May 17, 1998 – Sunday – 6:00 p.m.

A very wonderful weekend.  I spent Friday with Sarah and friends.  We had a picnic in Reynolds Gardens.  It was so beautiful!  I swung on a swing so high that I kept hitting my head on tree branch.  Sarah and KT showed me the Stevens Center, a beautiful theater in downtown Winston-Salem where she ushered.

We hung out with her friend Madelene for a while, then Sarah went to train for her summer job at the YMCA.  I ate dinner with KT and her family, took a nap, then picked Sarah up and went to her father’s house to watch Conspiracy Theory.  I spent the night at KT’s house, ate breakfast there, then drove to Banner Elk where I met up with Allen.  We drove up Beech Mountain to the house where the girls were staying.  Lindy, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Tracey, and Abigail’s parents were there.

Allen stayed up there the whole week and I later found out through Lindy that they would stay up late every night and make out together.  Wow!  Lindy feels great about it, but Allen doesn’t.

It was nice to see everyone.  We went to Jeni’s wedding.  She was absolutely beautiful.  I was very thankful that our relationship ended when it did, that we never went too far physically, and that I wasn’t the one marrying her.  I hugged her and said congratulations.  Then, surprisingly, she kissed me on my mouth.  It was just a little tap, but it was a nice moment, a nice goodbye, and I greatly enjoyed seeing her getting married.

Thank you God!

I drove to Winston-Salem that night and met up with Sarah at Madelene’s house.  Sarah and I went for a late night walk on those city streets.  The sky was purple, and it felt more like summer than any moment thus far; a very peaceful walk.

This past week I have been working on a book for Sarah that is basically just a collection of poems for her.  I let her read the thirteen poems I’ve written for her so far.  She has been doing a similar thing for me.  I love her so much.  It scares me, because I know I would do anything for her.

I came back that night, slept, then went to church this morning.  Cheryl was there.  She seems to be doing really well.  We talked a little and plan on doing something later.

And I just now returned from visiting Wynne, a guy a graduated high school with.  He caught me up on how all the old high school folks were doing.  Apparently, many are totally messed up.  One guy died, others are already divorced, but a few did finish college on time just like me.

It’s time to go to church again.

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May 1, 1998 – Friday – 11:00 p.m.

This month has finally arrived.  Sarah and I have been doing really well these past couple of days.  I only have one final exam on Tuesday and then my Gus, the Theater Cat scene goes up on Sunday.  My beautiful Sarah is in it as well as Timothy.

This afternoon I finally heard back from Teen Mania.  They are sending me to South Africa to serve as a Team Leader for a full month!  South Africa!!  You are amazing God!

I’ve been rummaging through my boxes of stuff from Lees-McRae.  I found all the letters that Emily ever wrote to me.  What a story!  What a collection of words!

Sarah was in here the other night when I came across them, and, forgetting a lot of what Emily had written, I let Sarah read some.  She was amazed and speechless.  She did not leave my room until five in the morning.

I just got back from the spaghetti dinner tonight.  She and I went together, and just like last time, we all talked about the old ’80s TV shows we grew up on.  It was kinda weird.

Many memories have been triggered thanks to my rummaging through ancient papers of the past.  What a life I have lived here!

And in nine days, all of it will be a memory.

This room and these walls will be mine no longer.

My ending here has been a nice one so far.  At Bible Study they had me sit in the middle of the group and everyone said something nice to me.  Many just looked at me and cried. My friends said the nicest things.  Last weekend we all went up to Table Rock and experienced a perfect night together.  The city lights surrounded us in endless beauty.  I will miss this land.

I spoke at chapel on Tuesday and Allen and Abigail were in tears.  I speak at Heaton on Sunday and there I will say my goodbyes.

Sarah and I are going to have dinner at Sharon’s house on Wednesday.

I went with Jeni today to see the little cottage that her and David are moving into.  It was small and cute.

Carla will not be able to make the drive up from Atlanta to attend graduation.

In case you haven’t noticed, I really don’t know what to say except that I know I am changing.

South Africa will change me.

Regent University will change me.

But if there is one thing that is constant, it is change.  I can always count on God and I can always count on him bringing change.

God, I give you all the glory for these four years of beautiful moments.  I will follow you.  You are bigger than Lees-McRae.  You are bigger than the people I love here.  Holy Spirit, help me keep my eyes on you.

. . .

Sarah just stopped in.  She left to go to bed.  She said that I had spoiled her.  I asked in what way.  She said that I was perfect to her.

