October 30, 1997 – Thursday – 12:29 p.m.

Can life be this good?

Can a girl be this amazing?

Can a friend be this wonderful?

We watched videos tonight.  She and I laid next to each other on a small bed.  Her touch was so comfortable.  It’s hard to think of anything else now but her.

We are simply friends, but compared to what we used to be, every moment near her is a treasure and a gift.

I have so little time with her.  So little for my mouth to say, I know it has to pour forth from my eyes.

I can do this though.

I can be strong.

I can leave a perfect paradise and go into the unknown.

I can, can’t I?

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October 27, 1997 – Monday – 9:15 p.m.

It is now the 27th of October.

I’ve been kinda busy.  I’m running sound for the dance concert opening on Thursday.  I enjoy the dances so much.  I am surrounded by beautiful artists.

My tech rehearsal for Masks went so smoothly.  Everyone seemed really impressed with how prepared I was.  I don’t feel overly prepared, but I do pray a lot for anything I work on.  Abigail is the star of my piece, and I told her I felt so at home when directing.

I got a call from Heather, who lives next to Kate.  She called because she could hear a very serious fight going on between Charlie and Kate through her walls.  And I was called to rescue and console, which I tried my best to do, but those two are hurting so much.

I did not attend Heaton on Sunday.  Instead, I went with the Highlanders to video them in High Point.  I sang along with Abigail and Ann-Marie to The Little Mermaid soundtrack on the way home.

It is now the 27th of October.  And the first snow of my last Lees-McRae winter has just covered my most favorite corner of the world.

October 25, 1997 – Saturday – 11:15 a.m.

Last night was a wonderful blessing.  Everything was healed and mended and even a part of my longing and my wishing came to be.

I met with Abigail to go over some “Masks” beats.  We met in her room at 10:00 p.m.  And after our little rehearsal, we talked until one in the morning.  Ann-Marie stopped by and we just had the best time, the three of us.

And during this time, Abigail let me in on what she thinks and feels.  She found comfort and joy in sharing those things with me.

She is still in love with K.C.  She writes him letters she never finds the courage to send.  Her model friend, Stephanie, is growing in the modeling world, but is losing her faith.  Abigail says she loves our friendship and feels she can tell me anything.  We feel perfect right now like this, even though our past has seen some rocky soil.  That’s all thanks to me, but I’m still thankful for the ups and downs since it makes us appreciate each other more.

Thank you God, thanks for mending our friendship.

I told her before I left, “If I could have anything I want, I would want to be that guy that introduces you, Ann-Marie, and Tracey to the men God intended for you.”  And I meant it and it felt so good to know my heart.

The Jesus I love and adore lives in those three girls and they are a part of me.

Convinced of my deception

I’ve always been a fool

I fear this love reaction

Just like you said I would.

A rose could never lie

About the love it brings

And I could never promise 

To be any of those things.

If I was not so weak

If I was not so cold

If I was not so scared of

Being broken, growing old

I would be

I would be…

Blessed are the shallow

For depth they’ll never find

Seems to be some comfort

In rooms I try to hide.

Exposed beyond the shadows

You take the cup from me

Your dirt removes my blindness

Your pain becomes my peace.

If I was not so weak

If I was not so cold

If I was not so scared of

Being broken, growing old

I would be

I would be

Frail.

-Jars of Clay

October 24, 1997 – Friday – 3:10 p.m.

God is so good to me and I don’t know why.  I am a finalist in the North Carolina Theater Conference, so I have to go to Asheville on November 7th.  But other things are going nicely as well.  She smiles at me more.  We talk about little things.  I’ve stopped trying to keep myself from dreaming about her.  I just let my mind wander.

Little things happen and though I’m sure half of it is just my imagination, God has given me a peace.

Today, Doc had me talk to a guy named Marty over the phone.  He graduated from Regent University with a film degree.  He said that a person can easily go very far, very fast in the film industry, but only if they are single.  Doc told me the same thing.  There are some who accomplish it with a family, but they are rare.

Rare.

I’ve been described that way before.

“Masks” is coming along beautifully.  Doc came and watched it last night.  She was amazed at how I directed and how people listened to and respected me.  She said that my art was good.

God is taking such good care of me.  I don’t deserve his love, yet he gives it so freely.

You know, I think I’ve forgotten how to be a boyfriend.  I haven’t been someone’s boyfriend for so long.  If something were to happen, if someone were to come along, I don’t think I’d know what to do.

