March 28, 1998 – Saturday – 11:40 a.m.

AH!!!!! I don’t understand!!

Yesterday at 5:00 p.m. the school had a cookout at Wildcat Lake.  Sarah was there.  We smiled at each other and when it was time for a big group picture, she stood by me and put her head on my shoulder.  Then we walked back to school together and told each other the coolest stuff in the world; she hadn’t talked to me like that in months and she did it while holding my hand.  We stopped and watched the sunset through the trees and stared at each other.

This is all I’ve been wanting from her, yet she chooses to give it to me after I supposedly let her go?  Why?  Why now and not before when we called ourselves a couple?  Why can’t she make any sense?  Are all women this way?  Why can’t a woman just mean what she says?  Why can’t her actions line up with her emotions?

I love women so much and I want to meet one and marry her, but man, if this is how a woman’s mind works, I’m in for a boatload of pain and heartache.  It’s not that hard!  You know you who are and you share it with others.  You don’t lie, you don’t manipulate, you don’t guilt-trip!  You just treat the other person you supposedly love with the respect they deserve.  It’s just basic logical reasoning; are women incapable of that?  Is it not in their DNA?

Oh Jesus, heal my heart and show me the truth.


March 27, 1998 – Friday – 3:00 p.m.

It hasn’t been this warm since last summer.  I’m sure everyone is outside playing.  I was down at the waterfall earlier.  What an amazingly beautiful day!

Yesterday was the same way.  I didn’t see much of Sarah.  I just did some thinking and some playing last night after Bible Study.

I knew that I loved Sarah and therefore I want the best for her.  I wondered whether her being with me was the best thing for her now though, or even the best thing for me, for that matter.

A painful peace came over me, and I knew that the time had come to let her go.

Today, at exactly noon, I sat with her in the lobby of Tate Hall.  She looked beautiful.  I told her I loved her and that the time had come for me to let her go.  I was letting her go because I loved her.  Her eyes got watery.  I touched her face and we held each other.  We talked a little and I told her thanks for everything and that I would not be a stranger.

We stared at each other.

“I’m excited about your life Sarah.”

“I’m excited about your life,” she replied.

Then we both smiled; the two most amazing smiles I’ve ever been a part of.

This story, this chapter, is not over.  Sarah will be written among the page of this journal many more times.  Of that I am sure.

March 25, 1998 – Wednesday – 3:00 p.m.

Things aren’t going very well.  Sarah came back Sunday and it was good to see her.  The Oscars came on Monday and I watched half with Sarah, but then I had to leave due to visitation hours.  She didn’t want to come and watch the rest with me in my room where visitation is longer.  That kinda hurt.  Especially when last night I found out she was in Mason’s room across the hall watching TV.  I heard her in the hallway and she didn’t stop by.

I went for a 6 1/2 mile walk last night and talked with the Lord.  He showed me a shooting star.  It was nice.

I got pretty sick today and I called Sarah on the phone and told her, but she didn’t offer to come see me.  She didn’t even ask more about how I was feeling, it seemed like my illness bothered her.  I had to ask her to come over and it took her 40 minutes and she only stayed five.  And in those short few minutes a tear rolled down her cheek.  I’m not sure what that was about, but it felt like it was for her and not for me.

I’ve decided not to go to my afternoon classes.  I’m going to stay in and rest.

Be with me Lord.

March 21, 1998 – Saturday – 11:12 a.m.

Thank God, I am home.

First of all, we learned that the guy who was staying the jail we were staying in was the jailer’s son, and he was under some sort of house arrest for murdering a guy.  You’d think he wouldn’t be able to leave on his on will, but in rural Kentucky, when you are the jailer’s son, I guess you can.  The girls started to get really scared of this small town by the end of the week.  Even us guys were on edge.

Allen and Charlie locked Vince and Justin and Alex in one cell as a kind of practical joke.  I was walking by when Vince reached through the bars and grabbed my neck and told me to let him out.  I don’t think he knew how hard he was holding me.  I got really upset, punched the bars because I couldn’t breathe or talk.  My knuckles were bleeding.  Why didn’t he just ask me, I didn’t know the others locked them in and I wasn’t apart of that joke.  I got really angry and told Vince to just stay away from me, and then I was upset with myself for getting so angry.

We left Friday and got here last night around 10 o’clock.  Vince, Charlie, and Kate drove on to Chapel Hill.

