August 30, 1997 – Saturday – 11:16 p.m.

So far this has been a crazy weekend.  First of all, Curtis came to visit, which was great!  They all went to Sharon’s house, but I was on duty.  While on duty I had to take care of an alcohol problem in Avery dorm.  It is a crazy long story, no need to write it here.  I don’t want to remember it.

Allen, to everyone’s surprise, went out on a date with a girl named Alicia from ASU.  He met her a week ago some how.  They evidently had a good time.  He really likes her.

While sitting in my room earlier today, I got a call from Dan, “Jacob, you need to come over here we have a problem.”

I ran over to Dan’s room and I saw Allen with his face in his hands crying.  It turns out he talked with his mother over the phone and found out one of his close buddies from back home in New York died in a motorcycle accident.  Allen was bawling hard and no body was saying anything.  He left and I followed him to his room.  We talked some.  He told me how close he was to this guy.  He told me how he called the mother earlier today and could barely say her name through the tears.

I told him it wasn’t fair.  Everyone has their sad stories, but I don’t have any.  Not that I want them, but I simply can’t share in their pain.

“You’re just lucky,” Allen said.  We talked later in the day, after he got himself together.  We were talking about this world and the trials we must go through.  He said the wisest thing, “We simply don’t belong here.”

And he is right.  Just like Marisa said, this weird place is not our home.  There is more to life than this.

Jeanine also came up to visit.  She got really close to Allen this summer and she was hurt when she found out there was a new girl.  My shoulder was there for her to cry on.

My brother Kevin is also up visiting.  He is in a Putt-Putt tournament nearby.  But no one is here now.  They all went bowling in Boone, even Kevin.

These duty night are something else, but they pay the bills and hopefully this job will look good on a resume.  Most of the campus has gone home for Labor Day weekend, so I just find myself sitting here thinking of Sherlive.

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August 29, 1997 – Friday – 9:30 a.m.

We had our Bible study at Canon Cottage last night.  Sherlive came up to my room afterwards and we just sat on my bed and talked for nearly two hours.  I read her a couple of stories that I wrote in Creative Writing a year ago.  She is simple and fun and Sherlive.

Allen and I talked for about an hour yesterday about everyone graduating soon and leaving this place.  It’s gonna be so weird.

Eight months and one week.

I guess I should apply to graduate school at Regent University soon.

This is simply my road to Heaven!

August 28, 1997 – Thursday – 11:50 a.m.

Three full years now.

There is a lump in my throat.  I lay in my bed in a somewhat emotional state, I’ll admit, but everything I’m thinking feels painfully true.

I’m getting older.  I’m losing my hair.  I’m dying.  My mother will soon be a child and I will be her father to take care of her.  My youth seems to be escaping me.

Although I hate it, I’ll probably have to play the dating game soon.  Hmmm.

Am I still young?  What about those days from so long ago?  Those days of innocence with Jenna and Tenielle?  All my life, I’ve always wanted to be different.  People color their hair, pierce their bodies, but I was going to remain different by staying the same.  But I have changed.  I am changing.  Changing like the rest of the generation and the world.  I wish I could escape somehow and not be a part of this.  That way I would be completely different.

But instead my sin has also killed Christ and he died for me as well as all the others.  I am no different.  I am a sinner.  I did nothing for my salvation.  I simply accepted His Grace.  So I will continue to live and go through this life in the footsteps of my forefathers.  I will simply try to share God’s love in all I do and everywhere I go.

My emotions will tickle me.  I will laugh, cry, and simply live this roller coaster with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye.  This mask will leave me and I will be free.  My freedom comes now in simply knowing that I will be soon.  Loving and praising God is all that matters and all that will last.  That is the key.  That is the absolute.  That is the truth.

My children will begin to leave me on the day they are born.  And I will love people by letting them go.

And I will even let myself go.

August 27, 1997 – Wednesday – 2:00 p.m.

I finally bought my new Book of Days, but it’s kinda flimsy.  I hope it doesn’t fall apart on me.

Classes started today!

Things are good.  I was duty Monday night and I already wrote up some people for alcohol.  Sherlive and I rode to the parkway last night and did some star gazing.  We had fun.  We acted like kids and played little games, like dodging the car headlight beams.

This morning Vince and I ate breakfast with Amber and Monica, plus two new transfer students named Amanda and Shay.  Vince is amazed at me for some reason.  He calls me at the J-Dog because of how easily I get along with so many different beautiful girls.

He and Laura are having problems again.

I got a letter from Jeanine today.  She told me that she misses us all and she believes she is in love with Allen.  I think I’ll call her tonight.

Jessica is back.  She is overwhelmed with school work and her new RA job.  It’s great to have her back!

I’m excited about this new year, about the new Christians, and the new soon-to-be Christians.

