May 11, 1999 – Tuesday – 1:15 p.m.

My four days in Banner Elk were wonderful.  Friday, after we picked up Kerstin in Johnson City, we ate at Applebees.  There we met our waitress Celina, whom we ended up praying with before we left.  We went hiking that afternoon with Jessica and Curtis’ new girlfriend Megan.  It was so beautiful out there on the back side of Grandfather Mountain.

Megan is so delightful.  We became instant friends just like how everyone became instant friends with Kerstin!

We saw Sunny that night in Boone with Abigail, Dan, Grayson, Josh, his dad, and I think that’s about it.

Sarah had a lead in the show and did so well; she looked absolutely beautiful.  I ran up to her after the show and embraced her so tightly.  I spent time with her on graduation Sunday as well.  Our relationship has been healed.  Love has intervened.  Time has surrounded us.  We are great now!

I took Kerstin back Saturday morning.  It was so lovely to see her outside of Regent.  She so beautiful and so much fun!

On Saturday I hung out with everybody I could.  That night I slept in Lindy’s room.  We just talked and talked until we drifted off to sleep.

Church seemed the same as always at Heaton.  It was great, but no longer for me.  All the kids have grown up.  It was weird being there.

And then graduation came.  What a wondrous day.  Tons of hugs.  Tons of pictures.  Tons of smiles.  I loved seeing Ashley, I forgot how much she makes me laugh.  A perfect day…and I had to drive away from it all at 4:30 p.m.

I don’t think any of us realized what truly took place on that day.  Dan, Vince, Jaime, Tracey, Lindy, Allen, and Curtis graduated.  Justin is transferring.  Abigail, Jessica, Anne-Marie, Ashley, and Josh remain.  What will become of our futures?

As I drove back seven hours toward the east coast, I found comfort in my home here.  Voicemail messages from Kimberly greeted me when I arrived.  David took me out to eat.  I was only gone four days, but I was missed.  Now summer classes have begun.  I have homework to do.

It’s already May 11th

Hmmm.

Must mean I’m having fun.

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May 7, 1999 – Friday – 8:02 a.m.

I am now at Sharon’s home in Newland, NC.

Wednesday night was the opening night of the Regent University Film Festival.  The films were actually pretty good, especially The Window, which I bought a copy of.

On Tuesday I took Kerstin to the airport.  She is going to Johnson City, TN, so we decided to meet up while I’m here in the mountains.

I’m going backwards now…on Monday night the Lord really ministered to me at my home group about my relationship with my dad.  Then Wednesday night after the film festival I left for Banner Elk.  I left at one in the morning, drove through the whole night, and arrived at 7:30 in the morning.  I woke everybody up and basically just visited with everyone the whole day.  Everybody is doing great!  I came over to Sharon’s after lunch.  When little Hannah arrived home from school, we just swing danced the whole afternoon together.  Then most of the gang came over here last night and we just hung out the whole time.

It’s so great to be here.  Sharon is the best.  Hannah and Laura are the greatest girls on the planet right now.  This feels more like home than any place I know.  This is where I am from.

Vince and Curtis are on their way over here right now.  They are going with me to pick up Kerstin.  Then tonight we are going to see Sunny at Blue Ridge Community Theater.  Sarah has one of the leads in that show.

Thank you God for these few days here.  I love you.

March 5, 1999 – Friday – 1:05 p.m.

See, I hardly have the time to write, it’s already March 5th!

It’s been a hard week.  Thursday night was nice.  I went over to Kimberly’s and Marion, Michelle, and Rebekah came to watch Sense & Sensibility with us.

But yesterday was horrible.  Outside of beautiful girls who are much younger than me, I have no one to hang out with.  No guy my age seems to care around here.  No one seems to know how to love and I fear it is happening to me.  I fear the busyness of this place is causing me to forget how to make time for people.  No one knows me well enough to trust their life and heart in my hands.  I try to give my time, but no one wants it.  No one wants my heart either.  I have beautiful girls to laugh with, but I have no truly close friend my age to cry with.

What I need now is someone to cry with.  I need Vince, Curtis, Dan, Allen, Charlie, Jeni, Tracey, Josh, Abigail, and Lindy.

Could the season of truly close friendships be over?  Does it only happen in the college dorm lifestyle when you share a bathroom and share a cafeteria?  Is it true that it can never happen again?

I’ve been sitting here for a minute.  I think I’m just angry because Amy rejected me and my roommate Matt and I don’t really get along.  I tried to befriend him, but he no longer talks to me.  I don’t even think he’s attending class anymore.

I need a friend God.

A true close friend.

Will all my friends remain in the mountains?  I hope they come see me soon.  There is talk of a few coming to visit over their spring break.

I hope, I hope.

January 29, 1999 – Friday – 8:12 a.m.

I talked to Dan and Curtis over the phone.  I must make it back to Lees-McRae on May 9th to attend their graduation.  They both seem to be doing well.  Needless to say, I miss them.

Things are good here.  I have many assignments and papers ahead of me, so I’m headed to the library today.

February is almost here.  That only means a little over three months remain the in the semester.

Not long at all.

Then, I’ll only have a year left.

Time is moving faster than it ever has before.

