September 20, 1998 – Sunday – 8:28 p.m.

My life has gone on a crazy ride recently.  To begin, my Communication Theory class blew my mind.  God is definitely using this class to deal with the way I think and see the world.  Perhaps I’ll go into detail with that later.

I worked Wednesday afternoon and that night we had drama practice.  It went okay, but these kids really have no idea of how to do this thing, but I guess it’s my job to teach them.  Nevertheless, we all had fun.

Sometimes at Regent I feel like I just don’t fit in.  There is a Law School and a Theology School and I feel like some of those students in their suits walk by and judge me and my duck-taped sandals.

I worked all day Friday, it was a bit rough.  I just wasn’t happy with all that was around me.  But once I got off work, all that changed.

Dawn, a coworker, needed a ride home.  She’s insanely beautiful and a lot of fun, she actually reminds me Emily.  Well, I was taking her home and she wanted to stop and get some pepperoni rolls at a nearby bakery, so we did.  We ate there together and talked and it was just simple fun.  I shared a meal with an insanely beautiful girl and sometimes that is all a man needs to make it through the week.  We drove to her house, and I was just being me, you know the one that often feels like he doesn’t fit in at Regent, and she was just cracking up a storm, telling me I was the funniest thing in the world.

Thank you Dawn!  You saved my life that day.

Then, I went back to Regent to watch some of the student films that were being screened.  I saw three and they were all pretty good.  Then I left to go watch One True Thing at the Regal Cinemas.  That movie changed my whole perspective.

One day, my own mom is going to start dying.  I love her so much and that day is many years away, but still, we will all die one day.  And the movie taught me that I have so much here in Virginia Beach to love and care about.

I haven’t been doing that well enough.

I cried the entire way home from the movie.  I just a big baby in the car.  I didn’t like who I was and I wanted to change.  I asked God to forgive me.

I arrived home, slept, and got up early yesterday morning and left with some members of the youth group to go to King’s Dominion.  I spent most of the day with our leaders Tammy and Jose, as well as Kimberly and Lauren.  Kim is 15 and Laura is 13 and we eventually split off and it was just Kimberly and Lauren and me.  And I had the best day with those two.

I just loved whatever was around me.  Kim and Lauren and I talked the entire day.  I was a 22-year-old graduate student who got to feel 14 again.  God was giving me a gift and I was reminded of who I was and what I’m called to.  God knows me better than I know myself.

Kimberley reminded me a lot of Ryan, my first crush, and Kimberley said I make everything so much fun that she wants to do everything with me now, even shopping.  Lauren was an absolute sweetheart and I now have two dear new friends.

What a lovely thing that is, a friend.

One True Thing revealed to me how I had needlessly complicated my life.  I’d forgotten about the simple sounds, simply joys, simple tastes, and simple smiles of the good life.

On Saturday, September 19, 1998, I became young again.

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August 31, 1998 – Monday – 12:53 a.m.

It’s early Monday morning and I just returned from an amazing evening.

I’m so tired, but here goes a quick recap.  Church was great at Parkway and I took a nap in the afternoon before going to a party I was invited to for new students in the School of Communication.  We spent an hour or so talking, but then drove into Norfolk for some swing dancing!  It was so amazing, but the people I met were easily the best part.

I met girls who had the same dreams, vision, and goals as me.  They are so beautiful and many of them are in my classes tomorrow.

Must sleep.

August 24, 1998 – Monday – 1:07 p.m.

In about three hours I’m going to go see the girl I met on Friday at Greenbrier Mall.  Her name is Rachel.  God please guide our conversation.

Church was so good yesterday.  Parkway Temple is perfect for me.  Last night the youth pastor Jose, his wife Tammy, David, and a 20-year-old named Aaron all came over here and we had a meeting, and they basically just handed their entire Drama Ministry over to me.  They said I have complete artistic freedom.  I’m so excited!

Yesterday afternoon, David and I went to the beach.  The water was so strong because of Hurricane Bonnie.  And I have to admit, like a kid in grade school, I wrote Rachel’s name in the sand.

 

August 22, 1998 – Saturday – 9:35 p.m.

Friday night I went with David and Cindy to Hampton to go to a revival service at Bethel Temple.  And once we entered, David and I went into the bookstore there.  I immediately saw a beautiful young woman with the most amazing smile, hair, facial features, wow!  She was reading a book, and her beauty struck me so suddenly, I couldn’t help but verbalize it out loud.  David heard me, but she didn’t.

We looked at some music and then sat down and after some time, she came and sat next to me with her parents and grandparents.  I didn’t say anything.  She began talking to me and we really seemed to enjoy each other’s company.

