This is Part 6 in a multi-part blog post. If you've stumbled across the page without reading Part 1, click the link below to go to Part 1.
Act One, Scene One
Note: I have been struggling with how to tell this next part of my story. Obviously, I view the events of my life from this time period through a very different lens than I did at the time they were actually happening to me. Time and experience have a way of changing our context and altering the way we see things, but, for the purposes of re-telling my story, I think it’s best if I relate from my perspective at the time. At a later point, I can discuss how my viewpoint on these events has changed and shifted over time and how my understanding continues to me in a state of growth.
Six days after I made that slow and trembling walk to the altar, I had a sexual encounter with a young man that I was friends with. We had been sexually involved for a long time. We were together hanging out, and it was just natural that it would happen as it had for so long. While in the midst of things, I felt a tremendous amount of guilt over what we were doing. After we had finished, and he had left, I just sat and re-played over and over what had just happened.
Over the past few days, I’d felt like I’d stepped into a whole new world. I had been getting up every morning and grabbing my Bible to read a little each morning. I had been listening to some Christian CD’s that Mark had lent me. All week long it had felt as though I had stepped into a whole new world where the sun shone just a little brighter and the grass was just a little greener; everything felt more alive.
As I sat alone in my room, having just engaged in this thing that I knew God hated, I felt that deep, dark, impenetrable clouds had just descended over that bright new world. I felt someone had shut out the Sun, and I felt as though God wanted nothing to do with me.
I had no idea what to do. No one would understand. I couldn’t tell any of my new friends at the church. That would be the end of things there. I felt like they would cast me aside, and how could I blame them? I felt God didn’t even want me in that moment. I had no idea how to do it, but I knew that, then and there, it had to stop. I could never again allow myself to engage in another sexual act with a guy. I just couldn’t bear the rejection. I couldn’t stand to have God hate me. My journey as a ex-gay had begun.
End Act One.
© Joshua Culbertson 2014