November 11, 1998 – Wednesday – 12:55 a.m.

Tonight was wonderful.  I had dinner over at Kimberly’s, and we worked on sign language stuff for the show.  I like the way she laughs; her whole body just vibrates with no sound.

I came back after five hours and worked on a paper, then I felt the need to call Sarah.  She actually talked to me a little.  She is not good, her life is confusing, and without purpose.  She told me about getting drunk on Halloween.  I prayed for her and we were able to talk about our relationship and what really happened between us and what it meant.  And we agreed on this:  that I let her bring me to the place I am now, but she never let me bring her.

But it isn’t too late.  It is never too late.

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October 22, 1998 – Thursday – 10:00 p.m.

I talked with Sharon tonight. Snow was in the air over Avery County this morning.  I wasn’t there to see it. October 27th was the first snowfall of my last LMC winter.  I didn’t realize how true that statement was when I wrote it nearly a year ago.

I’ve realized when I write these words in these spiral-bound books that they will never go away.  All 13 books are in my sight at this moment.  They sit on a shelf in my closet in front of me.  They are a record of nearly the past six years of my life.

I put Christmas lights up in my room this evening, and it caused me to miss the wintery feel of Banner Elk so much.  So, another day is closing.  One of the final ones for Tammie and Jose in this land.

I turned in four copies of the first draft of “Eyebrows” to the school’s team of producers yesterday.  They said I was the first of the final four to turn it in.  They seemed pleased and impressed.

And so God moves me on.  My memories fight with the present moment every day.  My heart questions why we can’t go back, but it also longs to see what is ahead.

I have no one to really talk to here.  I miss Vince and our deep talks to Counting Crows’ “August and Everything After.”  We had a ritual.  We would start with track four, “Perfect Blue Buildings,” and play it through to the end.  We would turn off the lights and stare up at his glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, most of which were placed there by Laura, and we’d talk of God, love, and beauty until the midnight hour.

I miss Dan and I pondering over the questions of life while playing “Tetris 2” on the Super Nintendo.

I miss riding in Curtis’ car and staring out the window in deep thought.  He’s always ask me what was on my mind.  I’d always tell him.  I felt listened to.

I miss Allen disagreeing with my way of thinking.  He’d ask my advice and then go do the opposite.  But somehow it still made me feel loved by him.

And I miss Charlie, the one I’ve known the longest.

But God needs me elsewhere.  His breath is blowing me forward.  So, I continue and I do this not for me, for all I want is heaven, but God asks me to wait and spend more time with his creation first.

I cannot argue with that.  So that is what I will do.

But how can I live in today when I long for the past?  How can I make new friends when all I want are my old ones?  How can I help save others from a world I can’t admit I’m in?

Why did you make me this way God?  To find comfort in asking questions and not needing the answers.  Is that what faith is?  I don’t need the answers Lord, I just need to know you are listening.

I miss you.  I miss the eyes I’ve never seen.  You comfort me more than my memories and my Teddy Bear from Tenielle.  I want to hold you instead as I fall asleep.  Be with me tonight sweet Jesus, and take me to be with you.  I want to awake in heaven, but if I’m here tomorrow, I will laugh and play in your love.

Heaven feels closer tonight.

How perfect your grace is.

October 17, 1998 – Saturday – 3:24 p.m.

We went to Portsmouth First Pentecostal Holiness church last night.  I rode in the van next to Kimberly.  Then sun was setting as we drove over the water and the skyscrapers of downtown Norfolk were silhouetted by a perfect sky.  It was a beautiful drive, both inside the car and out.  Laughter filled the air as a Down Syndrome kid expressed his love for the Children’s church leader.

I saw Rachel, the red-head I met at Bethel Temple, at the church.

Tonight is the going-away party for Tammie and Jose.  Justin is going to go with me.  He’s in town for Fall Break.

I love my youth group.

It’s such a divine appointment for all of us to be together right now.  Like it was always meant to be.

Just like Lees-McRae, it was all always supposed to happen just like it did.

October 14, 1998 – Wednesday – 11:30 p.m.

Another lifetime is beginning.

I’m growing used to these faces and I’m looking forward to seeing them.  Kimberly is the sweetest thing this side of North Carolina.  I have a beautiful group of teenagers here that look up to me.  Life hasn’t stopped yet; probably never will.

My pen is running out of ink.

The closing of this year will be something: ending my first semester of film school, directing a Christmas drama, seeing my parents and Emily in Florida, seeing Riverdance with Tracey, going to a Rebecca St. James concert, spending Thanksgiving with Vince.

I love you God.  There’s nothing greater than living in your peace.

 

October 10, 1998 – Saturday – 12:30 a.m.

It’s past midnight.  Memories haunt me.  Faces, smells, and touches.  I am missing Lees-McRae.

Hard to believe it has already come and gone.

I talked to Tracey tonight.  And for the first time since she has returned to Lees-McRae, I tried to call Sarah.  I woke up her roommate instead and Sarah wasn’t there.  Elizabeth said she would have her call me.  It is Homecoming weekend there.  I’m afraid tonight I may lie awake waiting for her to call, but I know she never will, just like she never did so many nights that I waited in McAllister Dorm.

I fear God has created me to just drop me into a place for a season, then I’m off to somewhere else.

We live to communicate, but most of that is just us asking questions.

I can’t get to sleep right now.  I’m wondering what God is up to.