Oh God, I give everything to you.  My desire to marry and have family, my desire to work in film and theater, these two things that the wise say can never work together, I give them to you.  Show me the way.  Teach me how to love and care.  I wait upon you.

October 22, 1997 – Wednesday – 7:40 p.m.

You know what I want?  You know what I wish for?  I want to come home to a beautiful woman, and we will embrace each other after a long day’s work.

I’m sure those days will come, but it’s obvious to me that I’ll have to wait quite a while until that daily comfort arrives.

It is nearing the end of October.  It’s very dark outside now.  The stars are visible, but I am not.  I am not really busy, but it feels that way.  “Masks” opens in a week and a day.  The Misanthrope rehearsals are somewhat difficult.  I miss Mark, my director for Children of a Lesser God.  He knew what he was doing, and I always felt confident in myself as an actor under him.  I don’t feel that way now.

The story of my youth.  Is it over?  Was it interesting?  Did I understand?  Was I me?  Was I beautiful?  Did I love?  Did others love me?

I guess all that matters is that somewhere along the past 21 years I learned of a Jesus who adores me.  For that reason alone, life has been pretty good.

It’s been nearly five years since I began keeping these journals.  Five years.

1992-1997.

Sixteen to twenty-one.

I’m so glad God created laughter.  Life is so much fun.  I can honestly say I have fantastic friends.  They are my salvation.  God loves us through other people.

But still, despite all the bliss of love and laughter, I’m not sure I like living here.  People can be weird.  People can be harsh.  And it hurts even more to know that I am one of those weird, harsh, and hurtful people.  I don’t love people enough.  I don’t smile enough.  I am not nice enough.  I seclude myself too much.

My mom says it’s simply a part of my heritage, that I, like her, receive my strength from being alone.  How can I help a dying world if I’m alone all the time?  How can I be a good Christian if I only hang around other Christians?

I don’t like this world.  I don’t like me in this world.  Yet I also love every day I am alive because here I get to practice my faith in, and my love for, my beautiful savior.

The truth is, despite all my plans, despite all my goals, and despite all my dreams, I don’t know what to do or where to go.  So, I just stand right here, loving all the beauty around me, waiting for him to show me our tomorrow.

October 21, 1997 – Tuesday – 11:10 p.m.

I try not to, but I am helpless.  I still think of her.  Some girls I flirt with in small innocent ways, but I hardly think of them.  Yet, she still entrances me.

She.

Her.

That will be her name.

A Wednesday is nearly beginning.  Leaves are constantly falling these days.  Snow will come very soon.

I know I probably don’t write as much as I did when I was a couple of years younger, but I do want so desperately to share my life with someone.  Sometimes I take a chance and look at her and I find that she’s looking at me.  Sometimes there is excitement in her voice when she talks to me.  Those moments are so awesome.  But there’s no security and commitment in them.

Maybe that’s what makes them so enthralling.  I long to know everything she thinks and feels.  I know that day will never come, but wishing for it sure has been fun.

October 19, 1997 – Sunday – 11:50 p.m.

The 20th day of October will begin in a few minutes.  We are all back in Banner Elk.  It is much colder here.

We rode Wave Runners on Saturday.  It was cold and rainy, but that made it all the more fun.  We went out to eat at Crabby Nick’s, I think it was called, that night.  I sat next to Abigail and Ann-Marie.  We had a coloring contest and Abigail won.

Charlie spoke on humility that night.  Something I need more of in my life.

We went to a neat church this morning and again I sat by Abigail.  It was so wonderful praising the Lord next to her.  We played miniature golf, met some cool Christians who owned the place and headed home.

And now, I’m scared.  God revealed a lot of things to me this weekend.  A lot of things about me.  I cried so hard on Friday night.  So much pain, sorrow, guilt, and love flowed out of me in my tears.  All of the people from this weekend mean so much to me.  The house we stayed at was perfect.

I couldn’t believe my time there was ending when I woke up this morning.  I went to the beach alone and stood in awe of how comfortable I felt.  The sun was breaking through the clouds.  Birds were flying all around.  And dolphins were riding the waves.  It was so perfect and God loved me so much.  Tears filled my eyes ’cause I knew I was leaving.

Pain and excitement filled my soul, and God used this cloudy weekend to give me a small taste of the larger storm to come.

I know I talk about this storm often, but this will easily be one of the hardest things I’ll ever do.