October 13, 1997 – Monday – 9:50 p.m.

Life is so wonderful that it bothers me.  Justin, Vince, Curtis, Ellen, Ann-Marie and myself  went to see Seven Years in Tibet last night.  Brad Pitt acted beautifully.

All of the guys went to the bathroom afterwards, then we ran out because some guy in the stall let out the loudest exploding fart.  We felt to bad for laughing at a stranger.  We talked and laughed about it the whole way home.

We started our rehearsals for Masks today.  It went really well and everyone seems excited.  I can’t wait!

Horsemanship class was awesome today.  It was our last class and I’m going to miss Bay Lady.  Brooke invited me over to her apartment anytime.  She was the one who drove me to class every day.  Perhaps I’ll go.

The Misanthrope rehearsals began tonight.  Alceste is a neat character.  After rehearsal, I took Mason and Emily out for dessert at The Corner Palate.  I have had the best time working with them.  Our scene goes up on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday we leave for Hilton Head, SC.  It’s the whole Bible Study group!  All the guys, all the girls, it should be fun.

I think I’m going to spend Thanksgiving here so I can spend some time with Sharon and also Marisa; her family is coming up here for Thanksgiving.

Josh had to go to the hospital this morning for some odd reason.  I went to see him and held his hand while he got a shot in the butt.  Poor guy.  I love that little dude.

October 10, 1997 – Friday – 6:00 p.m.

Another Friday, but this Friday is different.  For the first time in five weeks, I’m spending the weekend at Lees-McRae.  I’ve traveled to TN, GA, NC, KY, and D.C. the past few weekends, and I’m happy to stay home.

I know, this is a really big pen, but it’s all I have.

Last night Charlie, Justin, Ashley, Alex, Ann-Marie, Meghann, Drew, and Allison went to Macado’s in Boone.  Allison talked the whole time.  She is so cute and funny.  She’s Sarah’s roommate.  Before we said our goodbyes she hugged me, then looked at me, and, to my surprise, ran her finger down my crooked chin.

Man, this is a really big pen.  I guess it’s really a marker.

Rehearsals for The Misanthrope start on Monday, as well as my “Masks” rehearsals.

Things will remain pretty busy for the remainder of the semester.

Graduation is exactly seven months from today.

I’ll be ready to go by then.

I know it.

October 7, 1997 – Tuesday – 7:00 p.m.

Hard to know what to think.

Or even what I’m thinking.

Nearly seven months left now.

Then a summer.

Then another life.

I try to stay alert, awake, and brave.  But when it comes down to it, I’m scared out of my mind.  I’m scared because around the winter of 1994 God used Shurby to speak an audible message to me: “You will do a great thing, not many will believe you, but don’t worry, all you have to do is show up, for you are not doing this great thing, I am.”

And that is what I’ve basically done these 3 1/2 years, I’ve just shown up.  I showed up at Lees-McRae and look what happened.  I didn’t try any harder than anyone else.  Many around me come to me with their problems.  People refer to me as their counselor.

My directing talents are being praised, but I just showed up to rehearsal like the rest of them.  Josh talked to me last night about how much of a leader I was; how much of a role model.

“The hand of God is on your life Jacob,” he said to me.

But I don’t get it.

I’m a sinner.  I fail all the time.  I judge people and I hurt people’s feelings.  I don’t pray any harder or worship any more and yet I intimidate other Christians.  They have said there is a God and Jacob connection that they don’t have.

Well I do…He’s my Savior!  He’s died for me for crying out loud.  And I’m scared to death cause the Creator of everything around me loves me and has his hand on my life.  This great thing, whatever it is, is actually coming true.  I’m not doing anything to deserve it.  And along with this life on earth, I get an eternal life too!  There’s so much grace around me, I simply don’t understand the level of mercy I see.

But God’s hand is on others too.  I know it because they are such a blessing to me.

So, I’m scared because I only have seven months to tell my friends how much I love them, and that simply isn’t enough time.

October 5, 1997 – Sunday – 9:00 p.m.

Stand In The Gap was amazing in D.C.; so many Christian men praying together.  I believe over half a million were there.

We went to the National Zoo this morning I and saw tons of bald eagles.  The trip was filled with so many moments of laughter I will never forget.  We just got back and the sky was full of so many beautiful colors as we drove through the mountains of VA, TN, and NC.  I am in awe of the perfection this place holds.

In about a week, I’ll spend my last Fall Break of LMC in South Carolina with my dear friends in South Carolina.  We are renting a house on Hilton Head Island.

October 3, 1997 – Friday – 10:30 a.m.

Man, life is pretty cool.  Tuesday afternoon I hiked down to Elk River and laid out on the big rock where Charlie set up a cross.  I feel asleep and slept for an hour and a half.  It was so awesome.

Abigail and I have talked a little.  She apologized to me for acting so weird and taking things the wrong way.

Mason and Emily are doing wonderful in our scene.  I’m so proud of them.  I can’t wait for everyone to see it.  I’m even designing lights for it.

