January 17, 1998 – Saturday – 11:00 a.m.

Okay, never mind.  I wasn’t way off.

Yesterday, Friday the 16th, was a record-breaking day for five girls came to my room and talked to me about their romantic pursuits.

First was Geana.  We talked about sex because she and her boyfriend have sex.  She knows the Bible teaches against it, but she says with him it doesn’t feel like a sin.  She was in a car accident about five years ago where she suffered brain damage.  After that, she said her thinking changed and started doing things she would have never done before.  She seemed confused and admitted as much.  I told her that if the love was true, both would stop having sex, guard their hearts and bodies, and get married.  She seemed to see the logic in that.  She’s an interesting and weird girl.  After telling me all this stuff, she then took a nap on my sofa for an hour.

And while she was asleep, Sherlive called.  She called to talk to me about Vince for she is but another girl who is crazy about him.  I told her he was still confused about Laura and to just be his friend, but to also not be a stranger.

Then, Jessica came over and we talked about her and Allen.  They went on a midnight hike at the beginning of the semester and she now likes him and wanted to know if I knew how he felt about her.

The next girl was Emily, not my pen pal, but Emily from the theater department, who plays the prostitute I have the underwear scene with in Cuckoo’s Nest.  She wanted to talk about her confusing feelings towards Timothy and AJ.

And then the last girl to desire my company and advice was Sarah, my girl, and we got to talk about us.  Thursday night, over the phone, she told me that she had a present for me, “a special present,” she added.

“Well, I’m excited,” I said.

I saw her around lunch time and we smiled brightly at each other.  I called her while Geana was asleep only to find her crying.  She said she was an emotional wreck, but that she had to go to class.  I told her she was beautiful and that I loved her.

At dinner, she was still a little weird and I told her I would look her up after rehearsal.  After rehearsal Sarah, Mason, and Jessi went to rent a movie.  I watched it with them in Mason’s room with half the freshmen Performing Arts students, but Sarah never acknowledged I was there.

I was on duty and I got a call over the radio, so I left to deal with that and never returned.  I went to my room, put on Hymn by Jars of Clay, then put it on repeat, and began to read the Gospel of John.  While reading, a peace came over me.  I have been praying for a while now for God to teach me to love like he loves.  And I realized that he answered my prayer through Sarah.  He showed me how much it hurts when he loves those who do not even acknowledge or look at him.

When I got to the second chapter, there was a knock at my door.

Sarah came in.

She sat on the floor, by the sofa I was sitting on, and laid her head upon me.  I put my arm around her and ran my fingers through her hair.

She began to cry and she didn’t stop until she left, which was about an hour later.

My eyes shed no tears.

She eventually spoke.  “You see a beauty in me that I have yet to see.  I see how much you love and care for me and its the scariest thing I’ve ever known.”

“You ought to be me,” I smiled.

“I just don’t know what to do.”

“Do you want me to let you go?”

“Not completely.”

“I know not completely, but enough where we don’t have to pretend to play this little game?  I can’t stop loving you Sarah, but I can stop trying to show it.  And you know that I’m here if you ever need someone to hold you.”

She continued to cry.

“I’ve known you’ve felt this way for a long time,” I told her, “I just wanted to be come and tell me.”

“I didn’t want to hurt you.”

“You couldn’t hurt me.”

“I don’t want you to have to need me.”

“Sarah, I needed me to love you more than I ever needed you to love me.  What has happened between us is a beautiful thing.  God has told me to love you now, because we both will need it later on.  Please don’t feel guilty.”

We looked at each other for a while.

She broke the silence with, “It’s not like I don’t love you, I do, and you know I’ll always be here,” she placed her hand on my chest, “but I’m just not ready.”

More silence passed.

“I had a cross necklace that I wanted to give you, something that I’ve had for a while that has been very special to me, but it feel out of my pocket today and I lost it.”

The tears poured from her eyes.

“I’m sorry.” I said.

After a few eternal silent moments of unending eye-contact, she finally kissed me on my cheek and said, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”  I said.

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January 16, 1998 – Friday – 12:24 a.m.

Boy, was I way off.  Just when I thought I had women all figured out…

I’m not going to go into detail, but Sarah and I are fine.  Thank you God!

