October 3, 1997 – Friday – 10:30 a.m.

Man, life is pretty cool.  Tuesday afternoon I hiked down to Elk River and laid out on the big rock where Charlie set up a cross.  I feel asleep and slept for an hour and a half.  It was so awesome.

Abigail and I have talked a little.  She apologized to me for acting so weird and taking things the wrong way.

Mason and Emily are doing wonderful in our scene.  I’m so proud of them.  I can’t wait for everyone to see it.  I’m even designing lights for it.

I was nominated for a scholarship today.  It’s based on my writing and it’s $2,500.  Way cool, huh?

I talked to Pastor Steve Wednesday night and asked him if he could send me that masks from the Mask Skit we used to do.  They arrived today.  It’s gonna be so awesome seeing this piece from my past performed again.

We had Bible study last night and Courtney came.  She was a pretty wild girl last year, but she said she got saved over the summer.  Then each of us wrote a little love letter to Jesus and Courtney’s was amazing.  She cried and couldn’t finish it, so I finished it for her.

Jesus can change everything.

We watched Liar, Liar after Bible study last night.  It was so good for all the guys and girls to hang out together.  We leave for Washington D.C. today to go to Stand In The Gap. It should be fun.

October is already here.  My application for Regent is nearly complete.  I will take the GRE next month.

Life is moving along and I can’t help but smile.

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September 29, 1997 – Monday – 1:30 p.m.

A lovely day.

Yesterday was rainy, but still wonderful.  I think I prefer rain over sunshine, especially in the mountains.

Jeni came over and we talked.  Dan and Allen were here and we began talking about relationships.  Then Jeni said to Dan, as though I wasn’t there, “I could never see myself dating Jacob again, mainly because his spiritual relationship with God is so much further along than mine.”

That statement surprised me greatly.  After Dan and Allen left, Jeni and I talked about it.  She said that Abigail and Tracey feel the same way; I somehow make them feel inferior.  “But I don’t do anything!” I told Jeni.  “I’m just me, I don’t think or even try to act like I’m better.  In fact, I’m the lowest of the low.”

She said that maybe it was just their own spiritual insecurity.  She said it was the hardest thing in the world for each of them since they all love me so much.

I didn’t understand.  They love me, but don’t want to pursue anything further with me because I make them feel less close to God?

Then Jeni confessed that over the summer when she stayed with me, she went into my room and read my journal.  She immediately started crying, fearing I would hate her.  She said she opened it up to May 7th, 1997, I believe.  And well, you should flip back and read it for this to make sense, but she said that reading that nearly killed her and she wished she had never read it.

I explained what that entry meant to me and I forgave her.

Then she told me that she told Abigail once, “No matter who Jacob marries, she will never be worthy enough.  He is wonderful.”

There it is.  Because I love God, girls are turned away.  I guess following Jesus does cost something.

But all that was yesterday and I woke up today with a smile on my face.

Speaking of girls, Sherlive is completely confused and foggy about life.  She is asking questions that shouldn’t be asked.  I used to think she had it all together, but she is in the ozone.  I spent three hours talking with her last night.  I asked her to lay her head in my lap so I could just pet her hair and pray for her.  She never seemed to relax.

Dan told me later on, “Jacob it’s going to be terrible next year.”

“Why?”

“Who’s going to be here to take care of us?”

September 28, 1997 – Sunday – 1:40 a.m.

I’m in my room again.  The drives to Louisville and back were as much fun as any time we spent there.

I have grown accustomed to my new apartment.  It is now my place, my room, but I couldn’t call it my home.  Lees-McRae is my home, and this is simply my room.

After I got back from Kentucky, I went down to Cannon lobby and discovered that a lot of people were down there singing praises to our God!  Abigail had some friends up and Tracey’s family was there.  I joined in and it was a wonderful time of song.  Abigail’s face was a huge and constant smile.  I could see in her eyes how special those two people were to her.  She was amazingly happy and that happiness had nothing to do with me.  That’s probably how it will always be and how it should always be.

Jeni is going to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship tomorrow.  She is excited about seeing David, I think something nice happened between them while I was gone.

I saw an unbelievable Kentucky sunset a few hours ago.  It really was an amazing drive home.  Dr. and Mrs. Martin told Charlie and I the story of how they met, it was just a couple of days into their Freshmen year of college.

I was reading a little bit out of my older Books of Days.  I read about Jenna and Tenielle and about lost keys and alphabets.  How crazy and different I seemed back them.  But that was me then and it isn’t me now.

It made me realize that very soon all of these girls here at Lees-McRae will simply be stories in My Book of Days.  But they haven’t completely faded from my heart into the pages of my journal just yet.  I still remember Jeni’s long, soft legs and the curves of Abigail’s face.  I still dream of Jessica’s hair, Ann-Marie’s smile, and Ellen’s laugh.  These girls mean more to me than I ever let them know.

