September 20, 1998 – Sunday – 8:28 p.m.

My life has gone on a crazy ride recently.  To begin, my Communication Theory class blew my mind.  God is definitely using this class to deal with the way I think and see the world.  Perhaps I’ll go into detail with that later.

I worked Wednesday afternoon and that night we had drama practice.  It went okay, but these kids really have no idea of how to do this thing, but I guess it’s my job to teach them.  Nevertheless, we all had fun.

Sometimes at Regent I feel like I just don’t fit in.  There is a Law School and a Theology School and I feel like some of those students in their suits walk by and judge me and my duck-taped sandals.

I worked all day Friday, it was a bit rough.  I just wasn’t happy with all that was around me.  But once I got off work, all that changed.

Dawn, a coworker, needed a ride home.  She’s insanely beautiful and a lot of fun, she actually reminds me Emily.  Well, I was taking her home and she wanted to stop and get some pepperoni rolls at a nearby bakery, so we did.  We ate there together and talked and it was just simple fun.  I shared a meal with an insanely beautiful girl and sometimes that is all a man needs to make it through the week.  We drove to her house, and I was just being me, you know the one that often feels like he doesn’t fit in at Regent, and she was just cracking up a storm, telling me I was the funniest thing in the world.

Thank you Dawn!  You saved my life that day.

Then, I went back to Regent to watch some of the student films that were being screened.  I saw three and they were all pretty good.  Then I left to go watch One True Thing at the Regal Cinemas.  That movie changed my whole perspective.

One day, my own mom is going to start dying.  I love her so much and that day is many years away, but still, we will all die one day.  And the movie taught me that I have so much here in Virginia Beach to love and care about.

I haven’t been doing that well enough.

I cried the entire way home from the movie.  I just a big baby in the car.  I didn’t like who I was and I wanted to change.  I asked God to forgive me.

I arrived home, slept, and got up early yesterday morning and left with some members of the youth group to go to King’s Dominion.  I spent most of the day with our leaders Tammy and Jose, as well as Kimberly and Lauren.  Kim is 15 and Laura is 13 and we eventually split off and it was just Kimberly and Lauren and me.  And I had the best day with those two.

I just loved whatever was around me.  Kim and Lauren and I talked the entire day.  I was a 22-year-old graduate student who got to feel 14 again.  God was giving me a gift and I was reminded of who I was and what I’m called to.  God knows me better than I know myself.

Kimberley reminded me a lot of Ryan, my first crush, and Kimberley said I make everything so much fun that she wants to do everything with me now, even shopping.  Lauren was an absolute sweetheart and I now have two dear new friends.

What a lovely thing that is, a friend.

One True Thing revealed to me how I had needlessly complicated my life.  I’d forgotten about the simple sounds, simply joys, simple tastes, and simple smiles of the good life.

On Saturday, September 19, 1998, I became young again.

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September 12, 1998 – Saturday – 9:08 a.m.

The 20th anniversary of Regent University is being celebrated.  I went to the convocation yesterday.  Dr. Jack Hayford spoke, as well as Pat Robertson.  It was a moving ceremony.

I am working this Saturday in just a few minutes, so I can have next Saturday off in order to go to King’s Dominion.  Youth church was awesome last night.  I had such a good time in worship.

My film audition for Saturday Despair was kind of weird on Thursday.  I have another audition today after work.

There is a lot going on, but I have yet to find some really close friends.  That takes time though.

I spent a couple of hours hanging out with Nicole the other night.  She seems really lonely as well.  She’s 24 and this is her first time away from home.

I received two amazing letters from Emily yesterday.  She is the sweetest thing on this planet.

Sarah hasn’t emailed me in nearly two weeks.

Jeni and Abigail just had birthdays, and it’s the 12th of September again.  Yesterday was a historical day in Washington D.C., but I forgive our President.

I talked with Colleen yesterday.  She reminds me so much of Jessica.  She loves the outdoors.  We talked about going camping some time soon.

Thank you for your love God.  Thanks for using me.  You are my everything.

September 6, 1998 – Sunday – 9:39 a.m.

It’s been three years now since Syndi and I went to Deep Creek.  That night with her, just sitting and talk in her car, still remains one of the most amazing conversations of my life.  I can in no way remember what was said, but only that it made an impression upon my soul.

Friday night’s youth service went really well, and we are having our first drama meeting on Wednesday night.  These kids are amazing.  I can’t believe God gave me this beautiful family so early after arriving to a new land.

Yesterday, Nicole and a girl named Patricia and I went up to my Grandparent’s house for lunch and to do some filming for a video project we have due.  We had such a good time. My grandparents were great hosts.

Last night I went over to Mary Jo’s and April’s since they were having a get-together.  I met some new people and we laughed the whole night.