I’m not sure if this trip was any fun.  It was definitely an experience, but I wouldn’t put it up there with one of the best times of my life.

I hope Sarah comes back today.

Heal me God.

You’re all I’ve got.


March 19, 1998 – Thursday – 6:03 p.m.

Wednesday, after we worked, we went to Lexington to go to Southland Christian Church. It was very huge and really awesome!  We ate at Taco Bell that night and then drove back to our prison home.  It took an hour and a half to get there.  I slept both to and fro.

Today was definitely our last day at the one house we’ve been working on.  We finished up the porches and cabinets and even built a staircase.  Half of the group left to go dig ditches.

The week has flown by.  It has been loads of fun, but terribly stressful.  My patience has grown very short with Alex, Kate, and Sherlive.  I love them all to death, but their habits and personalities annoy me.  Earlier today I wasn’t enjoying the company of those around me, so I took about 30 minutes, sat down, and stared at my picture of Sarah.  Afterwards, the whole world was beautiful again.

Ron (Joe Bill) was one of those beautiful sights.  He’s been a great leader this past week.  He is so poor though.  He makes about $100 a week, and is sterile because he grew up around his father’s work and got lead poisoning.  He can’t have children of his own, and yet this poor man bought everyone dinner this evening.

This trip has caused me to appreciate Lees-McRae again.  And honestly, I think that is the only true reason I came….to see what Sarah means to me, to discover what my comfort means to me, to learn what I can live with and what I can live without.

I miss my music, you know, the music I listen to when no one else is around.  I miss my shower.  I miss my apartment as the Resident Director.  And, oh I miss everything about Sarah.  I miss those slight indentions on her forehead from when she had chickenpox as a child.  I miss the curve of her back.  I miss her laughter, her voice, and her smile.  I miss her hair, her smell, and the way she looks at me.  I miss her touch.  I miss my hands on her.  I miss talking and sharing with her, talking about nothing and talking about everything.

I love you Sarah.  May we dream of each other tonight.

March 17, 1998 – Tuesday – 11:10 p.m.

We went to a bean dinner last night at the local fire station.  We had a fun time with some good old country food.  I went for a mile and a half walk on the railroad tracks.  I felt so alive with the totally new surroundings, but by the time I turned around and walked back, everything was familiar.

This morning we went to the same house and finished up the work.  Today was tough, for last night all I did was dream about Sarah.  I haven’t seen or spoken to her in six days.  It will be another five days until I see her again.  I doubt I’ve really stopped thinking about her since she left for Florida.  I really do love her and that fact alone goes beyond my understanding.

During our lunch break today, I went for a walk into the woods and took a nap.  We are so deep into Kentucky country here.  It is very peaceful.  The wind never stops blowing.

After I showered for the first since Sunday, we all went line dancing.  It was actually kind of fun.  There are two other college groups here, one from New York and the other from New Jersey, and they all seemed pretty neat.  After line dancing, Allen and Justin and I went with a church group to a basketball game even deeper into the country.  Everyone was really into it.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many white people excited about a basketball game.  I could care less, so I just played ping pong with some local children.

I think the point I’m trying to make is that I’m surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of new and different people, people very amazing and very alive, yet my thoughts are only occupied with one girl, a girl none of these people have ever met.  How can they make it through the day, without knowing Sarah.  How dead I must have been before I met her, yet to everyone else, she is just a girl.

I do not remember myself without knowing the Lord, I can’t comprehend how dead people must be if they are without him and he is not just a girl, but God.

I’m counting down the days until I get to hold Sarah again.

March 16, 1998 – Monday – 8:00 p.m.

The guys and I came back to sleep in the jail last night.  I have a room to myself, complete with bars and a metal toilet.  This place is so isolating it’s scary, but we all sang praises to our God as if we were the imprisoned Paul and Silas.  The acoustics were amazing!

Today we went out toward Saint Helens, KY and worked on a young family’s house.  We painted and tarred the roof.  A guy named Rob, but we called him Joe Bill, was our man-in-charge.  He was hilarious.  Come to think of it, everyone here is hilarious.

The day was cold, but soon became warm.  I think Bobbie Sue’s hot potato soup had something to do with it.

A hawk or some other kind of bird flew over our heads all morning, and a lovely little dog named Jake flew around our ankles in the afternoon.  This is a beautiful land and it seems like the people only know two things: loving God and loving people.

