January 31, 1998 – Saturday – 10:00 a.m.

Classes have been cancelled since Tuesday afternoon thanks to all the snow, but Cuckoo’s Nest rehearsals are going strong.  Emily and I kiss in the show.  We’ve had fun with our roles; it’s cool.

Sarah and I had a pretty intense talk yesterday.  I can’t even remember what we said, but she is still with me.  Oh God, just teach us what we both need to know.  It basically boils down to Sarah wanting to keep her relationship with Jesus to herself, but I desperately want to share and grow in our faith together.

We’ll see… It is the last day of January and Sarah’s birthday is in two days.

Life goes on.

January 29, 1998 – Thursday – 10:30 a.m.

That beautiful thick pure white snow that began Monday night didn’t stop until Wednesday afternoon.  The campus is drowning in three feet of snow.  Classes were cancelled for yesterday and today.  The National Guard is even up here trying to help out.  We’ve had no electricity for a day and a half.

Sarah twisted her ankle, but all seems to be okay.

The phones were down and I had my phone interview with Regent University scheduled for yesterday.  I knew they wouldn’t be able to reach me, so I walked around town until I found a phone that worked and asked them to call me next week.  I spoke to Elinor and she called me “sweetheart.”  She felt like a mother to me and she treated me with such care.  That place already feels like home.  There is no doubt that is where I’m supposed to be next.

Three months and 13 days.

I slept in Allen’s room last night, because there was no heat in McAlister.  We had a nice time; Lindy and Derek came to visit with us.

Sarah and I spent some time together yesterday evening.  We are so good for each other.  Yet it’s like we are a bird and a fish trying to find a place where we both can exist.  We’ll just have to wait and see how this story turns out.

So, here I am.  I’m surrounded in snow, surrounded in love, surrounded in memories.  I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to truly escape this place.  Part of me will linger here and part of it will linger in me for the rest of my days.  What a sweet time I’ve had here.  I wonder what it has done for me?  What if I accidentally went to the wrong school?  Is everyone’s college experience this good?  I don’t want to leave, but I also do.  I want to fulfill all that I am to fulfill.

And I want to leave this place for the simple fact that I know I will miss it.  And missing it will mean it truly mattered to me, that I was truly here; that I truly loved.

January 27, 1998 – Tuesday – 12:30 p.m.

A beautiful thick pure white snow has fallen.  Everything is heavenly white.  My life is a paradise.

Sarah gets more beautiful as each day passes.  I love her so much.  We laugh over the phone.  She is so wonderful to hold.  Her skin is as soft as the snow looks outside.  Her lips have now become a part of mine.  We are getting closer and closer.  Our love is changing us.

Cuckoo’s Nest and Next are keeping me busy, but I notice not how hard things are, for God has given me a constant joy.  Sarah’s smile makes everything easier.  Her birthday is in six days.  She will be 19.

Thank you for her God.

January 24, 1998 – Saturday – 6:17 p.m.

I saw Titanic again today.  Sarah wasn’t with me, but I went with Dan and Justin and they were amazed.

Sarah and I have been together for nearly three months and we seem to get closer and closer each day.  The time will come when I will have to go, but I know it won’t be without her.  I have found an amazing love with her.  Something that can never be broken.  She will always be in my heart, even if I love and marry another, she will still be there.

In a way though, I’m glad she came as my time at Lees-McRae is ending.  It has helped me love her.  Everything from my 21 years behind me has helped me love her.

It is so wonderful to love; so wonderful to give.

And I have so far to go.

January 24, 1998 – Saturday – 1:07 a.m.

Oh Thursday night Sarah came over here.  Well actually it was more like early Friday morning.  We just held each other and kissed for about an hour.  It was one of the most beautiful hours I’ve ever known.  She is so amazing, so funny, so beautiful.

As I held her I studied her face with my eyes and fingers.  So perfect.

Oh God, have your will with us.  Thank you so much for this relationship.  These past two months with her have been so amazing.  I give you all the glory!

January 22, 1998 – Thursday – 11:15 a.m.