Anyway, classes are both difficult and fun, and Cuckoo’s Nest rehearsals are really awesome.  I awoke and thought this was going to be a terrible day, but it has been filled with nothing buy joy!  I even got to minister to Geana a little about some stuff she shared with me.  We seem to be becoming really good friends.

God, you never cease to amaze me.  Forgive me for doubting.  I love you above all else.

 

January 15, 1998 – Thursday – 10:00 a.m.

I’m sure this thing I have with Sarah isn’t going to last much longer.  Something has happened.  Deep down I think I know what it is, for eagles have eyes like telescopes.

She just never seems to want to be around me.  She says one thing, but her actions proclaim another.  She is rude and cold to me.

But what I don’t understand is that I feel like I’m actually doing everything right.  I’m putting her first, but even still…oh, I don’t know.

She called me last night and said she wanted to come and talk with me this morning.  So, I’m waiting.

The only thing I want is for her to be honest, honest with me and honest with herself.

. . .

She just called me.

She is coming over.

Help me God!

January 13, 1998 – Tuesday – 1:01 p.m.

Earlier today while I was praying, and, for about a minute, I really missed my humble home in super small Mt. Vernon Springs.  It really surprised me.

Sarah and I talked over the phone last night at 3:00 in the morning.  I told her I felt I was a burden to her and I felt like she was just ignoring me, for I had spent time with her earlier but she hardly looked at me.  Although she loves me, I really don’t think she needs me.

But I remember asking God to teach me how to love and I think he is using Sarah to do so.  One thing for sure, God is definitely separating me from this place.

Abigail and Ann-Marie came back yesterday.  Abigail bought me my own copy of Hinds’ Feet on High Places.  I had to return Sarah’s copy to her.  I was so thankful to have my own copy.

Oh, Vince and Justin just came in to hang out.  I’m gonna chat with them!

 

January 12, 1998 – Monday – 1:00 p.m.

It has begun.  My final semester.  All of my close friends are back now, except for Curtis, Abigail, and Ann-Marie.

Charlie and Kate and I went to see Good Will Hunting.  It was amazing, but man I think it had more bad language than any movie I’d ever seen.  Yuck!

Church was nice on Sunday.  Crystal has decided to not go back to school in Asheville.  She is going to stay home and work.

Saturday night I called Sarah from Dan’s room and we had a nice conversation.  We just caught each other up on our week and all that has happened.

During a meeting on Sunday night, I met all the new freshmen for the semester.  Sarah came in around that time and it was so good to see her.  She gave me a letter, a beautiful, beautiful letter.

I think perhaps you, the reader, should read it:

Dear Jacob,

Hi. I want to share some things with you. Let’s start with the fact that I am really really happy right now. You know how different times in life have different feelings? Well, for now, I am happy and I feel like I am waiting. God has brought me here, but am I making a difference while I wait? I’m just trying to live from the Him that I feel burning inside me.

I’ve never been good at getting my feelings across in words or on paper; if I could I suppose I’d be striving to be a lawyer or an author, but God wants me to do something. I know this because he saved me so many times; in this we are alike. You feel your wings itch inside and I feel something as well.  I want to rejoice in my life and how it leads me to live. I can see your wings Jacob, I know it’s true! I think I have chosen the wolf as my animal because they see and hear everything. This is the gift that God has given me that both delights and scares me. I see and know things that others can’t and what many overlook. These are pretty deep thoughts, thoughts that I share with no one because I’m afraid they won’t get it.

I am a sinner. We all sin, that is the part of our legacy as humans. I wish it weren’t so, but even the best of us do.  Most of the time we do it without even thinking about it.  I know that some of the things I do are not what you would call good, but they are part of who I am, a part of my past, a part of my life. I dedicated my life to God long ago and I gave him all of me, even my weakness, along with my joy, fears, love, pain, and stress. My life is his. I learn everyday. I’m trying.

Part of what I’m trying to explain is that… well, I love you and I don’t want to scare you away from me. For the next few months I need to soak as much of you up as I can, so that no matter what happens you will make me a better person just by being you. You understand don’t you? I love you. As I said, I wasn’t planning on falling in love with you, but this unexpected love for you excites and scares me. Except for my family and the few friends I have at home, all of my other relationships with people seem to turn sour. Please don’t let me scare you away. I don’t know what will happen, but I do know that we must learn from each other. I have found true love in your heart. Unfurl your wings and fly away.  

