February 9, 1998 – Monday – 3:30 p.m.

So, for the show, my director wanted me to look a bit like the character in the movie version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which means he wanted me to dye my hair red and get a perm.  I did, it was done last night and everyone likes it, or they are all lying to me, but at least to my face they say it looks pretty hip.  Sarah hasn’t seen it yet.

I talked to a Teen Mania representative and they want me to be in Bradenton, FL on April 3-5.  I have to fly down there.  I’ll go, wait on the Lord, and see what happens.

The show opens in a bit over a week.  On the following weekend, I’m going to South Carolina for an Acquire the Fire youth convention.  My One-Act will open the following weekend, and then it’s Spring Break starting on the following Friday.  We haven’t made any Spring Break plans yet, so I don’t know what that week holds for me.

A couple of weeks later I’ll be in Florida and then it’ll be close to a month before graduation.

Dan and Abigail are becoming an item now.  It’s kind of cute, but kind of weird.  But it also makes me happy nonetheless.

And Sarah and I are good.  I love her so much.

Thanks God for all you have given me.  Thanks for the weeks and months ahead.  You are everything in my life.  I adore you.

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January 24, 1998 – Saturday – 6:17 p.m.

I saw Titanic again today.  Sarah wasn’t with me, but I went with Dan and Justin and they were amazed.

Sarah and I have been together for nearly three months and we seem to get closer and closer each day.  The time will come when I will have to go, but I know it won’t be without her.  I have found an amazing love with her.  Something that can never be broken.  She will always be in my heart, even if I love and marry another, she will still be there.

In a way though, I’m glad she came as my time at Lees-McRae is ending.  It has helped me love her.  Everything from my 21 years behind me has helped me love her.

It is so wonderful to love; so wonderful to give.

And I have so far to go.

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!

December 17, 1997 – Wednesday – 8:30 p.m.

Nearly a week until Christmas and this is the final evening of my seventh semester at Lees-McRae college.  The fall semester of 1997 is almost over.

I spent some time last night with Abigail.  I told her the whole Sarah story and she shared some more with me about K.C.  She thanked me for sharing stuff like that with her.  What a good friend I have in her.  Thank you God for healing us.

And most of this afternoon and evening was spent with Sarah.  After she packed I held her in her bed.  She fell asleep, but I just kept watching her, touching her face and neck as she slept and made little snoring noises.

She is so beautiful.

She left this evening.  Just now, before I started writing, as a matter of fact.  We plan to see each other over the holidays.  I can’t wait!

This has been an amazing semester.  There were many great and favorite moments:

– Laughing with Dan and Sherlive about the blue hole thing

– Midnight bowling in Savannah and scoring a 224.

– The “Stand in the Gap” trip.

– Cantering with Bay Lady.

– A mute Abigail asking me to touch her face.

– Seeing “Masks” resurrected.

– Every minute of the Hilton Head Island trip

– November 22, 1997 and nearly every second since then when I was close to Sarah.

– And I can’t forget to mention, although I don’t think I ever wrote about it here in my journal, the time I held Sarah under a rainbow.

What a blessed semester this has been.  And I even had my own real Christmas tree!  I got to travel, direct and choreograph, act in a leading role again, and meet Sarah.

I have so much to love, so much to cherish, and it all comes back to Jesus.

Jesus, I love you so much.  Thank you for all you have given me.  You are my life.  You are my all.

Oh vast pursuing lover come.

December 15, 1997 – Monday – 10:30 p.m.

Yesterday morning’s church service was awesome, then I sang at Juries that afternoon.  The RA Christmas party was that evening and after that we went to more juries.  Sarah was in four of them.  But despite all of yesterday’s business, Sarah and Jessi and I found the time to watch It’s Only a Paper Moon.

And last night, after the midnight breakfast exam break, and after I made my Christmas tree lights blink, and after Dan and I played Tetris 2, and after Vince and Alex wrestled in my room, I called my Sarah.  We talked for a while; we talked about us.

I told her that I pray to God about us and ask him what this is.  And every answer he ever gives me is through Sarah.  She said once that loving me was not part of the plan.  And I told her that God tells me to simply let our relationship be what it is and to not worry about anything else.