My auditions were last night.  I had an amazing time.  So many talented girls came to audition, it was difficult to decide.

Also, Geana came and talked with me yesterday.  She is full of so many sad stories; she was raped when she was 17.  I talked and prayed with her.  She cried.  She is so focused on outer beauty and her body.  She condemns and insults herself all the time, and she uses sex to try and feel love.  My heart hurts for her.  Oh God, please visit with her and help her.

Lindy, Ann-Marie, and Abigail came to hang out with me yesterday evening and they stayed until one in the morning.  We had what we called a “tear party” for we all seemed pretty emotional, and God showed up in the sharing of our hearts.  Lindy shared about how she gave up her virginity in high school.  She said that guy now had something of hers that she could never get back.  She looked so sad, like she would do anything to remake that decision she made so long ago.  And because of that, she said she’s put up her guard and has been very careful about letting others love her.  She has done the same to God and I told her last night that she needs to let him love her to his fullest ability.  She cried.  I held her.  I cried.

I also spoke to them about how Geana said that all she wanted was to be sure that somebody loved her.  I shared that such a perspective confused me, for I now realize that God loves me way more that I will ever deserve, so I really have no right to ask for any more love from anyone.

Now for me to keep all of that love and not let it flow through me and give it away to others, that is the true tragedy.

I talked to Sarah from the time they left until 2:30 in the morning.  We had an amazing talk, she too shared so much with me.

I now think that there is nothing more difficult in life than being a girl.  And the thing that makes it most difficult for them are men, or boys, I guess I should say.

Sarah told me that she doesn’t think she’ll ever find anyone like me ever again.

Am I really that different?  Am I really that rare?  Are other guys my age spending most of their day talking with young women about the core of who they are?

I love you Lord!  Why are you so good to me?

January 19, 1998 – Monday – 9:40 a.m.

Thank you Jesus.  Oh man, God sure does know what he is doing.

Sarah came into my room last night after dinner.  A bunch of people were in here and she just kind of hung out.  She gave me a letter and I just set it aside.  She was sitting close to me and we were just joking around, but then we shared a look and neither one of us turned our eyes away from each other for a while.

The others went into another room and we were alone.  I read the letter she wrote in front of her.  She said that she felt like she messed up big time.  She said she never wanted to lose me.

We talked last night after the Golden Globes.  She said that all her previous relationships before me were just games, but she quickly realized that I wasn’t playing a game; that I meant everything I said.  I guess she just needed me to know that she needed more time before fully committing to a relationship that would be a serious as I desire for all my relationships to be.

But also, last night over the phone, we began to share our relationship with God to each other, and I got to share with her what really makes me me.

It was awesome.

I love her so much.

Thank you God for having us not get too far away from each other.

January 18, 1998 – Sunday – 10:30 a.m.

My brother turned 23 yesterday.  Only seven months until I’m 22.

It seems all I think about these days is Sarah, but most of my thoughts are thankful praises to God for teaching me about his love.  I’m happy about it all, I just miss her near me.  But even when we pretended we were together, she wasn’t near me.

The first person I talked to about the whole thing was Abigail of all people.  Emily came up to me and hugged me yesterday, I guess the word has spread.  And last night, I spent nearly two hours with Lindy and told her the whole story.  She was so sweet to me, we were just really good friends to each other last night.

I’m on duty, so that’s why I’m not in church at the moment.

Oh, and guess what?!  Vince and Laura are back together.

Three months, three weeks, and counting.

January 17, 1998 – Saturday – 11:00 a.m.

Okay, never mind.  I wasn’t way off.

Yesterday, Friday the 16th, was a record-breaking day for five girls came to my room and talked to me about their romantic pursuits.

First was Geana.  We talked about sex because she and her boyfriend have sex.  She knows the Bible teaches against it, but she says with him it doesn’t feel like a sin.  She was in a car accident about five years ago where she suffered brain damage.  After that, she said her thinking changed and started doing things she would have never done before.  She seemed confused and admitted as much.  I told her that if the love was true, both would stop having sex, guard their hearts and bodies, and get married.  She seemed to see the logic in that.  She’s an interesting and weird girl.  After telling me all this stuff, she then took a nap on my sofa for an hour.

