl against the leg of her pants. “I thought I did everything,” her voice breaking with emotion. “But God decided for me that my job of singing for people down here is my legacy, and he needs me singing up there. That’s how I look at it.”
Throughout Joey’s journey, she and Rory have stayed steadfast in their faith. Not only believing, but KNOWING God will take care of it all…in life and in death. And her struggle hasn’t been lost or in vain. Just weeks ago, Joey’s father accepted Christ as his Lord and savior.
“I just cried,” she says. “Now all of my family believes. And all of my family, when we die, we’re going to see each other again. I told my dad, ‘I would go through all of this again, if that meant one person came to Christ because of it. The fact that my daddy did, Dad, I would do it all over. I’m so proud of you. When I die, I’m going to be looking for you. And I want you to know, that after you hug my brother (Justin, who died in a car accident in 1994), I’m going to be next in line.’ ”
“I pray that one morning I just don’t wake up,” she says. “But I don’t fear anything because I’m so close to God and we’ve talked about it so many times. I know he’s close. And I know he loves me. I’m really at peace. I still believe there’s healing in prayer.”
Whenever that time comes. Joey will go in Love. In Love with God. In Love with her husband. In Love with her friends and family. And, in Love with the thousands around the world whom she’s inspired to live a more Godly life.