December 1, 1997 – Monday – 8:20 p.m.

I have been a Christian for a total of 12 years now.  Today is my spiritual birthday.

It’s hard to know what I’m feeling right now.  Let me just try to catch up.

Sunday after church, Josh and I went shopping in Johnson City, TN then we picked Vince up from the airport.  We went to church that night and saw a presentation of the musical Star Queen.  It was so wonderful.

Sarah called me that night and then came over to see my Christmas tree.  We held hands and talked for nearly two hours.  She told me so many neat stories.  She has such an amazing heart and the world is so beautiful through her eyes.

She has gone to see a show two hours away tonight.  I am on duty and miss her greatly.

After she left at 11:00 p.m., Vince took me out to Subway and then we came back here and ate to the light of my Christmas tree.

I got some Teen Mania information today in the mail.  I began to cry as I read over it.  The Lord moved upon me.  I am applying to go on a two month mission trip to either India or South Africa next summer.  I am insanely excited!

There are only two weeks left of classes.  I don’t have any exams during finals week.  In less that 18 days I take the GRE.

Christmas is so soon.  It hardly feels real.

And the wonderful burden of everything changing is resting upon the shoulders of my mind right now.  I haven’t talked to Emily since May.  Sarah and I are telling each other things we tell no one else.  Auditions for the spring show are in one week.  I direct a one-act next semester.  Once the new semester begins in January, there will only be four months left until it’s all over.

Sarah is a freshman.  I am a senior.  Why does the world work this way?

I had to look through some old boxes for a picture negative earlier this evening and I came across a lot of ancient stuff.  Memories flooded my heart and soul.  And I realized how much things really have changed since I first arrived on this campus.  And then I realized how much everything was getting to change even more.

Oh Jesus, you are my one constant companion.  You are by my side no matter what!

Humble me God.

You are all I have.

You are all I’ll ever have.

I need you now.

More than ever.

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November 29, 1997 – Saturday – 5:30 p.m.

I am writing to the light of my very own, completely real, Christmas tree.  My apartment smells like a forest.  I’m pretty sure it’s a fire hazard and completely against policy, but I’m the RD, so whose gonna write me up?!

We saw Anastasia last night.  Same old love story, but it was a fun and delightful animation.

I spent the night there and Sharon and I got a chance to talk a lot last night and this morning.  She is an amazing woman.  She’s taught me so much during my time here.  And she even let me cut my own Christmas tree from their Christmas tree farm.  She bought me lights, gave me decorations, and I’m staring at it now.  It is so beautiful.

It’s my first ever real Christmas tree and it’s just for me.  I can’t stop looking at it.  I can’t wait for Sarah to see it.  Maybe we’ll just sit here on my sofa and stare at it in silence.

I realized today that I have so much here to love.  Christmas is about giving.  I’m simply going to give away all that is in me to my friends around me.

I love them so so much.

I want to share my Christmas tree with them.

I want to share my love with them.

I want to share my life with them.

November 28, 1997 – Friday – 5:00 p.m.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I spent most of the day on top of Sugar Mountain.  Marisa, Mason, their cousins, friends, and parents were there and Mason asked me if I would pray for the meal.  I was happy to do so.

The meal was nice, but the family was not.  They are full of bitterness and not love.  But they sure could make me laugh.

I came home and stayed up until two in the morning, writing a short story about the kiss Sarah and I shared on Saturday.  What a perfect Eternal Instant it was.  I feel like I’m still living in that moment, my lips on hers, yet it was so unexpected.

I watched The Spitfire Grill this morning and cried.  Then I met up with Marisa and skied for the bulk of the afternoon.  Their whole gang was there skiing as well, but I never saw them.  It’s easy to lose people when skiing.  It really felt like I spent the afternoon on those slopes alone, with the occasional few moments with Marisa.

This was my first Thanksgiving in Banner Elk.  Three years ago I was in Cincinnati.  Two years ago I was in Hampton Roads.  Last year I was in New York City.

I’m going to meet up with Sharon and family for the evening.  We are going to see a movie.

November 26, 1997 – Wednesday – 10:50 p.m.

I am amazingly happy right now.  It is the day before Thanksgiving.  Sarah and I, plus Sherlive, Vince, and Curtis went to see George of the Jungle.  It was so funny.

Sarah and I seem to say more in our silent glances than we do through spoken words.  She is from God.  I know it because all good things come from the Lord.

Marisa came up today!  She hugged me so tight.  I took Vince to the airport in his car, then went to see The Rainmaker.  I love going to the movies alone.  I get there early, sit on the front row, stare up at the blank screen, and just dream.

It was an awesome, awesome movie!  I just praised the Lord the whole way home.  I love good movies and can’t wait to make my own.

I drove through the darkness of the mountains that make up my beautiful home and just felt completely wonderful.  I still feel wonderful.

I have friends, mountains, movies, a church that feels like family, and now there is a girl who looks at me in a way that melts me to the core.

I know nothing about the world.

I just know I am loved.

And I love my God who freely gives all this to me.

November 25, 1997 – Tuesday – 11:15 a.m.

We saw each other last night.  We even read a little devotion together.  We continue to hold hands and touch each other’s arms, but we haven’t kissed each other since Saturday night.

Those moments in her arms will be remembered as some of the greatest here at Lees-McRae.  I’m not sure if we are getting closer.  I’m not sure what will happen.  But, I do know that if I’m able to hold her for every remaining night I have here, I would forever be thankful.

She is becoming one of my favorite things.

November 24, 1997 – Monday – 3:30 p.m.

“Masks” was wonderful at church on Sunday.  It changed people.  The Misanthrope ended yesterday as well.  Whenever someone asks me if I’m glad it’s over, I simply say, “I’m glad I did it.”

After my final performance I was given a card, a card from the beautiful girl who blessed me.  She came over last night.  We watched Braveheart and held hands.  She is so good to me.

We smiled at each other in the cafeteria today.

My fingers miss her skin.

I see her eyes everywhere I go.

I’m losing sleep over her.

If this is from you God, thank you.

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November 23, 1997 – Sunday – 1:00 p.m.

I haven’t stopped thinking about her since she left my room last night.

She came to me because she was sad.  She needed someone to talk to and she told me the story of her divorced parents and how she is split between them.  I held her.  She cried.  I prayed for her and she cried all the more.

I prayed for God to take all the pain, hatred, and unforgiveness away and to fill it with peace, love, and joy.

Then, after I stood there with my arms around her, holding her, as she cried on my shoulder, she took ahold of my hand traced a heart on my palm with her finger.  I saw her lips moving and, even though I couldn’t hear her, I knew she was praying for me.  She was asking God to bless me.  I could feel it.  She held my hand so tightly and I started to cry.

I’ve ministered to many hurting girls.  I’ve held and touched many and they all received my touch and prayer, but this is the first time a girl ever took the time to return the blessing; to return the affection.

She was hurting, she was in pain, and yet she gave.

Even now, it brings tears to my eyes.