February 7, 1998 – Saturday – 6:10 p.m.

Oh man! The beginning hours of February 7, 1998 were so amazing.

Sarah and I began a phone conversation at one in the morning and we didn’t hang up until four o’clock.  We had the best time!  I told her things about me that not many people know.  I told her about two Florida girls, Syndi and my pen pal Emily.

I just read my May 8, 1995 entry, the one about Syndi and I under the waterfall, and because I was so young and so scared, I didn’t even reveal the full events of that evening to the pages of my journal.  That entry is missing a great deal.  Maybe it’s just retrospect, the me of now looking back on the me of then, that was needed for the truth of that night to be revealed to me.

Either way, early this morning, I told Sarah, my girlfriend, the story of Syndi and the story of why I broke up with Jeni.  The truth is I had begun to hate how physical my relationship with Jeni had become.  We never had sex, but I just felt like a dirty slimy dog of a pervert because I began to care more about where I could touch her with my hands than I did the quality of our conversations.

I then told Sarah how I had only known Syndi for two weeks prior to our May 7th, 1995 escapade and how wild it was for me to be around her because, well…because Syndi had (and I’m sure she still has) beautiful, large, firm, gravity-defying breasts that simply demanded male eye-contact.  It was wild to be with her because I was used to Jeni, who was relatively flat-chested.  So, for me to be lying under a blanket of stars, beneath a beautiful waterfall, next to the most well-endowed girl I had even known, who kept saying she was cold, well…I began to pray.  If I felt like a slimy dog with flat-chested Jeni, how would I be if I was holding the insanely curvy Syndi?  I feared I wouldn’t be able to control my hands or my whole self.

And, of course, I went on to tell Sarah about how after I offered to hold Syndi to keep her warm, she began talking about sex.  Now I left this part out of my 1995 entry, but Syndi talked for a while about sex with her ex-boyfriend, and then she eventually said with a whisper, “Jacob, are you going to wait until you are married to have sex?”

With her breasts against my chest, I said, half giving up and half begging for mercy, “Well, that’s the way I had planned it.”

And I don’t know how much time had passed.  It could have been a second.  It could have been a minute.  But eventually Syndi said, “Well, I guess we better go then.”

I have since concluded that God used that night, that beautiful girl, and that cleansing waterfall to purify me, and show me that I was not a slimy dirty dog, but a man who loved and respected women.

Sarah and I had a good laugh, mainly because I’m somewhat of a Christian leader on campus and not viewed as one who would talk so openly about my love of breasts to my own girlfriend.  When trying to explain the shape of Syndi’s body to Sarah, I said, “Well, let’s just say, she’s is closer to your neck of the woods.”  Sarah laughed forever.

It was then I told my girlfriend that I greatly enjoy her.  I love to look at her.  I love to hold her.  I think she has a beautiful body, an amazing face, and I find her very sexy and pleasing to look at.  Our physical relationship is not a very big one, but I enjoy it greatly.

She thanked me for telling her that.

We continued talking and she told me some of her stories.  I also gave her a brief summary of Emily and I and even read some of Emily’s old letters to her.

She then told me that for the first time in a relationship, she was not jealous of the other girls in her man’s life.  Then she started crying.  And she said it felt so good not to have that burden.

I told her she has no reason to be jealous of the girls of yesterday, for they have helped make me who I am today, the me that loves her.  I owe them so much for that.

Sarah is in the picture below; it was taken during a performance of the Christmas Concert.

Can you find her?  She is the beautiful one.

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February 6, 1998 – Friday – 11:50 p.m.

Today has been one heck of a day in the neighborhood.  My Directing II lab was crazy because Geana decided to just go wacko on me.  She has no sense of self worth and gets hurt by the smallest things.  I was just talking about my own desire to save sex for marriage and she just lost it.

Then, around 12:30 p.m., while I was checking my mail, I found a new Freshman named Elizabeth lying sick on a sofa.  I took her to the hospital and stayed with her for nearly three hours.  It turns out she has a urinary tract infection, but we had a nice time to get to know each other.  She’s amazing, but has much to learn; as do we all.

God has been using these people here to teach me so much.  Lindy and I have been calling each other brother and sister and we’ve had some amazing talks recently that last hours long.

Even Sarah and I seem to slowly be getting better.

And Emily and I have written poetry back and forth to each.  Weird huh?  My true Emily hasn’t written me in a while, and now I wonder if this Emily will also become a lifelong pen pal.

I just love being around women. Even when Geana looses it, I’m still learning something.  Sarah, Lindy, Elizabeth, Emily, such young and amazing women and they take the time to let me share my life, my heart, and my thoughts with them.

I firmly believe women are the greatest thing on this planet and they are keeping all of us sane.

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 1, 1997 – Monday – 8:20 p.m.

I have been a Christian for a total of 12 years now.  Today is my spiritual birthday.

It’s hard to know what I’m feeling right now.  Let me just try to catch up.

Sunday after church, Josh and I went shopping in Johnson City, TN then we picked Vince up from the airport.  We went to church that night and saw a presentation of the musical Star Queen.  It was so wonderful.

Sarah called me that night and then came over to see my Christmas tree.  We held hands and talked for nearly two hours.  She told me so many neat stories.  She has such an amazing heart and the world is so beautiful through her eyes.

She has gone to see a show two hours away tonight.  I am on duty and miss her greatly.

After she left at 11:00 p.m., Vince took me out to Subway and then we came back here and ate to the light of my Christmas tree.

