July 9, 2000 – Sunday – 12:30 p.m.

I got home at 5:00 this morning.  I was up in Maryland returning Uncle Jeff’s truck back to him.  My roommate drove my new car up there and then we drove it back down together, but the alternator or battery or something messed up on us.  It’s a long story, but it took us one heck of a time getting back.  We were stopping and waiting.  We slept on the side of the interstate for a while.  We got stuck near Bowling Green, VA where we ate at the Chin Restaurant.  Actually it was the Chinese Inn, but so many letters were burnt out that it read ‘Chin.’

It feels like I’ve been all over Virginia and Maryland this week. Last weekend I camped out with Dan on the top of the mountain behind his house in West Virginia, then we spent the next day visiting Garrett County in Maryland.  I drove back on the 4th of July.

I also helped Kristen out with a CD-Rom she is working on.  She wanted to interview me about today’s youth since I lead 12 of them to Los Angeles nearly one year ago.

I’m sad that I didn’t get to visit Forefront Church this morning, but I was just too sleepy after our night on the highway.  Hopefully I can visit a week from today.

 

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.

June 4, 2000 – Sunday – 10:30 p.m.

Whew…life!

I miss Marie.

Good things are happening, but I do feel separated from Regent University and from my film Dang!.

Townley, Andy, Jean, and I had a great trip to D.C. this past week.  I really got the chance to talk with them about Jesus.  Jean is a Christian, but she is sad because her husband Chad isn’t very affectionate toward her.  I know how she feels.  Marie isn’t terribly affectionate towards me either.

I helped the team put the Glo-Cycling package together up at Langley Air Force Base.  It starts tomorrow.  The means I be spending half the week cycling and getting paid for it.

It is all a bit odd to me.  I’m surrounded by people desperately trying to make a buck and I’m just not passionate about money.  Sure I need it, and I’m very much in debt, but what is most important to me are spiritual matters, matters of the heart.  These people at work are successful, but I feel they are losing their souls in the process.

I went to Rob and Mary Jo’s wedding on Saturday.  It was the most beautiful and Christlike wedding that I’ve ever attended.  I see more and more each day how the only thing that matters is Jesus.  Forgive me God for my apathy.

Jean is selling her house.  It is in a fine neighborhood only ten minutes from downtown Norfolk.  It’s small, I’ve wondered if I should buy it; I don’t know, I’ve also been thinking about building a log cabin out in rural Chesapeake or Suffolk.  I have exactly one year until I’m through with my movie and my thesis.  I will graduate and have to move out of the Regent apartments.  I really don’t want to pay rent again.  Please reveal your will to me oh God.

It is a beautiful and cool night.  I have an interesting job.  There is a girl I dearly love in New Jersey.  This evening I had some fantastic barbecue with the Acoustic Works Xtreme Fitness team.  In less than a month it will have been two years since I moved here.  Hmmm…life.

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.

 

May 19, 2000 – Friday – 7:30 a.m.

It’s been a long week.  In 20 minutes I have to leave for my 5th day on the job.  I’m beginning to figure out who all these new people are:

The president is Andy.  He is divorced and has no children.

Townley is 31 and has never been married.

Karen, another intern like me, is 30 and divorced.  She has two dogs and is from Pittsburg.

Andy’s mom and brother also work there.

Then there’s Michael, the senior project manager, he is also divorced and has a son who works there as well.  I think Michael has been recently remarried to Serena, the office manager.

Robin, the sales manager, lives in Richmond, but he’ll soon move down in Chesapeake.

Jean is another intern.  She is my age and married, but her husband is in the military and he might even be deployed overseas, or is about to be, I’m not sure.

All in all, I think one or two of them may have some degree of Christian faith, but many are not Christians.

They have only known me for a week, but they all tell me I am “unusual.”  I don’t know why everyone who meets me tells me that.  I’ve only ever been me, so it is odd to hear that I’m so different from the norm.

Allen and Jessica will marry in three weeks, and I’m sure Vince has arrived in Bolivia by now.

I fear Marie may be separating herself from me.  We talked on Tuesday and she sounded different.  It is clear she is back under her parent’s influence.  Oh well, let your will be done God.

I go bike riding every evening after I return from work.  I enjoy it greatly.  It’s my time with God.

May 11, 2000 – Thursday – 9:23 a.m.

Yesterday was a fantastic day!  I got a job and I saw myself on the big screen during the Regent Film Festival.  I was in TR, kinda like ER, but for televisions and not people.

