December 25, 1998 – Friday – 8:03 a.m.

It’s Christmas Day.  I’m in my parent’s RV.

On Wednesday night, Christin and I went to see You’ve Got Mail after church.  Then we went back to my apartment.  I needed to finish packing, then go spend the night at her house so she and her parents could drive me to the airport early the next morning.  While over at my apartment, she laid on my bed, I played some music, and then sat down next to her and put my arm around her.  She laid her head on my chest and we shared a few brief moments of eternal beauty together.  I just watched her and ran my fingers across the curves of her face.  She is beautiful.

We played Nintendo when we got to her house.  She is so much fun and so good to me.

Both of my flights were delayed due to the weather, but I finally arrived in Pensacola.  I talked to Kevin last night.  I miss him.  We are about to open presents.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

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December 22, 1998 – Tuesday – 11:24 p.m.

On Monday nights I attend a “Home Church” that meets at Christian’s house, right across the yard from me.  This morning I played racquet ball with Erin (a guy) from the group.  We had a good time.

The Christmas carriage ride tonight with Sterling and Christin was so delightful.  We rode with some rather boring people, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time.  They gave me the coolest presents; I adore those two so much.

Sterling had to leave, but Christin and I drove back to her house so I could pick up a copy of our Christmas show.  Her dad had videotaped it.

While there, we sat at the piano and played Canon in D together.

Canon in D.

She is such a sweet and beautiful girl.  She gave me a letter tonight that blessed me so much.  I read it in awe and amazement.  She is so good to me.

We are going to the movies tomorrow after church and then she is taking me to the airport.

Please God, please help me know what is going on.

December 21, 1998 – Monday – 7:14 a.m.

After church yesterday, David and I went to Sterling’s house for lunch.  Sterling is such a blessing in my life.  She is my joy!  I praise God for her eyes, her voice, her smile.  The show went perfectly last night.  Matt and Kelly showed up, and Sara, Channing’s daughter was there.  Everything was perfect.  About half a dozen or so people got saved!

Many cast members gave me Christmas presents, fantastic ones!  It is unbelievable how good these people are to me.

Christin and I talked over the phone last night.  We are getting closer, but I only want a deep, deep friendship.  Something like Lindy and I, something truly special.

It’s early Monday morning and I have five essays to finish by 5:00 p.m.  I have to work at one, so I’m going to go to the computer lab super early.

On Tuesday night, Christin and Sterling and I are having a little Christmas celebration.  Wednesday night is the candlelight communion service at church where I will say goodbye to Aaron.

On Thursday I fly away.

 

December 20, 1998 – Sunday – 8:51 a.m.

There are 11 days left in this year.  I am trying to think of a way to let whoever ends up reading this to truly grasp the beauty and wonder of what is happening here.  I cannot believe God is using me in the way he is.  In less than five months, God has allowed me to see how my simple presence and laughter is changing people’s lives.  I am making a difference, as I assume everybody is, but I somehow get to see it.

Love never fails.

David sent me a card saying his life had never been so interesting until I came into it.  God is using me to minister into so many girls’ lives here.  Somehow God leads me into a group of girls and they don’t stop being themselves.  They don’t seem to change from a “girl” into a “girl that is now around a guy.”  I’m seeing things many guys never get to see.

Our Christmas show is all God.  I showed up and wrote and directed it, but I really can’t take any of the credit.  The kids gave me a card last night, and, for some of them, it seems I am changing their entire perspective on life.  They are waking up and seeing the beauty around them they have never seen before.  God is using me to wake people up and help them find their freedom.

Yet, I don’t feel like I do anything but be me.

And it isn’t difficult to be me.  I remember when it used to be insanely difficult to be me, perhaps I wasn’t entirely sure of who I was back then.

My card was full of phrases like, “Never stop being you,” or “Thanks for being you.”

What an honor!  What a joy!  What a gift!

I am being thanked for doing the only thing I know how to do: be me.

And here is another day to laugh, to smile my crooked smile, and love those around me.

God is beautiful!

December 19, 1998 – Saturday – 11:30 p.m.

Today was perfect day.

I spent the morning and early afternoon with Christin’s extended family, which include Sterling’s family since they are cousins.  It was so wonderful.  I even got Christmas presents, nice clothes from Christin and Sterling and Christin’s mom.  It’s just insane how much God has blessed me here.  It just feels like he’s watching over me so closely.

The show went perfectly over at Harvest Assembly tonight.  So many people appeared to be touched by it and by God.  The response to the show has been incredible.  People are crying, people are shaken.  Oh God, what are you doing?

The youth group had its Christmas Party tonight.  Kimberly bought me a hat!  There was so much laughter, so many smiles, I’m just endlessly surrounded by love and beauty.  How can one arrive in a new land and fall in love with so many so quickly?

I’ve been overtaken by true peace.  I know who I am and I know my Jesus.  Can it ever get any better than this?

December 18, 1998 – Friday – 11:49 p.m.

Our show opened tonight, and I received two invitations from other churches to bring the show to their church.  One woman wants me to plan a drama workshop weekend in August.

What are you doing God?

I went with Christin and Justin and others to see The Prince of Egypt tonight.  It was so wonderful.  Christin invited me over for a family Christmas gathering tomorrow.

There is something about her.  I want to be closer to her.  Why do things like this always happen?  Oh Emily…what is going on?

December 1, 1998 – Tuesday – 8:18 a.m.

The final month of 1998 is here.  What a month this will be.  What a year this has been.  I have 21 days left of work, then I can rest.  I’ll relax here for about three days, then I’ll visit those I love.

Debbie’s little dream about Kimberly turned out to be a fluke.  I think she made the whole thing up and then lied to me when she said she wouldn’t tell Kimberly.  Kimberly acted really weird towards me on Sunday, so I talked with her about it.  Things are fine.  You’d think a woman in her 30s would be smarter than that.

This Thanksgiving weekend was such a perfect one with Allen, Vince, Tracey, Christin, and Sterling.  Christmas awaits, and I can’t wait to see Emily.  Nate will have grown so much I am sure.  I’m so happy that I won’t spend Christmas with any of the complaining folks on my dad’s side of the family.  Thanks God!

So, I begin this final month of the year.  It will hold Christmas shows, Christmas gatherings, final exams, research papers, plane rides, and new Crestview, FL memories.

I give it all to you Lord.