August 18, 2000 – Friday – 7:20 a.m.

Jonathan, if he is still alive, turns 24 today.  Which made yesterday my 24th birthday.  I ate lunch at Applebee’s with some of my co-workers.  It was nice of them to buy lunch for me.

Today we are having a pizza party for lunch, and tonight my Forefront small group is going out for seafood in Pungo.

Tomorrow my Regent small group is having a beach party up on the Eastern Shore.

Many great things are happening.  I’m enjoying work a bit more, for my boss is giving me more responsibility.

It will soon be September.  There is something special in the air when September arrives.  The slightest morning chill gives me so much hope that nothing will ever stay the same.  It reminds me to appreciate what I have, for it will soon fade away.

August 19, 1999 – Thursday – 8:00 a.m.

Mary Jo and her guy Rob, plus Stephen, took me out to eat for my birthday.  All the beautiful waitresses sang happy birthday to me.

Lindy called me at midnight to wish me a happy birthday.  And Nate called me as well.  He is in high school now.

I worked at the bookstore all day on Tuesday.  It was the best day!  They had a cake and everything for me.

Sterling’s family had me over for dinner that night and Kimberly came over as well.  We all met up with other folks from the youth group to go pick David up from the airport.  He has been in Bogota.

I met with Lorene since she is going to be the chair for my thesis film I’m doing.  I’ve titled it DANG!.  I have to incorporate my own production company to produce it properly and legally.  I bought a book on how to do that last night.  This is kind of crazy.

I can feel in the air that autumn is on its way.  This 23rd year of my life is going to be something else.  My movie will take up most of it, plus a full year of classes, not to mention teaching at the church on Wednesday nights.  I’ll also be working on a feature length script for my story structure class.  The summer is almost over.

On Monday I have an audition for a CBN/700 Club feature story.  Someone told the director that I look exactly like this real life murderer, so I’ve been asked to read for the part.  Should be fun!

 

August 18, 1998 – Tuesday – 8:37 a.m.

I had the best birthday in the world!

Church on Sunday went very well.  I went to Parkway Temple and I think I’m going to stick with it.  I’m going to call the youth pastor this week to talk about the skit group.

Yesterday, for my 22nd birthday, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. to drive to Sandbridge and watch the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.  I took some pictures and had an excellent time alone with God.  A policeman came and told me I parked in the wrong spot.  He wondered why I was out there so early, so I told him it was my birthday and that I just moved here and didn’t really know anyone so I had to celebrate somehow.

I registered for my classes yesterday, and I met with my advisor to plan out my schedule for the next two years.  I should be finished with all my courses by the summer of 2000.  Only two years; that’s crazy!

I went to a cookout yesterday at a family’s house with a pool.  They have four kids from 14 to 5: Jessica, Jonathan, Jeremy, and Jenna.  Jenna, the 5-year-old and I had the best time!  She had some cool toys and loved to show them off.  To my surprise, all the folks at the cookout had a cake for me for my birthday; they prayed for me and everything.  I met most of them last Monday when I went to a prayer meeting at Christian’s house.  Christian and his family are from Germany.  Anyway, everyone didn’t want me to spend my birthday alone, so they planned this cookout for me.  I almost didn’t go because I thought I should stay home and wait for my mom to call.  Funny thing is, my mom never called.  I think she’s totally forgotten my birthday.

Oh well, God is already giving me a new family, no matter where I find myself.

Thank you God!

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 18, 1996 – Sunday – 11:20 a.m.

Jonathan turns 20 today.  But I’m not even sure if he is still alive.

I wasn’t able to go to church, I have to stay here and check people in.  Vince and Curtis pulled in last night.  It was great to see them.  We went to Macado’s.  They took me out to eat for my birthday.  We had fun, but Curtis was acting extremely cocky and annoying.  It was as if he owned the world and had the right to judge everyone, even people he didn’t even know.

So, I talked to him.  We talked deeply until 2:00 a.m.  I feel sorry for him.  He’s a great guy, but he doesn’t know who he is so he lives his life by looking down on other people and he agreed with me on that.

He left this morning to drive down to Atlanta and get more of his stuff.  Hopefully the five hour drive will give him time to think.

Dan will hopefully arrive by tomorrow.

I want classes to start and for a new show to start.  I want to meet new people and be so busy that I don’t have time to think.

August 17, 1996 – Saturday – 6:50 p.m.

New students arrived today.  Some anyway.  Beautiful faces.  Longing souls.

I was one of them.

Brand new.

Who are they?

Who am I?

Sharon invited me over this morning.  She baked me a pie and ordered Braveheart for me since it will soon be available to own on VHS; the greatest gift.

The evening is here.

I am 20 years old and alone.

Things are changing, but my room looks exactly the same as last year.

A thought passed my mind today while I was over at Sharon’s and it hasn’t left my mind.  What if, when I graduated from LMC, perhaps I was given a job, say in the Admissions office full time, and made enough to survive and be happy and make a good living, and was also given the opportunity to live at the Snowflake Inn on Sharon and Bob’s property, and be near to that family and slowly grow closer to Laura and become her lover forever and live so happily always next to that family and Heaton Christian Church,… would I take it?  Would I live that life, never having the opportunity to do theater, or to be a filmmaker and worship the Lord and minister to others through my art…would I?  Could I?

It’s raining now.  Millions of drops of nourishment pounding its way through the grass, into the ground, giving it life and meaning and purpose.

Giving it purpose.  Giving it meaning.

A destiny…of helping other flowers to grow.