We both know I’m leaving and comfort is found in that.  I doubt I’ll spend the rest of my life with Sarah, but thanks to God, I’m pretty sure I’ll spend a lot of the next five months with her.

Perhaps I have lived life too carefully.  Perhaps I’ve guarded my heart too much.  Sarah is too amazing of a girl to simply pass up.  I do not want to be an old man, and right before I die, realize that I have not lived.

How frail we are.

So Sarah is my girl.  I love her.  I love her as much as my time will allow me.  We’ve only been close for three weeks, and, as we all know, love takes time.

Perhaps we should have left everything alone in that perfect first Eternal Instant on November 22nd, but why have one Eternal Instant when you can have hundreds.

I’m so young.

And Sarah is eighteen.

I just read back on my freshman year recently, and I didn’t know anything back then, but through Jeni and many others, I learned.

I first wrote Sarah’s name down in these Books of Days on June 14, 1997.  I had no idea then that I would repeat that name on these pages, in my heart, and on my lips for the rest of my life.  But it’s clear to me that she has arrived into my life and her influence will fade away.

September 29, 1997 – Monday – 1:30 p.m.

A lovely day.

Yesterday was rainy, but still wonderful.  I think I prefer rain over sunshine, especially in the mountains.

Jeni came over and we talked.  Dan and Allen were here and we began talking about relationships.  Then Jeni said to Dan, as though I wasn’t there, “I could never see myself dating Jacob again, mainly because his spiritual relationship with God is so much further along than mine.”

That statement surprised me greatly.  After Dan and Allen left, Jeni and I talked about it.  She said that Abigail and Tracey feel the same way; I somehow make them feel inferior.  “But I don’t do anything!” I told Jeni.  “I’m just me, I don’t think or even try to act like I’m better.  In fact, I’m the lowest of the low.”

She said that maybe it was just their own spiritual insecurity.  She said it was the hardest thing in the world for each of them since they all love me so much.

I didn’t understand.  They love me, but don’t want to pursue anything further with me because I make them feel less close to God?

Then Jeni confessed that over the summer when she stayed with me, she went into my room and read my journal.  She immediately started crying, fearing I would hate her.  She said she opened it up to May 7th, 1997, I believe.  And well, you should flip back and read it for this to make sense, but she said that reading that nearly killed her and she wished she had never read it.

I explained what that entry meant to me and I forgave her.

Then she told me that she told Abigail once, “No matter who Jacob marries, she will never be worthy enough.  He is wonderful.”

There it is.  Because I love God, girls are turned away.  I guess following Jesus does cost something.

But all that was yesterday and I woke up today with a smile on my face.

Speaking of girls, Sherlive is completely confused and foggy about life.  She is asking questions that shouldn’t be asked.  I used to think she had it all together, but she is in the ozone.  I spent three hours talking with her last night.  I asked her to lay her head in my lap so I could just pet her hair and pray for her.  She never seemed to relax.

Dan told me later on, “Jacob it’s going to be terrible next year.”

“Why?”

“Who’s going to be here to take care of us?”

September 25, 1997 – Thursday – 4:40 p.m.

Life is good.  I did a lot of research on church drama this morning.  I am now on the judicial committee since I’m an RD.  We saw some students today; pretty rough stuff.

My rehearsals with Emily and Mason are so much fun.  We are going to have the greatest scene ever.

And even in the busyness of this day, I found time to stare at the sky and the ground.  I stopped by Tennessee Dorm where Dan and I roomed together for a month, where Jeni spent a week, and where Sherlive spent a night.  Then I picked a flower and walked towards McAlister.

On the way there, I stopped at the cemetery next to the Presbyterian church.  I walked through slowly and stopped at the gravesite of the founder of this great institution.  There, at the tombstone of Edgar Tufts, I set my flower.

I then sat on a stone and examined the world around me.  I saw a leaf walking along the pavement.  I never knew leaves could walk, but it moved along as if it knew where it was going.  Then I stood and started walking and wondered if I was really walking, or if maybe some great wind was pushing me along as well.