Monday, August 11, 2014

Act Two, Scene Four - “Lunch Confession”

This post is part of my on-going story that I have been telling through this blog.  If you are just coming here for the first time or if you need to catch up, you can catch the earlier parts of the story in Setting the Stage or Act One.  See the navigation panel to the right labeled My Story.  I hope that my sharing of my story is helpful, encouraging, informative, or at least entertaining for you.  Please feel free to comment or contact me at the e-mail address below.  Thanks!

Timeframe: Fall, 1996

Angela and I made plans to meet at her parents’ house for lunch one day.  I was too nervous to meet her on campus, and we knew that no one would be home at her house if we met in the middle of the day.  I picked up lunch for both of us from McDonald’s.  As we sat, unpacking our food across from each other at the kitchen table, Angela looked up at me and asked me what was going on.  She could tell that I was anxious.  

As I looked up at her, her face became even more concerned.  I was so nervous that I figured most of my lunch was just going to end up in the trash.  I didn’t see any way that I was going to be able to eat anything.  

I danced around the subject for a few minutes.  I had intentionally scheduled our conversation like this so that I couldn’t back out of it.  I needed to tell her that God had set me free from my homosexuality, but I was also terrified that it would change things.

When I finally got the words out, she began to cry.  One of the things that had convinced me that my being gay was indeed a spiritual attack was that I had engaged in same-sex sexual encounters with other children as I grew up.  What I now know to be normal childhood experimentation engaged in by many children, even the straight ones, was something that I had convinced myself was a foundational building block in me being gay.  Angela, an early childhood education major was visibly moved at the idea of a someone being sexualized so young.  

I’ve gone back and attempted to analyze my feelings and motives during this conversation.  I know that fear of rejection was in the mix.  There was also a bit of selfishness.  I craved her sympathy.  Angela seemed to see my confession and my revelation what I believed to be God’s healing as courageous and even heroic.  For the kid in the corner who had never know what it was like to score the winning point in a sporting competition or attend any of his high school Prom or Homecoming dances because he didn’t see himself as attractive or as having any chance at getting a date, it felt good to be seen as a hero.  This craving led me to portray this innocent experimental encounters as incidents of molestation and victimization.  I know that I didn’t have any conscious intent of being deceptive at the time, but I know, in retrospect, that I was.

As the end of our time was approaching and Angela was going to have to head to class, and I was going to have to head to work, she threw me a curve that I was not expecting.  She told me that I needed to tell Pastor Rob.  Any excitement that I was feeling quickly left me.  Dread filled my body from head to toe.  She couldn’t be serious.  It was terrifying enough for me to tell her.  How could I go and say these things to him?  He was such an intimidating presence.  He seemed to literally walk in a cloud of God’s judgement. 

I told Angela that I would think about it.  I told her that I didn’t even know how to get time with him.  I certainly didn’t want to tell him during a church service.  Angela told me to just call the office and tell the secretary that I needed to set up an appointment.  I protested, asking what I said if they asked me what it was about.  She assured me that they wouldn’t.

As we left Angela’s parents’ house that day, I was elated by my conversation with her, but I was even more terrified at the prospect of having a conversation with Pastor Rob.  As the day went on, I reminded myself that I had been terrified to tell Angela, and that had gone amazingly well.  I hoped that I would be surprised by Pastor Rob as well.  The next morning, I picked up the phone and made the call.

- Culbs

© Joshua Culbertson 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment