August 19, 1996 – Monday – 11:11 a.m.

Dan came in yesterday afternoon.  It was so great to see him.  We were all so excited.  He brings so much joy to all of us.

Allen and I had to go to a new student meeting and then Dan’s mom and dad took us all out to eat at The Tartan.  We visited Charlie’s house and watched The Net on HBO.  Vince and I got up early this morning to go to Boone.  We bought some supplies for life.  And now I’m simply taking it easy before classes start.

For Fall Break, it appears we are going to Kate’s house in Tampa, Florida.

For Thanksgiving, I’m going with Vince to New York.

For Christmas, I’ll more than likely go home to work, but I might take some sort of trip.

For now, I’m not sure about Spring Break.

Well…here we go…my Junior year is beginning.

August 18, 1996 – Sunday – 11:20 a.m.

Jonathan turns 20 today.  But I’m not even sure if he is still alive.

I wasn’t able to go to church, I have to stay here and check people in.  Vince and Curtis pulled in last night.  It was great to see them.  We went to Macado’s.  They took me out to eat for my birthday.  We had fun, but Curtis was acting extremely cocky and annoying.  It was as if he owned the world and had the right to judge everyone, even people he didn’t even know.

So, I talked to him.  We talked deeply until 2:00 a.m.  I feel sorry for him.  He’s a great guy, but he doesn’t know who he is so he lives his life by looking down on other people and he agreed with me on that.

He left this morning to drive down to Atlanta and get more of his stuff.  Hopefully the five hour drive will give him time to think.

Dan will hopefully arrive by tomorrow.

I want classes to start and for a new show to start.  I want to meet new people and be so busy that I don’t have time to think.

August 17, 1996 – Saturday – 6:50 p.m.

New students arrived today.  Some anyway.  Beautiful faces.  Longing souls.

I was one of them.

Brand new.

Who are they?

Who am I?

Sharon invited me over this morning.  She baked me a pie and ordered Braveheart for me since it will soon be available to own on VHS; the greatest gift.

The evening is here.

I am 20 years old and alone.

Things are changing, but my room looks exactly the same as last year.

A thought passed my mind today while I was over at Sharon’s and it hasn’t left my mind.  What if, when I graduated from LMC, perhaps I was given a job, say in the Admissions office full time, and made enough to survive and be happy and make a good living, and was also given the opportunity to live at the Snowflake Inn on Sharon and Bob’s property, and be near to that family and slowly grow closer to Laura and become her lover forever and live so happily always next to that family and Heaton Christian Church,… would I take it?  Would I live that life, never having the opportunity to do theater, or to be a filmmaker and worship the Lord and minister to others through my art…would I?  Could I?

It’s raining now.  Millions of drops of nourishment pounding its way through the grass, into the ground, giving it life and meaning and purpose.

Giving it purpose.  Giving it meaning.

A destiny…of helping other flowers to grow.

Although I truly hate to say it.  The answer is no.  I wouldn’t be able to.  I don’t think I’ve ever loved anything deeper than I now love this land and it’s people, but there is a deeper fire within me; calling me elsewhere.

But in the meantime…I am here.  Oh God, and I’m afraid to admit that I know why.

But why me?

I am nothing.

. . .

When my appointment comes near,

The ticking clock should I fear,

Or loved ones left behind.

When the time comes near,

Whose voice will I hear,

Speaking of love so kind.

When life can no longer live,

And death longs to give

Its entrance to fulfilling eternity,

What words did I not say?

What debts did I not pay?

Whose lives did I not kiss?

Oh dear God, Oh dear God!

There is a world that needs to be saved.

No matter what it takes, use me.

Use me, for all of my days.

August 17, 1996 – Saturday – 1:10 a.m.

My birthday.

I got my hair cut this morning.  Then went to some RA training workshops.  I put the name tags up on my hall.  There was a picnic for the RAs that evening.  And then that night Debbie and I went to see Courage Under Fire.  Actually, I guess it’s still tonight.  We’ve been talking a lot.  She seems cool.  She likes movies a lot, so we get along great.

We went to Wildcat Lake and talked for close to an hour on the swings.

We just got back.

And I am now twenty.

I never thought I would actually make it this far, but here I am.

I looked ahead in Rebecca St. James devotional book today and found a letter she had written to her future husband.  She told him, not knowing really who he is, that she loves him already and is saving herself for him.

This blessed my soul, for I too am a virgin.  Sure, there were moments where Jeni and I went a little too far, so I can’t say I’m completely innocent, but Jesus was there, protecting us from going any further.  I learned from those moments and I am moving on.

A new decade of my life begins.

