While country singer Joey Martin Feek stopped treatment in her fight against cancer, she hasn't stopped showing belief in her religious faith as she faces her last days on Earth in hospice, with her family by her side. Releasing a video singing the hymnal "Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling," she smiled as she peacefully sang the lyrics " Come home, come home; Ye who are weary, come home."
Joey, 40, who has terminal cervical cancer, is part of the country, husband-wife duo Joey + Rory. They won the 2010 Academy of Country Music's "Top New Vocal Duo" award. The couple also had television shows filmed in their barn and presented by Crosley Radio. They live with their daughter, Indiana, on a small farm in Tennessee within a house built in the 1870s.
Joey underwent a radical hysterectomy during 2014 after her doctor discovered cervical cancer during a routine exam in May.
Rory Feek has blogged about the family's situation for nearly two years. Part of his self-proclaimed bio states: "I want to live a great story. I want to be a better man. I film. I write. I show up. God does the rest."
His Nov. 12 entry shared: "I want my wife to be remembered. By me. By others who love her even though they've never met her. I guess that's why I write this blog. I want her sweet voice and her love to live on. And not just outlive her...but to somehow outlive me, and our girls, and even their children. And someday when your moment comes with someone you love...maybe, just maybe, you will remember Joey and her words and voice and life will comfort you...and her song will live on."
Joey has fought a gallant fight, but now is making peace with stage 4 cancer.
Fan Sue DeLorenzo from New Jersey posted on Joey's Facebook page Thursday that she felt Joey and Rory have done so much more for this world than they probably even know. "Your message over the last months and weeks have opened the eyes of many. You brought peace and love back to people where some may have been lost. May we all take your lesson and live our days with peace and love. Blessings to You."
For weeks, Joey's supporters indicate they have been praying for a miracle for her.
"The courage that they as a family have displayed - it's inspirational. It's sad, but it's special at the same time," said country superstar Blake Shelton in an ET Online piece. Rory wrote Shelton's 2004 song "Some Beach."
Joey follower Bob Carnahan, who posted online two weeks ago that he was serving in the U.S. military northern Japan (Misawa), stated the Feek family was in his daily prayers. "May the Lord continue to guide, comfort and give you and your family strength during this time. My heart aches to see Joey and the family having to go through this time. God bless and In Christ Alone!" he offered.
An Inquisitor article from Nov. 11 shared that Rory joins Joey in bed at night and prays while he listens to her breath. "Joey has needed a lot of sleep during this time in her life, but he is by her side for all of it. They have been spending time together, and Joey has been recording books for their daughter Indiana, so she can always hear her mom's voice even after she is gone. Joey will always live on in her daughter Indiana. For now, they just continue to pray for a 'miracle and peace with His decision,'" the article affirmed.
People magazine shared that Joey and Rory's relationship has even improved during this hard time. When the couple returned home after learning about cancer, Rory wrote about it in his blog: Martin picked up baby Indiana and cradled her, singing the gospel hymn "I Need Thee Every Hour." Soon, Feek grabbed his guitar after several months of not playing, and the family bonded over music. And then, like turning off a faucet, we said a prayer, dried our tears and put our trust in Him, Feek penned.
Joey's voice has been compared to Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton, due to its warmth and sincerity.
In 2013, the couple partnered with Gaither Music Group to release a CD/DVD entitled "Inspired." Joey told Homecoming Magazine: "Church was always important to me as a kid and I loved the old hymns. I remember seeing my mom singing when I was a little girl. It was really touching and I've always wanted to do an inspirational album."
On Friday, Joey said the following about God, as reported in The Tennessean: "I wasn't mad at him, I wasn't upset (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.'"
In the same article, Joey stated she intended to die in the same house in which she was born and raised. "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."