When we were driving into a nearby town here, we saw several strip mined areas and ruined mountain sides.  Allen asked, “What do they mine here?” and Alex respond with, “They’re own business.”

Too true, too true.

March 15, 1998 – Sunday – 10:55 p.m.

I’m in Beattyville, Kentucky with Vince, Allen, Justin, Alex, Charlie, Kate, Sherlive, Shannon, and Ellen.  We are here working with Habitat for Humanity.  I’ve been asked to keep a detailed journal while on this trip, so I’ll try my best.

In a way all of this is ridiculously hilarious.  The guys are sleeping in a prison next to an inmate that is technically “in jail” but still gets to come and go as he pleases, and the girls are sleeping at the habitat house with a bunch of other girls with safety pins and other such nonsense pierced in their faces.  Three of the guys comedically made a competition out of who would be able to kiss the first girl while on this trip, but after seeing the girls here in eastern Kentucky, they quickly called everything off.

An older version of the briefcase boy at school is one of the “in-charge” guys at the habitat house.  If he becomes an important character this week, I’ll simply refer to him as Vista for a hilarious reason only our group of ten will understand.

Herman is the other guy’s name.  We’ll meet up with him at nine tomorrow to start working.

As for tonight, we went to Beattyville Christian Church, a nice country church.  The girls are having second thoughts about staying with the safety-pin head chicks, so the church will consider giving us their activity center for the week.  This is where we are now.  There is a drum set and our group brought a total of four guitars.  Constant noise surrounds me.

We’ve met some neat people and this church has welcomed us like Christians should and like Jesus would.

The surroundings are different though.  These mountains aren’t like western North Carolina mountains.  This is old coal mining country.  It feels very poor, whereas our region of North Carolina is covered in the wealthy summer houses of rich Floridians.

I’ve been in a quiet mood since we left Banner Elk.  I guess I just know all of these friends are about to vanish from my sight after graduation and I just try to linger in the fleeting moments of appreciated them.

I feel so different from everyone, yet we are all alike in so many ways.

We all have fears.  We all have loves.  We are all sinners, and we have all been forgiven.

Oh, and we all have eyes, very deep eyes.  I feel as if these new eyes here know a pain I have never known.

March 13, 1998 – Friday – 5:30 p.m.

The 13th of March.  My thoughts are running deep.  I haven’t seen Sarah in two days and I’m not sure if I miss her.

I’m looking forward to moving away from this place just so I can find out how much it actually means to me.

I need to keep reminding myself that this world has nothing for me.  That this is not my home and I do not belong here.  I have a peace that passes all understanding and I need to share that with whomever I can before it’s too late.  But I am not their savior.  I’m just a fellow passenger.

I am never alone.  I love my solitude.  I always feel God with me.

So what about these other creations around me?  Am I just to love them?  Can it be that simple?

It sure seems to be.

I don’t want this gift of life to escape me.  I want to live and be happy in Jesus.  I want to be happy in love, to truly be wherever I am.  To give and not take.

Oh, love take over me, I want to do everything the right way!

March 12, 1998 – Thursday – 1:30 p.m.

I spent five hours in Sarah’s room last night.  She left this morning for Florida and will return in about 10 days.

We spent so much of last night just cuddling, talking, and kissing.  We have gotten more passionate recently.  She is so amazing and I told her so.

“I’m not amazing.” she said.

“You’re not?  Then what are you?”

“I’m yours.” she said.

This girl blows my mind.  One week I feel like she hardly sees me and the next week I feel like I’m the only thing on her mind.  It’s so hard to believe we are a couple.  I never thought I would be with a girl this amazing and beautiful.  Thank you God!  Keep us in your will.

A huge group of us from The Bible Study leave Sunday morning for Kentucky.  We’ll spend a week there working for Habitat for Humanity.

Spring Break has come again.

My last one at Lees-McRae College.

My first one was spent at home.  My second in Arizona.  My third in Tampa.  And now my fourth in Lee County, Kentucky.

I’ll only have six weeks of classes left after we get back.

Life feels so crazy.  It hardly feels like my own life.  I’ve given it to God.  Oh Lord, why do you take the time to get to know me.  I have so many questions.  Can you see that I don’t understand?  I want only to live right for you.  Be with me Holy Spirit.  Cleanse me.  May I stand under your waterfall again.

All I want in the world is to abide in you Lord.