And while she was asleep, Sherlive called.  She called to talk to me about Vince for she is but another girl who is crazy about him.  I told her he was still confused about Laura and to just be his friend, but to also not be a stranger.

Then, Jessica came over and we talked about her and Allen.  They went on a midnight hike at the beginning of the semester and she now likes him and wanted to know if I knew how he felt about her.

The next girl was Emily, not my pen pal, but Emily from the theater department, who plays the prostitute I have the underwear scene with in Cuckoo’s Nest.  She wanted to talk about her confusing feelings towards Timothy and AJ.

And then the last girl to desire my company and advice was Sarah, my girl, and we got to talk about us.  Thursday night, over the phone, she told me that she had a present for me, “a special present,” she added.

“Well, I’m excited,” I said.

I saw her around lunch time and we smiled brightly at each other.  I called her while Geana was asleep only to find her crying.  She said she was an emotional wreck, but that she had to go to class.  I told her she was beautiful and that I loved her.

At dinner, she was still a little weird and I told her I would look her up after rehearsal.  After rehearsal Sarah, Mason, and Jessi went to rent a movie.  I watched it with them in Mason’s room with half the freshmen Performing Arts students, but Sarah never acknowledged I was there.

I was on duty and I got a call over the radio, so I left to deal with that and never returned.  I went to my room, put on Hymn by Jars of Clay, then put it on repeat, and began to read the Gospel of John.  While reading, a peace came over me.  I have been praying for a while now for God to teach me to love like he loves.  And I realized that he answered my prayer through Sarah.  He showed me how much it hurts when he loves those who do not even acknowledge or look at him.

When I got to the second chapter, there was a knock at my door.

Sarah came in.

She sat on the floor, by the sofa I was sitting on, and laid her head upon me.  I put my arm around her and ran my fingers through her hair.

She began to cry and she didn’t stop until she left, which was about an hour later.

My eyes shed no tears.

She eventually spoke.  “You see a beauty in me that I have yet to see.  I see how much you love and care for me and its the scariest thing I’ve ever known.”

“You ought to be me,” I smiled.

“I just don’t know what to do.”

“Do you want me to let you go?”

“Not completely.”

“I know not completely, but enough where we don’t have to pretend to play this little game?  I can’t stop loving you Sarah, but I can stop trying to show it.  And you know that I’m here if you ever need someone to hold you.”

She continued to cry.

“I’ve known you’ve felt this way for a long time,” I told her, “I just wanted to be come and tell me.”

“I didn’t want to hurt you.”

“You couldn’t hurt me.”

“I don’t want you to have to need me.”

“Sarah, I needed me to love you more than I ever needed you to love me.  What has happened between us is a beautiful thing.  God has told me to love you now, because we both will need it later on.  Please don’t feel guilty.”

We looked at each other for a while.

She broke the silence with, “It’s not like I don’t love you, I do, and you know I’ll always be here,” she placed her hand on my chest, “but I’m just not ready.”

More silence passed.

“I had a cross necklace that I wanted to give you, something that I’ve had for a while that has been very special to me, but it feel out of my pocket today and I lost it.”

The tears poured from her eyes.

“I’m sorry.” I said.

After a few eternal silent moments of unending eye-contact, she finally kissed me on my cheek and said, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”  I said.

January 16, 1998 – Friday – 12:24 a.m.

Boy, was I way off.  Just when I thought I had women all figured out…

I’m not going to go into detail, but Sarah and I are fine.  Thank you God!

Anyway, classes are both difficult and fun, and Cuckoo’s Nest rehearsals are really awesome.  I awoke and thought this was going to be a terrible day, but it has been filled with nothing buy joy!  I even got to minister to Geana a little about some stuff she shared with me.  We seem to be becoming really good friends.

God, you never cease to amaze me.  Forgive me for doubting.  I love you above all else.