June 24, 1997 – Tuesday – 10:20 a.m.

I took archive pictures of My Fair Lady last night, then talked on the RSJ chatline afterwards.  I talked to girls in Austrailia, Singapore, and a guy in California.  It’s great to meet Christians from all over the world.  I had a good time.

Jeni came over and visited me about 12:30 in the morning.  She stayed for about two hours.  We just talked and held each other.  Then we gave each other a good night kiss.

We are so weird.  Your will be done God.

Seven days left in June.

I praise you God for the love that you give and for the time you spent on this Earth.  Thanks for taking our sins away.

The greatest gift, the greatest love…lives inside me.

June 23, 1997 – Monday – 11:25 a.m.

A year ago yesterday, I filmed a wedding anniversary at The Farm House and met Dawn.  Yesterday, we went to church together.  Hmm.

Kate and Charlie have broken up.  It happened a couple of days ago.  Charlie says they still talk some.  He is having people pray that they get back together.  Kate broke up with him.  She said she had been feeling it was ending for about a month.

God’s will be done.

I got my Regent University application in today.  It’s a big application and it appears to be a long process.

Last night I walked to Wildcat Lake and on the way back, someone followed me from a nearby home.  They followed me a long the road, but then disappeared as I walked up Faculty Hill Dr.  Kinda scary, but probably nothing.

My Fair Lady begins Thursday.  We are planning a one day Deep Creek trip for July 5th.  Rebecca St. James is in concert in Siler City on July 13th.  The summer of 1997 is moving so fast.

On July 31st I will go to Chrysalis in Virginia.  There are two new student orientations that I’ll help with this summer and then RD training begins on the 11th of August.  The RAs arrive on the same day I turn 21.  New students arrive on the 24th.

Then September, October, November, December.

1998.

Winter.

Spring.

Graduation.

Summer.

Regent University.

But your will be done God; not mine.

June 11, 1997 – Wednesday – 12:15 p.m.

Life is good.  I go running every morning and I sleep in the peace of Jesus every night.  I pray and read his word every day.  I talk with friends in the afternoon at the box office and get paid for it.  I spent Sunday evening with Dawn until about 11:00 p.m.  She and Derek aren’t together anymore.  Derek wants to date other people.  I’ve seen all this happen before.

I’ve been trying to witness to Samarah, she is the RA in Canon this summer.  We went shopping the other night and had fun.  She feel so far from God at the moment.  Lindy and I have been talking about God and my faith a little.  I can’t help but talk about Jesus these days.

Rachel has been emailing me.  She wants me to go to a Chrysalis weekend in Virginia.  I’m going to try to go.  Its the first weekend in August.

Orientation is this weekend.  I’m going to help check people in and then on Saturday I’m driving two girls back to the airport.  Next week is Vacation Bible School.  I’m playing the main character of a play I wrote for the week.

The summer seems to be flying by so fast.  June is nearly half over.

Jessica still might get to be an RA.  One girl got a full scholarship and doesn’t need the job anymore.  I was so happy when I found that news out.

 

June 10, 1997 – Tuesday – 12:45 a.m.

A new Tuesday.

Forty-five minutes have already vanished.

What to write?  What to remember?

I spent time with Samarah today.  She told me of her only guy friend Lee.  She said he bought her 100 white roses one time and never asked for anything in return.  She said he was the only guy that loved her for her and never tried to sleep with her.  I wondered then why she referred to him in past tense.  Finally she said he was killed by a drunk driver two years ago.

What am I doing?

I received a letter from Rachel today, simply thanking me for my visible walk with the Lord.

I used to be full of so many words, but now I’m speechless.

Sheltered from pain

Full of thought

I have lived among roses

Someone else chopped off the thorns.

Wrinkles from my smile

Proof of my constant grin

I glide down the curly hair of joy

Into the lap of loved ones.

My sorrow is not worth noting

My pain should not be considered

Others hurt worse than me

And I can’t take their pain.

I reach for the moon

Others only reach for their mirror

I live in grace

Others in the emptiness of their reflection.

Why me?

Why was I chosen?

Shirley someone else…

Yet me!

I am nothing

I am no better

I simply grew up in the truth

Others grew up in lies.

I’m seen as odd

But this faith is so normal

My sword is of live-giving pages

Theirs if of venom-dipped words.

The clock away is ticking

The water faucet is dripping

Each second is clicking

And I still have my grin.

Will others find that smile

And live in the eternal while

The sun has gone down today

Will come again tomorrow to stay

At least for a little while.

June 8, 1997 – Sunday – 5:23 p.m.

Yeah baby!  The weekend was so great!  I am a Promise Keeper!!  A stadium of 60,000 Christian men singing praises to one God!  A night spent in a beautiful Victorian Bed & Breakfast!  Charlie, Vince, and Allen right next to me, plus new friends I made from the trip!  Whew, walls were torn down.

Redemption!  I am free at last!

I will live in purity.  I will read, pray, and fellowship!  I am alive in Christ!!

When I returned home I read chapter 17 from Max Lucado’s God Came NearEternal Instants.  You know, the moments so perfect that the whole universe stands still to notice.  I can think of many right now, and I’ve only been alive for a little over 20 years.

Sitting in the treehouse on Hemlock Hill on a snowy night listening to Braveheart.

