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May 12 • Campy Challenge

Day 673


I was an unusually tall thirteen-year-old attending a week of Junior High church camp in Upper East Tennessee. I was ‘camp-dating’ two lovely young ladies, often with one on either arm while we sang Kumbaya around the campfire just before a prayer and the distant shrills of Taps would send us all to our separate bunks. I walked the girls as close to their cabins as I was allowed, then headed across the main common area toward my sleeping bag. Instead of turning in, I stopped and plopped myself on a picnic table, staring up at a blanket of stars and feeling lost. The sexual thoughts in my head were winning, and they were not good thoughts by any measurement of what a good person should be thinking. A camp counselor wandered by and sat down on the bench around midnight and inquired about my inverted prostrate position. I started opening up and talking about things I’d never told anyone, and we were still there when the sun came up. His words were encouraging, even if a bit naive, based on what I know now. He assured me that my brain was just the same as every other teenage boy's. I don’t remember whether or not I told him that the fantasies I was having were not new. The only thing I noticed that was different was the female form of girls my age was changing dramatically and causing a distinct escalation in my hormonal wars. The next day, as was the custom, the camp ended with a service of consecration for new decisions. I was moved and felt like I had a new grip on dealing with my thoughts, so I went forward and dedicated myself to a life of Christian service. The song that was playing was I Surrender All, the same song that was playing six years before as I went forward to be baptized. Three years later, with not much difference in my ubiquitous fantasies (except they now were based in the head of a fully physically functioning male body), I went again forward after a particularly convicting Sunday morning sermon preached by my father. I re-dedicated my life, adding full-time to the 'Christian service' commitment, in hopes it would help me control what seemed out of control. And yes, the invitation hymn that day was I Surrender All. Nine hundred fifty-seven days ago, I darkened the door of a sex addicts' meeting in the middle of Missouri while on a business trip. It was my first step in coming to terms with what I had become, and maybe what I had always been. One of the first words that caught my attention that night was surrender, and how the guys there focused on the need to be willing to let it all go. I’m beginning to believe my Higher Power is bringing out the 2x4s up side of my head about what may be required of me. I’m listening, but I’m not yet surrendering all. Perhaps I never will, but I bet I’m better at it in the future than I have been in the past. For right now, I’ll be content to be the best surrenderer I can be today.


–JR

 

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