I love you.

Forever.

Sarah

It’s hard to know what to write after reading that.  But God is doing something.  After reading her letter, everything around me became more beautiful.  As I walked across campus today and had great moments with Vince, Justin, Josh, Sherlive, everyone; I realized that all of us were on the Titanic, Sarah too.  There is an iceberg ahead and it’s sole purpose is to separate us from each other.

But although the thought made me want to cry, I became full of so much joy because I know God has given me Sarah for this short while to help bring me beyond the iceberg.

I can survive this storm if she is with me.  I told her as much when we had a few moments alone last night.

After saying goodnight, I went to see Vince.  He read to me a long poetic story he wrote after he saw Titanic.  It dealt with Laura.  Man, one movie is ripping all of us open.  He saw it over Christmas with his family and he said he couldn’t believe how his mom and stepfather reacted; they only talked about the special effects! But Vince said he was dying inside and wished I was there so he wouldn’t feel so alone.  He didn’t want to be alone last night, so he came over and slept on the floor here in my apartment.  He got up in the middle of the night and threw up in my bathroom.  He said it was over Laura.

It’s good to have Vince here to talk to.

This morning we went down to the Jehovah Petra, the cross we built on a huge bolder in the middle of the river, but the storm and flooding that happened over the break must have washed it away.  Our place to pray and worship was no where to be found.

Oh, these days; my mind seems to be overflowing.  Of all those things, number one is my Lord, number two is Sarah, number three are these wonderful friends.

It’s so hard to see Sarah when other people are around. I want so badly just to hold her and talk with her about things I barely tell myself.  It’s difficult to see her everyday because I love her so much.  I don’t know how to be a couple with her, I just know how to love her and give her my all.

Every day is an amazing new day.  Every new day is the best day ever.  Are these the best days of my life?  Am I living them now?  God is so true and alive and real.

I love others.

And that is the greatest of all gifts.

January 9, 1998 – Friday – 4:30 p.m.

Mom brought me back up to school on Thursday.

Wednesday night I called Sarah.  She was very mean to me, but she said she was kidding. Recently she just hasn’t been the Sarah I once knew.

I bought a rose for her and put it in her room today.  I’ve given our relationship to God.  I don’t know what happened, but I hope we get a chance to really talk soon.

I have a wonderful world up here.  Dan and his brother are here now.  The other come soon.  A great change is happening inside me.  My spirit and flesh war every day.  I try to keep the relationships around me growing and, at the same time, pursue an education and a career.

Overall though and more than anything, I just want to love and serve God.  I want to live this life to its fullest in God’s perfect plan and I do not want to sin.

Only four months are left.

Four.

Two of those four will be given to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Next.  On stage anyway, I’ll end my Lees-McRae career with a death scene, a suicide to be exact.  Weird.

Man.

I do miss Sarah.

I miss touching her.

I just miss her.

And I miss Titanic.  I haven’t stopped listening to the soundtrack since I got it.  Hmmm.  You spend 3 1/2 hours in a theater, yet you feel as though you have lived a lifetime.  I pray I can do that for people.

But as for now I am alive, just like any person who ends up reading this.

And I always will be alive.

Forever.

January 7, 1998 – Wednesday – 4:20 p.m.

I finished reading Hinds’ Feet on High Places today; such an amazing book.  And last night, I returned to the same Bible study that Marcus and I went to on Friday night, only this time I went alone.

God manifested himself to me.  He spoke a word to me concerning that which has been heavy on my heart.  He told me to love those who would not love me back.  He said he had put me in a place to love and I should do only that.

For some reason, one I can’t explain, Sarah’s love doesn’t seem to be there as much as it once did.  Maybe it is my own thinking, but Sunday there was something in her eyes, something in her voice, and it just wasn’t real and true.

So, that word from the Lord was amazing!  My time is short and for these final hours at Lees-McRae, God needs me to love Sarah.  I do not know why.  I may never see the fruit of the constant seeds I will be planting, but I hope to selflessly give.

I see more and more how God uses other people to bring us to the place he has prepared for us.  We are not meant to go it alone.  He designed for us to be in relationship with those around us.  It is supposed to hurt, it is supposed to bless, it is supposed to comfort.