July 5, 1998 – Sunday – 9:38 p.m.

I went to Parkway Temple this morning.  I felt so welcome!  One woman came straight up to me and told me I had the most beautiful eyes in the world.  Afterwards I went out to lunch with David and two other members of the youth group.

That afternoon I spoke with Emily and Lindy over the phone.  Then I went to the Founder’s Inn on campus and stood in line for 40 minutes to see Mark Lowry in concert.  I stood in line and sat with three beautiful women: one mother, one daughter, and one aunt.  The mom went to Parkway Temple.

Mark Lowry was hilarious.  I saw him many years ago with my mom in Asheboro.  I also got a free ticket to see him on the 700 Club tomorrow morning.  How cool is that!

I feel like God is showing me so much and it’s making him so happy!  Loving God and enjoying everything he has made is the only way to be alive!  He has truly given me an abundant life!

Advertisements

July 4, 1998 – Saturday – 11:59 p.m.

I am now in a beautiful country home on the outskirts of Colerain, NC; a place I’ve never been to before.

I went to the youth service with David at Parkway Temple on Friday night.  It was so awesome.  I’ve never seen kids praise the Lord like that before.  I was around an entire new set of people, but I felt so at home.

After the service I went over to Justin’s house where he and all of his camp friends were getting together.  I spent another two hours with people I’ve never met before.

The past few days have just been new people after new people!  America is just filled with wonderful people everywhere I look.

Then, this morning, I left with David, Mary Jo, and Mark and we drove down to Mary Jo’s house here in Colerain, NC, 15 miles east of Ahoskie for the 4th of July.  All three of them are Divinity students at Regent, and we spent most of the day on the shore of the Chowan River that runs nearby.

Mary Jo’s parents are hilarious, especially her dad.  They are so hospitable and they fed us like crazy!  Three other friends of hers came over, Kelly and Chad from Greenville, NC and Coleen, another girl from Regent.

We swam in the river, enjoyed the beautiful scenery, but the fireworks were cancelled that evening due to strong winds.  Instead, we just sat on the swings and talked.  We spent hours and hours there; the conversation just flowed.  The warm wind blew all over us.  Coleen is so unique and beautiful.  It was just the most perfect 4th of July I could have had.  Talking and sharing with new souls who seem so eager to know you is one of life’s greatest gifts!

Now it’s time for a peaceful sleep.

July 3, 1998 – Friday – 4:03 p.m.

Matt and I went to the birthday party with David yesterday.  The girl’s name is Christina and she is turning 34.  Everyone there was what I would call a “spirit-filled revivalist” and we spent five hours praying for each other and in worship.  My body was shaking most of the night.  I was told I have a gift of prophetic intersession and I had a word from the Lord for two people that night.  I was prayed over about four different times and God told me that me being at Regent was not a mistake and it was just the beginning.  Those who prayed for me had fire in their hands, I could feel it.

God moved so much last night.  I made so many new friends and they’re so much older than me.  I’m looking forward to learning so much from them.

What a different world from Lees-McRae, where I was the only charismatic Christian who spoke in tongues until Abigail and Ann-Marie showed up.  But we never got together and prayed for each other like the group last night did.

I talked to my mom last night and she said God was rewarding me to staying faithful to his spirit during my time at Lees-McRae.  Most Christian families I spent time with during my time at Lees-McRae weren’t really “spirit-filled revivalists,” but they sure knew how to love each other and love me in a very practical way.  Perhaps God is showing me the best of both worlds to make me a complete person.

I’m amazed at how he cares for and provides for me.

July 1, 1998 – Wednesday – 11:00 p.m.

Today was a good day.  I spent the day looking for a job, so there’s a good chance I may work at a Christian bookstore in the area.  One of those could be the campus bookstore.  While there I met a guy named David, who used to be a missionary in South Africa.  We talked for a while and even hung out in his apartment for a bit.  His roommate’s name is Hunter.  They came over here later and seem to be really cool guys.

Our phones began working today, but I can only call out, no one is able to call in yet.

I called Sarah.  We seem to be living our separate lives, but still loving each other.  It’s nice.

I’ve been invited to a birthday party tomorrow at David’s church, and he says they need a drama director.  Perhaps that will be me.  Thank you God.

June 30, 1998 – Tuesday – 10:39 p.m.

