January 13, 1999 – Wednesday – 8:30 a.m.

Haven’t written in a while.

Lindy left Saturday morning.  Our time together was fantastic.  God fell on us at youth service on Friday.  Vince left with Justin Sunday morning.  And then God fell on us at church that night.  Three people had the same vision for me.  They saw me in front of millions.

Classes seem fun so far, but tons of work.

We’ve had prayer meetings at church the past two night.  Something seems to be happening.

I’ll be working on film shoots over the next two months on the weekends.  And when I’m not doing that, I’ll be rehearsing the masks skit.

It is nearing my brother’s birthday.  I don’t even know if he went back to school or what he is doing.

It’s a brand new year.  I must not long for the past anymore.  Forgive me for always doing that God.

Guide me.

Lead me.

 

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January 8, 1999 – Friday – 8:20 a.m.

Tracey just left for home.  She stayed the night, along with Vince and Lindy, who are both still here.  They came in last night.  We visited Justin, who was a little sick, and also went to see Christin.

Oh, how I love my friends!  They are so good and so good to me.

I have to go to work soon, but it has been a while since I’ve written, so I just wanted to jot something down.  On Wednesday we had our first Drama meeting of the year.  To begin, I’m going to lead the kids through a six-week discipleship course.  Everything is wonderful!  Classes start soon!

I love you Jesus!

 

January 4, 1999 – Monday – 11:25 p.m.

The first flight was delayed, but I arrived safely and Christin and her mom were waiting patiently to pick me up.  Christin handed me a card as well as a bouquet of sharpened pencils, it was a reference to You’ve Got Mail.  It was nice.

I came home to a tone of messages.  I called Lindy and she said she is coming to visit on Thursday through Saturday.  I can’t wait to see her.  I’m sure we will have the best time in the world.

Earlier today at the Pensacola airport I watched the most amazing family of four.  I saw such a display of love.  I cried inside as I watched them and prayed that God would let me have that someday.

I found a letter from Sarah in my mailbox.  She asked me to pray for her and she thanked me for letting her love me.  The letter was nice, but…well…I guess it’s never too late.

Amy, a teammate from South Africa, also wrote me from France.  She sent beautiful pictures.  It was great to hear from her.

 

January 4, 1999 – Monday – 2:00 p.m.

I am now at the Pensacola airport.  It’s the fourth day of 1999.  It’s not just the end of a decade, but the end of a century.  Knowledge feels rampant, but love feels scares.  I do not know what this year will hold, but I will worship the Lord throughout.

There is a small flock of birds scattered amongst the clouds.  It’s a good day to fly.

I want to be a good student and a good friend this semester.  All of that is much harder than it sounds.  I want to live right.  I’m so thankful to be away from Sarah, and I no longer want to mess with Emily.  I want to start afresh.

I told my good friends at Lees-McRae that I would come visit during my spring break, but I think it might be bad for me to go back.  I do not belong there anymore.  I doubt I will have the money anyway.

Well, they just announced my flight was delayed.  I have to go check something out…

 

January 1, 1999 – Friday – 4:30 p.m.

For the final night of 1998, I attended a prayer service at Brownsville Assembly of God and afterwards I was at a nearby Methodist church until 1:30 a.m.  Several different praise bands were playing.  It was mainly a youth service.  I knew no one there but Jesus and had an amazing time.

And God reminded me then that life would be similar to that event.  I would always find myself worshipping with different groups of people.

I have been been waiting in line in front of Brownsville Assembly for most of this New Year’s Day.  God is good.

I miss home though.  I look forward to flying back.  This break has been nice, for it has caused me to appreciate my life in Virginia Beach so much better now.

Three days are left here.

I may return here, or I may never see this land again.

Yesterday I took a drive and ended up in a small country town by the name of Jay, Florida.  Many people call me Jay.  And that’s where I was during the final sunset of 1998.  The land was so flat, the color of sky took my breath away.

Solitude.

I enjoy mine greatly.

Thanks Lord.

December 31, 1998 – Thursday – 12:30 p.m.

It is the last day of the year.  Happy Birthday Christi!

And it is nearly the last day of the century.

Emily and I never went to a movie on Monday.  She left a message here on Wednesday night saying she had been in Atlanta for the past two days and now she is back in Tallahassee.  I flew down here from Virginia to see her and she goes to Atlanta, yet she writes letters to me saying, “In a perfect world, I could smell the salt of your skin.”

