October 28, 1998 – Wednesday – 8:00 a.m.

I got up before the sun did this morning.  I prayed and I read.  The men’s meeting at church was such a blessing last night.  It is great being a guy.

I look forward to the Holidays and visiting the people I haven’t seen in a while.  I look forward to classes next year.

David is now the youth pastor at Parkway.  He will be quitting his bookstore job in two weeks.  More things are changing, but God is Lord of them all.

Life is good.

Time is flying by.  I will moving on in no time at all.

I can’t wait to hold Emily.  I also just want to snuggle up and read a book of my own choosing.  I wish the adventure so easily found in the mountains was closer by.

I’m glad God understands me even when I do not.

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October 25, 1998 – Sunday – 9:47 a.m.

I talked to Vince and Charlie over the weekend.  I’m so excited to hang out with Vince over Thanksgiving.

I’m becoming good friends with Brian, he’s a first year communication student.  We have one class together.

On Friday I helped Kirstin, a beautiful German girl, on her audio project.  We had a lot of fun, and actually talked about other stuff.

Friday night’s youth service was so awesome.  So many people got saved.  I spent the night over at Sterling family’s house.  Kimberley stayed over as well.  We watched The Land Before Time.  Sterling’s mom was so sweet to me.  It was a wonderfully simple time.

Halloween is Saturday.  Christmas play practice begins and I’m helping with the harvest party that night as well.  November is just around the corner and I’ve got much to do to finish out the semester.

1999 will drive before I know it.

It feels like the whole world is moving quickly into the future.  But I’m trying to stay right here.  Hmm, I’m even trying to stay in yesterday.

October 22, 1998 – Thursday – 10:00 p.m.

I talked with Sharon tonight. Snow was in the air over Avery County this morning.  I wasn’t there to see it. October 27th was the first snowfall of my last LMC winter.  I didn’t realize how true that statement was when I wrote it nearly a year ago.

I’ve realized when I write these words in these spiral-bound books that they will never go away.  All 13 books are in my sight at this moment.  They sit on a shelf in my closet in front of me.  They are a record of nearly the past six years of my life.

I put Christmas lights up in my room this evening, and it caused me to miss the wintery feel of Banner Elk so much.  So, another day is closing.  One of the final ones for Tammie and Jose in this land.

I turned in four copies of the first draft of “Eyebrows” to the school’s team of producers yesterday.  They said I was the first of the final four to turn it in.  They seemed pleased and impressed.

And so God moves me on.  My memories fight with the present moment every day.  My heart questions why we can’t go back, but it also longs to see what is ahead.

I have no one to really talk to here.  I miss Vince and our deep talks to Counting Crows’ “August and Everything After.”  We had a ritual.  We would start with track four, “Perfect Blue Buildings,” and play it through to the end.  We would turn off the lights and stare up at his glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, most of which were placed there by Laura, and we’d talk of God, love, and beauty until the midnight hour.

I miss Dan and I pondering over the questions of life while playing “Tetris 2” on the Super Nintendo.

I miss riding in Curtis’ car and staring out the window in deep thought.  He’s always ask me what was on my mind.  I’d always tell him.  I felt listened to.

I miss Allen disagreeing with my way of thinking.  He’d ask my advice and then go do the opposite.  But somehow it still made me feel loved by him.

And I miss Charlie, the one I’ve known the longest.

But God needs me elsewhere.  His breath is blowing me forward.  So, I continue and I do this not for me, for all I want is heaven, but God asks me to wait and spend more time with his creation first.

I cannot argue with that.  So that is what I will do.

But how can I live in today when I long for the past?  How can I make new friends when all I want are my old ones?  How can I help save others from a world I can’t admit I’m in?

Why did you make me this way God?  To find comfort in asking questions and not needing the answers.  Is that what faith is?  I don’t need the answers Lord, I just need to know you are listening.

I miss you.  I miss the eyes I’ve never seen.  You comfort me more than my memories and my Teddy Bear from Tenielle.  I want to hold you instead as I fall asleep.  Be with me tonight sweet Jesus, and take me to be with you.  I want to awake in heaven, but if I’m here tomorrow, I will laugh and play in your love.

Heaven feels closer tonight.

How perfect your grace is.

October 21, 1998 – Wednesday – 9:00 a.m.

Much has happened since my last entry.  Tammie and Jose’s party was the most amazing event.  Justin came, all the girls had a burping contest, and I fell more in love with this whole world.  God has given me a heart of compassion for these people.  Each day, I find myself longing more and more for them.

Sunday’s church service was fantastic as well.  There was another party for Tammie and Jose that night.  My small group meeting is on Mondays at Connie and Christian’s, and on Tuesday nights I now have a men’s meeting at church.  I went last night and it was awesome.  No matter where I go, I find myself surrounded by good people.

I finished my “Eyebrows” script yesterday, but there are a few changes I need to make before I submit my first draft.

I’ve been emailing Angela and Dawn from my Africa trip.  Julie also sent me a letter.  I also found a new email buddy in a Canadian who went to Eastern Europe with Teen Mania.  Her name is Anna.  MovieMark and I have begun emailing each other again.

Time is moving forward.  The air is getting cooler, but the leaves are not changing.  I bought a plane ticket Monday to go down to Pensacola for Christmas.  I’ve never spent a Christmas in Florida before, and I’ve surely never spent one so close to Emily.  I will stay there until the Brownsville Revival starts back up at the beginning of 1999, then I will fly back.  I depart here on Christmas Eve.

November brings Tracey and Vince.  I used to think about going to visit my old home in the mountains, but to miss one tiny thing that happens here frightens me.

Thank you God for my homes!

October 17, 1998 – Saturday – 3:24 p.m.

We went to Portsmouth First Pentecostal Holiness church last night.  I rode in the van next to Kimberly.  Then sun was setting as we drove over the water and the skyscrapers of downtown Norfolk were silhouetted by a perfect sky.  It was a beautiful drive, both inside the car and out.  Laughter filled the air as a Down Syndrome kid expressed his love for the Children’s church leader.

I saw Rachel, the red-head I met at Bethel Temple, at the church.

Tonight is the going-away party for Tammie and Jose.  Justin is going to go with me.  He’s in town for Fall Break.

I love my youth group.

It’s such a divine appointment for all of us to be together right now.  Like it was always meant to be.

Just like Lees-McRae, it was all always supposed to happen just like it did.

October 14, 1998 – Wednesday – 11:30 p.m.

Another lifetime is beginning.

I’m growing used to these faces and I’m looking forward to seeing them.  Kimberly is the sweetest thing this side of North Carolina.  I have a beautiful group of teenagers here that look up to me.  Life hasn’t stopped yet; probably never will.

My pen is running out of ink.

The closing of this year will be something: ending my first semester of film school, directing a Christmas drama, seeing my parents and Emily in Florida, seeing Riverdance with Tracey, going to a Rebecca St. James concert, spending Thanksgiving with Vince.

I love you God.  There’s nothing greater than living in your peace.