January 15, 1995 – Sunday – 9:00 a.m.

I am in my room at Lees-McRae College.

I have no electricity.

The power is out in McAlister Dorm, but not out over the entire campus.

We left from Albany, Georgia Saturday morning.  It rained the whole way home.  In fact, it rained in Banner Elk all day and parts of the region flooded.  So after a week doing flood relief work, we return to this.  Oh, the irony.

We were able to get to campus, but the road near the hospital was under water.  My dorm didn’t flood though.  Apart from the electricity, everything is okay here.

What was bad was that Jeni and I weren’t able to spend any time together.  Due to all the problems on campus, we had to go to our own dorms and stay there.

I miss her.

There is also a huge flood in California.

It seems like the whole world is falling apart.

Lord, your return is near.

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.

January 9, 1995 – Monday – 7:10 p.m.

It was a great day!

Jeni and I were assigned to the same house so we got to be around each other.  I swept, chipped paint and tile, plus some other stuff.  It was fun and felt great to know I was helping a family in need.

Jeni has been a little upset because whenever we are talking and someone walks by us or wants to sit next to us they say, “Oh sorry, am I interrupting something?”  They think just because we are a couple that everything we are doing is intimate and private and that we don’t want to be bothered.  Usually we are just talking and others are welcome to join in.  She doesn’t understand why everyone makes a big deal about it, but I just told her they were immature.

So the first day here was nice.  I pray the others will be as well.

January 8, 1995 – Sunday – 11:45 p.m.

I am in Albany, Georgia.

Just a day ago I was in Cincinnati, Ohio.

It has been a weird day.

For the trip here, Jeni and I were in the van with Charlie, Jason, Al, Chase, and some older people.

To sum things up:

Jason is not coming back to school next semester.  Jeni, being the loving and caring person she is, spent a lot of time talking to him and encouraging him.  I began to get a little jealous.  We talked about it and got things cleared away.  Mainly, I was upset with myself because I doubted the way she felt about me.

She told me about several times before when she was jealous of Lisa, Michelle, Ellen, and other girls because I had spent time talking with them.

It was nice to know we were protective of one another.

The trip was long but fun.  We are all sleeping in little cots spread out across a large room in this church.  The morning will come quick.

I will learn a lot this week.  Not just about hanging dry wall, but about life itself.

January 8, 1995 – Sunday – 12:58 a.m.

It is very early Sunday morning.  I am at Lees-McRae College!

Jeni and I got here around 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.  To me it is still Saturday.

The trip to Cincinnati was great.  Jeni and I had a lot of fun just being lazy and spending time together.  Here at Lees-McRae, I’m in my new room.  I’m on the other side of the room now, so I have a clear view of Sugar Mountain.

Jeni just left.  She helped me move in and arrange everything.  The two beds are together to make one larger bed.  Jeni loves it.  I still have a lit bit of organizing to do.

We leave in the morning to go to Albany, Georgia.

My Book of Days will go with me.

Charlie is here plus Jason and a lot of other great people.  It was great to see Tracey.

This week should be fun.  Jeni and I had a lot of fun on the drive down.  She was sad to leave her family, but that is expected.

We are so in love with each other.  It’s so great!

January 6, 1995 – Friday – 12:15 p.m.

It’s Friday.  This wonderful week is over.  Basically, I just spent a lot of time with Jeni.  While we are on the missions trip next week we probably won’t get to spend much time with each other.  We’re going to be really busy.

However, something did happen that is a little different.

The other day Jeni and I were in the basement of her house.  I was sitting down on the sofa down there and she came over and straddled her legs around my lap and started kissing me.  Yet, while we were kissing, I realized Jeni was slowly unbuttoning her shirt.  Jeni does not like to wear a bra.  She does every now and then, but she wasn’t this time.  So, I wasn’t quite sure why she was unbuttoning her shirt since we have often talked about how we want to keep ourselves pure until marriage and not get too close physically.  But what really shocked me was when she took hold of my head and placed it on one of her breasts.

So what was I to do?  She obviously wanted me to kiss and hold her there, so I did, but then her whole body just started to tremble and shake…it was all just too amazing.

So I said, “Jeni, what are we doing?”

“I don’t know,” she replied.

I buttoned her shirt back up and we talked.  I told her I didn’t want to hurt her or make her feel uncomfortable.  She said that I didn’t.  I embarrassed her when I said she had really nice breasts and we had a good laugh.

To sum it all up, Jeni is a touchy-feely person and she says she likes it when I touch and feel and hold her body.  She says it is how she experiences my love and affection for her.  She doesn’t mind.  In fact, she is literally asking me to.  I wasn’t sure how to handle this.  She asked me if it was wrong and I said that if we both feel uncomfortable it is wrong.  We know what we can handle and what we can’t handle in our personal physical relationship.

We both agreed that we can’t handle sex, because we simply know it is sin and not love when done outside of marriage.

So there it is.  My girlfriend is a very physical person.  I like that, but at times she is a little too much for me and I am uncomfortable, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that.  She has a beautiful body and now I can’t get it out of my mind.

It’s weird.  Growing up, I was always told that the guy was the aggressive one in relationships, and that girls were just desperately trying to keep themselves safe and pure.  Learning this, I made the decision to never be that guy because I wanted to love a woman, not hurt her or violate her.

I guess I never really knew women could experience sexual desires as strongly as men.

Lord, please give me wisdom to keep this relationship pure.

I love you Jeni.

January 2, 1995 – Monday – 11:55 p.m.

This is my first entry for 1995!

On the 31st of December, Dad and I drove to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia and met up with Jeni and her mom and dad.

We all ate lunch together at Shoney’s.

On the ride back to Cincinnati, Jeni and I simply held each other and slept most of the way.

It was good to see her again, hold her again, and kiss her again.

That night after midnight, during the first minutes of 1995, we opened each others Christmas gifts to each other.  She liked what I got her.  She even sort of cried.  I loved what she got me, some really nice clothes and an amazing winter coat.  I mean, this stuff must have cost hundreds of dollars.

Yesterday, we just spent time with each other doing different things.  We ate dinner at one of her grandmother’s house last night.

Today, we went to see Nell.  It was great!  Jodi Foster did an awesome job.

It’s good to be here in Cincinnati in 1995.

We leave Saturday, so I have a whole week here in this beautiful city with my beautiful girl.