October 19, 1994 – Wednesday – 7:15 a.m.

Today is the day I will leave for a little while.  We will come back Sunday.

This is my home now.  I no longer live in Mt. Vernon Springs; that is only where I am from.

We are leaving at 12:30.  It takes about eight hours.  Jeni has so much planned for the two of us to do together.  One night, we’re suppose to go to her old youth pastor’s house to watch a few movies.

She is so special.

Now I see why many things have not happened in my life yet.  It was because I needed her to be there when they did.

And I can honestly say that our relationship would not be as great if I had met her back home.

The Bible says that a man must leave his parents and search for a mate.  I can’t wait until Pastor Steve meets her.

Again Lord, I thank you for her.  And for this morning.  Lord, I thank you for everything.

October 18, 1994 – Tuesday – 11:56 p.m.

Tonight Jeni and I plus Tracey and Jackie went to Sharon’s house for a Bible Study.  I can tell you now that that family will have a great effect on my life.  Sharon’s little girl Hannah is so adorable.  And the middle child Laura is so sweet.  She is a freshman in high school.  We all just talked about everything under the sun.

Thank you for them Lord.

Tomorrow I will go to Ohio.  Two other guys are driving with us.  We will drop them off somewhere near Cincinnati.

Hopefully I’ll get to know Jeni a lot better during these next few days.

Keep us safe Lord.

October 18, 1994 – Tuesday – 4:30 p.m.

I just got off the phone with Jenna and Tenielle.  They are still wonderful and they are still my friends.  I can’t wait until I see them again and I can’t wait for them to meet Jeni.  I’m so proud of who she is.

Back home, everything was so wishy-washy.  I was never sure of anything.  Here, I am who God created me to be.

I was watching Jeni today; she was wearing these short jean shorts.  Her legs are so long and smooth and graceful.  I watched her walk around her room as she cleaned things up.  Then it hit me… I am hers and she is mine.

She let’s me know how important I am to her everyday.  She comforts me and kisses me.

She is the only girl I have ever kissed.  I’m glad about that too.  It will satisfy me greatly to simply know that she has been the only girl I have ever kissed throughout my life.

She treats me with respect and only speaks the truth.  She wants our relationship to be pure.  She wants to stay with me.  She encourages me in my desire to act and make movies.  She tells me about all the people back home who she wants to show me off to.  Her parents think I’m great and her niece and nephew to do.  She trusts me.  She let’s me get so close to her.  She touches my face and rubs my back.  She kisses my ear and my neck.  She tells me about things she needs prayer for and she prays for me every day.

God, you have given Jeni to me.  And I thank you.  She is more wonderful than I could ever have imagined.

Thank you for sending me to Banner Elk.  Show me how to serve you more.  All I do is for you.

I love you Lord.  I worship you .  I thank you.

October 17, 1994 – Monday – 4:40 p.m.

I have been 18-years-old for two months.  And boy what a time I have had.  This past month has been one of the happiest times of my life.

I did well on my midterms this morning.

Afterwards, I washed my clothes.  Rachel was in there just finishing up her laundry.  When she took her clothes up to her room she saw Jeni coming back from dance rehearsal.  She told her I was down there and Jeni came to the laundry room; it’s in the basement of her dorm anyway.  While my clothes were drying we went up to her room.  I had seen her off and on all morning, but for some reason I missed her very much.  I sat down and she immediately sat on my lap.  And we kissed each other for about 45 minutes.  Our kisses feel so pure and just and righteous.  I’m not kissing her to make me feel good, I’m kissing her to let her know how much I care about her.

She smiled and said “Goodness Jacob, if you’re this cuddly now, I can’t wait to see how you are after I get back from tour.”

She goes on a dance theater tour for one week beginning on the 30th of October.

It’s time for dinner.

Goodbye.

October 16, 1994 – Sunday – 1:20 a.m.

I have finally found my dream girl.

Her name is Jeni and she is amazing.

Tonight after watching some of the homecoming games and watching a video with Derek and Becky, Jeni and I were playing on her bed, cuddling and kissing (Tracey was out), and then after a while there was a look on her face.  I asked her what was on her mind.  To sum it all up, there was something she had been needing to tell me, but she had been putting it off.  She said she would tell me, but she couldn’t look at me.  She told me that with her past boyfriend Craig, something happened with their relationship.  One evening, they went a little too far physically, but she is still a virgin.  I’m not entirely sure what that means, but she wishes it never happened and she always knew if there was a guy in her life that she cared about greatly again, he should know.

She was afraid I wouldn’t want to see her anymore.  It shocked me, but it is the past.  I told her it was okay and that I forgave her and that the Lord had forgiven her.

