October 19, 1997 – Sunday – 11:50 p.m.

The 20th day of October will begin in a few minutes.  We are all back in Banner Elk.  It is much colder here.

We rode Wave Runners on Saturday.  It was cold and rainy, but that made it all the more fun.  We went out to eat at Crabby Nick’s, I think it was called, that night.  I sat next to Abigail and Ann-Marie.  We had a coloring contest and Abigail won.

Charlie spoke on humility that night.  Something I need more of in my life.

We went to a neat church this morning and again I sat by Abigail.  It was so wonderful praising the Lord next to her.  We played miniature golf, met some cool Christians who owned the place and headed home.

And now, I’m scared.  God revealed a lot of things to me this weekend.  A lot of things about me.  I cried so hard on Friday night.  So much pain, sorrow, guilt, and love flowed out of me in my tears.  All of the people from this weekend mean so much to me.  The house we stayed at was perfect.

I couldn’t believe my time there was ending when I woke up this morning.  I went to the beach alone and stood in awe of how comfortable I felt.  The sun was breaking through the clouds.  Birds were flying all around.  And dolphins were riding the waves.  It was so perfect and God loved me so much.  Tears filled my eyes ’cause I knew I was leaving.

Pain and excitement filled my soul, and God used this cloudy weekend to give me a small taste of the larger storm to come.

I know I talk about this storm often, but this will easily be one of the hardest things I’ll ever do.

October 18, 1997 – Saturday – 9:00 a.m.

Oh man, last night was amazing.

After lunch yesterday we all went kayaking.  Tracey and I were in the same kayak together.  Dolphins came to join us as we drifted over the water.  Pretty dang cool.

Then we had a polaroid scavenger hunt last night.  Our team got second place so we are now tied for first overall.

But during our worship service last night, Charlie preached to us on raising a standard and a banner on campus.  One person has to lead the way, but all must work together.  And for the longest time, while Charlie talked and others talked, I curled up in a fetal position and felt like I was going to throw up.  My heart pounded.  I could hear it.  It was so loud.  Forever passed and I finally spoke up and said something along the lines of:

“Um, I feel like I need to apologize to everyone.  I just now realized that I am the problem.  I only know how to a Christian by my self.  I love the big groups, but it’s hard for me and I need help.  It’s hard for me to trust you all.  It’s difficult for me to believe that you guys worship the same God I do, mainly because I think he’s all mine.  I need you guys to help me.  I can’t even look at you.  I’m sorry.”

Tears rolled down my face.  Rachel came and held me and Abigail put her hand on my knee.  After several tears, I held Abigail’s hand.  She leaned closer and I hugged her.

God did a healing inside me.

Something hard to explain.

October 17, 1997 – Friday – 12:02 p.m.

Yesterday was a pretty amazing day.  Everyone went to the beach in the morning and just hung out there and messed around.  This retreat is going to strengthen all of our relationships.  Abigail and I aren’t at odds anymore.  Any trace of that discomfort feels forever gone.

We had a sand castle building contest yesterday.  Our team got second place.  We built Calvary.  One team built an octopus, and another built a toilet complete with a turd (a little brown stick).

I also went on a peaceful bike ride yesterday.  This is a beautiful place.

We all played miniature golf last night.  The owner was a Christian and we sang for him.  Then we played Red Rover on the beach under a full moon.

Then, I went for a walk, alone, and sang this over and over again:

“You are my hope, and your promises never fail me

And my desire, is to follow you forever

For you are good, for you are good

For you are good to me.”

I was nearly in tears.  I cannot believe how good God is to me.

Charlie used me as an example last night in our worship service, “All we need to do is show up and make a stand.”

In a little over six months I will leave to show up somewhere else.  God has used me here, but he’s mainly used LMC and Banner Elk to prepare me for the next place.  This simple little story is nearing it’s final chapter.

But what I love more than my story, are the stories of my friends.  And most of them I’ve written down.

October 16, 1997 – Thursday – 8:00 a.m.

I’m on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.  I can see the Ocean from the window of this room.  We arrived here last night.  I rode with Dan, Allen and Jessica.

