January 30, 2001 – Tuesday – 8:00 p.m.

I know that I have hardly written anything this entire month of January, and now it is over. This has been my first full month of engagement to Anna and it’s been a busy one. I remember when I used to write in my journal twice a day. Is this what marriage means? I have less time to just be me?

One hundred and sixteen days remain.

Life has been full of video work, bookstore work, and wedding work. Anna continues to grow more interesting to me each day. She is the love of my life.

I’ve been working on my invitation list. After 24 years of life, I do supposed I’ve made some good friends along the way. Some sad news has happened with them however. Megan has left Curtis. It is a long story, but it’s all Megan. She used Chris to just get away from her parents and then she left him. And, Lindy fear she might be manic-depressive since that has run through her family.

Among other things Anna and I will take a trip to Florida in one month, and I also believe we will attend an Engagement Encounter weekend in Asheville, NC in April.

I’ve only really known Anna for three months now. It’s only four months until we get married.

Seven months.

Then a lifetime.

Thank you for this adventure God.

October 23, 2000 – Monday – 8:13 p.m.

Amazing how some days can be so simple and pleasant; days when I notice every tiny, beautiful thing.

I believe this October 23rd was such a day. I watched people today. I saw how old we all are, how in need of a Savior.

I’ve been writing more these days as well. I think my latest script is coming along nicely.

I often wonder on what my mind dwells on these days. I do not believe it is girls, and I do not think I dwell on my career. I think I’m in a time of acceptance and wonder. I often reflect on how amazing it is that I am right here; right now doing this very thing.

Growing more distant from Lees-McRae has placed depth into my perception on life. I see how we are all very much on a different walk towards the same destination. I find a beautiful comfort in that thought.

I am simply entertained by God’s everyday divineness. A divineness which to me seems so random and uncontrolled. But He is putting everything in place. I am doing okay.

So this is where I am now. I’m in Virginia Beach, Virginia. My roommate is from Canada, and I wonder who my true friends are here. I believe the Sterling’s family is a true friends to me. I can be quiet around them, and all feels okay.

I believe Dan is a true friend as well.

I miss Chris. He was a good friend too, but he’s graduated and moved on.

Trey, Mike, and Kristen are becoming good filmmaking buddies. Every now and then Trey and I will talk about life issues instead of just movies.

Things are a bit too early at Forefront, but I like all the staff members, especially Vince, Mark, and Chris; I’ve probably spent the most time with them.

I enjoy my work, and I enjoy my ministry. My small group on Wednesday nights is growing tighter. We are planning a weekend getaway together. My Thursday night group meets for the second time this week. I pray God binds us together.

And from my life before this one, there is really no-one from Siler City that I am in touch with. I did see Marcus in September. I don’t know about Tenielle and Jena, or the other girls like Ryan, Amy, Christi, and Cheryl. Every now and then I may hear something through my mom, but even she has lost contact with that world.

From Lees-McRae, Vince and I email. I’m very proud of all he is doing in Bolivia. Every now and then I call the other guys and speak to their wives as well.

Lindy doesn’t call or write anymore. She seemed upset with me at Abigail’s wedding, and I could never figure out why.

Sarah and I are supposedly keeping in better touch, but I’ve written her two letters and she hasn’t written me back yet.

I have no plans to return to Banner Elk, and part of me hopes it isn’t for a long while.

So, the stories I write in these pages must come from this world of Virginia Beach. How weird it is that I am here, but I know it is exactly where God wants me. I like this different flat land. If you are in a good place, the sunsets are fantastic!

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.

July 28, 2000 – Friday – 7:09 a.m.

There is a beautiful fog hovering outside over this flat land.  It’s been 25 months since I moved here.  Dan, my new roommate, has finished moving all the way in.  David has moved out.

I’m going to do my best to graduate by December and move out before 2001, but we’ll see.  I’m not sure where I’ll go.  Perhaps up to the peninsula near Yorktown.  I’ll be closer to family, to Acoustic Works, and I hear there are good churches in Williamsburg.  But I’m merely a child; God will guide me.

In one week I’m supposed to be going to Laura’s wedding back in the mountains.  But maybe I should stay close by for my dad’s 50th birthday.  I haven’t decided yet.

Tomorrow morning I have to drive up to Langley and take pictures of the Extreme Fitness installation we are doing there.

I miss winter.

July 26, 2000 – Wednesday – 12:05 p.m.

I’m at the Chesapeake Square Mall food court next to the fountain and palm trees.  It’s my lunch break.  Trey and I watched Magnolia last night on video.  I didn’t get to bed until 3:30 this morning.

I also came to this spot yesterday to attempt to plot out my next script.  It seems to be getting very big.

There’s an older gentleman in front and to the left of me that seems to be people watching.

July is ending.  I don’t know what this month held except for my job at Acoustic Works and a trip to West Virginia.  I did spend a great deal of time editing Dang! with Trey, and playing Zelda 64.  And of course I found a new church.

August, the month of change, is on its way, but again it seems only my age will change this year.

I’m in my third year here in the Hampton Roads area.  It feels like it’s been so much longer.  I think my inner man has changed, that I got burned out on the normal way of church, and I just don’t want to play “church games” anymore, to be honest.

There’s a little girl with glasses throwing coins into the fountain.  What could she be wishing for?

I hope I’m able to redirect America’s hope to God’s endless waterfall of grace, and away from man-made fountains.

Oh God, have your way with me.  I am broken.  Yet I am also forgiven.  And I forgive as well.

It’s been raining here for the past three days.  I rather enjoy it, but I can tell it has been taking its toll on all people surrounding me.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll stay here.  Here in this job and here in this corner of Virginia.  I’ll do my best to take it one day at a time.

Jesus, your love is all I own.

July 17, 2000 – Monday – 7:00 a.m.