Then there are the new girls like Sarah and Sherlive, whose college experience will continue on without me.  Every night I go to bed so thankful, so thankful for an extra day with these beautiful women and my fantastic guy friends.  They are bringing me closer to God.  God is loving me through them.

Lees-McRae is passing and I know I’ll be able to let it go.  These people here are everything to me.  When we reach the other side, I’m sure one of the first things I’ll do is look for them.

I have been here simply to love

To witness and experience joy and fun

Soon I’ll leave calmly like a dove

The way night does when day is done.

September 26, 1997 – Friday – 11:30 p.m.

I am in Louisville, Kentucky.  I’ve never been here before.

We left at 11:00 a.m. this morning, twelve and a half hours ago.  Charlie and I rode with Dr. and Mrs. Martin from our church.  We came upon the scene of an accident that had just occurred seconds before, since he’s a doctor, we pulled over and he helped out.  It was a single car accident where the high winds picked up the trailer and pulled the truck off the road.  The two passenger’s were okay, but the driver got hit in the head pretty hard.

We had a fun trip up here and went to the first seminar earlier this evening.  The speaker spoke on sexual purity.  We are now at a Days Inn in Louisville.  I’m sharing a room with Charlie and Jamie.

I’m kinda tired, but it’s nice to be in Kentucky.  Tomorrow will be a full day.

September 26, 1997 – Friday – 10:00 a.m.

I will leave for Kentucky in less than an hour.

Yesterday was an amazing day.  I spoke to Doc about Regent University, that I was applying, etc.  She said there was a guy in Boone who had graduated from there and that since she had a lot of pull with CITA (Christians in Theater Arts), her recommendation alone would guarantee my acceptance.  I’ve been wanting to attend Regent since the summer after my Freshman year, when I first learned about it at Fishnet.  Yesterday God just reassured me that he is the one calling me to attend there.

Also, Jeni was here yesterday.  It was so good to see her.  Last night after Bible study, all the guys and all the girls came to hang out in my room.  We talked for a while and then in the middle of all of the conversation, Abigail said something, something amazing.  We were talking about some joke I had told and she said, “You’re a funny guy Jacob.  I appreciate your humor and I appreciate you.”  And then she kinda stared at me.

In that moment I felt like our friendship was completely restored.

I got a letter from Marisa today and in it she said, “I’m sorry it’s your last year, but the Lord has called you elsewhere.”

And Sarah wrote me a letter as well.  She said, “Jacob, I want you to know that even though I haven’t known you very long, I love you.”

I am so loved here, and yet I’m leaving.

I don’t know whether to smile or to cry.

September 25, 1997 – Thursday – 4:40 p.m.

Life is good.  I did a lot of research on church drama this morning.  I am now on the judicial committee since I’m an RD.  We saw some students today; pretty rough stuff.

My rehearsals with Emily and Mason are so much fun.  We are going to have the greatest scene ever.

And even in the busyness of this day, I found time to stare at the sky and the ground.  I stopped by Tennessee Dorm where Dan and I roomed together for a month, where Jeni spent a week, and where Sherlive spent a night.  Then I picked a flower and walked towards McAlister.

On the way there, I stopped at the cemetery next to the Presbyterian church.  I walked through slowly and stopped at the gravesite of the founder of this great institution.  There, at the tombstone of Edgar Tufts, I set my flower.

I then sat on a stone and examined the world around me.  I saw a leaf walking along the pavement.  I never knew leaves could walk, but it moved along as if it knew where it was going.  Then I stood and started walking and wondered if I was really walking, or if maybe some great wind was pushing me along as well.

September 23, 1997 – Tuesday – 6:40 p.m.

Emily and Mason and I had a rehearsal today and it went beautifully.  They tell me that other students in acting class aren’t working well with their student directors.  They said that no other directors have had rehearsals yet.  They are so excited because they know their scene is going to be great.  I enjoy making them happy.  After our rehearsal I came to my room and sang praises to my God.  I get so uncontrollably happy when I direct.

I ate across the table from Abigail tonight and we carried on a little conversation.  And while we were getting ready to leave we stood next to each other.  Our bodies weren’t touching or anything but it just surprise me that I was very aware that she was there.

Autumn is here and it’s never been so beautiful.  Justin is becoming a trusting friend.  I’m so glad he’s here.  I’ll soon have my application complete and ready to send off to Regent University.  I also need to look into a summer job.

My days here are fading away.  I’m running out of time to bless my friends.  Soon I’ll simply be a person who just used to go here.  The Freshmen of next year won’t know me. The Freshmen of this year will most likely forget my face.  I’ll disappear like the bright yellow and red covering the mountainside.

But I leave knowing I at least made a difference while I was here, or the Jesus in me did anyway.  So many names, so many eyes.  Their lives have touched mine.  I am my collection.

I am who I am, only because of them.