. . .

I guess I’ve been doing a pretty good job then.  She has defined my senior year.  We have had five special months together here at this beautiful campus in the mountains.  And we have decided to continue our relationship over the summer.

I’m not sure if she is perfect for me, but I sure do want her to be.

 

April 9, 1998 – Thursday – 7:30 p.m.

We are nearing mid-April.  It’s already the forth month, yet it feels like 1998 just began.

A year ago I was dealing with Abigail hating my guts, but earlier tonight she was hugging me tightly for a few minutes for we know time is slipping away.

Two years ago I performed the Easter skit at Heaton Christian Church with the high schoolers.  Then Dan and Charlie and I had a deep talk of love.  Dan couldn’t stand to even talk about love and today he talked about his blooming relationship with Abigail.

And three years ago I was receiving letters from Emily, my one true thing whom I haven’t seen, spoken, or written to in nearly a year.

And then there was today.  Sarah came over just before midnight last night.  My visitation hours ended at one this morning, but Sarah didn’t leave until 5:00 a.m.  We went a little too far in those early hours of today.  Our bodies just seemed to take over.  We didn’t go all the way, but I do think in a slight way it made us closer, cause we took the time to talk about how we crossed the line.

Honestly, I think it was the scene from Lysistrata.  I played an extremely horny character and I was rolling around on the studio floor with another girl.  I think it turned both Sarah and I on.

The storm is 30 days away.  Sarah is still with me.  She told me last night that she was in love with me and that it scared her.  She wondered why I chose her out of all the girls on campus.

These days are so weird.  I have a whole new world to think about, yet I’m so in love with the one I have right here.  Yet, I know that if I just take it a day at a time, it’ll all be okay.

I wondered today if I could spend my life with Sarah.  And I don’t know.  I’m not sure yet.  We will see in time.  One can never know what lies ahead.

Will I still write about Sarah three Aprils from now?

What a time in my life this has been.  From November 22nd until this day, Sarah has been the defining force of my senior year.

I put my cap and gown on today.  It felt weird.  It’s been four years since I wore one of those.

Things are so up in the air.  I look forward to the day when I know a person will always be by my side, for Sarah with me in my bed until five in the morning was an amazing treasure.  To have your wife always by your side when you sleep, could there be anything more wonderful?

Well, yesterday was yesterday and tomorrow will soon be today.  I wish time would slow down, just a little bit.

March 2, 1998 – Monday – 2:40 p.m.

March has begun!

The last day of February was spent in Rock Hill, South Carolina and I had a fantastic time.  I got so much closer to God this weekend.  He is doing an amazing work in me.

We got back early Sunday morning.  Church was great and the cafeteria food even tasted better.  Sarah returned from her trip to Charlotte with the Highlanders that night.  She has a cast on right foot.  She broke her ankle on Thursday playing frisbee.  Poor girl.  But she is still smiling.

Last night, after my Next rehearsal, I spent nearly two hours talking with Mason Davis.  He is a great guy.  So many people can’t figure him out, but he told me so much about himself and how he thinks and see the world last night.  We really bonded.

After talking with him, I went went to see Sarah before visitation hours ended.  I told her about the weekend and how Lindy wanted to be baptized and asked Abigail and I to do it.  We did, everyone cheered, it was the best!  Sarah and I just snuggled and talked, it was so nice to be close to her again and to hold her.  She whispered sweet words of love in my ear.  Other people came in and out of her room and we just had so much fun.  She was eating some noodles and we even recreated the pasta scene from Lady and the Tramp.  Funny!

What an awesome girl I have.  What an awesome God there is.  And it’s only going to get better from here.

February 24, 1998 – Thursday – 11:00 a.m.

Oh, so much has happened.  I guess I’ll try to tell these stories.

Marcus and Kevin came up, but Kevin spent all his time with Curtis and Vince.  Marcus and I talked about him.  His life has taken some amazing turns.  Marcus told me that my brother is no longer a virgin, that he lost his virginity to Kate, the same girl Jonathan first had sex with, and evidently Marcus first learned about this from Tenielle, who, if what Marcus says is true, might end up following her sister’s teen pregnancy path.  And, during all this, one of Kevin’s college friends killed himself.  Kevin wasn’t able to transfer to a college in Texas like he had planned, which, let’s face it, was just him trying to escape everything and start over.  He is in debt way over his head.  He has maxed out three credit cards and owes our mom, and Danny and Peter’s dad, about $4,000.

