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Two years ago, Rory Feek had a heart-to-heart with his daughter, Hopie, that transformed his thinking about love. The then 27-year-old woman admitted that she was a lesbian and was in love with her friend, Wendy. At first, the conservative Christian country music star balked.
“My first reaction was not the best one because it was such a challenge to my faith,” he told Jenna Bush Hager in a TODAY interview. “I didn’t really know how to react.”
When Hopie revealed she was a lesbian in 2016 — shortly after Joey Feek’s death of cervical cancer at age 40 — she worried her dad would reject her. She still wanted to spend time with Joey and Feek’s daughter, Indiana, 4, and worried Feek wouldn’t permit it. And, she feared that her dad would stop loving her.
“I really didn’t know the answer to that. You know, I’m afraid that I, at first thought, was ‘I don’t know,” he said. “What happens when your daughter says, ‘I’d like to marry my friend Wendy at the farm?' And she’s waited her whole life, her whole life for this moment.”
But soon Feek realized this unexpected moment was simply part of life and that he could grow from it.
“You go from one thing you think you can’t handle, that you end up learning so much from, to another thing that you didn’t see coming that you’re gonna learn so much from,” he said. “I’m learning how to love her even when our faith and our choices don’t line up exactly.”
While some Christians criticized Feek for loving and supporting Hopie and Wendy, Feek knows he made the right choice.
“It’s a challenging situation. But if it shows up at your house, you might look at it differently,” he said. “The biggest thing that it’s shown me is that if I were going to be more Christlike, wouldn’t it be this? Wouldn’t I love greater?”
Hopie will soon marry Wendy at Feek’s farm and the family couldn’t be happier. Indiana is going to be a flower girl and Feek is happy to be a part of the wedding.
“I am thrilled. I love Hopie. I love Wendy … And I just want what’s the best for them,” he said. “What’s been really fun is seeing my daughter realize that I love her. I love her no matter what. I could’ve got that wrong.”