It doesn’t make any sense.  I want our story to be over.

So 1999 will begin soon.  I am going to spend the final night of this year at Brownsville Assembly of God.

Last night mom and I went to visit a local church and we ended up at Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Pace, FL.  There I met the oldest resident of Santa Rosa county.  She is 105 years old.

I often think that because I take the time to write my thoughts down on these blank pages that I’ve figured life out.  But then I look into the eyes of someone born in the 1890s and realize I don’t know anything.  She was all there too.  She had the clearest mind.  Oh God, may I get there some day.

I’ve found myself dreaming of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.  It has happened again.  Another home has come.  I long for it now more than my mountains.

Oh Lord, don’t ever let me go.

I spent the first days of this year in Siler City and Sanford, then months in Banner Elk where I spent time with Sarah who decided to let me go before I would have to let her go.  I played Billy Bibbit on stage, spent a week in Kentucky, a weekend in Tampa, and thousand of moments with the greatest humans on the earth: Vince, Allen, Dan, Curtis, Tracey, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Josh, Ashley, Justin, Jessica, Lindy, Jeni and many more.  Jenny got married.  I graduated.  And I spent a month driving back and forth to Winston-Salem trying to hold onto a girl I knew was fading away.  I raised some money, flew to Africa, and returned to a brand new world of Christin, Sterling, and Kimberly; a world I now greatly miss.

I saw God move in South Africa, but as I grow older, I realize God is moving everywhere.

In addition to my one-act in the early months of the year, I also directed a beautiful Christmas show at Parkway Temple.  Regent allowed me to work on many film projects, and of course there was my job at the bookstore.  I visited Lynchburg, and now I am here in Milton, FL, where I rode with mom to New Orleans and saw the coast line in between.

I am 22-years-old.

The days are not getting any easier.

The days are not getting any longer.

All I can do is grab the hand of Jesus on one side of me, grab the hand of a good friend on the other side, and hope the rock on which we stand will remain.

The first days of 1999 will begin as the last days of 1998 are ending.  I’ll be attending the famous Brownsville Revival.

I fly out on the fourth and will land in the arms of Christin, for she is picking me up from the airport.

If all goes well, I hope to spend most of my days in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake during the final months of the century, for I have a very acute feeling that I won’t be there very long.

Heaven will be nice.

There are no goodbyes there.

December 29, 1998 – Tuesday – 9:30 a.m.

It is nearing the end of the year.  I rest in Milton, Florida, USA, and these days force me to look back.

Nineteen Hundred Ninety-Eight.

Thoughts of Sarah, as well as saying goodbye to Lees-McRae, took up the first six months. I still long for that place, but I’m secretly and silently afraid to go back to visit, for I fear I might ruin it’s impact on my life and my heart.

There was a month of transition in the middle of this year through which I visited Texas and South Africa, with brief stops in New York and Miami.  Those were such perfect days.  I wish I could go back and stay in them a little longer, for they were simply too short.

Virginia Beach, Regent University, and Parkway Temple all immediately fell into my lap and my heart.  It seemed as though my collection grew overnight, and now it is the only home I long for.

I am enjoying my time off here, but my parents’ marriage, my stepfather’s need to explain everything, and my mother’s non-displays-of-affection towards her husband and myself still shock and hurt me.  I simply do not understand.  I stay silent.

Emily said she would call yesterday.  She did not.  She reminds me of Sarah.

I just want to do it right.  I want a true and simple love.

The tiny smile of Christin is all I need.

Since my first semester of graduate school is over, it is time to pick the most cherished moments of that time.  There are only two, and I was fully aware they were perfect moments while they were happening.

The first was on November 28, 1998, the Saturday evening I spent with Tracey.  It was the moment during Riverdance in which a gentlemen played a beautiful bagpipe sort of instrument and the entire world stopped.  The music brought peace to the entirety of my days and perfect love to my heart.  I had an old friend by my side and even older memories in my mind.  I had just seen Vince and Allen, a beautiful sunset, and fantastic fireworks.

Perfection.

The next one took place during the early morning hours of December 13, 1998.  My Heart Will Go On played over the credits of Titanic.  Sterling was asleep on one side of me, and Christin was asleep on the other.  Her beautiful face was on my chest and my fingers were in her hair.

Perfection.

And so, a few days of this year remain.

Can 1999 be so close?

What is happening to this world?

Jesus, you are my shelter.

You are all I seek.

Please guide me.