April 4, 1998 – Saturday – 3:00 p.m.

This has been a very different day so far.  I have never met any of these 60 other people before, but each one, in one way or another, resembles someone I have come across before.  It makes me wonder how many others out there are very similar to me.

I am learning though.  I’m learning how to be a better leader.  If I do lead a team this summer, it’ll be a great learning experience and easily help me in other areas of life.

Life.  Crazy.  It will change so much as it continues on.  There are so many people on this planet.  We can’t all be that different.  I am just one of them.

I read something today that really opened my eyes:  Romans 14.

Who am I to pass judgement on another one of my Lord’s servants?  He has given them different duties and a very different way of handling matters than He has given me.  I must be responsible for what I know, and focus less on what others don’t know.  I simply have to do my work for Him, for no one else can do what I must do.

Sure, I am special, important, and unique, but the real truth is that everyone else around me is as well.  And I should focus my efforts making them feel that way, and less time on proclaiming myself as such.

We all want to belong, yet we also want others to see us as unique.

We are all alike.  We are all different.

March 12, 1998 – Thursday – 1:30 p.m.

I spent five hours in Sarah’s room last night.  She left this morning for Florida and will return in about 10 days.

We spent so much of last night just cuddling, talking, and kissing.  We have gotten more passionate recently.  She is so amazing and I told her so.

“I’m not amazing.” she said.

“You’re not?  Then what are you?”

“I’m yours.” she said.

This girl blows my mind.  One week I feel like she hardly sees me and the next week I feel like I’m the only thing on her mind.  It’s so hard to believe we are a couple.  I never thought I would be with a girl this amazing and beautiful.  Thank you God!  Keep us in your will.

A huge group of us from The Bible Study leave Sunday morning for Kentucky.  We’ll spend a week there working for Habitat for Humanity.

Spring Break has come again.

My last one at Lees-McRae College.

My first one was spent at home.  My second in Arizona.  My third in Tampa.  And now my fourth in Lee County, Kentucky.

I’ll only have six weeks of classes left after we get back.

Life feels so crazy.  It hardly feels like my own life.  I’ve given it to God.  Oh Lord, why do you take the time to get to know me.  I have so many questions.  Can you see that I don’t understand?  I want only to live right for you.  Be with me Holy Spirit.  Cleanse me.  May I stand under your waterfall again.

All I want in the world is to abide in you Lord.

March 7, 1998 – Saturday – 11:00 a.m.

Things have changed.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

The time has come for Sarah and I to end the type of relationship we have.  She doesn’t know how she feels about me.  I need to let her go.  I am a burden to her, not a refuge.

My world is getting ready to change.  I need to guard my heart so it will be prepared and ready for Regent University.  I also think I will have a more lasting impact on Sarah if I let her go.

I love her.

And when you love someone, you know the truest part of love is when you let them go.  And when you love someone, you can easily see when the time has come to let them go.

I believe it is now that time.

It is not a sad time.  It is simply a time.

Exactly when this will happen…I’m not sure.  I have a long rehearsal this afternoon and I’m going to a Third Day concert tonight.  My brother is also here visiting.

Sarah’s show and my show both open tomorrow.  She is in a one-act and I’m directing one.

I have a little over two months left.  I see Sarah and I in a lasting friendship.  She is one of the best things that has happened to me here at Lees-McRae.  God has used her to teach me so much.

I went to see Titanic again last night with Mason, Ann-Marie, Jessi, and a guy named Teddy.

Exodus 23:20.

I always thought I would be the one bringing Sarah.  But I was wrong.

My Sarah has brought me.

And that is all I need to know.

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.

January 5, 1998 – Monday – 10:00 p.m.

She has brought me.

But the question is, will she let me bring her?

Love keeps no records of wrongs, so I will not go into detail.

I went to see her after church yesterday.  We hung out with her brother and her friends and I had a really nice time.  Her friends are so talented and so much fun.  They seem to have accepted me, I enjoy being around them, and one girl really liked me and said I was good for Sarah.  I wonder what Sarah thinks about that.  We went over to an older woman’s house and ate homemade pizza.  It was so yummy!  Two more of her friends showed up.  All of her friends are high school seniors.  Some are still 16-years-old.  They are so young, but they’ve grown up in the city and seem to know things I don’t know and really have no business knowing.

When Sarah and I finally had some time alone, I shared with her what happened Friday night at the Bible study.  I wanted to talk with her about our relationships with the Lord, but she was silent.