As for the job, I had applied to be an installer, a guy who would go around and install light and sound equipment, but they sat me down in front of a computer and asked me to create something with PowerPoint.  I had never even seen PowerPoint before, but I figured it out and created a brief presentation.  I was later offered to be the personal assistant to the President of the company!  Crazy!

Technically, I’m considered an intern where I’ll make $10 an hour.  But after a few weeks, if they like me, they’ll offer me the full job with a salary and benefits.  This is my first job that pays above minimum wage!  God is so good!

I start on Monday the 15th.  The drive takes about 30 minutes, and my uncle Jeff is going to let me borrow his truck until I can get another car.  Mom says there’s a used one near her in NC that looks pretty good, so I may travel down and pick that one up.

I love you Lord!  Thanks for helping and guiding me.

May 6, 2000 – Saturday – 1:00 p.m.

I’m at my grandparents’.  I was headed out yesterday to visit Vince and say goodbye before he flew off to Bolivia, but my car broke down near Bottom’s Bridge in New Kent County.  I think I blew the engine.  I’m not sure what is going to happen, but it is nice being here.  I’ve had some time to reflect and think.

Soon I will be 24-years-old.  I am not married, but I’ve found a potential girl.  I’ll soon have a Master’s Degree, and I need to start working.  I have an interview Monday at a place called Acoustic Works.

I’ve watched some old home videos since I arrived here yesterday.  My grandpa always had the latest video camera in his hands while I was growing up.  How amazing to see me as a little boy back in 1987!  God is teaching me something.  I long for the life of pure love and innocence.  Oh, to be a child again.

I’ve come a long way.  High school, college, graduate school, all all the different churches that came with those places.  All the different friends.  Some now lost forever.

And all the different girls.

Cincinatti, Winston-Salem, Metuchen.

All the places I’ve walked.

I’m no longer a student, and that is all my memory has known.

So fix me God.  Prepare me for the next wave.  Send to the place you have prepared for me.

May 3, 2000 – Wednesday – 12:05 p.m.

I’m not in my room, I’m under a pine tree on Lake James Drive near Regent University.  I rode my bike here.  It is nice to get away from my room.

I’ve been reading Henderson The Rain King and have enjoyed it immensely.

Vince leaves the country in five days.  I’ve tried to call him, but he wasn’t home.  I’m now at the point of my life where I am no longer a full-time student, and, to be honest, I don’t know what to do with myself.  I’m trying to be patient.  I’m trying to wait on God.  I’m trying to get a job, but I don’t think I’m doing it very well.  I feel like I’m losing my identity.

Marie and I, well, it is obvious that our relationship is changing form.  God please have your way with us and melt all my insecurities away.  I have grown to not like who I am these days.  I have this opportunity to spend three weeks on the road with Dan and Theresa, and I think that would be good for me, but I feel like I should be trying to find a job though.  That pressure is mainly coming from Marie and her family.

For the first time in my life, I’ve met a mother who doesn’t like me.  After Marie’s mom spent more time with me, she thinks I’m the wrong one for Marie and she has told her as much.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with that.  I’ve left my church to attend church with Marie, and Marie’s church just doesn’t believe the same things, spiritually speaking, that I do.

I feel as though I’m losing myself who I am.

I want to be with Marie.  I love her so much.  I guess all the differences and the road blocks scare me.  I’m just waiting to see what God is going to do.

I want to start working on more films, but I have this huge debt hanging over my head, so I feel I must put my focus on that.

An old married couple just rode by on their bikes.  Will I ever become that?

This is a nice little grove in the trees; similar to Emily’s crying place in Crestview, but that  has since been torn down to make way for suburban sprawl.

Perhaps I should put all my efforts toward doing video work on the mission field.  That way I can travel the world.

I want to drive out west and spend many days thinking and writing in my journal.

I miss writing in my journal.

I’m going to ride my bike around some more.

April 28, 2000 – Friday – 7:53 a.m.

April is ending.  As are many other things.  I am no longer a full-time student, and Marie and I have just come through a really difficult time.

I think the past week really traumatized me, so much so that I can hardly remember the harsh words that were spoken to me.  I feel my mind is trying to forever forget them, like a scab covering a wound and allowing new skin to grow.  I’m tempted to not write about this at all, but I should put something down in these pages.

