September 30, 1996 – Monday – 8:30 a.m.

The last day of September.

Yesterday was great!  Marta came to church with me.  She really enjoyed it.  The high school guys were very impressed with the beautiful woman by my side.

At lunch, I went over to talk with Abigail.  The sunlight shone through the windows and hit her eyes.  The color that bounced back into mine was like the leaves of the mountain sides of these recent autumn evenings.


Her eyes were orange, yet brown, yet they perfectly mixed together and, well it made me forget what I was going to say.  I can’t remember if I said anything at all, I just know that I must have left looking pretty stupid.

I videoed The Taffetas that afternoon.  She was there, singing beautifully.  She knows the power of the Holy Spirit and I find that so beautiful.

I called her last night to talk about some scripture I had read.

She is amazing.

Look at me.

September is already over.  Three months of 1996 remain.  It’s difficult for me to believe that I have ever known anything other than Banner Elk and Lees-McRae College.  It’s hard for me to believe there was ever a time where my journal was full of Ryan and Christi and Jenna and Tenielle.

I was never supposed to make it this far.

But here I am.

I trust in you Lord.


September 29, 1996 – Sunday – 8:30 a.m.

Yesterday, Kevin and I watched Braveheart while I covered duty for Derek.  We went out to Blowing Rock to have dinner that night.  It was just me, Kevin, Vince, and Curtis.

I went to rehearsal last night.  I got a lot accomplished, so it was good.  Allen and Ellen returned from the Billy Graham Crusade last night.  They got front row seats!  I was a little jealous.

I called Marta last night.  She is meeting me this morning to go to church.

God has been so good to me.  He lifts me higher and higher each day.

I long to love a woman.  To love her just a fraction of how much I love God would be a great victory in my life.  To simply learn to share my existence with someone else.  Can there be a greater challenge?

This morning while brushing my teeth in the bathroom, I thought of Abigail.  Then suddenly, the flickering fluorescent light above me popped into it’s full brightness.

I took it as a sign, but then immediately laughed out loud at myself.

Ahh, here I go again.

September 28, 1996 – Saturday – 9:30 a.m.

A rehearsal was called, so I couldn’t go to see Billy Graham.  I was sad, but my brother called me and said he was coming up to visit.  He got here around 8:00 p.m. last night.  Allen and Ellen went down to Charlotte for the crusade, but Vince and Curtis were over at Sharon’s.  So, Kevin, Dan, and I went over there.  It was nice to see Kevin hang out with my dear friends.

Two other amazing things happened yesterday.

Last week on Sunday, while we were eating breakfast before church, a girl was looking at me.  This girl’s name is Marta.  She is from Ukraine.  I was introduced to her at the beginning of the year and we usually say hi when we see each other.  But last week, she just kept looking at me, so I went over and chatted and asked her if she wanted to go to church with me.  She said no because she was working on a presentation.  She said maybe next time.

So Wednesday night I found her number and called her.  She didn’t recognize my name nor my voice and she can still barely understand English, so our conversation went nowhere.

But yesterday, Kim, our CSU sponsor came to breakfast with her two little boys Jonathan and Peter.  Peter is only four months old, so she let me carry him and walk him around while she ate.  The baby is adorable and I got all these looks from nearly every girl in the cafeteria.  Marta was one of them.

She said “hey” to me throughout the day, and that night at dinner I invited her again to church.  She said she would come.

I’m excited.  I hope she does.  She’s a little hard to talk to, but I think we are learning how to talk with our eyes.

The other amazing thing that happened was that our small group met and we began talking about prayer.  I mentioned praying in tongues.  Jessica wasn’t there, but Shawna said she’d heard about it, but Abigail said she was baptized in the Holy Spirit and that she prays in tongues.  We both went crazy when we found out.  She told me Ann-Marie did too.

I’ve been here for over two years and they are the first two I’ve ever known to be of my spiritual background.  Both Abigail and Ann-Marie are Performing Arts majors.  They are great and beautiful.  I praise God for bringing them here.

September 26, 1996 – Thursday – 4:00 p.m.

Yesterday was so cool.  Vince and I went hiking at upper creek falls.  I took a lot of pictures.  There was a rock slide that we slid down.  It was the closest thing to deep creek that I’ve done this year.

It’s hard to believe September is nearly over.  The leaves are already falling.  Time is passing so quickly.  I feel as if life has escaped my journal.  I haven’t written much, but all is well.

I went to see The Taffetas last night.  It was a lot of fun.

Today in Playwriting class, the whole class got stirred up because of what I wrote about a Christian virgin speaking with a prostitute.  I based it off of that scene I did my freshman year.  My play was simply about two different lives as they crossed paths, but it made others uncomfortable.

Doc said I was a great writer.  She said it comes naturally to me.  It’s a gift.  The class spent 20 minutes talking about it.  No one’s else work was really talked about.  I made them stop and think.  My dream is coming true.

This weekend a group of us are going to drive down to the Billy Graham crusade in Charlotte.  I’m looking forward to it.

We are one month into the semester.  It’s been amazing.  God is obviously taking such good care of me.

Thank you Lord.

September 25, 1996 – Wednesday – 12:30 a.m.

Life is great and busy.  There is hardly time to write.  Classes are fun.  Friends are awesome.

And God adores me.  I love him so much.

I led CSU tonight.  Amazing!  God showed up.

