Joey + Rory are kicking off the new year with a positive attitude, despite all of their struggles — and they're receiving help and spiritual support from some very well-known friends.

Joey has been fighting Stage 4 cancer since June, a year after undergoing surgery in her first bout with cancer. She has faced extensive surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, but ended her treatments after doctors told them there's nothing more medicine can do. She has been in home hospice recently, and the couple and their almost 2-year-old daughter, Indiana, spent what Rory described as an "amazing" Christmas with Joey's family in her hometown of Alexandria, Ind.

In a new update to his blog, This Life I Live, Rory admits Joey's Christmas season was a "roller coaster," with some good days and bad days, and for the first time she experienced "a sadness. A fear of the unknown. And even some anger — not at God, just at her situation I suppose. It’s not easy for her to be as excited about what the new year holds in store as it was last year," he writes.

"But she says she’s seen the light, and she’s over that now…"

That's due in no small part to the couple's close friends Bill and Gloria Gaither, who are titans in the gospel music world. "But before Bill made the history books, he was an English teacher in the local high school here in Joey’s hometown, and Gloria taught French. Both Joey’s daddy and mama were students of theirs in the late 1960’s," Rory reveals.

The Gaithers still live in Alexandria, and they have gone well out of their way to spend as much time as possible with Joey + Rory recently. Bill sees Joey almost every day, sharing stories, "and he’ll have Joey and all of us laughing and smiling ’til our faces hurt."

Gaither even built a fire across the pond from Joey's bedroom window one night before Christmas. "From Joey’s bedroom window, we could see the beautiful flames dancing across the water," Rory shares. "It was magical." Gaither called on his cell phone to make sure she could see it, and that it made her happy."

This Life I Live

"That’s the thing about someone burning with passion — the whole world can see their light," Rory observes. "They have something that shines so bright inside them, others can’t help but notice it in their eyes and on their faces and in their actions. They use their lives to provide some light in a dark world that can be overwhelming and scary at times ... Bill has sure shined his light on us."

The last few albums and DVDs Joey + Rory released were through the Gaither organization, and Rory says Gaither and his wife, Gloria, have gone way above and beyond to be both mentors and friends.

"In early November when this little town of Alexandria held a prayer vigil for my wife, Gloria and Bill were one of hundreds who stood out on the street in the rain and lifted Joey up to [the] Lord in prayer," he relates. "With candles, they all gathered and lit a fire that I have a feeling will keep burning long after Joey’s gone. After I’m gone."

"Thank you Bill. Thank you Gloria. Thank you everyone," Rory adds. "We are all seeing the light."

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