Crystal rubbing my neck at the drive-in in Tennessee.

Talking to Emily under the boardwalk in Ft. Walton Beach.

Touching Abigail’s face in McAlister room 206 on Lees-McRae’s campus.

Kissing Jeni in Cincinnati, Ohio while listening to The Wedding Song by Kenny G.

Playing underneath the full moon with Dan and Allen on the back side of Grandfather Mountain.

Holding a curled up Tenielle on her bathroom floor.

Performing “The Mask Skit” at Abundant Life Christian Center.

Eating Wheat Thins and slowly falling asleep next to Jessica under God’s open starry sky.

Playing water guns with Jonathan, Mike, Marcus, and Kevin.

Tubing down Deep Creek with Danny and Peter.

Holding Syndi under the waterfall.

Passing a car in the turning lane with Jonathan.

Helping a lost boy find his mother at Fishnet.

Playing Myst with Vince in New York.

Helping Ryan in and out of the corner tree.

Standing next to the Grand Canyon with Brandon.

Graduating high school and seeing Renee smile at me.

Signing my way through Children of A Lesser God.

Singing with 60,000 men in Knoxville.

And that eternal instant right before I fall asleep each night, when I reflect on the beauty of each amazing day!

Oh wait, and how could I forget, perhaps the most perfect moment of all, riding back from Tennessee with Sharon as Hannah fell asleep in my lap.

June 2, 1997 – Monday – 1:25 a.m.

It’s early in the morning.  What an evening!  June 1, 1997.

After the evening service, Crystal, Clifton’s sister, invited me to go to a drive-in movie with her down the mountain near the Tennessee state line.  We saw Volcano, one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.

I had never been to a drive-in before.  We laid out on sleeping bags, on our stomachs, which caused my neck to hurt really bad.  Crystal gave me a massage as the credits rolled.  Then she ran her fingers through my hair.

We went to Wal-Mart and played with toys until it closed at midnight.

I had a good time and we talked pretty deeply.  She says she is away from God.  She doesn’t even consider herself a Christian anymore.  She told me about a lot of things that happened when she went away to college in Asheville.  She said she lost her innocence.  I wonder if that means she isn’t a virgin anymore.  I didn’t condemn her.  I was just there and I listened.

We came back to my room and listened to some Rebecca St. James and Cindy Morgan.  She said she couldn’t do it.  She couldn’t give herself back to God.

I prayed with her.  And I hugged her goodbye at her car door.

Then she said, “I never should have grown up and gone off to college.”

Oh God.

Help her.

Help me.

All I know is that you love us.  There is evil in the world, but you still love everyone.  I want nothing but your love.

May 28, 1997 – Wednesday – 10:45 p.m.

I watched Ben-Hur today.  I cried so hard.  Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!  I love you more now Jesus.

I also worked a little in the summer theater box office, getting it ready, etc.  Church was nice tonight.  Hannah has become a wonderful little friend.  She is 11-years-old now, the age Veronica used to be.  Oh, how young I must have been when I was 16.

We went out to eat after the service and I tried to pay for my meal, but Sharon wouldn’t have it.  That family has taken such good care of me these page three years.

It’s hard to know what to write these days.  Vince and Allen and I are the only ones on campus.  We have this whole place to ourselves it feels.  Dan will arrive in a little over a month.  Curtis may never return.

Charlie and Kate are still together and seem to be doing well.

I have been at Heaton long enough to watch people grow up and grow older.  And people there say that I am still getting taller.

Josh is in pain from his surgery and frequent doctor visits.  How I wish I could comfort him.

The view outside my window is not the same.  I now have six windows instead of one.  Three closets instead of one.  Two sofas and a chair instead of zero.  My own bathroom where my toothbrush is now kept, instead of in my closet.  I have keys that will let me into every room on campus.  I have been given power and responsibility.  It doesn’t feel like I’ve changed, but I know I’m not the same person I was when I first began keeping this journal.

There are no girls here to think about.  If I do think of one, it is Jessica, out in Colorado.  What a wonderful friend!

I need to shave.  My wisdom teeth don’t hurt as much.  Of course, they aren’t there anymore, but you know what I mean.  My teddy bear is still with me.  I didn’t get to see Jenna over the break, but I did see Emily oddly enough.

It’s funny how moments grow in value, the older and rarer they become.

I wonder who is thinking of me tonight.  Jessica has a new window to stare out of, new mountains all around her, but I simply moved to the other side of campus.

Eleven months and one week now.

Time.

We’re just measuring the first part of eternity.  Like one yard stick compared to the entire globe and beyond.  Similar to my holiness when compared to God’s holiness.  I hate to leave this place, but I know I must.  I need to go out and create new things.  To challenge.  To change.  To set free.  To teach others how to fly.

If I try to stay here in this perfect place, I know God will put sharp objects in the nest, painfully forcing me out.

What can be beyond here?

I’ll soon have new names to write in these pages.  New faces.  New stories who will join in with mine.  New paths.  Perhaps other red lights.  Perhaps…Her.

Prepare me God.

Prepare the place where I will land.  I give my life to the work of your hands.  Mold me.  Shape me.  Make me.

Thirty minutes until the 29th of May.

Nine years until I’m 29.

Seven minutes have passed since I lifted my pen from the number nine.

I can’t seem to think of an exit line.

Good night.