I don’t know where to begin with this post. I don’t know how much I can or should say. All I know is that I have broken my daughter’s heart. And not for the first time.

She’s very devout in her religion. I have always admired that about her. She has been true to what she believes. I could never ask more than that from any of my children. Believe what you believe. But be true to it. Whatever it is you believe, be true to it. I am proud of the way she lives her life. She is everything that is good about religion. She is honest. Kind. Considerate. Compassionate. Thoughtful. Humble. Stalwart. Non-judgmental. I believe that she truly embodies what Jesus taught his followers to be.

Her faith in her religion makes her happy. She believes that the only way we can truly be happy is by being a member of her church. This has caused her much heartache because I am not a member anymore. It hurts me to know that I’ve caused her this pain.

She called me because she wanted to talk to me about her hope that I would someday return to the church. I had to be honest with her. I believe that she deserves my honesty rather than me giving her false hope that someday it might happen. I heard her softly crying on the other end of the line as I explained to her as gently as possible that the church has brought me nothing but pain, and that I am happier now than I have ever been in my life. I explained to her that while I believe in God, I don’t believe that I have to be a member of a church to have a relationship with him.

I expressed my love for her and how much I hoped she knew that I loved her deeply. She knows that I do. And I know that she loves me, too. I have to be true to myself just as she must be true to herself.

I wish I didn’t feel like such a disappointment to her. And I wish she wasn’t hurting because of me.