December 13, 1996 – Friday – 5:00 p.m.

Now that the Fall semester of my Junior year has been over for a couple of days, I shall reflect upon it and write down my most favorite moments from it.

First, the moment on August 25th when Laura stood near the edge of the pew, waiting for me to slide down so she could sit next to me.

Second, September 2nd, Labor Day, as little Hannah was falling asleep in my lap and Sharon was driving “our” pickup truck towards home.

Third, when Newsboys began playing on September 21st at Carowinds and Ann-Marie, Sharon, Tracey, Laura, Hannah, and Bob were all around me.

Fourth, October 13th, when we rode wave-runners in the Gulf of Mexico.  I was flying just a few feet above the water.

Fifth, that same night when I took a walk with the Lord after seeing That Thing You Do with Syndi.

Sixth, the 4th of November, when Abigail, my beautiful spirit-filled friend, laid her head on my chest to keep warm.

And finally, the moments when Vince and I played Myst all evening and then talked in the hot tub over Thanksgiving break.

 

 

December 12, 1996 – Thursday – 10:30 p.m.

I worked at McDonald’s this morning.  It was easy and fun.  I brought my Children of a Lesser God script and got a chance to study it.  Omenya was happy to see me, as I was her.  She called me Jon Jon again.  I worked over 10 hours today and saw several people I knew, people I had graduated with, etc.  I saw Wendy, who went to Mars Hill College.  She said she was taking a break from college and getting married in a week and a half.  And I saw Andrea, beautiful as ever.

Life at McDonald’s hasn’t changed at all in the past six months.  Except that 10 hours seems to go by a lot faster.

Mom, Henry, Nate, and I went to Sanford and saw Appalachian Christmas at the Temple Theater; a wonderful blessing of a show.  Thanks God.

I called Mark, my director for Children of a Lesser God, this evening.  I just wanted to say thanks for casting me.  With this production, I’ll be directed by an off-broadway director from New York City, learn a new language, and kiss a girl who put a chill down my spine over the summer.

God is good.

He is so good to me.

 

December 11, 1996 – Wednesday – 11:30 p.m.

I am home.

One of many anyway.

It’s been a fun day.  Timothy and I had a joyful ride home.  When I got here, Nate and I went for a walk on the railroad tracks.  While down there, a train came and we got under the bridge to watch it pass.  It was cool.

People are building on the land on the other side of the tracks.  The landscape has changed.  A small reminder that nothing lasts forever.

It is warmer here, but then again I’m about 3,500 feet closer to sea level.  It feels good to be here.  I went to church tonight.  It was a very small group.  There weren’t many young people there from the past.  None at all actually.  The older people seemed glad to see me.

It’s fun to simply talk to my mom.  Nate is hilarious.  Kevin isn’t here though.  He’s in Virginia.

Thank you God for all my homes.

 

December 10, 1996 – Tuesday – 3:30 p.m.

I awoke this morning with absolutely nothing to do.  That hasn’t happened in a long time. I watched Sense and Sensibility.  I’ve seen that movie three times and I never cried, I just got choked up.  But this morning, I bawled my eyes out.  It was exactly what I needed.  It’s like every emotion that I bottled up from the past semester was released.

After juries last night, Timothy and I went to Sharon’s house.  They had a little Christmas party.  We all received gifts.  They are the greatest family.  So much loves pours out of the house into the lives of others.

We went to Boone this morning and I tried to look up Ryan, but she wasn’t in her room again.

I’m on duty tonight, and then I will leave in the morning.

We will do this again.

December 9, 1996 – Monday – 6:10 p.m.

I took an exam this morning.  I did pretty good.  I went to lunch at 11:30 a.m.; Abigail and her mom were sitting alone at a table.  I sat with them.  Abigail asked me how I was and I told her “great.”  She got up to get some food.

While she was away, her mom looked at me and said, “Jacob, Abigail really appreciates your spirit.”

My heart melted and I immediately looked up to spot Abigail’s cute profile as she waited in line.  “Yeah?” I said.

“It’s really good to have a spiritual influence away from home.”

“Well, she’s done the same for me.” I said.  “She’s the first person I’ve met here in the past two years that comes from the same spiritual background as me.”

Her mother told me that she went to Lees-McRae nearly 30 years ago and met her husband on the first day she arrived.  They’ve been together ever since.

My work for the semester is finished.  I did a jury scene today and my Reader’s Theater scene performed as well.  Everything went well.  I’ve worked really hard this semester.

Christmas has come again.

A smile is on my face.

Beauty is in this place.

Thank you Father for your grace.

 

December 8, 1996 -Sunday – 11:30 p.m.

The latter part of the day contained a few moments of joy.  A late breakfast was being served in the cafeteria.  Abigail sat by me.  She smiled and laughed at the things I said.  She sang at the table with Timothy.  She sounded so beautiful.  I wish I could sing beautifully so she would desire to sing with me.  Music is a huge part of my life, but I can only survive in a chorus.  I don’t sound too great on my own.

I want to live a long time on earth before heaven; if only to be around people like Abigail.

I made a snow angel in the snow as we walked back tonight.

But it seems as if I’m falling for someone else’s angel.

December 8, 1996 – Sunday – 6:40 p.m.

The Christmas Show is over.  I was the Stage Manager, plus a reader in one piece.