I asked for someone who would simply like to watch a movie with me.  Debbie is here and I am thankful.

But to my future wife I write:  “I will stay faithful to you, even before we meet.  I love you already.”

August 13, 1996 – Tuesday – 2:30 p.m.

Yesterday was my last day of summer theater, my last day at the box office, and simply the last day of the summer of 1996 for me.

Sure it will still be warm, but RA training starts today.  The school year has begun.  I consider it the fall.

Leonard helped me in the box office.  We were busy for a while.  Sharon and a friend came to the show last night.  She enjoyed it greatly.  She knows about my birthday this weekend and wants to throw me a party.  I am very busy though, so I hope we have time.

Crazy for You has been a wonderful show.  I ran the light board and felt like I was a part of the magic.  It was kind of sad to see it close.  I hugged most of the cast and crew last night.  I met so many people I will most likely not see again.  The wind will blow over them and they will be gone.

Dawn came to the show last night.  After strike, Allen and I met up with her and her friend Debbie.  We all went over to Tony’s house and watched Casper while I took care of Balki.  All four of us just squeezed onto the guest bed to watch it.  Debbie fell asleep and Dawn cried.  And I was simply happy to be that close to a girl who at one point in my life so graciously satisfied my hunger and thirst.

How strange life has become.

How remarkably terrifying.

But God is behind me.

He is for me.

So who can be against me?

Another summer.  A different one.

Day is light that lets you see the world as if flies by in front of you.

By now, I should have learned my lesson.

I need to stop and try to let go.

But instead, I reflect, remember, and fall in love with my memories.

Soon the day will come, when I can no longer remember.

And then, I shall fly away to heaven.

August 12, 1996 – Monday – 9:50 a.m.

Church was so great yesterday; a message about life and how to live it to its fullest

I live for more than me.

I went to usher and run lights for the shows yesterday.  Allen and Laura ushered during the matinee showing.  Sharon sent some hamburgers with them since I would not have time for lunch.  She is the greatest!

Before the 8:00 p.m. show, I ran back to my room and there I saw three girls in the parking lot.  When they saw me, one of them said, “Hey Jacob!” and there she was.  She came to visit friends that she had made during orientation.  Her friend’s names were Shelby and Debbie.

I needed some extra ushers tonight, but neither of them wanted to, but Dawn did.  We ushered together and had fun.  She seems she could make a good friend.  Someone to laugh with.  That is all, but that is enough.

Last night, I stayed at Tony’s house and watched his dog Balki.  I had a good sleep.

The show closes tonight and the rest of the week consists of RA training.

Another year is beginning.

August 10, 1996 – Saturday – 11:55 p.m.

Psalm 103: 13-18

“As a father has compassion on his children, so The LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed.  He remembers that we are dust.  As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over and it is gone and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting, The Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children–with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”

I have so much to learn.

I am back in McAlister.

My parents came today.  Crazy for You has gone perfectly.

And I love the Lord Jesus Christ.

RA training begins Tuesday night.

My summer ends in three days.

I’m nearly two decades old.

And I love the Lord Jesus Christ.

August 8, 1996 – Thursday – 9:15 a.m.

My Psychology final exam is in 15 minutes.  I talked to my mom last night and they are going to come see Crazy for You on Saturday.  I move back into McAlister this weekend.

Curtis and Vince are going to Long Island tonight.  Allen will still be here.

I awoke early this morning.  A beautiful mist surrounded the mountains.

“He is exalted!

The King is exalted on high!

I will praise him!

He is the Lord.

Forever his truth shall reign.

Heaven and Earth rejoice in his holy name.

He is exalted!

The King is exalted on high!”

August 7, 1996 – Wednesday – 12:40 p.m.

Yesterday was my dad’s birthday.  He turned 46.  I sent him a card.

And also yesterday, I wrote a letter to Rebecca St. James and mailed it.  I might sound crazy, but she is a child of God, just like me, and I wanted to say thank you for her music and her writings.

I was in rehearsal until 1:30 this morning.  Crazy for You opens tomorrow.  My summer ends in six days.

It hasn’t felt like summer, but it is nevertheless.

Fishnet didn’t happen for me.

Deep Creek might not either.

I didn’t go to the movies as often, and Jonathan wasn’t around at all.  I wonder if Omneya is still at McDonald’s and if she misses me.

Oh well.  Six days left.  Most of my summer was spent in Hayes Auditorium.

Ten days until I’m 20.

Vince, Curtis, and I are making plans to stay at Vince’s house on Long Island during Thanksgiving Break to visit New York.

Then Christmas.

And soon…1997.