September 20, 1997 – Saturday – 11:00 p.m.

I’m back home in Banner Elk.  Charlie and I stopped by my house in Mt. Vernon Springs.  I saw Nate, Marcus, and Peter.  We all went out to eat.  Peter is doing well; he just came home for the weekend.  Marcus seems to be himself, he’s losing his hair though.  But I guess that happens.

The house looked kinda different.  I felt distant, but also at home.  Hmm.  Memories flooded my mind, but that always happens.

Tons of people have come into my room right now.  It’s hard to write.  Since I’m the only one with an actual living room, it seems to be the hang out spot these days.  I’m gonna have to start getting up early just to have time to myself.

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September 20, 1997 – Saturday – 10:00 a.m.

Man.

I’m in Carrboro, NC right now.  It’s right next to Chapel Hill.  I came with Charlie and Justin on Thursday night.  Justin met up with an uncle and went on to Virginia Beach.  Charlie and I are staying at Matt’s, an old friend of Charlie’s.  We went out to eat and to a movie last night.  Earlier in the day yesterday I stopped by Henry’s workplace. It tickled him to death to see me.  We are going to stop by the house before we head back.  Hopefully I can meet up with Marcus.

I wrote Jessica a little note on Thursday and gave it to her.  It simply said that I thought a lot about her and I was glad she was here.

My senior year is going by way too fast.

September 17, 1997 – Wednesday – 11:10 a.m.

Life is good.  I’m directing now and I feel so much like me.  Vince and I had an awesome talk a couple of nights ago.  We stayed up until two in the morning.  What a dear friend!

I read Charlie my journal entry from September 14th.  When I got to the part about “missing Charlie and Kate together,” he told me he loved me.  I asked him why?  He said because he realized someone else felt his pain.

Sarah is a little under the weather.  I gave her a hug and said thanks for the card and she blew me a kiss.

I don’t know what to say.  I love God.  He loves me.  And he shows me how much he loves me everyday through other people.

September 16, 1997 – Tuesday – 10:50 p.m.

Wow!  Today was amazing!  I had rehearsal with Emily and Mason for my first scene in Directing class.  We did some exercises and Emily cried.  It was very moving.  I prayed with them and they told me later how awesome the experience was.  Then I ran into Sarah and she said she heard I was an awesome director.  She said she wishes she could have been in my scene.

And then she handed me a card and I nearly cried:

Dear Jacob, 

I know that this is a really “girlie” card, but it’s the thought that counts right?  Anyway, I’ve had a bit of trouble adjusting to my new life up here, but I am already so much better.  I wanted you to know that when you took time out to talk to me, it really meant more to me than you will ever be able to know.  There are moments in life, when even though we know God is there, that we feel utterly alone.  I had felt that way a lot since I’ve been up here.  That is, until I talked to you.  You are a very special person Jacob.  I know that you don’t need me to tell you that, but you are.  Thank you so much.  I hope that you don’t think I’m too weird.  I love ya.

Peace in Christ,

Sarah

September 15, 1997 – Monday – 12:10 a.m.

An interesting Sunday evening.  I went over to Tate Hall after church to try and shoot my T.A.G. target.  I stopped to visit Sarah, who came to church this morning, but while I was in her room Lesley came in and shot me.  Oh well, I’m out of this year’s game.

Sarah and I had an amazing talk.  She has such a big heart.  We talked for a while and she told me her story.  She said that God has given me a gift and that people feel comfortable, safe, and loved around me.  She said she felt so good after talking to me.

We talked for nearly an hour and a half.

I believe Vince and Laura have finally called it quits.  The two of them sure have gone through it.

I know I say this a lot, but September is already half over.

September 14, 1997 – Sunday – 1:00 p.m.

A Sunday afternoon.  Amy Grant is playing on my new stereo.  It is a warm day.  God is at work as usual.  Eddie and Natalie, two Performing Arts students, whom I thought were beyond reach, are now coming to church on a regular basis.  Two new Freshmen named Justin and Sarah have started coming as well.

A girl accepted the Lord and was baptized this morning in the river behind the church.  I watched the baptism with little Hannah.  She’s the sweetest little friend.  Jessica stood nearby.  She stood beautifully in her hiking boots and autumn outfit, her dark hair swirling down her back like million roller coasters.  She stood just high enough to peer over the chicken-wire fence, which protected the children from falling down the bluff to the river below.  And Shawna was with us today.  She showed us pictures of her backyard in New Mexico.  Amazing!

I think things are getting back to normal for Abigail and I.  At least I hope so.

