Rory Feek Plans Daughter’s Wedding: ‘It Will Be a Special Day for Someone Special to Me’
Rory Feek has made it a point to be extremely honest and open with the public about his personal life over the past few years, documenting his wife and musical partner Joey's battle with cancer and subsequent death with incredible candor. However, according to his new book, Once Upon a Farm, the singer, writer and conservative Christian struggled with his faith most not over the course of his wife's illness, nor after her death, but when his daughter, Hopie, came out to him as gay.
In a recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Feek shared that when his daughter told him that she and her friend Wendy were, in fact, a couple and very much in love, he had to grapple with his own values and beliefs before arriving at acceptance: "We talked for a long time. I said some things I shouldn't have said," Feek writes. "Reacting. Trying not to react. The worst of it all, though, was my first reaction.
"My conservative Christian faith was the first part of me to judge Hopie. To want to push her away. To withhold love from her. And she could feel it. See it in my eyes. And in that moment we had a conversation without words," he continues in his book, as reported by Taste of Country.
In a blog post entitled "I Choose Love," written on June 19, 2018, Feek explains that his relationship with Hopie has been, in some respects, more difficult than his relationship with his wife, because of the ways in which their faiths diverge.
"Loving my wife Joey was fairly easy," he writes. "Being part of that love story wasn't actually that much of a challenge. Because she was so amazing and everything about our faith and our choices aligned just perfectly. This new chapter though ... has been a bit more challenging for my heart and my character. I've still got a way to grow, but I believe that I'm getting there. And I can't help but think, in the end ... how can we lose if we choose love?"
In the same blog post, Feek also reveals that Once Upon a Farm will not be available in most Christian bookstores, and that he suspects that the reason behind that is the challenging nature of Hopie's coming out story.
"This is tough stuff ... because they have their beliefs and want to stand by them," Feek reflects. "And I want to honor that. But honestly, what would they prefer I do? Shun my daughter? Or not share something that we as a family are going through, just because it is challenging and divisive?"
In Chapter 3 of his new book, Feek recounts the day Hopie called him to tell him that she and Wendy had gotten engaged: "'Congratulations, honey!' I said. 'I'm so happy for you.' And the truth is, I was. And I am still," he writes. That happiness didn't mean that his inner conflict on the subject was over, however: In the following year and a half, Feek had some "hard conversations" with both his daughter and her fiancee.
Although Feek knows that his daughter doesn't share her church's views on gay and lesbian people, he ultimately came to the conclusion that it was his responsibility to follow his faith and life path as closely as possible, and it was his daughter's responsibility to follow hers, even if their paths didn't look entirely alike.
"First off, I'm not the judge. That is not my job. I'm Hopie's father. My job is to love her. She gets to make her decisions in life. All of them. I can approve or disapprove, but it's her life, and she has a right to live it as she chooses," he goes on to say.
Hopie and Wendy are planning their wedding for sometime around Halloween of 2018. The event will take place at the family's farm. "I'm going to be excited about it," Feek writes. "It will be a special day for someone who is special to me and her someone special. That is all I need to know. I choose to love her. To love them. Period. End of story."
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