Then we talked about us.  I told her that I enjoy being close to her and kissing her, but that I enjoy getting to know her by talking to her even more.  She agreed and for the rest of the evening we talked about a few things, but eventually we just affirmed each other.  I told her that I didn’t want to get any closer to her physically.  She felt the same way and we just kept telling each other how wonderful we thought the other person was.

Then we prayed for the Lord to help us grow closer together through him.  I love praying with her.

Then Jeni said, “You’re making this so easy.”

“Easy for what?” I asked.

“For me to fall completely in love with you.”

October 14, 1994 – Friday – 2:20 p.m.

Things are sort of okay.

Our performance of the Of Mice and Men scene went great this morning.  People said it was the best.

I led the Bible study last night.  Everyone said they loved it.  After it was over, Jeni and I went to the studio, she wanted to dance alone.  I watched her.  She has the most beautiful body.

Today however, has been rough, and I can sum it up in two words: spiritual warfare.

It seems that people in the Bible Study are being attacked.  Charlie and Jason and Olivia have been taking crap from non-Christians on campus.  Jeni and I have been hearing stuff that isn’t true about our relationship.  It seems like the devil is trying to bog us down.  But I’m not going to let him.

My roommate is gone for the weekend.  Homecoming is this weekend.

Fall Break begins Wednesday.

I have four tests on Monday.

Truthfully, I want to get away from here for a little while and spend time with Jeni and her family in a place very far away.

October 11, 1994 – Tuesday – 3:15 p.m.

Do you know what happened a year ago today?  It has been one year since I first visited Lees-McRae and saw its beauty for the first time.

stone_buildings_lees_mcrae_college_4s1e300a_1024x1024

The college is even more beautiful to me now.

In that entry one year ago, I wrote the following: I wonder if there will be a girl up at Lees-McRae whom I’ll think about like I think about Ryan.

It has happened.

The dawn is breaking.

The sun has set.

The memory has faded.

Yet the past year has still existed.  The night I saw Les Miserables and the 3rd of November.  The night I saw The Sound of Music and the night at Mr. Gatti’s with Tenielle.  The hayride in the cold and Christmas day.  Seeing the dead grass on January 15th, 1994.  The problems with Marcus, Scott, and Cheryl.  Monday, February 7th and U & I.  My trip alone to Southern Pines and Hank saying I could date Christi.  The DC Talk concert and The Imperials.  Christian Skate Nights.  The flower that I wanted so desperately to grow on March 17th did finally grow, just not over the summer.

Then there was the day I saw Schindler’s List and the day I saved the whole world.  Then there was April 10th and I was right, this land is flowing with Milk and I am again saving the world.

I am here.

Here after Carowinds on April 30th and my graduation on June 10th.

It is true, I will probably never see Renee smile again and I did leave calmly like a dove.

My dad still broke my heart, but I still love him.  I met only one guy at orientation, but now I am a friend to dozens of guys and girls.  I saw my self in The Lion King.

Deep Creek

Fishnet.

My birthday.

The storm.

Winter Dreams have passed.

I am flying now.

Jeni gave me a letter today:

Dear Jacob,

It was nice getting to talk to you on the phone tonight (even though it was cut short).  I guess I didn’t realize at first just how little we actually got to talk over the past few weeks.  I want you to know how much I appreciate you.  I know that I’m not always generous with letting you know how I feel.  You know, when I first really met you that night in Hayes (when we were putting the dance floor down), all I really knew about you was that you have been to FCA once, but I didn’t know how committed to Christ you were.  Somehow though, I had a feeling you really knew Jesus.  I could say it was that you were singing Christian music, but it really wasn’t that.  I could tell by your kind, caring smile and your clear eyes.  I could see that you knew the “truth” just by the way you looked at me.  I guess that’s why I can’t stop looking at you; your eyes represent truth, kindness, gentleness, and the love of Christ.  Sometimes I am so amazed by God in the way he works and answers prayers.  First he brings me Tracey, but then he brings me you.  You have no idea how thankful I am.  I was so used to having a close family of Christians and if it weren’t for you, Tracey, and Rachel, I would be so homesick.

There’s more though!  All of the little things you do for me.  The kindness, the gentleness, and just the way you treat me.  You’re just great!  You know, I’m so glad I fell in the creek.  Well actually, I’m more thankful for the walk back afterwards.

I just wanted to let you know how much I think of you and why I love you so much.

Love in Christ,

Jeni

The Canon has moved up a step and now Lord I ask you, only if it is your will, to stop it.

May this be the final note.  May this note ring in my ears forever.

