April 18, 1998 – Saturday – 1:30 p.m.

Vince, Curtis, Ashley, and I went to see City of Angels last night.  That movie completely woke me up.  I had the most amazing morning.  Everything was brighter and more beautiful.  It all just tastes better.  It was raining outside, but that made it even more beautiful.

I have been given so much.  I am able to hear.  Able to see.  Able to sleep and taste and feel.  I’ve been able to hold Sarah and love and smell and watch and touch her.  My life is richer and fuller now because of the time I’ve spent here with her.

I am so young.  But I feel so old.  Perhaps because the elderly know when it’s their time to go and I know my time here as come to an end.

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April 8, 1998 – Wednesday – 9:41 p.m.

Tuesday afternoon Sarah and I had a nice conversation down by Elk River.  We are slowly saying our goodbyes.  We simply shared a few droplets of our different oceans together.

Ann-Marie and I did a scene together tonight in front of the entire Performing Arts Department.  It was a little comedic sex scene from Lysistrata, but with out actual sex of course.  Everyone stood up and applauded when it was over.  Kinda weird.  We did the scene in the studio and not on the stage, so everyone was sitting on the studio floor.  Other scenes have been done that way, but I’ve never seen anyone get a standing ovation in the studio before.

Sarah got a trip out of it.

Last night the most amazing thing happened.  Curtis and I went to visit Sharon for I needed to return all of the Christmas decorations she let me borrow.  We stayed over and talked with Sharon and Laura for about an hour.  Then, when it was time for little Hannah’s bedtime, she let me go up with her and tuck her in.  I sat by her side and prayed with her.  And said goodnight and kissed her on her forehead.  It was completely awesome and will easily be one of my most treasured memories from my senior year.  It reminded me that there is a larger and more important life of parenting that awaits me after college.

Thanks God!

April 5, 1998 – Sunday – 7:30 p.m.

I now reside in a red chair in the last row of the waiting area for gate C36 at the Atlanta International Airport.  My 7:40 flight was cancelled, so I will not depart until 9:20 p.m.

My flight from Tampa to Atlanta was on the largest plane I’ve ever been on.  I sat one seat across from Rob, who was also at the leadership camp.  Carla, Curtis’ childhood friend who still lives in Atlanta, met up with the both of us and we had a nice little meal.  Rob went on to fly to Raleigh-Durham, and Carla and I just sat and talked about Curtis.  She eventually had to leave to go have dinner with her dad.

So, I am now in my solitude.

I tried to call Sarah from a pay phone, but she wasn’t in.

So, now I have adequate time to reflect.  The sun is setting directly to my left.  I am facing north.  Huge airplanes reside out the window, all preparing to take lovers to loved ones, or even lovers away from loved ones.

This place has grown empty.  Not too many people are around me now.

While still at the Tampa airport, I spent two hours talking with Joel and Carlee.  They were both at the camp as well.  Carlee had been on six mission trips and said the experience completely changes you.  That excited and scared me, for I simply don’t know what is to become of Sarah and I, so what if this summer really does change me?

I read an article in CCM about Margaret Becker.  She spoke of seeing life as a process, as a journey of the soul into the mystery of God.

She said, “The mystery of this love relationship, not the final destination, is the bottom line.”

The mystery is the point, the whole point.  At least I think that’s what she’s trying to say.

Another thing I learned from the article is that to be totally free is to not be burdened by tomorrow.

She also said, “I’m so tired of trying to define a love affair with words.  Our language is not up to the task.  So why are we even trying?  Let’s just talk about whatever glimpse of passion that each moment is, and let’s just hope to God that within that huge ocean, He’ll take a droplet out that makes sense to everybody…”

It’ll take me my whole life to drink that ocean, perhaps even to consume that droplet.

“God must have a great sense of humor.  He delights in contradictions.  The weak really are the strong.  The last shall be first.  The meek shall inherit the earth.  The list goes on and on.  One needs only to accept God’s absolute control to find absolute freedom.  To accept the poverty of our humanness is to enjoy the riches found therein.”

The sun has set, for only an orange haze remains at the horizon.

I’ve been selfish with my life.  See, I called it mine.  I’ve been selfish with His life.  Every step I have is because of Him.  Every joy of life is because of Him.

Sarah is because of Him.

Oh God, I want you and nothing else.

April 3, 1998 – Friday – 11:20 p.m.

This is kinda crazy.  First of all, last night Sarah and Jessi and I walked to the nearby park, the one Sarah and I walked to on the 10th of December back in 1997.  I asked her if she remembered this place and she said “Yes,” and this kissed me and whispered “I love you” in my ear.

We had a nice time, just being the three of us.  I miss them right now.  We got cold up on the jungle gym so we snuggled up together.  I was squeezed in-between those two beautiful girls.  It was nice.  The evening represented all I want in life: kind words, sweet kisses, and the warmth of a beautiful woman.

Sarah forgot that I was going away for the weekend.  She looked sad when I told her I was going to be gone.

I left with Curtis and Ellen at 8:00 a.m. this morning.  They took me to the Tri-Cities airport in Tennessee.  My first flight was cancelled, but I was booked on another flight three hours later.  During the wait, I had a cream cheese bagel and a cup of hot cocoa.

