December 29, 1997 – Monday – 1:19 p.m.

Guess what?

Yep.

Sarah and I made plans for today.  I was going to see her after my dentist appointment, but it started snowing and mom wouldn’t let me go.  I got upset, but she wouldn’t change her mind.  I called Sarah and she was disappointed, but she understood.

Mom drove me to the dentist and we got a chance to talk.  I told her I was disappointed because she doesn’t seem interested in my relationship with Sarah.  She never asks about her, she never asks about anything.

We went back and forth for a while and I told her I was in love with Sarah and that I was glad that I got upset when I couldn’t go see her today.  I’m glad that it hurt.  It would be terrible if I was okay with not seeing the one I love.  I told her that I watch her and Henry and I watch so many other married couples and that they’ve all become these sad sad stories of boredom.

Henry asks for kisses from mom and she keeps on walking.  Henry sleeps in a chair downstairs alone while mom sleeps upstairs.  I said, “if that is what happens to the fire that is inside me now, then I don’t want it at all.”

It’s true.  I pray every day that my relationship with Sarah never becomes boring, or something that I’m used to.  I pray it never looses its magic and I pray God helps us to keep it alive and new and real.

I think mom felt a little convicted.  And she should.  Christians should have the most amazing romantic relationships of all humans.  God is love and he is supposed to be with them!  If my mom and stepfather call themselves Christians, but they don’t share a bed and I never see them kiss each other, then I think they are being bad Christians.

I told Sarah all of this over the phone after the dentist and she agreed with me.  I can’t wait till the next time I see her.

God gave me this life and I refuse to let the world ruin me.  I am going to live.  I am going to love.  I am alive.  I’m not dead like half this world.  I am alive and well!

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December 27, 1997 – Saturday – 5:16 p.m.

I am in Mount Vernon Springs and it is snowing.  I pray to God that I don’t get stuck here like I did two years ago.

Christmas of ’97 has been redeemed.  Christmas Eve was wonderful because I talked to Sarah, Christmas Day was the worst ever, but the day after Christmas was amazing.

My mom’s family are wonderful, they are full of love and full of God.  We ate, we sang, we celebrated the birth of our Savior.  We had Christmas and no one complained.  No one was bitter and my extended family was a huge blessing, especially my little cousins.

We drove to Regent University today and saw the campus.  It is flat there, but it is beautiful and the buildings are epic.  I felt good about it.  I felt at peace.  I maybe even felt at home.

On the day after Christmas, I went for a walk to the reservoir that evening.  It was very dark, but a billion stars were above me.  I prayed, worshiped and sang to God.  He is wonderful.  I prayed for my Sarah.  It seems I pray constantly for her.  I plan to call her later tonight and hope to see her on Monday after I go to the dentist.

Please God.

Until next time…

December 25, 1997 – Thursday – 6:00 p.m.

It is Christmas, but then again it always has been.  Right now though, it feels nothing like Christmas, for I am no where near anyone I truly love.  The only good thing that has happened was talking to Sarah for over an hour last night.  We had a wonderful conversation.  I love her more and more each day.

But now I am in Richmond, VA.  I was at my dad’s parents house earlier, but nothing happened.  We finally opened presents around 3:30 p.m., but all I got was money.  I have become a stranger to everyone here.  They don’t know me.  If I have my way, and I don’t see why I can’t, I’ll never spend another Christmas here again.

But my mom’s side is different.  There is love in that house, but only bitterness and complaining in these places on my dad’s side.  I never want to come here again.

Forgive me God, but I just want to spend Christmas from here on with people who know and love you.

To spend it with Sarah.

Our talk last night was so wonderful.  She sees everything in the world with such beauty. I long to see life from here on in her eyes.  She is the most amazing and beautiful creature I have ever come across.  She puts all others to shame.

I love her.

I love her.

I love you Sarah.  Bring us close together God, and use us for your will.

Well, Merry Christmas everyone.  I hope you are around someone you love.  I am going home on Saturday and I will see Sarah again soon.  But even now, I feel near to her.

December 23, 1997 – Tuesday – 2:00 p.m.

I just wrote a letter to Sarah.  I took a passage from Hinds’ Feet on High Places, a book she let me borrow, and put it in her letter.  It reads:

I must tell you a great truth, Much-Afraid, which only few understand. All the fairest beauties in the human soul, its greatest victories, and its most splendid achievements are always those which no one else knows anything about, or can only dimly guess at.  Every inner response of the human heart to love and every conquest over self-love is a new flower on the tree of love.

Many a quiet, ordinary, and hidden life, unknown to the world, is a veritable garden in which love’s flowers and fruits have come to such perfection that it is a place of delight where the King of Love himself walks and rejoices with his friends. Some of my servants have indeed won great visible victories and are rightly loved and reverenced by other men, but always their greatest victories are like the wild flowers, those which no one knows about.

And that has happened.  A great victory has occurred inside me, for I love Sarah, a girl so unlike me, a girl so similar to me.  I haven’t tried to change her, though there is much I wish I could.  I know I’ve said I’ve loved in the past, but with Veronica, I was too young to know, with Jeni, it quickly turned to lust, and with Emily, I fear I was in love with the idea of a long lost pen pal.

But now with Sarah, I love her and I will forever, for true love never dies.

I saw her yesterday.  We went see a movie, but this wasn’t just any movie, for it is now our movie.  Throughout it’s running time, we held each other so tightly.  We held hands, arms, legs.  My years at college are sinking into the ocean of time and I’m just holding onto the ones I love as tightly as a can.

