I have to admit that I don’t listen to country music. If I do hear a country song, it is purely by accident. So, there are a lot of country music stars that I simply don’t know. I may recognize a name or two, but couldn’t pick them out of a line up or name any of their popular songs.
And here’s another thing I must admit: until I received a copy of This Life I Live, I didn’t know the names Rory or Joey Feek. I didn’t know their story or their music or the fact that they have a TV show.
Several weeks ago I happened to be watching the TODAY show and there was an interview with Rory. Matt Lauer was talking to him, asking him questions and referenced Rory’s story like everyone watching knew it.
But after reading This Life I Live, I’m glad I do.
The book tells the compelling story of Rory and Joey’s relationship: how they met, the fact that she saw herself marrying another man even while talking with Rory, the courtship and marriage that followed, the birth of Indiana and her battle with the cancer that ultimately took her life.
Rory and Joey’s story is both real and powerful. Each chapter in the book reads more like a journal entry than a typical biography and Rory writes from his heart. It was more like having a conversation with him and he was transparent about his successes and his failures.
While This Life I Live is the story of Rory and Joey, it is so much more than that.
The first half of the book gives Rory’s back story: about his upbringing, his family’s constant moving and the on and off again relationship with his father. All of that leads into the man he is as he begins his relationship with Joey.
While This Life I Live is the story of Rory and Joey, it really is the story of how God was working in the life of Rory to make him the man he is today. Through a rough upbringing, many broken relationships, a lot of mistakes, successes and failures, parenting, marriage, having a child and losing his wife to cancer, God used all of that to shape and mold Rory.
A quote that jumped off the page at me is from chapter 52 where Rory writes about his daughter Indiana. She is born with Downs syndrome and this was his conclusion: I have a feeling – I’ve had it for a while now – that Indiana is here to teach me something. To teach me everything . . . She will teach all of us. Just because she’s different. Her extra chromosome will be the thing that changes our DNA. What we’re made of and what’s down deep inside.
Her extra chromosome will be the thing that changes our DNA.
This Life I Live is ultimately about change. And growth. And growing up.
While This Life I Live is the story of Rory and Joey, it’s really about how God doesn’t give up on His children and will teach us and grow us as long as we allow Him.