August 22, 1999 – Sunday – 10:00 a.m.

There are nine days left in the month of change, but I don’t know what has changed other than my age and my roommate.

I’m so clueless as to what is going on.  Perhaps I like it that way.  I feel the Lord calling me to Wilmington, NC.  That feels right and makes sense.  Could only 9 1/2 months remain here?

I feel I have no control over my life.  I’m just some leaf in the wind.  If so, why am I receiving such a life?  I’m not worthy of it.  It is the thing I enjoy, the thing I fear, and who I am.  Was I created to share? Am I an apostle who has no home?

I don’t want to know the answers God.  Honest, I’m afraid of them.  I just want to move forward, knowing one thing: that you will never let me go.  I’d rather have your storm, than my peace.

It doesn’t have to make sense to me.  Only to you.

I don’t need any miracles.  I don’t need any signs or wonders.  I see you every time I open my eyes.  I just need you to life my life for me while I love you.  I don’t have the strength to do both.

 

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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 16, 1999 – Monday – 10:23 a.m.

I spent most of last week working at the bookstore.  We have some new people working there, and Jenny’s last day was Wednesday.  I’m thankful for that job.  It is relaxing.  I can be myself.  I spend most of the day laughing.

I talked to Vince last week.  He told me that his new girlfriend Natalie stays with him at this Newland Land Harbor place and they sleep in the same bed, but he assures me they aren’t having sex.  I don’t know what he is thinking.

Thursday night I went out with Marion and Rebekah from church, I took them to see Runaway Bride.  Friday was our bookstore beach day.  And on Saturday I went to Justin’s birthday party after work.  He turned 15.  Brandon spent the night and the next day after church we hung out at the beach with Melissa and Amanda, they are Sterling and Christin’s cousins.  They’re parents are going through a divorce, so I figured I’d show up more often to spend time with the girls as they go through this difficult time.  They are 14 and 11.  I’m not sure what I can do, but I’m pretty good at smiling, laughing and crying, and all three of those are worth sharing.

Lindy has been on my mind a lot.  Perhaps it is just that Allen and Jessica, and Dan and Abigail, and Curtis and Meagan will probably all get married next summer.

You know, maybe the joy of all this is in its simplicity.  To simply live and not know what is going on.  To now worry about figuring it out because Jesus has already figured it out for us.  I don’t need to know what is going on, but just lean on loving those around me.

My mom called this morning to wish me a happy birthday.  She forgot last year and tried so hard to this year that she called me a day early.  Ha!

August 9, 1999 – Monday – 6:57 p.m.

Time sure is moving itself along, isn’t it?

Church was great yesterday.  I so adore Pastor Trueblood’s sermons.  He is gifted and anointed.  Brandon and Jason hung out with me before we went to the final Master’s Commission service.  It was great to see everyone.  God definitely showed up at that service.  What a joy it is to know the Lord.

It was so nice to see Mary.  She came with a friend sho was staying at the beach.  So, after the service, we went to our spot over at Fort Henry.  That wonderful little overlook with a lighthouse on one side and a sparkling bridge on the other.

We stayed there for about an hour and simply held each other.  Through what Mary shared, God has used me to bring an amazing amount of healing to her heart and mind.  Thank you for using me God.  She wrote me a letter that contained quotes from other authors:

“To be touched tells man that he is loved.  To touch tells man that he is a lover.  Touching is therefore being.”

Thank you Lord for my ability to touch others.

 

August 6, 1999 – Friday – 8:30 p.m.

I’m at a rest area in Vermont.  This is an insanely beautiful state, but now I long to be home.  In fact, during a nine mile hike in the White Mountain National Forest, I decided to not head into Canada, but to turn around and head south.  I think it was something about all the land and all the new faces.  There was something in the voice of the beautiful girl who couldn’t find the napkins at McDonald’s in St. Jonesbury, VT… she just seemed like a human worth knowing, and I grew overwhelmed by the fact that I knew no one in the whole state.  Yet, much further south, there were tons of wonderful people I did know.

On the way down I-91 in Vermont, the sky and the mountains and the light were doing amazing things.  I began to cry thanks to the vastness of God’s beauty and holiness.  He created so many other people.  I had forgotten what a miracle it was to simply know another person.

I think that’s why God called me up here, to remind me of that simple fact.