Although I truly hate to say it.  The answer is no.  I wouldn’t be able to.  I don’t think I’ve ever loved anything deeper than I now love this land and it’s people, but there is a deeper fire within me; calling me elsewhere.

But in the meantime…I am here.  Oh God, and I’m afraid to admit that I know why.

But why me?

I am nothing.

. . .

When my appointment comes near,

The ticking clock should I fear,

Or loved ones left behind.

When the time comes near,

Whose voice will I hear,

Speaking of love so kind.

When life can no longer live,

And death longs to give

Its entrance to fulfilling eternity,

What words did I not say?

What debts did I not pay?

Whose lives did I not kiss?

Oh dear God, Oh dear God!

There is a world that needs to be saved.

No matter what it takes, use me.

Use me, for all of my days.

August 17, 1996 – Saturday – 1:10 a.m.

My birthday.

I got my hair cut this morning.  Then went to some RA training workshops.  I put the name tags up on my hall.  There was a picnic for the RAs that evening.  And then that night Debbie and I went to see Courage Under Fire.  Actually, I guess it’s still tonight.  We’ve been talking a lot.  She seems cool.  She likes movies a lot, so we get along great.

We went to Wildcat Lake and talked for close to an hour on the swings.

We just got back.

And I am now twenty.

I never thought I would actually make it this far, but here I am.

I looked ahead in Rebecca St. James devotional book today and found a letter she had written to her future husband.  She told him, not knowing really who he is, that she loves him already and is saving herself for him.

This blessed my soul, for I too am a virgin.  Sure, there were moments where Jeni and I went a little too far, so I can’t say I’m completely innocent, but Jesus was there, protecting us from going any further.  I learned from those moments and I am moving on.

A new decade of my life begins.

I asked for someone who would simply like to watch a movie with me.  Debbie is here and I am thankful.

But to my future wife I write:  “I will stay faithful to you, even before we meet.  I love you already.”

August 18, 1995 – Friday – 11:58 p.m.

My birthday ended about 24 hours ago.  I am 19-years-old.

And yesterday was an amazing day!

It began with a call from my mother.  Besides her, the only other person to say hello to me was Michelle.  But that evening, the whole Residence Life staff brought me a chocolate cake to me that said “Happy Birthday, Steven Spielberg!”  They surprised me greatly!  Ever since Charlie heard I wanted to make movies, he sometimes calls me Steven Spielberg.

I was given three parties for my birthday this year.  Wow!

The past couple of days, Charlie, my RD, has really been pushing me to get the residence hall together.  He said that all of the others were better, so I worked on decorating and added a few things to make it feel like a home to the incoming students.  Allison and Craig came over and took a look and said it was by far one of the best ones.  Allison and Craig are the two top RDs.  They were married back in May!

Today we all had a picnic at Wildcat Lake!  A great time.

Tonight I went with Kate and Charlie to rent some movies.  We rented School Ties and Legends of the Fall.  I just got back.

Things should be pretty slow tomorrow, but then new students arrive on Sunday!

August 18, 1994 – Thursday – 2:30 p.m.

Dude!!  Last night, or real early this morning rather, was really cool.  After church we went to Christi’s.  Marcus wasn’t with us, because he hadn’t returned from the mountains yet.  So it was just me, Jonathan, and Joel.

Joel got on everyone’s nerves again.  He was always flirting.  Andy had some friends over; some really pretty girls.  Another girl in town was having a party because it was also her birthday.  Her name was Shandra and we all went over there.  It was the, how shall I say it, the alternative group of Sanford.  And I tell you what, they are not my type of people, but I can sort of fit in any where if you know what I mean.  They were pretty cool, but some of them were way out there, big time.

But I met some new people and even talked about Christian music with this Christian guy.  We stayed a while and then went back to Christi’s.  Christi and I talked about some stuff for a while.  She is doing great.

I took Joel home and I didn’t get back until 3:30 this morning.  Cheryl just called me.  Joel got on her nerves again last night at church.  She says she’s going to talk to Shurby about him because he’s really getting “mental.”

I probably won’t see Andy for a while.  Jason and Matt are coming back this Sunday, so I’m going to go see Jason at least once before I leave.

Cheryl wrote me a letter telling me Happy Birthday and thanks for helping me through all of her problems with Joel.

Kevin just went out with Keesha (Marcus’s sister) and they both tried to keep it a secret.  But Jonathan told me about it and Marcus had a hunch and well, Kevin has a big hickey and it’s just not a good situation.

The ending is coming closer.

Ten more days.

A lot could happen in ten days.

Look how much has happened in the past ten days. 

August 16, 1994 – Tuesday – 3:15 p.m.

Today is Sherry’s birthday.

Tomorrow is my birthday.

And then Jonathan’s birthday.

Speaking of Jonathan, he told me last night that Kevin and Sonya broke up, so Kevin and Jonathan went to see Jenna and Tenielle and he told Tenielle everything.  Jonathan said that when they left both Kevin and Tenielle had big smiles on their faces.  Whatever that means.

Both Kevin and Jonathan will leave for college this coming Sunday.

Jonathan also ran into Christi.  When we were over there this past Saturday, Hank told us all to come over Wednesday night.  Christi was with Brooke and she told Jonathan that she really wanted us to come.  Its suppose to be a going away party for Andy.  He leaves on Sunday too.

I hope my birthday is fun.

I’m going to be 18-years-old.

Eighteen!

Did you hear me?  Little Jacob is 18-years-old!

Before you know it, I’ll probably be 20.