The service was great.  We prayed a lot for our nation due to all of this Clinton sex stuff, and U.S. strikes on Sudan and Afghanistan.  As we were leaving she asked me if I would be back for another Friday night service.  I told her I wasn’t sure, but I asked her for her phone number and she happily gave it to me.  She lives in Chesapeake, in a place called Deep Creek (imagine that) and she works at Greenbrier mall at a Christian bookstore; that’s only five minutes from my apartment!  She asked me to come and see her there.

I told her I would.

I worked today and then went to be an extra on a student film being shot nearby.  I learned so much by just watching.  I stayed on set for about two and a half hours.

I ended the day talking with my brother and dad over the phone.  My brother has decided not to return to college and I felt this desire to lovingly confront my father about his pornography addiction.  I felt God directed our conversation and I hope some healing has begun in his heart.

I am smiling so brightly.  I love you Lord!

August 16, 1998 – Sunday – 9:10 a.m.

I called Sharon last night, left a message and she called me back.

I miss them so much.  All that is in that house is what I want for my own life.  Sharon told me how Hannah is taller than Laura now, that Hannah cooks breakfast sometimes and can crack an egg with one hand.

It is August again.  I know exactly how Lees-McRae and Banner Elk feel this time of year. RA training begins tomorrow, but without me for the first time in three years.  I remember my first room there, the window, the view of the ground, and that old spoon that someone threw out.

I called Abigail two nights ago at her house in Tega Cay, SC.  We had such a nice talk and she really seemed to genuinely care about me.  She was so happy that I called and she said my name they way she used to say it.  I love the way she says it.

I do have some good friends on this planet.  Thank you God.

Yesterday was a great day.  I worked with Dawn, a beautiful girl who just turned 18 and graduated from high school.  She is engaged.  It was only the two of us working yesterday.  She seemed to open up to me a little bit.  I pray I can have a good friend in her.  I pray that when classes begin I can meet some people close to my age that my spirit really connects with.

I went to the movies alone yesterday.  I saw The Mask of Zorro.  It was alright, but Saving Private Ryan and The Truman Show are the best movies I’ve seen this year.

I’ve been writing a lot recently.  I want to be in another show.  It feels like I’m starving, not having a project to work on.

Today is the last day I will ever be 21-years-old.

Time to go enjoy it!

August 9, 1998 – Sunday – 7:20 a.m.

I’m now leaving the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.  Yesterday’s debriefing sessions were really nice.  I took a lot of notes and Dan and I got spent some cool time together out by the entrance of the campus near the huge fountain.  I’m so glad he is with Abigail.  They are a good thing.

I haven’t slept hardly any.  Maybe an hour or two.

Matt is supposed to pick me up in Norfolk.  It’ll be nice to be in my new place again.

This has been a very quick month.  I begin my new job tomorrow and Matt also told me when I called him on Friday that he got a job at the bookstore too.

I saw the sunrise over the flat Texas landscape this morning.  It was a beautiful sign that another chapter has ended.  My collection increased greatly; so many face; so many eyes.  This has really been a good thing.

There were 150,331 documented decisions made for Christ this summer.  Over 10,400 were from our South Africa team.

My birthday is coming up, but no one knows about it.  I feel so hidden now compared to when I was at Lees-McRae.  But I know new friends are around the corner and new challenges and accomplishments lie before me.  I’m excited about Regent and all God is going to do there.

Goodbye to all those amazing moments in South Africa and with Teen Mania ’98.

 

August 6, 1998 – Thursday – 8:55 p.m.

I am in Cape Town, South Africa.  We just flew here from Joburg.  We will soon me leaving for Miami, FL.  It’s my first time in this town and soon it’ll be my first time in Miami.  The flight will take 14 hours.  Right now it is 3pm in Miami.

We had some nice team-time yesterday to really appreciate each other and all that has happened.  This time has truly been fantastic.  I took some time this morning to personally thank God for it, and I will continue to do that every day.

Our safari outside Sun City, South Africa was amazing.  I saw Rhinos, Hippos, Elephants, Zebras, and even cheetahs.  I took so many pictures!  We even drove into Sun City and I hope someday to return there and bring my wife.  It is so beautiful.  We ate ostrich and elephant.  I even ate three worms that tasted like wet popcorn.  At first I thought they were good, but then quickly changed my mind.

We went to another restaurant today and ate more exotic food like zebra and rhino; that is some different meat for sure…it doesn’t taste like chicken.

We are in the air now.  I see the midnight waves crashing upon the shores of Cape Town below.

I will miss this time in my life, but I know only better times lie ahead.

You constantly amaze me God.  I love you.