Hmm.

I’ve just been sitting here for a while.  It’s funny how, during some moments, the world makes sense, and, in others, it doesn’t.

Money hardly exists anymore.  It used to be numbers on paper, but now it is only numbers on a screen, numbers on computers, numbers in cyberspace that seem to have no value whatsoever.  We drive around in our cars like robots, and all we are buying with these useless numbers are lies.

When I was in Africa playing underneath the Milky Way, I was away from all the lies.

When I would sit in the treehouse on Hemlock Hill during a midnight snowfall, I was away from it all.

I hope the Lord comes back this year.  I don’t want to live in a world after the year 2000.  I fear things are going to get ugly, and that humans might only become more robotic.

It pains me to know that I’m a part of it all.

December 16, 1998 – Wednesday – 10:09 p.m.

I called Sharon tonight and I spoke with her and Hannah.  Sharon’s dad died suddenly last Thursday.  She loves me so greatly, for even in her time of loss she gave me so much.  It overwhelms me to think that God loves me so much more than Sharon does.

You know… I have always thought that I had grand dreams and great goals, but I think that just this moment, after talking with Sharon and reliving memories with Hannah, those memories of our walks to Snowflake Inn and summer evenings of catching fireflies, I think I’ve already fulfilled the dreams I knew nothing of.  As I look back on myself now, it seems that little blonde-haired boy was always dreaming of the moment when I would run my hands over Christin’s hair, or touch Abigail’s face, or study the curves of Sarah’s cheeks, or laugh endlessly with Dan, Allen, Vince, Curtis, Charlie, Josh, and Justin.

It feels as though I have fulfilled all I was ever suppose to accomplish.

Oh, wouldn’t you agree, life is beautiful.

To hear Sharon talk of Laura tonight…she still remains one of, if not the most, beautiful and amazing girl I’ve ever come across.

I’m going to pray to my God now, because…life is beautiful!

October 22, 1998 – Thursday – 10:00 p.m.

I talked with Sharon tonight. Snow was in the air over Avery County this morning.  I wasn’t there to see it. October 27th was the first snowfall of my last LMC winter.  I didn’t realize how true that statement was when I wrote it nearly a year ago.

I’ve realized when I write these words in these spiral-bound books that they will never go away.  All 13 books are in my sight at this moment.  They sit on a shelf in my closet in front of me.  They are a record of nearly the past six years of my life.

I put Christmas lights up in my room this evening, and it caused me to miss the wintery feel of Banner Elk so much.  So, another day is closing.  One of the final ones for Tammie and Jose in this land.

I turned in four copies of the first draft of “Eyebrows” to the school’s team of producers yesterday.  They said I was the first of the final four to turn it in.  They seemed pleased and impressed.

And so God moves me on.  My memories fight with the present moment every day.  My heart questions why we can’t go back, but it also longs to see what is ahead.

I have no one to really talk to here.  I miss Vince and our deep talks to Counting Crows’ “August and Everything After.”  We had a ritual.  We would start with track four, “Perfect Blue Buildings,” and play it through to the end.  We would turn off the lights and stare up at his glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, most of which were placed there by Laura, and we’d talk of God, love, and beauty until the midnight hour.

I miss Dan and I pondering over the questions of life while playing “Tetris 2” on the Super Nintendo.

I miss riding in Curtis’ car and staring out the window in deep thought.  He’s always ask me what was on my mind.  I’d always tell him.  I felt listened to.

I miss Allen disagreeing with my way of thinking.  He’d ask my advice and then go do the opposite.  But somehow it still made me feel loved by him.

And I miss Charlie, the one I’ve known the longest.

But God needs me elsewhere.  His breath is blowing me forward.  So, I continue and I do this not for me, for all I want is heaven, but God asks me to wait and spend more time with his creation first.

I cannot argue with that.  So that is what I will do.

But how can I live in today when I long for the past?  How can I make new friends when all I want are my old ones?  How can I help save others from a world I can’t admit I’m in?

Why did you make me this way God?  To find comfort in asking questions and not needing the answers.  Is that what faith is?  I don’t need the answers Lord, I just need to know you are listening.

I miss you.  I miss the eyes I’ve never seen.  You comfort me more than my memories and my Teddy Bear from Tenielle.  I want to hold you instead as I fall asleep.  Be with me tonight sweet Jesus, and take me to be with you.  I want to awake in heaven, but if I’m here tomorrow, I will laugh and play in your love.

Heaven feels closer tonight.

How perfect your grace is.

October 11, 1998 – Sunday – 9:17 a.m.

I cannot believe it is the eleventh already.

An incredible peace has come over my soul and spirit the past couple of days.  Yesterday’s film shoot was so much fun.  I cannot believe that is supposed to be work for me.

I look forward to each new day just to see what God has in store.  I miss the companionship of Vince, Dan, Allen, and Curtis, but I also enjoy the abundant alone time I have now.  Everyone at Lees-McRae is going to Hilton Head like we did last year.  There are over 30 people going, and many are freshmen I’ve never met.  That world has moved on without me.

I miss Africa as well.  Those were such perfect days.

What a perfect God!  He knows me inside and out.  I hand all of this over to him.