March 27, 1999 – Saturday – 6:26 p.m.

Matt has gone home for a week, so I took advantage of him not being here to tidy everything up a bit.

As always, it has put me in a retrospective mood.

My collection is so large.

I received a letter from Emily a couple of days ago.  She was assuming I was angry with her.  She asked me to write her back and I did.  I wrote her back on the back of the letter she sent me and said that who she was in my mind and heart was more amazing than who she was in reality.  I told her my heart no longer wants to pursue her and that we should not pretend to be something that we are not.  I let her know I will always be her pen pal if ever she needs me.  Along with the letter, I returned a small heart she once mailed me long ago.

And that is perhaps the end of six-year-long story that has held a corner of my heart.

And probably always will.

Yesterday, Kirstin helped me video my project for editing class.  It was so much fun.  I cannot believe I get to do this work.

Today there was a birthday party for Jason and the youth group is hanging out again tonight at the YMCA.  I hate to leave my retrospective words right now, but I’m late!

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March 25, 1999 – Thursday – 11:09 p.m.

Saturday night, Kimberly and I went to see Spread Your Garment Over Me at Regent.  It was an original show, and it was just the two of us, which was really nice.

This week has been really peaceful.  God has been present.  The youth leaders met on Tuesday night, and on Monday I watched a weird Italian film with Mary Jo, which caused us to talk all night about relationships.  Nicole and I had dinner over at Deborah’s house to work on a group research project.  Tonight, after I closed the bookstore, I picked up Kimberly and Rebekah and we went to see a high school production of Annie, where Sterling was in the orchestra.

And on the way home, I heard a song on the radio I know I haven’t heard in a good decade or more.  It was called Somewhere Tonight by Rick Cua.  Just yesterday I was remembering that song and wish I could hear it again.

And God played it for me.  It’s not a popular song for anything, which just shows how God is always there, listening.

Today in class we watched the footage from all the film shoots.  The one I directed turned out very well.  Tomorrow I direct another film, but this one is on video.  Kirsten is helping me.

What an amazing thing it is to be alive and to know the one who made me.

March 20, 1999 – Saturday – 5:52 p.m.

Vince, Lindy, and Tracey just left.  They are stopping by Vince’s house on the way back to LMC.  We had a wonderful time together.  We met up with Justin for lunch on Friday and then went to the Norfolk Zoo, which holds the world’s funniest ostrich.  That night the youth group kids really got a kick out of Vince and I doing our funny duck walks.  We visited Justin at his house afterwards and watched movies.

I had an audition for a short film this morning.  He had me read with four different people and it took over an hour and a half.  I hope I get something.  That afternoon we all went to a birthday party for a little guy at church.

It was so wonderful having Vince, Lindy, and Tracey here.  Even now, I miss them so much.  I pray our friendships never die.

I plan on going to a show at Regent tonight.  I’ve invited Kimberly to come with me.

Many things are on my mind right now, but I just want to lay before the Lord in silence.  It is, as you know, the first day of spring.

 

March 19, 1999 – Friday – 9:14 a.m.

I cooked breakfast for everyone yesterday morning, then we all took Vince to get his hair cut.  He had grown it out super long, but now it’s super short.  From there we drove to downtown Norfolk to go to the huge new mall that opened, and we randomly ran into Justin from Lees McRae.  We hung out with him for a bit while he was on his lunch break.  He went back to work and the four of us ate out on the Waterside.  Afterwards we crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to explore the Eastern Shore and ended up in a place called Oyster.

Justin met us back at my apartment and we ate a crazy mixed up dinner of all the food I could find: pasta, fish sticks, chili, etc.  It was so random and fun.

We chilled for a while and then ran out to get some Krispy Kreme Donuts; the HOT sign was on!  It was an amazing day.  I took so many pictures that can tell the story much better than I can.

Jesus is the giver of all good things.

 

March 18, 1999 – Thursday – 8:02 a.m.

Vince, Lindy, and Tracey are here.  Charlie did not come.  They arrived late last night from Myrtle Beach.  It doesn’t sound like things are going too well spiritually at Lees-McRae.  They say the fire has dwindled.  I will be praying.  God, if you want me to go, I’ll go.  I am yours.

Well, welcome to my 15th Book of Days.  This book may take me all the way to 2000.

Our youth church is really booming.  We are applying the Circle of 12 principle.  We are even beginning a leadership school.  What a blessing this church has been.  Christin hasn’t been a part of the youth church though.  I hear she has an Internet boyfriend, and she only comes to church on Sunday morning.

The apartment lifestyle doesn’t bring as many visitors as the dorm life brought by.  Vince, Lindy, and Tracey are making me miss the old life more and more, but I’m sure a time when come when Regent University and Virginia Beach will be the places I long for.

But the days of LMC can no longer be, but they did bring me some very good friends.  Three of them are asleep here, and I need to go wake them up so we can explore this 18th day of March, 1999.

March 13, 1999 – Saturday – 9:01 p.m.

Closing time for another book has come.  Nearly nine months of my life have been written down in these bound pages.  This 14th Book of Days began as Sarah and I ended.  I’ve been to Texas, New York, South Africa, Swaziland, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Virginia during the days of this book.  And now I relax on a bed in my grandparent’s house in Lenexa, VA.

My aunt Patty just left to go back to D.C.  My brother just left to return to Richmond.  Nate is on the couch, and Mom and Henry are upstairs.

And life is beautiful.

It is good to be here; to be around family.  This was the first time my immediate family has been together since my graduation.  Yet we were all in this one house tonight because of one man, my grandfather.  My aunt Patty sung a song she wrote about him today and it ended with the lyric, “I learned a lot from my daddy.  Most of all, this is what I learned: work hard to provide, live a decent life, marriage is for a lifetime, raise your young’uns well, and always say ‘I love you.'”

I am proud to call him my grandfather.

My mother talked to me tonight about my dad, and how he would call her ugly and tell her that he would think of other women from magazine covers when having sex with her.

How cruel, but I forgive him.

God is my father, and always has been.

I will learn from Him.

Although I am from a family, it seems like such a meaningless thing compared to the relationship between myself and Jesus.  The whole worth of my being depends on a bloodstained hand.  I see from where I have come, and what a beautiful story it is, but I must never stop writing.  I one day will be like my grandfather and perhaps give hope to my grandson as he begins his own journey.  Nevertheless, the work of my hand and mind, the provision that will come from that, the marriage between my future wife and I, and my relationship with my future children is nothing compared to Jesus and me.

I am 22.

Twenty-two.

I have learned many things, but only one do I hold my life to.

Only one.

And that is that Jesus loves me.

Jesus loves me.

And he loves all his little children as equally as he loves me.

March 11, 1999 – Thursday – 8:31 a.m.

God…I love you.  You know what you are doing with me.  You know this heart; you created it.  You alone can please me.  You alone can make me happy.

Please forgive me for my sins.  How wonderful it is when you forget.

I don’t need to see this world God.  I want to see you.  I want to see Jesus.  Purge me oh Lord.  May you be my first desire, not what you created.

Thank you for my friends.  Thank you for our stories.  Thank you for Regent and forgive me for not liking it for a while.  This is a blessed place.

Oh, open my eyes Lord.  Replenish my memory.

I do not want to forget what you have taught me.

Even now, I am flying.

I am coming home.