Jack saved Rose’s life, in every way possible.  He brought her to the rest of her life beyond that maiden voyage.  I keep dwelling on Exodus 23:20, but I can’t figure out who is bringing who.  Our world is splitting in two.  The iceberg has stuck.  It’s only a matter of time.

Is she bringing me?

Or am I bringing her?

Or maybe we are bringing each other.

Love can touch us once and last for a lifetime.  Love is what brings us.  She has brought me, and I love her now and forever for that.

Jack lived a short life so Rose could live a long one.

I bought the soundtrack today.  In it, James Cameron wrote about James Horner: “And most importantly, he has made us one with Jack and Rose, feeling the beat of their hearts as they experience the kind of love we all dream about, but seldom find.”

I have, if only for a short while, found it.

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December 21, 1997 – Sunday – 9:00 p.m.

Kevin and I plus Danny and Peter went to see the new James Bond flick on Friday night.  We’ve known each other 15 years now.  I find that amazing.

On Saturday Nate and I took a walk up to Ore Hill.  I wanted to see my old playground and also just to get outside (it is so much warmer down here in the lowlands).  But my playground had been destroyed.  The whole forest had been clear cut.  The trees were gone and a barren land laid before my eyes.  Where a few trees were still standing, half of them had been uprooted anyway thanks to the hurricane that came through a year or so ago.

Everything was different, but I still knew how to get to the top.  I could feel my way through that hill even though my original tree markers were gone.  We reached the top and found the caves.  Time had changed them a little, but they were still there.  It was difficult to go back the way we came, so Nate and I walked on and decided to return back to the main road by way of the old pine tree nursery, where I once stayed out in an old deer stand late one night, staring at the stars.  Whew, that has to be four or five years ago now.

And to my surprise, it wasn’t a nursery anymore, but a beautiful pine forest.  It towered over us and the smell of pine filled the air.  It was breathtaking.

It turns out to be true.  Things do grow.  Everything changes.  Trees will fall.  Trees will grow.  Enough said.

I talked to Sarah over the phone that night.  She sounded beautiful.  We made plans for Monday.  She gave me directions to her house.  I love her.  I love her.

. . .

Church was nice this morning.  We had a family gathering at Henry’s parents; there was good food and nice presents.

And this evening I went to High Falls to visit Dana, Tony, Lisa, and Kristen, my old Fishnet buddies.  Poor Kristen seems bored with life.  She wants so badly to have something to be excited about, but has no one to get excited with.  We have made plans to go horseback riding on Tuesday.  I hope we do.

Marcus and I hung out some more and I talked to Mike again.  I have forgotten how many friends I have here.  Thank you Lord for all I have.  It has all come from you.

Including my beautiful new tree, Sarah.

December 19, 1997 – Friday – 2:00 p.m.

I took the GRE yesterday morning.  It went okay.  Mom and I talked a lot on the way home.  The Neals are getting divorced.  Sad, sad story.

Last night I called up Mike.  He’s doing well.  He said he might call me today.  And then, realizing it’s been two years since I have seen or talked to Jonathan, I decided to call his old house to see if his dad knew where he was.  And guess what…Jonathan was there.

He drove over to visit.  His hair was green and he had two tongue rings and a nose ring.  He hasn’t grown and he looks like he’s only changed for the worse.  He looked scared and worried and stressed.

I hugged my lost friend and everything became okay.  He is still alive.  Thank God for that.

Danny flies in from California today.  Marcus and Peter came over last night.  Marcus said that more than half of our graduating class has a kid now.  Most dropped out of college.  Some are already divorced.

Kevin says he’s moving to Texas to transfer to a school there.  He will transfer in as a sophomore after five years at Methodist College in Fayetteville.  He turns 23 in less than a month and he is only going to be a sophomore.  I’m 21 and just took the GRE for graduate school.  I just don’t understand what my brother has been doing.

Nate has begun shaving at 12.  He will be hairy like Henry.

I called Sarah today.  She was baking cookies and listening to Christmas music.    She says that she misses me and its only been one day.  That is good.  I will call her again on Monday and we will go see Titanic.  Hmm.  Sarah actually looks a little bit like Kate Winslet.

 

December 17, 1997 – Wednesday – 8:30 p.m.

Nearly a week until Christmas and this is the final evening of my seventh semester at Lees-McRae college.  The fall semester of 1997 is almost over.

I spent some time last night with Abigail.  I told her the whole Sarah story and she shared some more with me about K.C.  She thanked me for sharing stuff like that with her.  What a good friend I have in her.  Thank you God for healing us.

And most of this afternoon and evening was spent with Sarah.  After she packed I held her in her bed.  She fell asleep, but I just kept watching her, touching her face and neck as she slept and made little snoring noises.

She is so beautiful.

She left this evening.  Just now, before I started writing, as a matter of fact.  We plan to see each other over the holidays.  I can’t wait!

This has been an amazing semester.  There were many great and favorite moments:

– Laughing with Dan and Sherlive about the blue hole thing

– Midnight bowling in Savannah and scoring a 224.

– The “Stand in the Gap” trip.

– Cantering with Bay Lady.

– A mute Abigail asking me to touch her face.

– Seeing “Masks” resurrected.

– Every minute of the Hilton Head Island trip

– November 22, 1997 and nearly every second since then when I was close to Sarah.

– And I can’t forget to mention, although I don’t think I ever wrote about it here in my journal, the time I held Sarah under a rainbow.

What a blessed semester this has been.  And I even had my own real Christmas tree!  I got to travel, direct and choreograph, act in a leading role again, and meet Sarah.

I have so much to love, so much to cherish, and it all comes back to Jesus.

Jesus, I love you so much.  Thank you for all you have given me.  You are my life.  You are my all.

Oh vast pursuing lover come.