Help Wanted!

sweater: (T) | tee: old | jeans: Levi's | shoes: urbanog.com |

I suspect that guys don’t understand the whole “boyfriend” jeans trend precisely because of how my bum looks in this first picture. LOL Frankly, I don’t understand why we love them so much either but since when do women need a reason to follow the trends of fashion? Amen to you too!

This blogging thing has generated a wide range of inquiries by way of email. Some of you have emailed me about items that you want to buy off my back, which in many cases I’m happy to oblige. Others have emailed me with encouraging words to feed my soul. Still others, email me about life events that you’re desperate for advice on. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m not an expert…on anything. And I’m certainly not perfect by any means. I try to live life by the Golden Rule and trust God in all that I do. In most cases, this steers me in the right direction, but like everyone I have my times where I fall, when I’m confused and when I just not in a great place. These are times when I feel like I just need some good old fashioned sit-down-and-talk time and even a good cry.

I got an email the other day from a girl (who I’m calling our “friend”) asking for some advice about a situation she was going through. In all honesty, it kind of caught me off guard but I could tell she desperately needed a heart-to-heart. Here’s what she said:

I have been following your blog for quite some time and I love it. I am coming to you for some advice. I was raised in the church, still fully believe in God like I did almost four years ago. The only difference is I stopped ignoring my attraction to women. I came out a year ago to my family and at first they took it hard but have since came around because they would rather me be happy and still in their life. However my girlfriend’s family is not so forthcoming. They have disowned her and every chance they get bash her because “she knew they would not approve of this type of relationship”. We are planning on moving next year to a different state and eventually plan on getting married and having a family. I want her family to at least know and be a part of her life, but she is taking the stance of “oh well I do not care” when I know that she cares. I know that you are happily married and probably do not know how it is to be in this situation, but I am asking for advice because you are always writing uplifting words on your blog and thought maybe you could help me see this from a different view point. If you have any words of encouragement I will greatly appreciate them.

[Insert deafening silence] After I re-read the email a couple of times and let it digest, it began to sink in how different each of our life-walks are. How different my life is from hers. How different yours is from mine. Yet, there are some very intrinsic similarities that we as women possess simply because of our makeup. I believe one of those similarities is the need to FEEL loved. Notice, I didn’t say the need to BE loved. There’s a difference. Feeling loved is an experience that is sometimes confused with BEing loved. Unfortunately for many of us, we yearn to FEEL loved rather than to actually BE loved and we don’t even realize it. It’s not only the mind that plays tricks on us, the heart does as well. You don’t have to take my word for it, just ask Jeremiah.

Wait a minute! Let me back this train up because this isn’t where I was planning to go. LOL Back to the point of this post…I prayed about this email for a few days because I wanted to respond in love and offer our hurting friend some sound advice. I finally acknowledged that this was bigger than me and that I needed you! So, here I am, soliciting you. I know how insightful you are and I wanted to make sure that we come along side our friend and offer prayerful, constructive and honest feedback. With our friend’s best interests at heart, what do you think? if this were your friend, your sister, your daughter, what would you say?

Oh and how rude of me, Happy Valentine’s Day! You guys show me love like there’s no tomorrow. You’re the greatest!

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13 thoughts on “Help Wanted!

  1. As I said at the beginning of this post, when I read this email I was taken aback. After some prayer and with our “friend’s” permission (as I wanted to make sure she didn’t feel exploited in any way) to share her story, I deferred to you, the Fashion du Jour Daily family, because I knew that you would rise to the occasion and respond from a place of truly wanting to offer help. I also knew that sharing this story would result in a multitude of varying responses (you should see my inbox) and for good reason. We’re talking about subject matters that are very close to our hearts. I think everyone has experienced or knows of someone who has experienced a situation similar to this one in some aspects. Here we have a young person looking for love, we have a family divided, we have ethical, moral and biblical implications or not, depending on which side of the fence you straddle, but all of that’s to say there are so many very passionate issues going on that it’s somewhat impossible not to insert yourself into our “friend’s” story.

    Ultimately, I decided in all fairness to our “friend” that I would share all of the responses I received. I have to say, that some of the responses I agree with and some I do not. However, because I solicited your help on this I thought it was only right to share all of the feedback. I do appreciate you all taking the time to leave a comment about this and I’m sure our “friend” has found it helpful as well.

