August 3, 1997 – Sunday – 11:30 p.m.

I sit in Rachel’s house in Sterling, VA.  Chrysalis is over.

P.C. was my roommate for the weekend and he kinda reminded me of Vince.  A wonderful person with a wonderful life ahead of him.  He has a problem with his left arm.  A part of his upper bone is hollow and he has gone through several surgeries to fix it and has a huge scar because of it.  They’ve had to take bone out of his leg to try and fix it and because of this he can’t join the Navy like he’s always wanted to.  This was a hard time for him in his life, but he met a girl on the Internet named Lisa.  They began to email each other.  Then they wrote to each other.  Then they called each other.  And then they visited each other.  She’s in Iowa and he’s in Virginia.  They are now boyfriend and girlfriend and they will start school together out in Boulder, Colorado.  They’ll be freshman together.  After he showed me her picture, I was amazed.  She was so beautiful.  I didn’t know girls that pretty talked on computers.

Sean, always seated in a wheelchair, was never seen without a smile on his face.  Kay is soon to donate a kidney to her brother.  Colleen, a beautiful 25-year-old, who lost her little brother to a rare disease when she was 15.  Then she bore her own son as teenager, but then the father left them both.  She said the death of her brother tore her from God, but the eyes of her baby brought her back to him.

After hearing her talk of her brother, I wrote her a poem:

I said hello

I say goodbye

I saw you live

And now you die

But death is life

And life is love

Love is God

Eternal from above

So I’ll see you soon

There’s no need to cry

I too am changing

And to you I’ll fly

I found out later that the poem made her cry.  When I said goodbye to her today, she hugged me so tight.  Her lips said nothing, but her eyes shouted a desperate “thank you.”

And there was Vanny, who tried to commit suicide twice before, but now only smiles as bright as the sun.

And that was just a few.  There were so many stories full of death and tragedy.  But I don’t have those stories.  My tragedies are Bs on papers and mixed emotions.  I still have my family, my virginity, my sanity, my life, my legs, my health.

But there is one tragic story in my life.  I discovered this weekend that I am capable of so much more love.  I’ve been keeping it inside and only sharing it with a select few.  Now it’s time to give it to the world.

I spoke up at the gathering and told the group that each one of them was beautiful and I thanked God for allowing me to add their eyes and names to my collection.  Some came to me and said I seemed very Christlike.  They said they saw Jesus in me.  If so, then perhaps I am beginning to live a Christian life.

Rachel told me that others told her I seemed very creative.  People are so good to me.  God is so good to me.  So, here I am God.  I’m ready.  I don’t know everything, but I know you.

Here I am.

I’ve shown up.

 

August 3, 1997 – Sunday – 7:30 a.m.

A Sunday morning.  I am on a deck in Maryland overlooking Maryland, Virginia, and parts of Pennsylvania.  The sun is peaking over a long narrow cloud; shining on me like a spotlight.  Saturday has passed.  An amazing day.  We talked.  We learned.  We sang.  We loved.  And even today, we still love.

There was a talent show.  Our skit won the “Most Uplifting Award.”  Our award was a bra, so funny.  There was also a beauty contest.  My group dressed me up as a girl and I won that too.

God brought me up here to show me his love and to teach me how to love my family and friends.  I thought of Jonathan and how he isn’t able to go back to college.  He sure could use a bag of letters like I received yesterday.

Everyone is up and around on this deck now.  Time to live in the love of others.

August 1, 1997 – Friday – 11:45 p.m.

The month of change has begun on the right foot.  I am in Maryland at Chrysalis.  Rachel is here.  I have a roommate named P.C.; we talked forever last night.  The drive up here was fun, Rachel had a friend of hers drive me up most of the way.  The Virginia Blue Ridge mountains were so beautiful.

On Wednesday night Sherlive came to church and afterwards we went to see Air Force One.  We had a good time.  I hope I can see her again soon.  I told P.C. about her.

But the most amazing thing was that today each caterpillar (that’s what they call us here at Chrysalis) received a bag full of letters.  They were letters from people I didn’t know, they were just general supporters of Chrysalis, but there were also letters from even dear people I do know.  I have a letter from Rachel, Ellen, Tracey, Lindy, Paul, my mom and dad, Nate, Sharon, Jeni, and Marisa.

Love is all around me.  People are so nice here.  I only pray that I can be as nice.

Jeni said in her letter that if my movies and stories in anyway reflect what is in my heart, then I would be in my success.  God loves me so much.  I just praise and love and thank him.  The weekend is so amazing so far, but it’s just getting started.  Words cannot express how happy I feel.  Is this what heaven will be like?

July 30, 1997 – Wednesday – 12:20 p.m.

Last night after I wrote in my journal, almost everyone from Tennessee Dorm, plus Charlie and Allen, went to Macado’s.  Charlie, Allen, Jeanine and I sat at a table together and had some good laughs.

I leave for Chrysalis in the morning.  I have no idea what this thing is, but I guess I will by Monday.  I’ve heard of people going on these retreats and Rachel always talks about it, so I guess I just have to see for myself.

I want to grow close to Sherlive.  She has totally captured my thoughts.  How crazy that a girl can just show up out of the blue.  I want God to be the center of our relationship.  I want us to bring people to the Lord together.  The world needs Jesus and I like the Jesus that I’ve met in her as well as the Jesus that is in me.

July 28, 1997 – Monday – 5:09 p.m.

I miss her.  I miss her like crazy.

My mother and Nate came last night.  We went driving and exploring this morning.  It was great to spend time with them.

I told her about Sherlive.

The thing that’s driving me crazy is that I’m leaving early Thursday morning to go to Chrysalis in Maryland (I don’t know why I thought it was in Virginia).  I won’t comeback until Monday.  The only time I would probably get to see her would be Sunday, but I won’t be here.  I don’t have her phone number or any way to get in touch with her.  She’s about an hour away in TN and I don’t have a car, so…

I’m in la la land.

I don’t know what’s happening, except that this past weekend with her was a gift from God.

And I miss that gift.

Forever Plaid ends tonight.  There is a line in that play, “One perfect moment, that’s all we have a right to ask for.”

Could that be true?  If so, then my first 21 years have been perfect.  I don’t have the right to ask for anything else, but it seems to get better with each passing second.

It only gets better, because truth has found me.