The God that I love today is the same God who loved me and watched over me in my youth.  Even then, he knew.

I talked with Josh and Jessica over the weekend.  Josh was such an inspiration to me.  He also seemed lonely.  He misses me and I miss him.  He said things are different at Lees-McRae.  He said I was able to join all the people together and he can tell a difference now that I’m not there.  I told him that he should make the effort to bring people together.  We prayed and he admitted that perhaps it was him and not the others.  He says he feels really insecure and he’s not sure the others want to be his friend.

I do miss Lees-McRae, but I know that is not where I supposed to be right now.  I know without a doubt that is was where God wanted me for the days between August 28, 1994 and May 10, 1998.

And he has set these days here at Regent aside for me now.

August 27, 1998 – Thursday – 5:10 p.m.

We had a youth ministry meeting last night.  I’m excited about how God is using me at Parkway.  I also talked to Jeni over the phone last night.  It is so great to know we have a wonderful friendship.

I got an email from Sarah.  It was rude and cold, but I wrote the nicest letter back.

Orientation is tomorrow.  I only have classes on Monday, which I guess is nice, but it is very different from what I’m used to.  I want to go to class, I like it, but now they are all crammed into one day.  How different my new world is.

Matt called last night.  He went to Minnesota because his girlfriend’s dad has brain cancer and might die.  I’ve had the place to myself and it’s simply insane with how well I get along with myself.

Emily is supposed to call tonight.  I wish I could hold her.  She makes life normal.  She makes it romantic.  She adds so much and she does so little.  I do hope the day will come when we can see each other again.

I need to share my heart, to share my life.  I need to ride out and see the Grand Canyon with someone.

 

August 24, 1998 – Monday – 1:07 p.m.

In about three hours I’m going to go see the girl I met on Friday at Greenbrier Mall.  Her name is Rachel.  God please guide our conversation.

Church was so good yesterday.  Parkway Temple is perfect for me.  Last night the youth pastor Jose, his wife Tammy, David, and a 20-year-old named Aaron all came over here and we had a meeting, and they basically just handed their entire Drama Ministry over to me.  They said I have complete artistic freedom.  I’m so excited!

Yesterday afternoon, David and I went to the beach.  The water was so strong because of Hurricane Bonnie.  And I have to admit, like a kid in grade school, I wrote Rachel’s name in the sand.

 

August 22, 1998 – Saturday – 9:35 p.m.

Friday night I went with David and Cindy to Hampton to go to a revival service at Bethel Temple.  And once we entered, David and I went into the bookstore there.  I immediately saw a beautiful young woman with the most amazing smile, hair, facial features, wow!  She was reading a book, and her beauty struck me so suddenly, I couldn’t help but verbalize it out loud.  David heard me, but she didn’t.

We looked at some music and then sat down and after some time, she came and sat next to me with her parents and grandparents.  I didn’t say anything.  She began talking to me and we really seemed to enjoy each other’s company.

The service was great.  We prayed a lot for our nation due to all of this Clinton sex stuff, and U.S. strikes on Sudan and Afghanistan.  As we were leaving she asked me if I would be back for another Friday night service.  I told her I wasn’t sure, but I asked her for her phone number and she happily gave it to me.  She lives in Chesapeake, in a place called Deep Creek (imagine that) and she works at Greenbrier mall at a Christian bookstore; that’s only five minutes from my apartment!  She asked me to come and see her there.

I told her I would.

I worked today and then went to be an extra on a student film being shot nearby.  I learned so much by just watching.  I stayed on set for about two and a half hours.

I ended the day talking with my brother and dad over the phone.  My brother has decided not to return to college and I felt this desire to lovingly confront my father about his pornography addiction.  I felt God directed our conversation and I hope some healing has begun in his heart.

I am smiling so brightly.  I love you Lord!

August 21, 1998 – Friday – 11:30 a.m.

Yesterday after work I watched a movie I had rented, and then I went to the mall to buy some straight pins and maps for my walls.  I put the maps up and put in pins representing all the places I had been on this planet.

I enjoyed that time immensely.

David came over last night.  I cooked some burgers and we had more than enough left over.  We watched That Thing You Do!.

I got a speeding ticket the day before.  Fifty in a 30; yuck!

Oh well.  This style of living, this apartment, this place and the way it works, this twenty somethings style of life, it is so different from what I’m used to.  I’m thankful for my job and I’m so thankful for Parkway Temple, but all of this is very new to me.  I’m finding my way though.  I have a place where I shop for groceries.  I have a beach I visit.  I have a mall where I shop, a membership at a video store, and a favorite movie theater where I go to dream.  I know a decent place to get a haircut.

And I have this apartment with maps reminding me of all the places I am from.