I was nominated for a scholarship today.  It’s based on my writing and it’s $2,500.  Way cool, huh?

I talked to Pastor Steve Wednesday night and asked him if he could send me that masks from the Mask Skit we used to do.  They arrived today.  It’s gonna be so awesome seeing this piece from my past performed again.

We had Bible study last night and Courtney came.  She was a pretty wild girl last year, but she said she got saved over the summer.  Then each of us wrote a little love letter to Jesus and Courtney’s was amazing.  She cried and couldn’t finish it, so I finished it for her.

Jesus can change everything.

We watched Liar, Liar after Bible study last night.  It was so good for all the guys and girls to hang out together.  We leave for Washington D.C. today to go to Stand In The Gap. It should be fun.

October is already here.  My application for Regent is nearly complete.  I will take the GRE next month.

Life is moving along and I can’t help but smile.

September 29, 1997 – Monday – 1:30 p.m.

A lovely day.

Yesterday was rainy, but still wonderful.  I think I prefer rain over sunshine, especially in the mountains.

Jeni came over and we talked.  Dan and Allen were here and we began talking about relationships.  Then Jeni said to Dan, as though I wasn’t there, “I could never see myself dating Jacob again, mainly because his spiritual relationship with God is so much further along than mine.”

That statement surprised me greatly.  After Dan and Allen left, Jeni and I talked about it.  She said that Abigail and Tracey feel the same way; I somehow make them feel inferior.  “But I don’t do anything!” I told Jeni.  “I’m just me, I don’t think or even try to act like I’m better.  In fact, I’m the lowest of the low.”

She said that maybe it was just their own spiritual insecurity.  She said it was the hardest thing in the world for each of them since they all love me so much.

I didn’t understand.  They love me, but don’t want to pursue anything further with me because I make them feel less close to God?

Then Jeni confessed that over the summer when she stayed with me, she went into my room and read my journal.  She immediately started crying, fearing I would hate her.  She said she opened it up to May 7th, 1997, I believe.  And well, you should flip back and read it for this to make sense, but she said that reading that nearly killed her and she wished she had never read it.

I explained what that entry meant to me and I forgave her.

Then she told me that she told Abigail once, “No matter who Jacob marries, she will never be worthy enough.  He is wonderful.”

There it is.  Because I love God, girls are turned away.  I guess following Jesus does cost something.

But all that was yesterday and I woke up today with a smile on my face.

Speaking of girls, Sherlive is completely confused and foggy about life.  She is asking questions that shouldn’t be asked.  I used to think she had it all together, but she is in the ozone.  I spent three hours talking with her last night.  I asked her to lay her head in my lap so I could just pet her hair and pray for her.  She never seemed to relax.

Dan told me later on, “Jacob it’s going to be terrible next year.”

“Why?”

“Who’s going to be here to take care of us?”

September 28, 1997 – Sunday – 1:40 a.m.

I’m in my room again.  The drives to Louisville and back were as much fun as any time we spent there.

I have grown accustomed to my new apartment.  It is now my place, my room, but I couldn’t call it my home.  Lees-McRae is my home, and this is simply my room.

After I got back from Kentucky, I went down to Cannon lobby and discovered that a lot of people were down there singing praises to our God!  Abigail had some friends up and Tracey’s family was there.  I joined in and it was a wonderful time of song.  Abigail’s face was a huge and constant smile.  I could see in her eyes how special those two people were to her.  She was amazingly happy and that happiness had nothing to do with me.  That’s probably how it will always be and how it should always be.

Jeni is going to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship tomorrow.  She is excited about seeing David, I think something nice happened between them while I was gone.

I saw an unbelievable Kentucky sunset a few hours ago.  It really was an amazing drive home.  Dr. and Mrs. Martin told Charlie and I the story of how they met, it was just a couple of days into their Freshmen year of college.

I was reading a little bit out of my older Books of Days.  I read about Jenna and Tenielle and about lost keys and alphabets.  How crazy and different I seemed back them.  But that was me then and it isn’t me now.

It made me realize that very soon all of these girls here at Lees-McRae will simply be stories in My Book of Days.  But they haven’t completely faded from my heart into the pages of my journal just yet.  I still remember Jeni’s long, soft legs and the curves of Abigail’s face.  I still dream of Jessica’s hair, Ann-Marie’s smile, and Ellen’s laugh.  These girls mean more to me than I ever let them know.

Then there are the new girls like Sarah and Sherlive, whose college experience will continue on without me.  Every night I go to bed so thankful, so thankful for an extra day with these beautiful women and my fantastic guy friends.  They are bringing me closer to God.  God is loving me through them.

Lees-McRae is passing and I know I’ll be able to let it go.  These people here are everything to me.  When we reach the other side, I’m sure one of the first things I’ll do is look for them.

I have been here simply to love

To witness and experience joy and fun

Soon I’ll leave calmly like a dove

The way night does when day is done.