Why is he so good to me?  Why does he like to blow the wind through my hair?  Why am I constantly studying the shapes, angles, and beauty of every girl’s eyebrows?

Look where I am now.  This is one heck of a ride, but the ending is all that matters.

Words are losing their value.

All except these three:

Jesus loves me.

September 30, 1998 – Wednesday – 10:31 p.m.

I cannot believe it is the last day of September.  Nine months of 1998 are over.  Only three months remain until the final year of the century.

And here I am in Virginia Beach.  How much have I shown you about this place? You know my roommate is Matt and he is a very spiritually sensitive, freshly baptized in the Holy Spirit, Christian.  God is using him in amazing ways.  He is very different from me, and he hardly ever says a word.  We’ve only really talked openly about two times.  He is obsessed with the Spice Girls, keeps a long distance relationship with Kelly, and likes to make clothes out of shower curtains.  Wow, when I look at that on paper, I see how unique he really is.

I work with him as well as with David, Katie, Jenny, April, Curren, and Dawn.  Dawn is beautiful, engaged, and leaving the bookstore.  We connected and seemed to understand each other the most.  Curren plans to be president of the United States.  April is the smart-mouthed roommate of Mary Jo, with whom I spent the 4th of July.  We basically pick on each other every time we work together.  It’s fun.  Jenny is the daughter of Channing, the textbook manager, and sister of Sara, who worked until school started back earlier this month.  Sara and I seem to share more with our eyes than with our actual words.  I always find us looking at each other.  Katie is part of the Parkway Temple youth church and on my drama team.  She got saved after seeing last year’s Christmas show, the very show I’m attempting to recreate.  And, of course, there is David.  He’s the Worship Pastor for Parkway’s Youth Church, and the first person I met here.  Oh, and I can’t forget Donna, the bookstore manager.  She’s from Boston, and her husband has the most expensive prosthetic leg in the world.

Aaron and Blisson work in receiving, and Amy, Kieth, Valarie, and Jennifer work in textbooks and book keeping.  Who knew it took so many people to run a small campus bookstore?

As far as classes go, I have three on Monday and one on Wednesday.  Anna, Nicole, and Chris are in my first class on Monday and Wednesday.  We usually sit together since we all hung out together that first night we went dancing near the waterfront.  Boy, that seems like a long time ago.

In my 2nd Monday class, Video Production, I’ve gotten to know Kirsten, Gina, and others.  They are nice.  Nicole is in there as well.  We are on a team together with Patty.

My third Monday class is Dynamic Communication.  There I have met Brian, who owns more movies than anyone I’ve ever known.  I visited his place the other night.  He’s very nice, shy, and simple, but he still makes me laugh.

I’ve also met Shawn in that class.  He’s our School of Communication Chaplin and has a personality similar to Marcus.

Living around me are Mary Jo, Coleen, and Connie & Christian.  The latter are married and from Germany.  Matt and I get together with them on Monday nights for a prayer meeting.

Jason and Rachel are worship leaders for Divinity Chapel and two of the most amazing people I’ve come across.  They carry the face of Christ.

Cindy lives farther away, but I’ve spent time with her and David outside of Regent on several occasions.

I’ve worked with many people on several different film and video projects here.  Yet, I hardly see many of them now that those projects are over.  With theater you really get to know people over months, but short film projects can last only a day or two.

Monroe is a Teen Mania veteran who is in theater and also loved my pitch this past Friday.  I’ve noticed many other beautiful eyes and smiles.  Hopefully soon I’ll know their names.

Parkway Temple brings along an entirely different collection of beautiful souls.  Tammie and Jose are our leaders, then there’s Kimberly (beautiful, innocent, sweet, loving, kind, amazing….too bad she’s 15), Robyn, Sterling, Justin, Matt, Jeremy, David, Kyle, Aaron, Jennifer, Jamie, Kristen, Charlotte, Lauren, Brett, Cameron, Jason, Ed, and many others whose names I’ve forgotten.

And there you have it; those names are the major players so far.

September 25, 1998 – Friday – 5:10 p.m.

September is slipping out from under me.  Can it already be so late in the year, and so late in the millennium?

I had a film shoot earlier in the week and met a woman who had spent some time out in LA.  Our conversation about how the business really works intimidated me a bit, and I felt God question me on how bad I wanted to work in the film industry.  Most of the students here don’t really want to work in Hollywood, they just love the craft and home to use it somehow as a career.  If I’m honest, I want to live a quiet life, not a life in the spotlight.  But I also know I’m supposed to study this right now, and it won’t last very long, for it is already almost October.

Three months until Christmas.

I head for Charlotte, NC tonight after youth group.

Laura and I have been emailing each other.  I miss her beauty.

1999.

That’s impossible.

Last Christmas I promised I would never spend another Christmas with my dad’s side of the family.  I’m tempted to ask Sharon if I can stay with them over the Holidays and just hide from the world.  Even Laura’s emails look beautiful and pure.

Where suddenly have I gone?

I pitched a short film script today.  I’m not sure how it was received, but I got a lot of laughs.  It is a comedy, so that’s good.

I also got called back for both short films I auditioned for.

Why is all of this making perfect sense God?  Yet, why am I also so confused?  Why do I miss things I’ve never had?  Why do I dream of things I do not want?

Please slow this down God.

Please speed it up.

Is all of this just to make you smile…

…or to make me smile?