He did not love Kate.  She was nobody to him.  He made a mistake and gave away a precious gift.  And now it seems he hates himself for it, because he couldn’t face me all weekend.  I cried my eyes out over him because I know he has to feel terrible.

During the show on Sunday afternoon, I was pretty down.  Sarah wasn’t being very comforting to me, for she got upset about something and later that night cussed me out over the phone because I was dealing with my brother instead of helping to strike the set.  I was so upset about my friends and family back home falling apart and I took it out on her by questioning the quality of her personal relationship with the Lord.

She cried all day on Monday and eventually came over to tell me I have no right to judge her.  I felt terrible and cried in her arms.  But before that, since Sarah was ignoring me, the one person who did take the time to listen to me and be a good friend was Abigail.  She came over on Sunday night and held me as I poured my heart out to her.  She really helped me feel much better about everything.

I think things are better now, for Sarah and I made up last night.  We snuggled together for about three hours.  She held me so tight and there’s a way that I can kiss the back of her neck to make her whole body tremble.  Oh God, please be the Lord of our physical relationship.  I don’t want us to go too far.  Holy spirit, please help keep us in line.

Oh, what an emotional past few days.  It seems I’ll never stop learning.  I’ve complicated life and I didn’t need to.  But love has saved me.  I am nothing, but God has saved me nonetheless.  I understand nothing of how this world works.  I’m going to quit trying.  I’m going to remain stupid.  I just want to love the people around me until it’s time to go to heaven.

Oh Jesus, comfort me until then.

February 9, 1998 – Monday – 3:30 p.m.

So, for the show, my director wanted me to look a bit like the character in the movie version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which means he wanted me to dye my hair red and get a perm.  I did, it was done last night and everyone likes it, or they are all lying to me, but at least to my face they say it looks pretty hip.  Sarah hasn’t seen it yet.

I talked to a Teen Mania representative and they want me to be in Bradenton, FL on April 3-5.  I have to fly down there.  I’ll go, wait on the Lord, and see what happens.

The show opens in a bit over a week.  On the following weekend, I’m going to South Carolina for an Acquire the Fire youth convention.  My One-Act will open the following weekend, and then it’s Spring Break starting on the following Friday.  We haven’t made any Spring Break plans yet, so I don’t know what that week holds for me.

A couple of weeks later I’ll be in Florida and then it’ll be close to a month before graduation.

Dan and Abigail are becoming an item now.  It’s kind of cute, but kind of weird.  But it also makes me happy nonetheless.

And Sarah and I are good.  I love her so much.

Thanks God for all you have given me.  Thanks for the weeks and months ahead.  You are everything in my life.  I adore you.

January 22, 1998 – Thursday – 11:15 a.m.

My auditions were last night.  I had an amazing time.  So many talented girls came to audition, it was difficult to decide.

Also, Geana came and talked with me yesterday.  She is full of so many sad stories; she was raped when she was 17.  I talked and prayed with her.  She cried.  She is so focused on outer beauty and her body.  She condemns and insults herself all the time, and she uses sex to try and feel love.  My heart hurts for her.  Oh God, please visit with her and help her.

Lindy, Ann-Marie, and Abigail came to hang out with me yesterday evening and they stayed until one in the morning.  We had what we called a “tear party” for we all seemed pretty emotional, and God showed up in the sharing of our hearts.  Lindy shared about how she gave up her virginity in high school.  She said that guy now had something of hers that she could never get back.  She looked so sad, like she would do anything to remake that decision she made so long ago.  And because of that, she said she’s put up her guard and has been very careful about letting others love her.  She has done the same to God and I told her last night that she needs to let him love her to his fullest ability.  She cried.  I held her.  I cried.

I also spoke to them about how Geana said that all she wanted was to be sure that somebody loved her.  I shared that such a perspective confused me, for I now realize that God loves me way more that I will ever deserve, so I really have no right to ask for any more love from anyone.

Now for me to keep all of that love and not let it flow through me and give it away to others, that is the true tragedy.

I talked to Sarah from the time they left until 2:30 in the morning.  We had an amazing talk, she too shared so much with me.

I now think that there is nothing more difficult in life than being a girl.  And the thing that makes it most difficult for them are men, or boys, I guess I should say.

Sarah told me that she doesn’t think she’ll ever find anyone like me ever again.

Am I really that different?  Am I really that rare?  Are other guys my age spending most of their day talking with young women about the core of who they are?

I love you Lord!  Why are you so good to me?