I am going to grow and I want Sarah to grow with me.  But I’m learning nevertheless, for love never fails.

January 3, 1998 – Saturday – 3:06 p.m.

Last night Marcus and I went to a Bible study with Mom and Henry where the group prayed for us and spoke words of encouragement to us.  Through them God told me not to be afraid of this world, which I honestly have been.  He said that he loves me, to not be sad, but to be filled with his love and joy.  He told me that he loves me and there was a place for me at his table.  I just needed to come and eat.  I don’t have to wait for an invitation for I am always welcome.  He said something is being birthed inside of me, something is growing, there is a pregnancy inside me and to stay close to him.  It will be revealed in time.

God touched me last night.

He held me.

He is doing an awesome work in my life and I have no reason to be afraid.

December 11, 1997 – Thursday – 7:30 p.m.

I went to our Team Meetings last night.  I saw Sarah there.  We were in The Pinnacle Room since it was the Department’s Christmas Party.  After a while of talking with other people and eyeing Sarah out of the corner of my eye all night, I finally went up to her.  She hugged me and I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk later on.  She said yes.

It was a cold and windy night, but the near full moon, diffused through the clouds, lit the world for us.  Bundled up, we walked to Banner Elk Park.  We had fun.  There was a lot of laughter and a lot of playing.  We were on the playground and she mentioned how everyone in the Performing Arts Department thinks we are going out.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

That made me feel like the idea of us together was a bad idea to her.

“I guess we need to talk about that?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

I went on to tell her how confused I was since I was leaving in five months.  She said she understood.  I asked her to help me in my confusion, but she said she couldn’t.

Wonderful Eternal Instances passed by as we continued to play, but we also found time to be still as we viewed the sky and moon above our small silent souls.

We ended up in a tiny cubbyhole only big enough for the two of us.  And there with her I could be myself.  My soul can go free when I’m with Sarah.

A second passed where I wanted to kiss her, but I felt what we had was going to fade into a lasting friendship and not a romantic one, so I wasn’t too sure if I should kiss her.

She noticed by confusion and asked what was wrong.

I told her.

“Why aren’t you sure if you should kiss me?”

I couldn’t answer.  I was speechless.  I wanted her so badly that I froze.

Forever passed.

“Well here’s my face,” she said.

. . .

Her face is so soft and her lips are so amazing.  I’m not sure how long we kissed, but she had a rehearsal to go to, so we had to walk back to campus.

I returned to my room and three hours went by.  All of that time was spent talking with friends.  Ann-Marie was there, as well as some of the guys.  Ann-Marie stayed until 12:30 a.m. and we talked about the weird and wonderful way we think.

After she left I stripped down to my underwear and jumped in my bed.  Before I even thought about turning off my light, I called Sarah.

Jaminda and Sherlive were there in her room with her.  She said the three of them were having girl talk.  An hour of conversation passed by and during that time Sarah asked me to write down Exodus 23:20.  I could hear Jaminda and Sherlive in the background and they were telling metaphorical stories that made me think Sarah actually wanted our relationship to grow, despite the fact that I would be graduating soon.

I couldn’t handle it anymore.  Finally I said, “Sarah, I’m crazy about you.  I know I’m not here for very long, but I want you.”

A weird sound came from her voice.

“Why didn’t you tell me this on our walk?”

“I don’t know, I lose my mind when I’m with you.”

“Well…”

“Oh no!  I’m freaking you out aren’t I?”

“No, no, no, I’m just really surprised you feel this way.”

“You are?”

“Yeah!!!”

“Well, how do you feel?”

“Well…” she began.

I listened.  And she spoke a series of words that I will never forget.

“I love you Jacob.  And I don’t mean “love” like I love all my friends.  I mean I love you.  I love you.”

I’ve never been shot, but it can’t feel much different.

And I love her too.  I told her.  I jumped out of bed and bundled up again.  We met halfway between our dorms super early on this Thursday morning.  We hugged and kissed at the intersection of the college store and said a prayer before we said goodnight.

When I got back to my bed, I looked up the verse Sarah gave me, “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.”

 

October 31, 1997 – Friday – 4:11 p.m.

October is ending.

And my life is beginning.

“Masks” is a beautiful piece.  So many tell me it is their favorite dance of the show.  They even like it better than what X-Factor, our professional dance company, does.  But I think it is only great because I covered it in prayer.