Saturday afternoon we had our small group Bible study.  I spoke of how we are aliens and strangers in this world.  The way I delivered it made it seem like I wanted to go straight to heaven without living on earth.  In a way that’s true, but I don’t want to go until my time.  The girls taught me that I should appreciate simple things again.  I wish I had time to do that, so on Saturday night my candle light Christmas wish was, “I wish life would slow down, just a little bit.”

This afternoon I did a funny wish by beginning a wish, but then pretending to sneeze and then blowing my candle out with my sneeze.  It was pretty fun.  The whole crowd laughed.

During strike, Abigail told me that she understood my wish on Saturday.  She smiled and I gave her a hug.  She is so amazing.  I watched her during the concert.  She’s such a great singer.

But she is crazy over another.  I pray you bless them Lord.

I have juries tonight, an exam in the morning, then juries the rest of Monday.  Tuesday is a meeting for Children of a Lesser God.

Then I’m on duty.

I leave Wednesday at noon.

 

December 5, 1996 – Thursday – 11:20 p.m.

I am nearing the end of my final week of classes.  The last day is tomorrow.  All my class work and final exams have been finished except for three projects.  I leave on Wednesday.  Timothy is going to take me home.  He lives in Randleman, so hopefully we will meet over the break and hang out.

I called Tenielle tonight.  She is waiting for me to return.  She told me that Cheryl doesn’t come to church anymore.  She still smokes, so that’s a bummer, but I can’t wait to hold her.  I told her I was scared about coming home.  I feel like a stranger to that world.

“You’re not a stranger to me.” she said.

Come this Sunday, I will have known Tenielle for three years.  She is 15-years-old.  She has seen too much for such a young girl.

I’ve been stage managing the Christmas show the past couple of nights.  It’s kinda fun; in fact really fun.

It snowed tonight.  The ground is covered.  Christmas time has come again.  I will spend it with family in Virginia.  I can’t believe 1997 is creeping up behind us.

Where suddenly have I gone?

Am I the same person I was when I first met Tenielle?  Am I the same person I was last year?

All the performing arts students make candle light wishes in front of the audience at the end of the show.  I wonder what I’ll wish for…

December 2, 1996 – Monday – 11:45 p.m.

It’s been a great day.  My classes were fun.  I got a lot of work accomplished.  I saw a lot of people I haven’t seen in nearly a week.  I went to Bible Study tonight.  Sharon has put up her beautiful Christmas tree.  Their home is so beautiful during Christmas.

I found out that I did get the part of James in Children of a Lesser God.  I’m excited and scared.  Dawn will play Sarah.  Yes, the same Dawn I was crazy about over the summer.  She will be my wife in the play.  I’ll probably have to kiss her.  This should be fun.

Please help me God.

December 1, 1996 – Sunday – 2:10 p.m.

Yesterday was really cool.  Vince, Jennifer, and their dad’s side of the family went into the city.  We went to a Sony IMAX theater and watched a cool 3D movie called Into the Deep.  It was an educational film about what happens under the ocean roof.  It really felt like I was there.  I was trying to reach out and touch all the little fish.  I’m blown away by how amazing God’s creation is.

After that, we walked to Central Park.  I saw the Plaza and the Ritz; just famous hotels you see in movies.  We went into F.A.O. Swartz and into the Warner Bros. Store.  I ate a $13 hamburger that was bought for me.  We went into the Empire State Building, but not up to the top.  We rode the train in as well as the subway.  The train ride back was fun.  Vince and I kept laughing at his little cousin as he was falling asleep.

We spent the night at Vince’s Dad’s house.  Before we fell asleep we spent about an hour in the hot tub.  Vince and I just talked about girls and our future plans.  He has finally found the girl he wants to spend the rest of his life with.  And that scares him in a way.

As for myself, well, I have beautiful friendships with lots of girls.  Perhaps someday one of those seedlings will grow into a tall tree.  I don’t think my girl is at Lees-McRae though.  I don’t think I’ve met her yet.  If I have met her, then it is Emily.

But I’m pretty sure I haven’t.

Oh, what am I talking about.  I don’t know anything.  And I’m not going to pretend that I do.  God knows what’s going on.  I’ll just let him do it all.

I awoke this morning in a bed that I have never slept in before.  Vince’s dad and stepmom cooked a lovely breakfast.  Over breakfast we talked about different church denominations and how not all point to Jesus as the only way.  The Holy Spirit brought things back to remembrance and I was given the opportunity to minister to that family.  Vince thanked me for it later.

We went back over to his mom’s.  They drove us to the airport and here I am now between two strangers.  Vince is further up near the front of the plane.

During our little vacation, Vince said something full of a lot of wisdom.  He said the only thing a person needs in life is Him, Us, and We.  Him is God.  Him is first.  Second is Us, the love of one’s life.  Third is We, a truly special friend.

Vince told me that I introduced him to all three in the past year:  God, Laura, and Me.

This trip has been such a blessing.  Everything was paid for by others.  God cares so much for me.

We will land in Charlotte, then take a plane to Johnson City.  Sharon and Laura will be waiting to greet us.  I have some school work to do tonight.  I will spend the next week working on the Christmas show, writing a paper on Braveheart, finishing my photography project, studying for finals and simply worshipping my God.

Just this year, I’ve gone to Arizona, Florida, and New York.  I stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon, rode wave runners in the Gulf of Mexico, and saw a show on Broadway.

God is so good.

He’s so good to me.