August 29, 1998 – Saturday – 9:00 a.m.

The storm hit hard.  Orientation was cancelled.  Emily never called.  But Friday night’s youth was amazing.  I feel so comfortable there.  Yesterday I drove around downtown Norfolk.  That’s such a big city to me.

I’ve been watching a lot of VeggieTales videos and have simply been have the best time in the world.  The summer of ’98 is coming to a close.

School begins again.

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August 27, 1998 – Thursday – 5:10 p.m.

We had a youth ministry meeting last night.  I’m excited about how God is using me at Parkway.  I also talked to Jeni over the phone last night.  It is so great to know we have a wonderful friendship.

I got an email from Sarah.  It was rude and cold, but I wrote the nicest letter back.

Orientation is tomorrow.  I only have classes on Monday, which I guess is nice, but it is very different from what I’m used to.  I want to go to class, I like it, but now they are all crammed into one day.  How different my new world is.

Matt called last night.  He went to Minnesota because his girlfriend’s dad has brain cancer and might die.  I’ve had the place to myself and it’s simply insane with how well I get along with myself.

Emily is supposed to call tonight.  I wish I could hold her.  She makes life normal.  She makes it romantic.  She adds so much and she does so little.  I do hope the day will come when we can see each other again.

I need to share my heart, to share my life.  I need to ride out and see the Grand Canyon with someone.

 

August 26, 1998 – Wednesday – 4:21 p.m.

Hurricane Bonnie is on her way.  I am not afraid.

My encounter with Rachel was a good one.  We talked about 30 minutes.  She knows I’m at Parkway and she knows some kids out there.  She said she might come out on Friday nights.

There was a bombing in Cape Town yesterday.  It seems like the world is about to explode.

I awoke this morning to a note from Matt on my bathroom mirror saying he had to leave in the middle of the night to go on a secret mission.  He won’t be back until Sunday night. I’ve decided I think Matt is a little weird.

Last night I called Tracey, Lindy, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Dan, Vince, and Ashley from Lees-McRae.  They started their classes today.  How strange it is that I am not there.  I miss them all so much.

God please be with me here.  Let me grow and prosper.  Bring people to me that I can minister to and bring me to people who can minister to me.

I love you God.

I need you.

August 24, 1998 – Monday – 1:07 p.m.

In about three hours I’m going to go see the girl I met on Friday at Greenbrier Mall.  Her name is Rachel.  God please guide our conversation.

Church was so good yesterday.  Parkway Temple is perfect for me.  Last night the youth pastor Jose, his wife Tammy, David, and a 20-year-old named Aaron all came over here and we had a meeting, and they basically just handed their entire Drama Ministry over to me.  They said I have complete artistic freedom.  I’m so excited!

Yesterday afternoon, David and I went to the beach.  The water was so strong because of Hurricane Bonnie.  And I have to admit, like a kid in grade school, I wrote Rachel’s name in the sand.

 

August 22, 1998 – Saturday – 9:35 p.m.

Friday night I went with David and Cindy to Hampton to go to a revival service at Bethel Temple.  And once we entered, David and I went into the bookstore there.  I immediately saw a beautiful young woman with the most amazing smile, hair, facial features, wow!  She was reading a book, and her beauty struck me so suddenly, I couldn’t help but verbalize it out loud.  David heard me, but she didn’t.

We looked at some music and then sat down and after some time, she came and sat next to me with her parents and grandparents.  I didn’t say anything.  She began talking to me and we really seemed to enjoy each other’s company.

The service was great.  We prayed a lot for our nation due to all of this Clinton sex stuff, and U.S. strikes on Sudan and Afghanistan.  As we were leaving she asked me if I would be back for another Friday night service.  I told her I wasn’t sure, but I asked her for her phone number and she happily gave it to me.  She lives in Chesapeake, in a place called Deep Creek (imagine that) and she works at Greenbrier mall at a Christian bookstore; that’s only five minutes from my apartment!  She asked me to come and see her there.

I told her I would.

I worked today and then went to be an extra on a student film being shot nearby.  I learned so much by just watching.  I stayed on set for about two and a half hours.

I ended the day talking with my brother and dad over the phone.  My brother has decided not to return to college and I felt this desire to lovingly confront my father about his pornography addiction.  I felt God directed our conversation and I hope some healing has begun in his heart.

I am smiling so brightly.  I love you Lord!

August 21, 1998 – Friday – 11:30 a.m.

Yesterday after work I watched a movie I had rented, and then I went to the mall to buy some straight pins and maps for my walls.  I put the maps up and put in pins representing all the places I had been on this planet.

I enjoyed that time immensely.

David came over last night.  I cooked some burgers and we had more than enough left over.  We watched That Thing You Do!.

I got a speeding ticket the day before.  Fifty in a 30; yuck!

Oh well.  This style of living, this apartment, this place and the way it works, this twenty somethings style of life, it is so different from what I’m used to.  I’m thankful for my job and I’m so thankful for Parkway Temple, but all of this is very new to me.  I’m finding my way though.  I have a place where I shop for groceries.  I have a beach I visit.  I have a mall where I shop, a membership at a video store, and a favorite movie theater where I go to dream.  I know a decent place to get a haircut.

And I have this apartment with maps reminding me of all the places I am from.

August 19, 1998 – Wednesday – 8:21 a.m.

There are nearly 500 days left in this millennium.  Crazy!

They threw a little party for me at work yesterday and gave me a card where my co-workers said the coolest things about me.  It’s just unbelievable how amazing my birthday was.  I mean, I’ve practically only been here a week.

I’ve called a few folks based on some posters I’ve seen, and, over the next month or so, I will be helping other film students on two different projects.  I’m excited!  And I talked to the youth pastor at Parkway Temple.  He said he would love for me to help out with their drama ministry.  The Lord is simply fulfilling the desires of my heart.

Emily and I talked for over an hour last night on the phone.  She asked about Sarah.  I told her I didn’t know.  Sarah told me before that she was going to have letters waiting for me when I got back from Africa.  There was nothing.  But Emily and I had such a good talk.  I prayed for her.  She cried.  We’ve come such a long way; over five years now.  She will always be there.  She never lets me down.

The days are moving faster now.  I hope I can spend the last hours of this millennium sitting next to Emily.  I hope that is possible.

What a wonderful little life I’m living.