I went to visit Tracey the other night.  She was in her bathrobe getting ready for bed.  We talked a little and she said that she didn’t see me around as much any more.

“Well,” I said, “That’s why I came down to see you.”

So weird to see her in that room without Jeni.

I called Jeni on her 21st birthday.  She said is was great to hear my voice.  She told me that Tracey, Ann-Marie, and Abigail all thought Sherlive and I were dating.  I told her that I did want that at one time, but instead Sherlive is my dear friend, who really seems to understand the way I see the world, and that in and of itself is a treasure.

Emily and I haven’t written or communicated since that time we shared the same time and place under the boardwalk in May.

Marisa and I still write though.  We also email each other.  I wonder if email will take over and keep people from writing handwritten letters.  I hope not.  Emily’s letters wouldn’t have changed my life if they were just typed letters on a screen.  I saw love in her handwriting.  Marisa and I actually just got off the phone.  We laughed back and forth.  She is so funny.  She says she’s coming up in three weeks.  I told her so many little details about my life recently.  Things I haven’t even shared with the guys.  I do miss her so much.  It’s so weird how this rebellious little 15-year-old brat turned out to be the sweetest girl in the world to me.  I told her when she arrived that I would hug her and never let go.

She screamed “Yes!”

A bunch of performing arts students are saying that Lindy and I would make a cute couple, but I’m actually starting to wonder if Lees-McRae holds the one for me.  It feels as though Lees-McRae is simply preparing me for the one God has for me.  But, to be fair, I guess everything that happens in my life from this point on will have happened because of Lees-McRae.

I miss Jonathan.  I miss Marcus, Danny, and Peter.  I miss Ryan, Amy, Christi, Cheryl, Jenna, and Tenielle.  I miss Veronica, her family and all the families from Sanford.  I miss my family, Nate, Mom, Henry, and Kevin.  I miss Alison’s smiles and Renee’s eyes.  I miss Mike’s laughter and Wynne, Grant, and Mark.  I miss Tim.  I miss Syndi.  I miss Pastor Steve and Shurby and Jason.  I miss my old room on the 2nd floor of McAlister.  I miss the railroad tracks.  I miss Tony and Lisa, Dana and Bradley, Lisa and Kenny.  I miss Kristin and Fishnet and Deep Creek.  I miss the shoes I can no longer wear, the pants I’ve grown out of, and the trees that have fallen down.  I miss Andrea.  I miss West Germany.  I miss that hospital in Columbus, Ohio.  I miss the comfort of my mother’s womb.

I miss touching Abigail’s face.  I miss Jeni’s lips.  I miss the stars above Tracey’s house.  I miss Ann-Marie’s laugh.  I miss Ben’s grin.  I miss Vince’s Jim Carrey quotes.  I miss Curtis singing country songs in his car.  I miss Allen’s farts.  I miss Sharon driving “our” truck.  I miss Jessica hiking beside me in the woods.  I miss Charlie and Kate together.

I miss Lees-McRae College.

I even miss Regent University and it is in the future.

I miss my wife.

I miss my children.

I miss my dead parents, now in heaven.

I miss earth.  I miss life.

But I’m here now and I’m thankful.

This side of heaven is simply me missing everything that I won’t have time to miss, when I’m face to face with Jesus.

September 13, 1997 – Saturday – 4:00 p.m.

I’m in Charlie’s newly bought Honda Accord.  I’m wearing new clothes and my bare feet are slightly covered with sand.  Dan is in front of me in the passenger’s seat.  Charlie is driving.

Hootie and The Blowfish just started playing on the radio, “Everytime I look at you, I go blind.”

We are in Savannah, Georgia.  We arrived here last night.  The three of us came to see an old friend of Charlie’s from LMC.  Last night we went bowling.  There was techno music playing and black lights everywhere.  The computer was messed up, so no matter what I bowled, it recorded it as a strike.

Today we went downtown and walked on River Street.  Savannah is a great city.  I was quite impressed.  After we ate at the 606 Cafe we went and walked on the beach.  We are on our way home now.  The drive down was hilarious, but those three hours of laughter can in no way be captured in these pages, so I shouldn’t even try.

Tennessee last weekend.

Georgia this weekend.

Who knows for next weekend.

I’ll be in Kentucky two weeks from now.

I’m just blowing around in the wind.  My time is running short.  I have less than eight months.  I need to get graduate school squared away.  And I need to spend some good quality time with my friends here.

This life is nothing short of amazing.  My goal is to have the most fun I can without sinning.