January 11, 1995 – Wednesday – 11:45 p.m.

Where shall I begin?

First of all, let me tell you where I am, for I am pretty sure I will never be in this exact spot ever again.

I am in Albany, Georgia, on the grounds of Sherwood Baptist Church.  At this moment I am sitting at a picnic table writing by a small flashlight that Charlie has let me borrow.

It is very warm out tonight.  Well, at least compared to places like Banner Elk and Cincinnati.

Now, about yesterday…to sum it up Jeni and I are a little upset.  People have been giving us a hard time about how close we are.  They pick on us and say things like, “Should we count Jeni and Jacob as one person or two?”

It really began to annoy us.

Then last night Charlie mentions it to me.  He says that we offend him and other people when we kiss in public.

I laughed and said, “Is everyone so perverted that they can’t stand the sight of two people kissing?”  I just didn’t understand and it made Jeni angry when I told her.  We both felt like our private relationship was being intruded upon and judged.

So Charlie and I had a long talk.  But before this talk every little thing got to me.  I got hurt when people picked on me and joked around with me.  It just seemed like the whole world was against me.  So I let it all go by talking to Charlie.  This was eventually the result of our conversation:

He says that I need to conform to how society and the world around me works and thinks in order to please them and make myself look good.  I said that it is the rest of the world that is messed up and wrong.  Jeni and I just see those things as innocent and beautiful displays of our affection for each other.  After talking for a while, Charlie eventually came to the conclusion that I was right.  He said that he used to see things the way I did, but now his heart has been hardened because he has seen many of his friends get close to someone else, have sex and it totally tear both of them apart.  Now, simple kisses appear dirty to him and it tears him up inside.  He encouraged me to never lose my purity and innocence by seeing things the way that he does now.

So, we are okay.

I talked to Jeni and said that what Charlie said had some truth, so we should sacrifice a little just to make the people around us a little more comfortable.  But it is really just to shut Charlie up so he doesn’t continue to embarrass us.  Jeni believes that only Charlie feels this way and that he is jealous of our relationship.

I don’t know what to think, but hopefully it is over.

Tonight we went to a church service at a local church.  I enjoyed it.  Afterwards a few of us went to the movies.  Some saw Richie Rich, but Jeni and I went to see Little Women.  I thought it was completely wonderful and absolutely precious and pure.  There was no sex, nudity, violence or cursing at all.  I loved it!  Jeni and I both cried.

Being alone together inside that theater, we realized how much we had missed each other these past few days.

I really do love her.

It drives me crazy!

With Veronica and Ryan, that romantic love was simply a small chill or feeling.  I thought it was love, but it wasn’t.  With Jeni, it is a knowing.  My whole body knows that I love her and my body knows when she is near.

Yet still, I want to learn more about her.  I want to know when to laugh and when to cry.  I want to know when to smile and when not to smile.  I want to know every little thing that makes her work.

I want to make a great husband.  More than film, I have a greater desire to learn about Jeni, because if there is one thing I’m good at, it is loving her.

So there it is.  A harsh day, but a great ending and I learned so much.

I am lending my hands to those in great need.  I enjoy it.  It makes me feel good knowing I am doing something.  I feel more like me than I ever have before.  Yes, there are times when I reflect on the past.  I still do think of Jenna, Tenielle, Christi, Ryan, and Veronica.  Those days are missed, but they are still forever gone.

Here is me.

I am who I am.

I don’t have a problem with myself.

I feel secure.

Some days are good and some days are bad.  There are times when it hurts.  There are times when I am confused and unsure.  There are times when I doubt.

But with that there are also times of joy.

I enjoy who I am.

I enjoy my personality.

But there are also times when I don’t.

Lord, sometimes it hurts just to be me.  At time it is hard to be me.  There are times when I am scared.

Yet I continue.

To praise you.

To do your will.

To love your creation.

To be me, the only one like me that you have created.

Thank you Lord for teaching me how to be me.

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