    I would be remiss if, at this point, I didn’t offer some sound input. After reading the comments and many emails I received about this, I’m still tentative. The reason is because although I don’t know our “friend” personally, I can tell she is in pain. I can tell that part of her pain didn’t just start at the beginning of this relationship. It started years ago when she came to terms with the feelings she had toward women. Might it have started even before then? Possibly. Only she can answer that question, but I strongly feel like the best I can offer is prayer and my prayer is for discernment, wisdom and trust. I pray that she’ll be able to discern those who wish her well and are offering her valuable advice and support from those who are not. I pray that she’ll have the wisdom to impart the valuable advice and support she receives not only in her own life, but in the lives of those around her both seen and unseen. Each of us has influence over a someone else in our lives whether we know it or not. Chances are there is someone watching her actions and so I pray that she’ll be filled with the wisdom to grow from this and share her experiences with others who might benefit. Finally, I pray that she will trust God. God is the proverbial fat lady and it’s not over till He says so. I don’t believe God wanted our “friend” to live in misery, confusion or grief. I believe God wants our “friend” to find happiness. And not just the outward happiness but true joy. To do that she must allow God to work in her life. She must be open to the possibility of change in all aspects of her life even when it comes to matters of the heart. The more I think about it and peel back the layers of the onion it’s becoming clear that our “friend” can release a lot of the stress of her situation by just keeping it simple. Rely on God, easier said than done right? Not really, give it a try. Give it a week, living with total trust in God. It’s liberating. Let go and let God.

  2. I love the boyfriend jeans, but have never bought a pair. They may help hide some of the um… excess I have in the rear area. Lol Love the way you put your outfits together. Hope you enjoyed your day and had a VERY happy Valentines Day!

    Regarding “our friend” All I can really offer on this one is that everyone has different beliefs and morals. Some of us are so strongly rooted in our beliefs that it’s hard for us to accept someone who doesn’t have the same mindset or principals. I’m not saying it’s right by ANY MEANS…it just is. Reality is what it is.

    The only thing she can really do is be supportive of her mate because it’s always difficult when families are not accepting of your choices and because of it decide to distance themselves. They cant force the family to accept them if it’s not in their heart to do so. Everyone is entitled to feel and believe what they do whether it’s correct conduct to do so or not.

    I would say that it’s wise for her mate to express her feelings to her family; let them know how important it is to have them in her life, and then to give them some time to digest the relationship. Absence makes the heart grow fonder right. Lol Hopefully in time they will be more accepting and realize it’s better to have her in their lives regardless of her lifestyle choice than to not share in it at all. Maybe at some point they will be happy that she found someone that loves her and that wants to share in her life.

    By the way I love what you said about BEing loved versus FEELing loved. There is a very big difference which many people fail to realize.

  3. Great outfit. Tough question. As a believer in Christ, there are some sure steps you can take to sort this out – 1. Seek God’s guidance 2. Read his word. I just watched a Charles Stanley sermon on television that addressed this same issue. In short, Pastor Stanley shared that it can be difficult for Christians to balance showing love and compassion for their loved one vs. not condoning a life choice that disagrees with God’s word. It’s likely that your girlfriend’s parents don’t yet know that it’s possible to do both. Reconciliation is possible. Keep seeking God and walking in love and he will direct your paths.

    1. This is a great response and I will have to try to find this sermon. You are so right! Many christians feel it is their job to “save” people and show them the error of their ways. We are not to bring men to Christ, but Christ to men.

      1. gen321, your comment prompted me to share the details of the sermon in case “our friend” and others who are dealing with this issue from both sides are interested. The title of the sermon is Prayer: Our Time Saver from Sunday, January 16, 2011. The video is available on the In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley website. In the Ask Dr. Stanley section at the end of the sermon, (segment is in last 5-10 mins. of video), he answers an email from an aunt who wants to know how to extend love to her gay nephew without compromising the truth. One of my 2011 goals is to be more conscious of walking in love while sharing truth, so I found it most helpful.

        Thanks, Leslie for being bold enough to open up this conversation. This is a great example of how fashion is much deeper than just clothes!

  4. I hope you gave her your own private feedback since she seeked yours above anyone else. Also, hopefully her question was posted on your site with her consent, I know when it comes to personal matters, particular pertaining to sexual orientation, we are often more guarded in this judgmental and even sometimes dangerous world.

    Anyway, back to what I can say, many of the ladies above me have given some great feed backs and I will affirm its worth taking it all into consideration. I would like to know how old the couple are because it plays a major role in how the family reacts and the impact of moving away on their own. It seems they are pretty young and I would hope for them to be surrounded by those who love them and wish them the best without any judgment. About her girlfriend situation, its really a personal journey she should go through without feeling pushed towards a family that went to such an extreme they disowned their own child over something she had no choice over. Sometimes its best to stay away from a toxic environment, specially when its coming from those whom we should feel safe and loved by. I work with youth and suicide rate and depression among gay and lesbian kids is very high and I know how important it is for them to seek mental and physical safety and comfort. I say let your girlfriend make her own choices when it comes to her family. What you can do is be supportive and loving girlfriend and since your family are treating you well, let her enjoy it as well.