I finally got to visit Forefront Church.  It meets in a movie theater on General Booth Blvd, closer to the beach.  It was so wonderful.  It was as though God himself was there welcoming me, for Kristen, the girl who starred in Dang! was there.  She was only there visiting for that one Sunday because she’s been doing Sight and Sound up in Lancaster, PA.  She was there to see her boyfriend Kevin, who leads a small group I hope to attend on Wednesday nights.  It was just to perfect to walk through the doors and see I face I know!  And it meets in a movie theater!

Two years ago I was in Africa.  Crazy!  Last year I had just returned from Los Angeles.  But this summer it looks like West Virginia is about as far away as I’ll go.  That’s okay, for I’m so excited about starting a new church life.

Yesterday evening, Jean from work and I randomly ended up walking around Buckroe Beach in Hampton.  She’s so cool; we have the nicest talks.  I’m thankful for her friendship.

God seems to be doing something with me, a new beginning, a letting go.  I see how he has to pull me away from Lees-McRae.  Keep me here to do your will God.  Teach this place and how to love it.

July 2, 2000 – Sunday – 8:10 a.m.

Well, at four o’clock yesterday afternoon I decided to go visit Dan in West Virginia.  I’ve never been here before.  It is a beautiful place full of lovely mountains.  My drive up was amazing.

Dan grew up in this awesome cabin-style house.  We went up to the top of the closest mountain last night and saw satellites floating high above.  The stars were so beautiful; there was no moon.

Dan told me that he and Abigail had talked about me and said that I seemed weirder since I left Lees-McRae.

I guess they’re right.

God I just want you to make me who you want me to be.

So it’s the 4th of July weekend and I’m in West Virginia.  Life is making less and less sense.  All seems to be fading away.  I guess I should stop expecting any of this to make sense.

I want adventure.  I want memories.  I want family.

What is keeping me from you God?  I give it up.  Take it from me.

June 18, 2000 – Sunday – 4:07 p.m.

The week went by fast.  Work is fun.  Dan and I play chess a lot in the evenings.  Marie returns on Tuesday.

Trey, Kristen, and Mike took me down to North Carolina to pick up my new used car.  It’s a white 1992 Chevy Cavalier.  It drives nicely.

While there we visited Clay’s parents Barbara and Clyde, but Barbara wasn’t there, only Clyde and Eric.  Funny stuff happened, so funny that it can’t be translated and explained into these pages.

We walked along the railroad tracks near my old house.  Everything was so green and the fireflies were out.  I always thought I grew up in a flat land, but after living in Virginia Beach for two years, I now see how beautiful the rolling hills of my youth were.  Thank you God for letting me spend my childhood there.  It is such a perfect and precious gift.  No doubt you put those railroad tracks there just for me to have a clear path to wander down.

I am nearly 24-years-old now God.  I see now that you have never left me.  I am overwhelmed by your patience and beauty.

Trey, Kristen, Mike, and I stopped at a Starbucks in Chapel Hill on Franklin St. on the way back.  I’m so glad I didn’t go to a big state school like UNC.  Part of me is still trying to get over Lees-McRae.  Part of me is trying to succeed here.  And part of me just wants to relax and let all the days fade away.

I can’t believe it is June.  I miss Marie and just want to have a good conversation with her.  It has been difficult to have those over the phone recently.  She doesn’t seem comfortable talking with her parents there.

Time is passing.  But I will go on.  I work.  I write.  I read.  And I wait.

I also remember.  And I try to forget.

May 26, 2000 – Friday – 6:36 p.m.

It has been seven months since that perfect night in Currituck with beautiful Marie.

Dan is in front of me playing Tetris 2.  Marie and I talked over the phone last night.  She is having a good time in New Jersey.  She doesn’t seem to be missing me.  That is a good thing I guess.  She is in the world she knows best.  I am in the corporate world I know not of.

. . .

It is a little later on this Friday night now.  I just got off the phone with Marie.  She called while I was writing earlier.  Part of me feels like she doesn’t want to have a relationship with me anymore.  I think she’s going to run away.

I just pray that you guide her God.  If you want her to go, then please let it happen.  We’ve had some good times, but perhaps I am not the best fit for her.  The last thing I want is to be a burden to her.

I’d give the world to be home tonight.  I just don’t know where that is.

Dan is still playing Tetris 2.

I am in a place I’ve never been.

Words.

Oh God, it feels like that is all I have.  Just these words on these pages.

I’d rather have you Jesus.

Feels like much is on my heart.

But I’ve got nothing to say.

May 21, 2000 – Sunday – 7:15 a.m.

It is early before church.  I think I’ve found a place to sit and think.  I’m on a park bench in the park for Lake James Residences only.  I guess it is kind of illegal for me to be here, but I need a place within walking distance from my apartment where I can go and be by myself.  There’s a nice mist in the air and turtles and fish are playing in the water below.

I have a new pair of glasses that look and feel very nice.  I’m going to be wearing my contacts a little less often I think.

Marie called last night.  I miss her so much.

Kimberly, Sterling, and I went to see Dinosaur.  It was so horrible.  It was just the same old story, and I didn’t think it looked that great.

There was a spaghetti party over at Townley’s place on Friday night, so I went and got to know some of my co-workers a bit more.

We’ve had several nighttime thunderstorms recently that have sounded awesome!

Oh God, I miss you in me.  Whatever is blocking you from being everything in me, I lay it at your feet.  Please take it away.

Life is getting very odd.  I just want to love you.  Wash me clean oh God.  Prepare me to be a living sacrifice.  May I be dead to all.  Calm my spirit, my temper, my jealousy, and my flesh.  Purify me oh God.  This is my prayer.  For I am nothing without you.  Please make me like the lilies of the valley.  I love you God.