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The Story Behind the Plus Sign in Joey + Rory’s Duo Name

Wonderful, amazing things can happen when two people come together. A new blog post from Joey + Rory‘s Rory Feek both explains how he and his wife decided on the name for their duo and muses on how their faith in God and love for each other have grown thanks to their relationship.

Feek explains that he began thinking about why they chose a plus sign rather than “and” or an ampersand in their duo’s name after receiving a nomination certificate from the Grammy Awards. The couple had been married for five years before their appearance on CMT’s Can You Duet in 2008, and “[w]hen we found out we had made it through the first round of auditions, they asked us what our stage name was going to be.”

“I told Joey that I think we should tell them ‘Joey + Rory,’ because that’s what it actually was … You + Me = whatever this is going to be,” Rory Feek recalls. “Though it might have been a bit confusing to others, the plus sign made sense to us, and that’s all that mattered.”

Eight years later, Feek says, “I was right about the plus sign in the name Joey + Rory, but not about the addition. One-plus-one does not equal two. It actually equals much, much more than two. And the plus sign? I’ve come to realize through the years that it’s not what I thought it was either. It’s much more, too.

“What we were actually adding into the equation that day in 2008 … was God. It was faith that we were adding — a willingness to trust Him and be okay with whatever He had in store. That’s where the power is,” he continues. “There’s nothing magical about Joey and I together. We bring our skills and talents into this union, but God brings the magic. He takes those gifts and adds in His timing and mixes it with all the years of joy and hardship and smiles and pain we’ve had … and He makes something bigger. Something better.”

Feek notes that he and his wife have seen this theory put to work in many other situations as well: “Each time Joey and I have made a choice to ‘add’ someone else into our lives, God uses His mathematics to turn us + others into something more beautiful than we could’ve ever experienced on our own … When the plus sign is giving away the most precious thing that we all have — our time — to others, [i]t too turns into something bigger. And our world gets better.”

Most especially, Rory Feek writes, Joey + Rory has equaled their daughter, Indiana.

“And every day, when our little one wakes and I pick her up from her crib take her in to see her mama and her sleepy little almond eyes look into ours,” he says, “once more we see … the amazing power of the plus sign.”

However, the Feeks have found themselves wondering “why?” Rory Feek says: “Why would He give us such an incredible addition, and allow it to be followed by such a heartbreaking subtraction?” — referring, of course, to Joey Feek’s battle with terminal cancer.

“Joey and I both have questions. Hard questions. And we don’t have any answers for them. But still, we have faith,” Rory Feek continues. “It’s a choice to believe. That’s why they call it faith. If we knew all the answers, no faith would be required.”

Still, Feek says, he and his wife are “choos[ing] to see the pluses in our life … like all the extra days and weeks that we’ve been given together … and all the beautiful conversations and time we’ve had with her family. And the amazing gift of life-slowing-down-to-a-crawl and only having and needing THIS moment in time. And of course, the incredible amount of love and support that the whole world has shown for us during this special time.”

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