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.

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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.

March 11, 1998 – Wednesday – 4:00 p.m.

Let me catch you up.

My one act went wonderfully.  Everyone enjoyed it.  Mason even let me shave his head so he’d look more like an old bald guy.

Yesterday at 3:00 p.m. Vince, Ellen, Becca, Ashley, and myself left for Knoxville to go to a Jars of Clay concert.  We drove three hours only to find out they had rescheduled it for April 2nd.  So, we just went to a movie and hung out at her house.  It was a nice little break.  We got back to campus at 11:00 a.m. this morning.  We weren’t even gone 24 hours, but all of us laughed up a storm.  It was a really funny night.

The Highlanders are leaving at 7:30 tomorrow morning.  I won’t see Sarah for about a week and a half.  We’re doing pretty good.  We will not continue our relationship after I graduate…of that I am sure.  It won’t end, it will just change form.

Things are moving very quickly here in the last days.  I’m not afraid, but excited!

I re-read Sarah’s letter I put in my journal on January 12, 1998.  When everything has changed, that letter is the way I’ll remember our relationship.  It has been and will continue to be…a very good thing.

March 8, 1998 – Sunday – 4:30 p.m.

I went with all the guys and girls to see Silage, Grammatrain, and Third Day in concert last night.  I had the best time in the world!  Sarah came to church with me this morning. I just got back from watching the one-act she was in.  She did an okay job, but I didn’t like the show at all.

We are going to slip away from each other pretty soon.  I know it will happen.  In a way, it already has.

But tonight…my one-act opens!  Mason and Jodi have been a joy to work with.  Derek was my stage manager.  We have an amazing show.  Thank you for this season God.

Directing is a very rewarding experience.  And if I can do this for the rest of my life, well…that would be nice.

 

March 7, 1998 – Saturday – 11:00 a.m.

Things have changed.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

The time has come for Sarah and I to end the type of relationship we have.  She doesn’t know how she feels about me.  I need to let her go.  I am a burden to her, not a refuge.

My world is getting ready to change.  I need to guard my heart so it will be prepared and ready for Regent University.  I also think I will have a more lasting impact on Sarah if I let her go.

I love her.

And when you love someone, you know the truest part of love is when you let them go.  And when you love someone, you can easily see when the time has come to let them go.

I believe it is now that time.

It is not a sad time.  It is simply a time.

Exactly when this will happen…I’m not sure.  I have a long rehearsal this afternoon and I’m going to a Third Day concert tonight.  My brother is also here visiting.

Sarah’s show and my show both open tomorrow.  She is in a one-act and I’m directing one.

I have a little over two months left.  I see Sarah and I in a lasting friendship.  She is one of the best things that has happened to me here at Lees-McRae.  God has used her to teach me so much.

I went to see Titanic again last night with Mason, Ann-Marie, Jessi, and a guy named Teddy.

Exodus 23:20.

I always thought I would be the one bringing Sarah.  But I was wrong.

My Sarah has brought me.

And that is all I need to know.

March 5, 1998 – Thursday – 8:00 p.m.

Exactly two hours and two years ago, I wrote this poem in my journal:

Nature’s first green is gold

Her hardest hue to hold

Her early leafs a flower

But only so an hour

Then leaf subsides to leaf

So Eden sank to grief

So dawn goes down today

Nothing gold can stay

After two years, that poem still remains true.  Both sad and hopeful.

I am reading A Sacred Flame, the book about Edgar Tufts and the history of Lees-McRae College.  It is a huge story, the story of this land, and God has allowed me to write a couple of paragraphs.

I’ve grown closer to Mason through directing him in Next.  It opens in two days.  I’ve learned so much directing this piece.  I feel so at home and so complete when I’m directing.

Sarah’s been a bit down.  It’s mainly due to her broken ankle, but some things have happened with her friends that have made her sad, but she isn’t telling me the details.  I’ve been waiting on her and helping her while her foot is out of service.

It’s been two years since I left to visit Arizona.  That means Brandon’s kid is almost two years old.

I received a wedding invitation the mail today, it was from Jeni.  She is marrying David.  I guess this means he isn’t gay anymore.

Who was I before Lees-McRae?

Shortly after I arrived, there was a special girl named Jeni, whom I said hello to.

And now there’s a special girl named Sarah, whom I’ll say goodbye to.