There is something which I feel I should say, but it seems with Jeni’s last line, she has already taken the words straight from my young heart.

October 9, 1994 – Sunday – 11:05 p.m.

Today was great, but it had one small bad part.

But before today was yesterday.  Jeni and I ate lunch with Tracey and other girls yesterday.  Her parents arrived around 2:00 p.m.  Well truthfully, it was only her mom, sister, and her sister’s two kids.  They were really wonderful.  I like them a lot.  And Jeni told me that they said they really like me a lot.  We went to the horse stables yesterday so Paige, Jeni’s niece, could ride a horse.  She is 6- or 7-years old.  I enjoyed myself.

The play went well that night and we all ate breakfast together this morning.  I got to know them all a lot better.  Lisa and her family go to an Assemblies of God church.  It’s neat.

We all went to church together.  The sermon was great.  At the end, after we had had communion, I was holding Jeni’s hand and Jeni was holding Paige’s hand.  A teenage girl was playing a beautiful melody on the piano.  And at that moment, I can honestly say, I’ve don’t believe I’ve ever been happier.  I looked around and saw Charlie and Kristi, plus Olivia and Jason (another guy from my dorm that just started going to church with us).  I remembered the view on the way to church with all of the colored leaves spreading across the mountain sides.  I thought of all my friends back home and the time we had that scavenger hunt at Kiwanis Park.  I thought of Jonathan and our adventure to Deep Creek, plus all of my other Deep Creek trips.  Then I thought about earlier yesterday when I looked at the photo album Jeni’s mom had brought down.  It had pictures from Jeni’s freshman year in high school.  Her hair was blonde and she looked very different.  She was beautiful.

Then, while we were at church I looked over at her and I realized how much she means to me and that I was holding the hand of one of the most beautiful girls on the planet.  I thought of how far I had come and what my dreams were.  I thought of the love of Jesus.  I thought of the piano melody and at that moment I knew… I knew who I was.

I looked around at my surroundings, as though I was seeing it all through the lens of a movie camera.  And that has been the happiest moment of my life so far.

I met my mom after church.  We went to the Sunday School Lunch.  The only people who came were my mom and Kevin.  Marcus, Jenna, and Tenielle didn’t come, but I wasn’t that disappointed.

Jeni’s parents had to leave.  My mom and Kevin stayed.  They enjoyed the show greatly and Kevin talked to Tracey a little bit, then they left.  After Jeni and I ate dinner and we had to strike the set.  It was fun, but somebody said something to Jeni.  A very vulgar girl said that Jeni and I were always all over each other.  Truthfully, she simply sits on my lap between scenes.  She doesn’t kiss me, because she can’t stand the goatee.  Anyway, it really got to Jeni because she felt like she wasn’t being a good witness.

We talked and prayed about it and we’re okay now.  She is my prayer partner.

And Lord I ask you to pull us together so closely that our souls recognize the other so distinctly.

Thank you for true happiness.

October 8, 1994 – Saturday – 9:35 a.m.

Guess what…Cheryl, Ryan, Christi and Amy didn’t come last night.  I called them and they said that Ryan’s dad wouldn’t let her drive three hours there and three hours back just to see a play.  Oh well.

Last night was our best performance so far.  After the performance, Jeni and I, plus Rachel, Mary, Tracey, and Lu Lu watched The Little Mermaid in Mary’s room.  You know, I just realized that I don’t really hang around with guys that much.  Charlie is the only one.  I only see James at performances.  It was the same way back home in a way.

. . .

I just called Jonathan.  I finally got in touch with him.  His fall break is next week.  He says he might come see me.  He says he is having bad luck with girls.  I told him about Jeni and he couldn’t believe it.  No one can.

Jeni’s mom, sister, nephew, and niece are coming today.  She is so excited.  I am too.

I am so happy here.  The praise goes to God!

Cheryl seems upset that I’m not coming home for fall break.  I’m not sure why.

Jeni and I are getting so close.  I can really trust her with things.

I remember this summer when Jonathan and I went to Deep Creek.  I feel like crying.  I can’t have everything at once.  All of my joys are spread throughout my entire life.  And the new joy of Jeni’s family will begin today.  And then my family and friends come tomorrow.  I might see Jonathan in a week, and then Ohio.

I’m on this great adventure that will take me so many places.  It will also take me to my only destination.  We will all gather at the crystal throne.  And Veronica, Jonathan, Kevin, Marcus, Charlie, Jenna, Tenielle, Amy, Ryan, Christi, Cheryl, Scott, Tracey, Kristi, Glenda, and Jeni will be there with me.