Clearly hurt and rejected after spending a week with my friends in North Carolina, a vulnerable Marie and I visited her family.  And while they are kind in action, I didn’t have a great time these past few days in New Jersey, one, because I was sick, and two, because there just wasn’t an abundance of joy and peace, at least not when you compare it to the amount of joy and peace in all my friends in Banner Elk.  So, once we headed back to Virginia, all of that pain and defensiveness bubbled up in Marie, and she became very critical toward me and of all my friends.

She said it was unnatural and immoral of me to have as many female friends as I do.  And, as if that didn’t hurt enough, she then accused me of only being involved with the youth group at Parkway because I was sexually attracted to all the girls in the youth group.  She said that my friendship with girls like Sterling, Christin, and Kimberly was inappropriate and that I should be ashamed of myself.

Much more was said, many more stabs were taken at my heart, but I pulled off the road, got out of the car and found a distant ball park, where I sat on the bleachers and stared off into the landscapes of Delaware, trying to make sense of what had just happened with this girl I want to marry.

I don’t know if I’ve ever been more hurt.  Sterling, Christin, and Kimberly and their families and I all adore each other.  We are fellow believers together.  They take care of me, I like spending time with them, and yes Christin crushed on me for a while, but nothing ever happened.  I took her to her prom and I didn’t even kiss her.  The whole reason I didn’t pursue a relationship with her was because she was too young.  I sat there alone for a long time, and eventually heard from the Lord that Marie’s accusations were false.

So, I returned to the car.  By the look on her face, it was clear she knew she was out of line.  She apologized.  We drove home.

I prayed silently as we drove, and God gave me a very clear answer that I love my friends, and the fact that many of them are women is not a sin.  What Marie said to me reveals much more about her heart and mindset than it did mine, and, after spending a week with her family, it’s clear to see that she was raised in such a negative and narrow mindset.  We both got to experience where each of us came from these past two weeks, and the fact that we both came from two different words really broke us.  She felt like she didn’t belong with my group of friends and possibly even felt like she doesn’t have as good of friends as I do, and I felt rejected by (and bored with) her family.

So there it is.  God is breaking us.  Or maybe he’s sharpening us.

Perhaps this will make us a stronger couple than we were before.  Perhaps we won’t be able to recover from this.  Time will tell.

March 16, 2000 – Thursday – 9:06 p.m.

The Ides of March are over, and something happened over the past couple of days.

In the Flesh began to change from the ministry I first thought it would be to something entirely different.  It is an original script about a character with a pornography addiction.  The director told me that my role and the lead female would never be intimate on stage, that my character had issues with intimacy, but he soon realized that wasn’t working.  He had the actress, who is about 15 years older than me, unbuttoning my shirt and kissing my chest, while I was on my back.  Now I’ve kissed girls on stage before, and I’ve been in my underwear on stage before, but I wasn’t with Marie then.  And I got involved with this production because I thought it would help those with a pornography addiction, like my father, but now I’m not so sure.

Marie and I have talked and prayed about it.  She is clearly uncomfortable with it.  If I wasn’t with Marie, I’d probably work through it, for that is the professional thing to do, but I need to put her first in this situation.  I spent two hours talking with James, the director, last night.  He finally said that it would be wrong for both of us if I continued to be a part of the production.

I’m not sure how to feel.  I used to love acting, but now I have a bad taste in my mouth towards it.  I just didn’t have any artistic control in that situation and felt I should quit, which I didn’t like doing.  I currently have so much artistic control through directing Dang! and being there for post-production.  I can minister more through directing and not just entertain.

I have applied for a Resident Director position at Virginia Wesleyan College for the next year.  I pray God gives it to me.

Marie is doing really well.  She says school isn’t great for her, but that I am.  We both see that God brought both of us here for each other.  I’m learning much in my field, but she says she is not.  She says I’m her only teacher and her only friend.

Since I’m not in the show anymore, I’ll be able to go with her to a wedding in Pennsylvania in April.  April is going to be a great month.  March is half over.  Only five weeks of classes remain.

Marie’s mom has given Marie her approval of me.  We are contemplating a summer or fall wedding in the year 2001.  I would like to ask her in September of this year and then get married in June.

Life is beautiful with Marie.  Jesus is good to me.  I now know that on the day Marie and I wed, these Books of Days will end.  We’ll begin a new one together.

These journals have always been about me and me alone.  When my life is joined with hers, I won’t be alone anymore.  I won’t be single, so these books should stop.

Curtis is getting married on Saturday.  Unbelievable!  He’s the first of us in fact.  I think I’m going to give him a call.