Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Response: Connecting With Other Men with SSA

In response to Summary Reflections #3, a brother emailed me and asked: "But---could you clarify what you mean by "connecting" with other men with SSA? And... does that include me?"

Below is my response to him.

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Until a couple of weeks ago, I spent a good amount of time relating to men with SSA online. These are men such as yourself: Christian and wanting to change. I received something from these interactions although I am not quite sure what. An affirmation of my own change experience perhaps? A felt need to connect with other men who have experienced change so that my own experience does not feel quite so strange?

Anyway, let me answer your question by stating what I have learned over the last two months interacting with other men with SSA.

(1) Not everyone [read: Christian] is interested in experiencing change out of homosexual desires; some disbelieve me outright that this change is possible despite my constant ranting. Many seemed to prefer to argue and debate rather than to really try to understand what I am talking about.

(2) Not everyone cares to connect intimately. Some dissuade me from doing so--not healthy, they say, even though I keep telling them that what I am talking about is not sexual intimacy, and that it is precisely this kind of intimacy (vulnerable, physical, and non-sexual) with a straight, Godly man that has led to my healing.

(3) A small handful, like yourself and Rob Turner (The Architect's Garage) for instance, have stayed connected in a serious and committed way. And I have found it really rich and rewarding to be interacting with you folks.

(4) I started to notice that the same things were being uttered in blogs and online groups over and over again that I started to tire of engaging in the conversations. At first, I was very excited to get others to come take at look at this impossible pot-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow that I've found, but after a while (and after encountering many jaded responses) my excitement waned.

(5) I was spending so much time connecting with SSA men that I was sidelining my own work and family, not to mention my personal time with God. I decided to cut back, and when I did, I discovered that I was not missing the interactions, and my SSsA did not come back. My relationship with Brother A (and the small handful of other brothers) continues to deepen in intimacy and mutuality that these alone are enough to sustain my need for genuine and intimate connection with men.

At this point, I find myself with little desire to pursue other men with SSA for deepening intimate fellowship. The small handful of men that I'm already connected to (including you) is more than enough. This is not to say that I will not open myself to befriending those who want to befriend me. The point is, I will not chase after them any longer to try to offer them hope.

I think that's healthy for me.

I'm moving on with my very straight man-life. And I like it, a lot. I am looking forward to meeting some new friends, (...) but I am not interested in trying to convince anyone that change is possible. Maybe later, if God calls me to write a book or something. For now, I just want to live my very straight man-life and be fully present for all of its mundane ups and downs.

Last word: YOU are precious to God, and precious to me. I am glad you are in my life, and I look forward to connecting with you with increasing depth and godly intimacy.

12 comments:

  1. Well, like I said elsewhere I am sorry you thought that the SSA blogosphere was about convincing gays of the veracity of your testimony.

    What about the Christians who struggle with this?
    Do you think you are responsible for helping them in any way?

    Or have you now "got mines" and are now "outta here"?

    It's like this:

    You come out of a very poor neighborhood and become successful.

    Some of the poor in your former neighborhood with no ambition snipe at you and say that although you have money you have no pedigree so what are you "pretending" for?

    So you retort that at the end of the day you're rich and they're not: "I won't be back here again to argue with you! I have to pack for my yearly family vacation to Mustique!"

    And then you jet off and never think about anyone in your old village again. After all why should you? You are rich. You're not like them anymore...

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  2. Are you going to Exodus?

    Just read your last 3 posts.
    I'm happy to hear your "need" for connection with SSA guys has stabalized. I can remember wanting so desperately to connect with my fellow strugglers. Praise God that has passed. That need is no longer there, but now I have a desire to help...to disciple. Same same, but very different.
    Like you said, God may lead you to write a book or have some type of "ministry", but I imagine it'll feel very different. And that's a good thing.

    Personally, I hope you would do quarterly check-in's/summaries. I don't know what the future holds for you, but I'm sure you'll have more subtle things come up. And it would be interesting to follow/see a glimps of your journey.

    Take care my friend.

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  3. A Friend: So, tell me what you think I should do, aside from what you said in your comment on my previous post? (Because my "testimony" is pretty clear here on this blog and open to the world to read.) And what are you personally interested in getting from me?

    Daniel: I am going. But like I said, I'm less interested in all the content than I am in meeting specific people and spending a lot of time in intimate fellowship with them. I am open to whatever God will show me from the week there. I guess I do have a desire to help, but only those who are "ready" to be helped. I don't have the energy to try to convince those are are not ready, at least not until some things are wrapped up with my work here.

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  4. TC,

    I think with most things, it's hard to help someone who doesn't want help. So I agree, it's good to focus our efforts. And I'm also not doing the porject you're currently doing...and very thankful I'm not :)

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  5. "I was spending so much time connecting with SSA men that I was sidelining my own work and family, not to mention my personal time with God. I decided to cut back, and when I did, I discovered that I was not missing the interactions, and my SSsA did not come back"

    This is one of the reasons why I think it's unwise for us to connect... I don't want to take you away from God and your wife. They're your priority. Brother K.

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  6. Sorry if I sounded angry; that was not my intention. It just sounded to me like you were saying: "Peace out!" to everyone now that you have gotten what you (and they) always wanted.

    I won't tell you to write a book, but maybe God can inspire you to do so. I will pray about that.

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  7. A Friend: On the contrary, I think God spoke to me through your comments. I could not stop thinking about them all week.

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  8. I was told too that I should write a book on SSA. I'm not sure I could!

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  9. GP: After attending the Exodus conference, I have a better sense of what areas might still need further coverage. It's amazing how much top-quality work is being done on SSA these days. Top quality!

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  10. TCM, I wonder what your feeling is on reaching the "missing" now? I had been completely adamant to God about my unwillingness to share my struggle in ways that could get back to former churches I worked with and such. And that I just wanted to "fix" this and move on. It seems like God may have other plans on this subject (for me)...

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  11. n'Process:

    It was illuminating to me that the tears I shed at the conference were all tears for those still in the thick of the struggle as well as those who are missing. I'm reluctantly (but obediently) trying to decipher God's will on this matter. When I get some time, will blog about it.

    Were you are Nicolosi's morning workshop?

    Let's talk via email - see my profile for email address (will be open only for a couple of days just for you).

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