It's no secret that Joey + Rory have depended heavily on their faith in God to carry them through Joey's heart-breaking cancer battle. As Joey continues to fight for her life, the couple is seeing God's hand in things that they never noticed before.
For instance, the people that God placed in their life have been the ones to carry them through the last couple of years. A few weeks ago, Rory shared the story of Julie, a fan-turned-best friend, confidant, and now caretaker. In early January, Rory told the story behind their emotional video for 'When I'm Gone', a video that Rory wasn't comfortable with at first because "it hits too close to home." Rory now sees the song as a gift...a song that he is sure will help him heal after Joey is gone.
Just this morning, Rory shared another story of someone that God placed in his life long ago. His cousin and manager, Aaron Carnahan. The life stories of the two men have amazing parallels that can only be credited to one thing...God.
“Some things are meant to be. They’re bigger than us. Bigger than coincidence,” Rory writes.“And the only way you can explain them is…God.”
In the new blog post, Rory reflects on childhood memories with Carnahan, including living room campouts and a family trip to the Ryman auditorium long before Rory dreamed of playing there. He was there again, decades later, when Rory saw his dream come true with Joey at his side. Carnahan was also there when Rory boarded the bus after enlisting in the Marines.
Rory and his cousin lived most of their adult lives apart, but were often going through the same things. Both suffered through failed first marriages, both struggled to find themselves before giving their lives to God, and both have a child with down syndrome.
The similarities between the men's wives are uncanny. Both had similar, rural upbringings and both have battled cancer. And, it was Aaron who predicted that Joey and Rory Feek would become Joey+Rory.
"A couple years after Joey and I were married but still long before Joey and I ever even thought of singing together… Aaron called me one night from a movie theater in Peoria," Rory wrote. "He said that he had just seen the Joaquin Phoenix/Reese Witherspoon film “Walk The Line”… and that sitting in the theater he had a vision that Joey and I were going to sing together one day and be a very successful singing duo, just like Johnny and June."
Rory credits Carnahan for helping guide their career, long before he became their manager.
“Though he is technically our manager, he doesn’t really manage us or our career. Not really,” Rory writes. “He just loves us … Aaron has babysat, mowed our lawn, painted barns, fixed broken sewer lines, grocery shopped, killed skunks, weeded our garden, cleaned our house, and a million other big and small things that have nothing to do with his job — all to help make our dreams come true and our lives better.”
Rory adds that Aaron is not only helping the couple deal with the pain of their situation, but "he’s just doing his best to manage the pain he feels. He wants so desperately to fix this for us, but he knows he can’t. We are here because God wants us here. Aaron knows that. We all do … I think he’s cried more tears over what is happening right now than all of us put together.”
Rory closes his post with a beautiful tribute to his friend, cousin, and manager, Aaron Carnahan, who is celebrating his 48th birthday today.
"What an incredible blessing Aaron has been to me all these years, and is to Joey and me now. There isn’t a moment that goes by that we aren’t thankful for him and all he’s done for us and with us.
Today is Aaron’s birthday. He’s 48 years young. Though he is with his wife in Colorado, and I am with mine here in Indiana… we know his heart is with us, and he knows our heart is there with him.
Aaron, Joey and I want tell you that we love you more than these, or any other words can say.
Happy birthday my friend."
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