The flying was fun.  I flew to Charlotte, then down to Tampa, where a young man named Mark was waiting for me.  I met up with some other Teen Mania people.  One guy was even from Johnson City, another who went to Avery High School, and another girl from L.A.

The time here so far has been cool, but my stomach feels terrible.  They also never gave me a list of what I was supposed to bring, so I’m down here without a sleeping bag or pillow.  We’ll see how this turns out.  But thank God…I give all this to you.

Oh, and I’ve discovered that traveling is wonderful, especially when you know you have a home to go back to.  Maybe that’s why this earth seems so amazing to me, because I’m just traveling through, awaiting my return to Heaven.

Tomorrow is a brand new day!

February 24, 1998 – Thursday – 11:00 a.m.

Oh, so much has happened.  I guess I’ll try to tell these stories.

Marcus and Kevin came up, but Kevin spent all his time with Curtis and Vince.  Marcus and I talked about him.  His life has taken some amazing turns.  Marcus told me that my brother is no longer a virgin, that he lost his virginity to Kate, the same girl Jonathan first had sex with, and evidently Marcus first learned about this from Tenielle, who, if what Marcus says is true, might end up following her sister’s teen pregnancy path.  And, during all this, one of Kevin’s college friends killed himself.  Kevin wasn’t able to transfer to a college in Texas like he had planned, which, let’s face it, was just him trying to escape everything and start over.  He is in debt way over his head.  He has maxed out three credit cards and owes our mom, and Danny and Peter’s dad, about $4,000.

He did not love Kate.  She was nobody to him.  He made a mistake and gave away a precious gift.  And now it seems he hates himself for it, because he couldn’t face me all weekend.  I cried my eyes out over him because I know he has to feel terrible.

During the show on Sunday afternoon, I was pretty down.  Sarah wasn’t being very comforting to me, for she got upset about something and later that night cussed me out over the phone because I was dealing with my brother instead of helping to strike the set.  I was so upset about my friends and family back home falling apart and I took it out on her by questioning the quality of her personal relationship with the Lord.

She cried all day on Monday and eventually came over to tell me I have no right to judge her.  I felt terrible and cried in her arms.  But before that, since Sarah was ignoring me, the one person who did take the time to listen to me and be a good friend was Abigail.  She came over on Sunday night and held me as I poured my heart out to her.  She really helped me feel much better about everything.

I think things are better now, for Sarah and I made up last night.  We snuggled together for about three hours.  She held me so tight and there’s a way that I can kiss the back of her neck to make her whole body tremble.  Oh God, please be the Lord of our physical relationship.  I don’t want us to go too far.  Holy spirit, please help keep us in line.

Oh, what an emotional past few days.  It seems I’ll never stop learning.  I’ve complicated life and I didn’t need to.  But love has saved me.  I am nothing, but God has saved me nonetheless.  I understand nothing of how this world works.  I’m going to quit trying.  I’m going to remain stupid.  I just want to love the people around me until it’s time to go to heaven.

Oh Jesus, comfort me until then.

January 1, 1998 – Thursday – 8:45 p.m.

This is my third entry for the first day of 1998.  Marcus and I went to see Amistad this afternoon; a very good movie filled with wonderful moments.  I cried when they talked about my savior and described his life in the wonderful way they did.

So, about 1997.

I remember sleeping through the last night of 1996.  I spent the first evening of 1997 with Christy’s family playing cards.  I haven’t seen that family since Christi and Patti were burned back in May.  I remember the smell of Dawn during Children of A Lesser God.  I miss that show.  Of all I have performed at Lees-McRae, that is my favorite.  I remember touching Abigail’s face for the first time and kissing Jeni again and not really knowing why.  I remember my hundreds of hours spent with Dan, Allen, Vince, and Curtis.  They are the greatest guys ever created.  I remember my trip to Ft. Walton Beach, and when Emily lost a bit of her beauty in my eyes.  I remember the box office and Lindy’s funny stories.  I remember rooming with Dan and talking with Marisa.  I remember the orientations and meeting Sarah for the first time.  I remember my weekend trips in September, regaining Abigail’s friendship, and perfect days spent in Hilton Head.  I remember spending hours in The Misanthrope script.  I remember the beautiful girl who took the time to touch me.  I remember my Christmas tree and my love for Sarah growing.

A peaceful year.

So, I’ll begin this one now.

Nineteen Hundred Ninety-Eight.

I give it to you God!

November 26, 1997 – Wednesday – 10:50 p.m.

I am amazingly happy right now.  It is the day before Thanksgiving.  Sarah and I, plus Sherlive, Vince, and Curtis went to see George of the Jungle.  It was so funny.

Sarah and I seem to say more in our silent glances than we do through spoken words.  She is from God.  I know it because all good things come from the Lord.

Marisa came up today!  She hugged me so tight.  I took Vince to the airport in his car, then went to see The Rainmaker.  I love going to the movies alone.  I get there early, sit on the front row, stare up at the blank screen, and just dream.

It was an awesome, awesome movie!  I just praised the Lord the whole way home.  I love good movies and can’t wait to make my own.

I drove through the darkness of the mountains that make up my beautiful home and just felt completely wonderful.  I still feel wonderful.

I have friends, mountains, movies, a church that feels like family, and now there is a girl who looks at me in a way that melts me to the core.

I know nothing about the world.

I just know I am loved.

And I love my God who freely gives all this to me.