  5. Leslie very cute and laid back outfit today I love when i wear my bf jeans i feel like i don’t have to take things so seriously for the day lol (that might just be me).. Now onto the topic at hand I’m going to TRY and make this brief I just want to tell our friend I commend her for seeking help- sometimes in situations like these especially when its not your own family it can be so tempting to take the route your girlfriend is taking and say”oh well i don’t care” – I unfortunately(or fortunately)do not have immediate familiarity with this type of situation so my advice is to be taking with a grain of salt..
    I don’t recommend that you guys just up and move with out giving her family some type of heads up because that can lead to a whole other situation. You did not mention if you yourself had any type of relationship with her family but i’m assuming not so much but what you can do is try and have a sit down with the head of the family (everyone has one) in many cases a grandmother or mother or even a dad and let them know how much their actions is hurting your girlfriend and how you 2 are strongly considering moving in the near future let them know this isn’t just a maybe thing make it seem as though you are even going to look at some places soon they have to know that you guys are serious and mean business (and this sucks but) that with or without them you guys are going to make these choices and you just much rather it be with them. It really is sad that sometimes family can create more stress in your life than a stranger ::sighss:: oh and btw if and when you plan to have this sit down with her family make sure you let her know and get her opinion.
    **SORRY FOR MY LACK OF PUNCTUATIONS I AM @ WORK LOL – WHAT? USUALLY I CAN SLIP AND CATCH UP ON MY BLOGS ON MY LUNCH HOUR.

  6. This is really not a sexuality issue, at least as far as I think. This is a bonding of family issue. Yes it has begun because of the issue of sexuality, but lift that stone to see what is really there. It takes a lot for a parent to disown a child. I have two of my own so I know the love that binds. A parent has a right to be disappointed in their child’s choices. They also have the right to downright not like the choice their child makes. However, when this happens there needs to be understanding on both sides. Your girlfriend must find a way to see why her parent took the stance that they have, not on the sexuality issue, but on the disownment issue. Then she has to have a forgiving heart the will soften towards reconciliation. This will allow her to open the door should change occur. Next, the parents need to understand that although they procreated and bore life to their child that did not give them sole ownership of that life. They must learn how to love unconditionally with a Godly type love, and see past what has made them take this stance. Only then can they truly see that child that they love is precious. Then, like your girlfriend they must soften their hearts towards reconciliation, because it will be a long road from there. A lot of feelings have been hurt in the process. Tender healing will be needed to recover and repair their relationship. It may never get to what it once was, but it can be what it’s going to be, and that can be a beautiful thing.

  7. Hello, and an extra hello to “our” friend. The only thought that I can offer her is to continue focusing on her love for her girlfriend and their relationship. Unfortunately since we can not control the thoughts and feelings of others, we can only find strength and solace in what we can control. If “our” friends family is supportive of them, they should begin to accept that love and embrace it and not focus on the negative of the other family in regards to their lack of support. “Our” friend should also continue to encourage her girlfriend to continue to love her family and give them her positive energy. The one thing UGLY doesn’t like, is kindness. As long as she continues to give it and keep her heart with the right intentions, in time.. I believe her girlfriends family will start to put down that wall of resistance. They may not show, or ever come to accept it on the surface- but in their hearts they’ll love. “Our” friend and her girlfriend should embrace the positive around their relationship, and not the negative. Focusing on it, or trying to change it will only lead to disappointment. Acknowledge it, of course. However on your journey, live it with your best foot forward.

  8. Wow, that’s pretty deep. I think all she can do is move forward and do what she needs to do to be happy. If her girlfriend’s parents don’t accept their lifestyle, eventually all they can do is accept it and move on. I believe that at some point the parents may come around. Ultimately, I believe parents just want their children to be happy. Be miserable & live a lie with a man… or be happy with a woman you love? The choice seems obvious.

    It’s a process, but all they can do is pray the parents come around. They are who they are… nothing is going to change that, so they may as well do what it takes to be happy. Life is too short to do anything but BE HAPPY! (notice the theme of this response? BE HAPPY!)

    Thx for sharing this one, Les. And very cute shoes!

    ~JoLai

  9. This one is a toughy! I guess my advice to her would simply be, to pray and seek the LORD’s guidance and direction. John 16:13 lets us know that the Lord will guide us in truth. What that truth is for her life, I don’t know, but……………………… I would also let her know, that I was praying for her; praying that the Lord’s will be done in her life and that he would guide her in all truth, open her eyes of understanding regarding his desires for her, and pray that she be willing to hear from God and obey his directives, whatever they may be.

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