I wrote a bit this morning, and then I left for the beach to go ahead and get the tourist in me out of my system.  It worked.  I feel like a resident now.

I bought a beach towel and everything and tried to play the part, but it just wasn’t my thing to do.  I took a walk.  The waves were beautiful, but I couldn’t really see them due to all the people being in the way.  I couldn’t really see the sand either since that too was covered in people.  Folks were just putting themselves in a baking oven; I couldn’t believe.  I saw white folks today who were darker than Marcus.  I walked to the end of the boardwalk and had a perfect glass of lemonade, but then I got out of there as fast as I could.

I cooked hamburgers and fries this evening.  Matt and I watched Citizen Kane, and then I went for a walk.  I took a new sidewalk that ended up leading to the far side of campus.  I walked through the campus by the CBN Headquarters.  There was so many giant satellite dishes, I just stood in amazement.  Then I found another trail that wound through some trees and ended up behind the library, which I had never been to before.  There was a sculpture of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, it was so beautiful.

I enjoy walking.

Now that I actually have a car, I do drive it, but there is just something about walking.  It feels like the land is yours when you take the time to walk over every inch of it.

Banner Elk and Lees-McRae felt like mine, but they belong to others now.

This place will be mine very soon.

June 29, 1998 – Monday – 9:29 p.m.

Today is Allen’s birthday, but I haven’t called him yet, since I don’t have my phone hooked up.  Happy 22 Allen!

Matt and I watched Braveheart last night.  I woke up kinda early this morning and tried to run some errands, but there wasn’t much I could do.  I did meet some faculty members, but very few.

I drove to the beach today.  It was very touristy, so I drove onto the Fort Henry Military Base at Cape Henry.  I went to the Cape Henry Memorial.  I was alone, it was nice, like my own little corner of the world.  There were dolphins playing in the waves.  It reminded me of Hilton Head.

Wow, that was a long time ago.

I miss Emily and Sarah.  I miss a beautiful woman in my arms.

Matt and I went to see The Truman Show tonight.  It’s such a perfect movie.  There was a beautiful storm brewing outside as we left.  I can see so much farther here.  Well, not as far as if I were on top of Grandfather Mountain, but far simply because it’s all so perfectly flat.

In nine days I depart for Texas, and five days after that I leave for South Africa.  Today I went to places I’ve never been before.  And that is pretty much going to be my life for the next month.

Tomorrow is the final day of June, then 1998 will be half over.  And I did the math, after I turn 22 in August, it’s 500 days until the year 2000.  Crazy!

Our phone should be hooked sometime tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to that.

Virginia Beach is the largest city in Virginia population wise, but it’s been pretty peaceful since I hardly know a soul.

June 28, 1998 – Sunday – 5:11 p.m.

And now the world is different again.

I went to see Sarah Friday night.  We spent three hours together from 7pm to 10pm.  We ate out at the Rockola Cafe, had some ice cream, took a walk, and then said goodbye to each other in her driveway.

It was a very nice time.  She said she loved me after I said my last goodbye.

I miss her now.  I have so much more in my heart to say, but I would rather put it in letters to her.  Find those letters if you can, for not every thought or every emotion from my life can be found in these books.

So now…

Now.

Now I sit in my new, very clean, apartment in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  My roommate’s name is Matt, and we went out to eat with his parents last night.  They prayed for us.

I went to a huge church this morning called the Rock Church.  I had a good time for being a stranger.  I also drove around this afternoon and did some shopping.  I got lost.  This area is huge and the roads just change their name out of the blue.  I never made a turn, but discovered I was on a completely different road.  Justin came to visit last night as well.  It’s nice there is one Lees-McRae friend who will be here in the summers at least.

Regent is a beautiful campus.  I can’t wait until classes start.

It feels as though I’ve grown up quite a bit in just two day’s time.  It is strange to have a kitchen to take care of.  My neighbors, who are less than 10 feet away, have children.  Matt and I are very young compared to everyone around us; very young.  Most of them have been married for a while, had a career, a couple of kids, and now they are going back to school.  I’m 21.  It feels like everyone around me is 35.

But here I am…in this new place, and I don’t think I’ve fully realized it yet.

Sarah is far away.

I love her so much.

This is crazy, and I haven’t even left for Africa yet.

God is with me, and he takes care of all my needs.

Since he is so close, I am always home.