We have a sponsor named Kim, she is 26-years-old and the coolest girl!  We get along so well.

I can’t believe how amazing life is right now.

I performed The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe in Oral Interp.  The class couldn’t believe it.  They said I did such a good job.

I’ve already gotten tons of compliments for my Polonius in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and we’re only halfway through the rehearsal process.

Pastor Jim, Lisa, Hope, and Joy have left.  They moved to Florida.

But I am still here.  I don’t want to be anywhere else.

I am happy.  I am healthy.

Nothing more can be said.

September 22, 1996 – Sunday – 11:15 p.m.

It has been the greatest weekend.  Rehearsal Friday night was a lot of fun.  I said my small amount of lines and walked off, yet anyone watching just laughed their butt off.

The work call on Saturday was fun; I designed the lobby display and helped put it together. It turned out pretty good.

After lunch, Tracey, Ann-Marie, and I headed for Carowinds.  Ann-Marie is really cool, she really makes me laugh.  She’s very witty.  The trip down there was great.  They rode some rides, but I went straight to the palladium.  Sharon and Bob found me; I sat with them.  We watched Susan Ashton and Geoff Moore and The Distance perform.  Then Hannah and Laura came back.  They sat with me and together we danced and jumped around to Petra and The Newsboys.

The Newsboys was the greatest concert.  It blew me away.

Everyone met at Shoney’s afterwards.  We had the best waitress in the world and did nothing but laugh the whole time.  It was the greatest evening.

I am so much in love with Jesus.  What did I ever do to deserve to be around such beautiful and kind people?  He truly has blessed me with the greatest friends.

Charlie’s ordination service was this morning.  I cried.  It was such a blessing.  He has been the such an awesome friend and leader to myself and the others here in McAlister.

I met with my small group today.  Abigail had rehearsal, so she couldn’t come, but Jessica and Shawna and I had a great study.  I can see that this is helping all of us grow.

You’ve given me so much God.  I don’t know how to thank you.

I’m surrounded by amazing friends and together we are surrounded by you.

How can heaven be any different?

September 20, 1996 – Friday – 8:30 a.m.

My first program was last night.  I put on a Spades Tournament in Wily’s Place.  A lot of people came.  It lasted five hours.

Vince got a call from his grandfather yesterday.  His grandmother had passed away.  He is flying out today.  He will be back on Tuesday.  He’s not able to go to Christian Music Day at Carowinds tomorrow.

Tracey, Ann-Marie, and I are going after our work call tomorrow.  Ann-Marie is a new freshman Performing Arts student and an amazing Christian.  I think she’s cool.

Yesterday afternoon, Curtis and I went hiking and took some pictures.  It was really awesome!  I never grow tired of the beauty of this land.

I’ve decided that I’m going to Kate’s house for Fall Break.  That’s only 2 1/2 weeks away.  She is from Tampa, Florida.  I haven’t been that far south in six or seven years.   I’ve never been to Tampa.

The CSU officers took one of our sponsors out to eat last night.  It was really nice to just sit in a restaurant and talk.  So different from the cafeteria.

As I sat at the Spades Tournament last night, I looked around and grew completely amazed.  Just over two years ago, I didn’t know that any of these people existed.  And the people that I knew existed…I hardly see them anymore.

And I’ll probably have to make this statement again in a couple more years.

September 18, 1996 – Wednesday – 8:15 a.m.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday have passed.  Yesterday at dinner I got really dizzy and sick. Vince made sure I got back to McAlister without passing out and then I fell asleep in his bed.  My rehearsal was cancelled and Allen was covering duty, so I got a chance to go to Christian Student Union.  It was fun.  I really miss it.

I forgot to mention that I met with my small group on Sunday.  It’s simply a prayer group and I’m the leader of this certain one.  Jessica, Abigail, and Shawna are in my group.  They are really neat.

September is passing.  The past two days have been really cold and windy.

I am alive and forgiven.

These are the best days of my life.

September 14, 1996 – Saturday – 11:30 a.m.

Another day has begun.

I’m doing okay.  The Lord loves me.  Emily is still beside me.

I don’t have many things in this life, but I know I’ll always have the two of them.

It’s hard to know how to love.  It’s hard to know how to care.  There are people I love all around the world, but I can’t be in their presence.

I don’t love like I should.  I need to grow up.  I need spirit-filled friends, but I don’t have any.  I can’t do this alone.

When will love come?  When will I learn to love?

Teach me God.  Show me the way.

September 13, 1996 – Friday – 7:45 p.m.

September 12th passed by and I didn’t even realize it.

Four years ago.

My Winter Dream has melted away.

It is Friday night and I lie alone in my room. Curtis has gone to Atlanta.  Dan and Allen are out.  Vince is with Laura.

I’m listening to Les Miserables.

I tried to call Marcus.  No answer.  I tried to call Christi.  No answer.

Sharon called me earlier today.  She brought a smile to my face.

I went for a walk and found that a duck had fallen off the waterfall at Elk River.  It was dead.  I took a picture.

I think I’ll try to call Emily.

. . .

I just got off the phone with Emily.  She was blow drying her hair and getting ready to go to a football game.  We had a fun talk.  She made me smile.  I miss her.  She sounded so beautiful.

She turns 18 in November.  As does Laura.

I can’t believe I’m 20.