Oh to be safe in my home.  I’m so tired after such a long hike, but can’t afford another hotel.  I think I’ll just sleep in my car in this rest area.

Protect me oh Lord.

 

August 4, 1999 – Wednesday – 8:15 a.m.

Yesterday was Lindy’s birthday.  We took her out to eat and to see Runaway Bride.  It was a fantastic time.  She’s 22.  We are only the same age together for two weeks every year.

I got to see Jeni last night.  We talked and caught up.  She is so busy with work and with marriage that she realize her relationship with the Lord feels very distant.  Again, it made me thankful that God was the only one on my heart at the moment.

In a little while I will leave from here and head north.  The Lord is my shepherd.  He is my guide.  My goal is to simply go away with him and see is creation.

Deep Creek last weekend brought bittersweet feelings.  I think I would like to go much less often and keep it a part of my childhood.  I did stand on my ledge and it was wonderful to pray there.

Talking to everyone about marriage is crazy.  Allen and Jessica really feel right for each other.  I’m excited for them.  Of course Dan and Abigail will probably get married next year as well.

God is keeping me young at this stage of life.  So, I leave my old college town now and prepare for the road ahead.  I am in your hands Father.  Protect me, guide me, love me.

 

July 14, 1999 – Wednesday – 3:14 p.m.

It is the 14th of July in 1999 and what a day it has been so far.  God has out done himself this time to communicate something to me.  My, how I love and adore him.  Why does he take so much time to teach me about life and love?  Why does he concern himself with me so much?

There is a story I need to tell, one I should write in here, but it is a long one.  The Lord has taught me an amazing lesson in faith and love and grace through Mary.

She came and sat next to me for the rest of the plane ride into Norfolk.  She laid her head in my lap.  I played with her hair.  She rubbed my fingers against her lips.  And we talked.  We talked about how everyone had gotten so worldly after Santa Monica and how she seemed to have more faults than I had realized.  She said I had to accept her for the way she was.  I told her there must be something wrong with that attitude; that it just didn’t seem right, that it focused more on serving the self than it did honoring and respecting those we were in close relationship with.  After I said that, she let her guard down, and we actually got to have a lovely talk again.  She got off the plane in Richmond and I had a good feeling about our relationship; that it just might hold promise for the future.

Well, Sterling, Christin, Brandon, and Jason from the youth group picked me up at the airport.  I went to church that night and felt the Lord.  I worked on Monday and then spent the night at Jason’s house along with Brandon.  We had a great time.

Tuesday night, the Master’s Commission group came and we did a service at Parkway.  I attended and afterwards Sterling and Rebekah and I went to see Tarzan.

While at church, Mary and I talked a little sweet to each other and last night, before midnight, she called me from Erica’s house in Norfolk.  We talked until two this morning.  And… I just learned a lot about her past and who she is now and how no one else really knows her because they put her up on a pedestal.  I suppose I am guilty of that as well.

Mary’s mother left her when she was nine months old.  She grew up around her father and brother, which she said made her more cold-hearted.   She said her mother wasn’t an affectionate person and didn’t start seeing her again until she was 9-years-old.  She told me stories about sexual abuse from a family member and that she grew up in the church, but didn’t experience true salvation until she was 14.  But, in both high school and college, things went too far with some different boyfriends, and these experiences broke her completely.

When she confessed all this to me, my throat turned into a rock and my body began to shake.  I did have high expectations of who she was, or who I wanted her to be I guess.  I was disappointed in myself for setting such a high standard and for doing to her what everyone else has done: putting her up on an insanely high pedestal.  Our conversation got a bit funny and awkward and then the cordless phone she was on lost power and we got cut off.  We didn’t get to say goodbye.  I just went to sleep nearly in tears.

I went to work this morning and found myself playing our conversation over and over in my head.  After work, when I was running some errands, I felt the Lord say, “Go to Parkway.”  I did and the Master’s Commission team was there getting ready to leave for North Carolina.  I had no idea they were going to be there, so long story short…Mary and I got a chance to talk.

I was the first guy to come along since she broke things off with the previous guy and rededicated her life to God.  I was the testing ground of a newly healed and wanting-to-trust heart.  Through her story I have learned that there is not a perfect girl out there, but that we are all in the process of being made perfect through the love and grace of Jesus.

Mary and I have both been redeemed.  As has everyone else.

I do not understand it, I only accept it.