I got some Teen Mania information today in the mail.  I began to cry as I read over it.  The Lord moved upon me.  I am applying to go on a two month mission trip to either India or South Africa next summer.  I am insanely excited!

There are only two weeks left of classes.  I don’t have any exams during finals week.  In less that 18 days I take the GRE.

Christmas is so soon.  It hardly feels real.

And the wonderful burden of everything changing is resting upon the shoulders of my mind right now.  I haven’t talked to Emily since May.  Sarah and I are telling each other things we tell no one else.  Auditions for the spring show are in one week.  I direct a one-act next semester.  Once the new semester begins in January, there will only be four months left until it’s all over.

Sarah is a freshman.  I am a senior.  Why does the world work this way?

I had to look through some old boxes for a picture negative earlier this evening and I came across a lot of ancient stuff.  Memories flooded my heart and soul.  And I realized how much things really have changed since I first arrived on this campus.  And then I realized how much everything was getting to change even more.

Oh Jesus, you are my one constant companion.  You are by my side no matter what!

Humble me God.

You are all I have.

You are all I’ll ever have.

I need you now.

More than ever.

July 11, 1997 – Friday – 11:55 p.m.

I’m at Deep Creek.  Charlie got a call earlier today from Jason.  He was here the first semester of my Freshman year.  Well, he only lives 30 minutes down the road, so he met up with us and is going camping with us.

We set up camp, then drove to Cherokee and did some Go-Kart racing and played miniature golf.  We also drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway and told scary stories.

But on the way back, Allen bought some little cigars and he and Vince have been smoking.  Well, I guess they say they are only puffing on them, but I’m not sure of the difference.  Perhaps I’m weird, but it makes me uncomfortable.  I left and went on a walk.  When I came back, they wanted to go for a walk.  I was angry with them because of the cigars and for the fact that they peed on the ground and not in the restroom.  I’ve been coming here for several years and I know beautiful young girls like Emily walk around on this holy ground in their bare feet.  I couldn’t believe they would pee on the ground a few feet from the restroom.  Who does that?

While on my walk, I was flooded with memories.  Although it’s only been four years since I came here with Danny, Peter, Marcus, and Kevin, they are the ones who fit this place the best.  My dear friends I’m with now don’t know the unspoken rules of this place.  They don’t know how it’s supposed to work or how it’s supposed to feel.

While walking, I remembered precious moments with Syndi and Emily.  I even remembered the days with Brandon and all he did was flirt with every girl he saw.  Jonathan came with me once.  Then all the family reunions I’ve had here.

But I think I had the most fun with Syndi.  This land will always be tied to those precious days of us walking hand in hand in these woods.

These guys here now simply don’t belong.  They have no idea.  They don’t know what each mountain tree and rock means to me.  This place is my home; as much as any other place in the world.

June 19, 1997 – Thursday – 11:37 p.m.

Vacation Bible School has both begun and ended since my last entry.  I was in charge of the dramatic elements.  I wrote a play and played the main character.  It went well.  The kids seemed to love it.  This evening Vince and I went over to Sharon’s.  Hannah and I played a lot of games.  Simple fun!

Four years ago on this historic day, I was saying goodbye to Emily at Deep Creek near Bryson City, NC.  There are some things in life that can’t be explained.  Emily is one of them.  She is my life’s great mystery.

June 8, 1997 – Sunday – 5:23 p.m.

Yeah baby!  The weekend was so great!  I am a Promise Keeper!!  A stadium of 60,000 Christian men singing praises to one God!  A night spent in a beautiful Victorian Bed & Breakfast!  Charlie, Vince, and Allen right next to me, plus new friends I made from the trip!  Whew, walls were torn down.

Redemption!  I am free at last!

I will live in purity.  I will read, pray, and fellowship!  I am alive in Christ!!

When I returned home I read chapter 17 from Max Lucado’s God Came NearEternal Instants.  You know, the moments so perfect that the whole universe stands still to notice.  I can think of many right now, and I’ve only been alive for a little over 20 years.

Sitting in the treehouse on Hemlock Hill on a snowy night listening to Braveheart.

Crystal rubbing my neck at the drive-in in Tennessee.

Talking to Emily under the boardwalk in Ft. Walton Beach.

Touching Abigail’s face in McAlister room 206 on Lees-McRae’s campus.

Kissing Jeni in Cincinnati, Ohio while listening to The Wedding Song by Kenny G.

Playing underneath the full moon with Dan and Allen on the back side of Grandfather Mountain.

Holding a curled up Tenielle on her bathroom floor.

Performing “The Mask Skit” at Abundant Life Christian Center.

Eating Wheat Thins and slowly falling asleep next to Jessica under God’s open starry sky.

Playing water guns with Jonathan, Mike, Marcus, and Kevin.

Tubing down Deep Creek with Danny and Peter.

Holding Syndi under the waterfall.

Passing a car in the turning lane with Jonathan.

Helping a lost boy find his mother at Fishnet.

Playing Myst with Vince in New York.

Helping Ryan in and out of the corner tree.

Standing next to the Grand Canyon with Brandon.

Graduating high school and seeing Renee smile at me.

Signing my way through Children of A Lesser God.

Singing with 60,000 men in Knoxville.

And that eternal instant right before I fall asleep each night, when I reflect on the beauty of each amazing day!

Oh wait, and how could I forget, perhaps the most perfect moment of all, riding back from Tennessee with Sharon as Hannah fell asleep in my lap.