The day I've both looked forward to and have dreaded for several years now is finally here. My daughter is currently in the temple for the first time, to receive her endowments to prepare for her mission. My heart was torn watching her walk away from me, entering the forbidden-to-non-members area of the temple. Although I'm her number one supporter in life, and her desires, her goals, and her dedication to the LDS church and gospel of Jesus Christ matters to me ... I am not able to be with her in this very important moment.
The most hurtful part is that the very thing that makes my daughter happier than anything else is not something I can enjoy with her. I have to watch from the sidelines. I had to drive her to the temple, take a couple of pictures, then watch her walk away with my sister who is standing in for me as her escort. My heart is so happy that her dad is there with her, but what about her mom? I feel that I've failed her so completely and I'm sure she's disappointed. She hasn't said that she is, but she has to be feeling something. I imagine that it hurts her, which hurts me so much. I also picture that she blames me without fully comprehending all that has transpired. She knows everything about my process, my excommunication, my homosexuality, and my current feelings about the church. Although she has accepted that it is what it is, I know she doesn't understand in the way that I do. But will my kids ever be able to get it? Is that possible, without living it themselves? Yes, I suppose so because their dad does and he's not gay. There has been progress with my daughter because she used to be angry and blame me for everything, and now she's gentle and loving and allows it all to be the way it is without fight. That's huge progress!
Right now I am separated from her physically, and of course I'm thinking about the teachings in the church about the fact that I can't be with them after death. I would rather suffer anything in this existence to avoid that suffering for eternities. This is how I know that I can feel peace with the choices I've made. I could NEVER in good conscience make the choice to leave the church if I truly believed that it was the only way to be with my family forever. My children are my everything and I will be with them always, in this life and the next. My excommunication will not make a difference! I've been banned from (LDS) church membership, but I have NOT been banned from spirituality, from God, nor from my family.
I wish that I was enough for my family, but the church tells them that I'm not. I know in my heart that I'm enough and I know that God believes I'm enough exactly as the person I am today, but my kids are taught that I'm not enough. As my daughter is in the temple, hearing all about how she won't be with me in the eternities, I hope she can somehow find peace even if she doesn't know why. I hope she will get to the place where she realizes we'll be together even though it doesn't make sense to her because of everything she's been taught. The only thing I want is her (and my sons') happiness and peace. I'll continue to pray that they'll have it.
I remember the temple and how beautiful it is. I remember the peace and comfort I felt in the Celestial Room. I remember being in awe and learning something new every time. In this moment, although my heart is hurting terribly, I will focus my prayers on my daughter and will ask Heavenly Father to help her to forget for at least that long that I'm not there with her. I want her only thoughts to be on her beautiful experience and I will pray that I will not take away from that in any way.
I'm so proud of her. What a beautiful daughter of God! My kids are my joy.