I hugged Abigail after the show last night.  She is so soft.  She held my hand and I held hers.  We both looked into each other’s eyes and said “thank you.”

We had Bible Study after the show, but due to Charlie’s shout out with Kate, and a lot of girls overheard it, he decided to let me lead.  He didn’t even show up.  We praised the Lord for so long last night and I gave a simple message about knowing truth.  Emily was there; that’s Emily from my scene with Mason, not “my” true Emily from Crestview.  She cried.  She will belong to the Lord very soon.  Jesus can change anyone and everyone.

Abigail gave a testimony about how she has finally come to peace with her life and she looked at me the whole time.  We shared so many smiles last night.

We have spent a small amount of time together each day and we seem to grow closer.  I undoubtedly go to sleep the happiest man in the world every night.  We sat next to each other during lunch.  Her uncovered knee touched mine and it took her a few seconds before she pulled away.

I believe her parents are coming tomorrow.  I wonder if they’ll see me any differently.  Perhaps she as shared with her mom the small things that have happened between us.  Perhaps not.  Perhaps it is all in my head; like last time.

Jeni called me last night.  She said she has been thinking about me a lot recently.  She seemed sad and even cried over the phone.  I told her about the 27 people at Bible Study and how everything has been forgiven and set free between everyone.

So now, it is only appropriate that I thank my Jesus.  He has given me this peace.  He has given me Abigail’s smile again, so if it that smile goes away, it won’t break my heart completely.  Through her smile, he has shown me a grace that is way more than I deserve.

I’ve never been so in love with Jesus.  He gives me my dance in the shower.  He gives me my minutes in each hour.  This peace is indescribable.  I wear no mask.  I’m surrounded by his love.

I want nothing but to worship you Lord.

Spring worship unto thee.

October 3, 1997 – Friday – 10:30 a.m.

Man, life is pretty cool.  Tuesday afternoon I hiked down to Elk River and laid out on the big rock where Charlie set up a cross.  I feel asleep and slept for an hour and a half.  It was so awesome.

Abigail and I have talked a little.  She apologized to me for acting so weird and taking things the wrong way.

Mason and Emily are doing wonderful in our scene.  I’m so proud of them.  I can’t wait for everyone to see it.  I’m even designing lights for it.

I was nominated for a scholarship today.  It’s based on my writing and it’s $2,500.  Way cool, huh?

I talked to Pastor Steve Wednesday night and asked him if he could send me that masks from the Mask Skit we used to do.  They arrived today.  It’s gonna be so awesome seeing this piece from my past performed again.

We had Bible study last night and Courtney came.  She was a pretty wild girl last year, but she said she got saved over the summer.  Then each of us wrote a little love letter to Jesus and Courtney’s was amazing.  She cried and couldn’t finish it, so I finished it for her.

Jesus can change everything.

We watched Liar, Liar after Bible study last night.  It was so good for all the guys and girls to hang out together.  We leave for Washington D.C. today to go to Stand In The Gap. It should be fun.

October is already here.  My application for Regent is nearly complete.  I will take the GRE next month.

Life is moving along and I can’t help but smile.

September 26, 1997 – Friday – 10:00 a.m.

I will leave for Kentucky in less than an hour.

Yesterday was an amazing day.  I spoke to Doc about Regent University, that I was applying, etc.  She said there was a guy in Boone who had graduated from there and that since she had a lot of pull with CITA (Christians in Theater Arts), her recommendation alone would guarantee my acceptance.  I’ve been wanting to attend Regent since the summer after my Freshman year, when I first learned about it at Fishnet.  Yesterday God just reassured me that he is the one calling me to attend there.

Also, Jeni was here yesterday.  It was so good to see her.  Last night after Bible study, all the guys and all the girls came to hang out in my room.  We talked for a while and then in the middle of all of the conversation, Abigail said something, something amazing.  We were talking about some joke I had told and she said, “You’re a funny guy Jacob.  I appreciate your humor and I appreciate you.”  And then she kinda stared at me.

In that moment I felt like our friendship was completely restored.

I got a letter from Marisa today and in it she said, “I’m sorry it’s your last year, but the Lord has called you elsewhere.”

And Sarah wrote me a letter as well.  She said, “Jacob, I want you to know that even though I haven’t known you very long, I love you.”

I am so loved here, and yet I’m leaving.

I don’t know whether to smile or to cry.