I give my senior year to you God!

August 24, 1997 – Sunday – 7:30 p.m.

I haven’t bought my new Book of Days yet.  I’ll copy whatever I write here into it later on.  It’s Sunday, August 24th and the new students have arrived.  Sherlive is here, but I often forget that she is.  Amber and Monica are here, even Abigail.  RA training is over.

Last night, Sherlive and I went to Paul and Sharon’s.  They hosted a college cookout for both LMC and ASU students.  Josh is back and he was there, as well as Mason, Timothy, Allen, Kate, etc.  I had fun.  Josh has gained weight from his surgery and he is always tired.  He takes naps twice a day.  It’s like he’s going through puberty for the first time.

A lot has been on my mind.  I’ll try to explain and write it down in great detail after I buy the actual notebook.  I went to Linville Caverns today with some new freshmen.  It was really fun, but I feel kind of beyond them now.  Weird huh?

So another year.  New girls, but I don’t really care.  I live for Jesus and I will do my best to show him to everyone I come across.  Marisa and I write a lot through both email and snail mail.  She gives me so much encouragement.  She calls me her future husband.  I pray she keeps it up.  Perhaps she’ll speak it into existence someday.

August 20, 1997 – Wednesday – 6:05 p.m.

I talked to Sherlive over the phone last night.  Her emotions are flowing because the storm that took me three years ago is now blowing in her hair.  We talked for two and a half hours.  She told me of some bad stages in her life.  I won’t go into detail right now.  God has forgotten and so I can too.  I’m not sure what she is to me.  Perhaps simply another red light.  Another Emily who will let me into her big world, unaware of how entranced I am by it.  Sherlive has some growing to do.  I want to grow with her.  She has stressed to me that long distance relationships don’t work and she knows my time here at Lees-McRae is short.

Another chapter.

Another story.

Lees-McRae…look what you did to me.

August 17, 1997 – Sunday – 2:00 p.m.

I have turned 21-years-old.  For me, the summer ends today.  RD training is over.  RA training is beginning.  I have moved to the McAlister RD apartment.  I have unpacked.  All I need to do now is decorate my walls.

Over the past week, I have had three different letters written to me from three different girls:

“Jacob, I just wanted to thank you for being my friend and welcoming me so kindly.  Without you I would have spent these past three weeks all alone in my room.  You are a very sweet guy and I’m going to miss you.  I wish I could stay longer.  Time sure does fly!  I wish this summer didn’t have to end, but I guess all good things have to end eventually.  I will always remember these three weeks as the highlight of my summer.  Thank you for giving me a chance to become your friend.  You will never be forgotten!  Love, Jeanine”

“Hey Jacob, that’s really cool about your deer encounter.  I want to go up there and meet it.  Yes, I’m going to accept the RA job.  I’m already thinking about what programs I want to do.  Did I tell you about my wedding?  No, it’s not anytime soon, I don’t have a guy, I just decided where I want it to be.  Cannonball Mesa!  It’s this cool place out in the middle of nowhere.  I rode out on my bike to the end of the mesa and looked out at the landscape.  The wind was blowing.  I’m going to get married there when the sun rises to symbolize new beginnings and it will be beautiful.  Guess what??  I was thinking today and I decided to rewrite my rules of dating.  I decided it was unrealistic to say that I would only date a guy I would marry because I don’t know what kind of guy I want to marry.  Also, I’ve only been involved with two guys in my life and neither of them had any kind of respect for me.  I don’t even know what a good relationship is.  Love, Jessica”

“Jacob, let me start by saying I love you and end it with thanking you for helping me find my missing part and as we speak it’s being filled with God’s love.  I am so thankful for your awesome friendship and how much you have helped me realize that God is a major part of my life and he will help me through everything!  If it wasn’t for your love and willingness to help, I would never have been so close to the Lord and Jesus.  Thank you so much!  I love you with all my heart and really appreciate everything that you have helped me with this summer.  Thanks for everything.  This has been the best summer of my life and it wouldn’t be complete without you and the wonderful Lord.  Jacob, I feel so much better now that I’ve found him.  I am almost going to cry because I feel so free, just like you and your eagles.  I’m going to miss you so much.  Please write me all the time and send me e-mail too.  I know I will write you all the time!  When the summer comes again, I hope you will be here and definitely Thanksgiving because I’m coming up then.  I can’t wait to see you if you’ll be up here.  If I don’t get to see you over the summer, please keep writing and give me your address to where you are and I will always write to you…my future husband!  Thanks for our perfect friendship!  Please keep in touch.  Happy 21st birthday!  Love, Marisa.”

Jeanine has gone back to Concord.

Jessica will be here a week from Tuesday.

Marisa left for Florida today.

Take care of them Lord.