Charlie, Vince, Curtis, Alex, Paul, Todd, Sherlive, Rachel, Tracey, Ellen, Ann-Marie, and Abigail are here as well.  This should be a delightful weekend.

My scene with Mason and Emily went so well yesterday.  Everyone loved it.  I’m so proud of them.  My lighting design looked so good.  Other student directors kept asking me, “how did you get to have lights for your scene.”  I just told them I did it on my own and they could have as well.

We went to the beach last night.  I walked alone for a while and thought about my God.  How awesome he is and how speechless he makes me.  The ocean was calm last night, but when I went down this morning, it was roaring.

Hmmm.

October 13, 1996 – Sunday – 9:45 a.m.

We are on the road right now, somewhere around Jacksonville, FL.

Yesterday was so awesome.  We rented wave-runners and went out in the Gulf of Mexico.  It was so much fun; it felt like I was flying just inches above the water.

That evening Syndi and her boyfriend Eric came to pick me up.  We went to this really huge multiplex with 20 screens and saw Tom Hanks’ That Thing You Do.  It was so funny.  A really great movie.  Syndi looked good; she grew her hair back and colored it blonde.  She is happy down here and it was great that I simply got to see her, the girl I held under the waterfall at the end of my Freshman year.

The other thing happened yesterday is that we heard on the radio that Tommy Moe was going to be at a Ski and Sports Shop.  Tommy Moe was a gold medalist in the 1994 Olympics.  Dan has posters of him in his room.  So we all went and got free T-shirts, he autographed them all and we got our picture taken with him.  Dan was really excited.  “I can’t wait to tell my parents that I went to Flordia to meet Tommy Moe!” he said.

That evening, whenever Syndi and Eric brought me back, I went for a walk around Kate’s neighborhood.  I prayed and sang to the Lord.

He is so great to me.

The air was so warm.

The midnight clouds so pretty.

My dreams are coming true.

I’m doing that thing that only I can do.

October 12, 1996 – Saturday – 7:30 a.m.

We went to Busch Gardens yesterday.  It was a lot different from the one in Williamsburg, VA.  I had a nice time.  I saw a cool dolphin show and went on the Montu, easily the best roller coaster I’ve ever been on.

They have a spa here.  I’ve spent some time just relaxing in it.  We are going to the beach today and then I’m going to try to meet up with Syndi tonight.  I called her last night.  She was surprised.  She sounded great.  I miss her.

One more day here and then we’ll head back.  This has been a much-needed little break, but I’m looking forward to going back.  I need my space.  I’ve gotten along with everyone and the weather has been nice, but I’ve come down with a cold and just long to be alone.

Thank you for these days in Tampa Father; may they always be precious.

October 18, 1995 – Wednesday – 10:30 p.m.

I’m at Crystal and Clifton’s house now.  I got here around 5 o’clock p.m.  It was only Crystal and I for a while.  We just talked for two hours then went to church.  She is a good friend; almost like a sister.  Church was fun tonight.  I went to the youth group and we took a little trip to Wildcat Lake.

Tonight, Crystal, Clifton, and their mom Leslie and I watched a movie called Bye Bye Love.  It was so wonderful.  It was about divorce and I have been there.  I could understand those people.

I am from a divorced family.  It isn’t easy.  It’s very hard.  If my marriage is going to end in divorce, then I would rather not get married.

For some reason I sometimes think that once a career begins, life will be over because I will have established a routine, a permanent lifestyle.  But that movie proved me wrong.  Nothing ever stops.  These days will never end.

They will change, but they will not end.

Millions of little things have happened the first half of this first semester of my Sophomore year.

But as for now, I am sitting on a couch in the living room on the side of a mountain in Heaton, North Carolina.

And very few people realize I am actually here.

October 15, 1995 – Sunday – 11:57 p.m.

What a day!

Church was wonderful this morning.  Crystal was there and she sat with me.  I’m going to spend Fall Break with her and her family.  I’m looking forward to it.

It has been really cold today.  It’s around 35 degrees now.  It’s hard to believe October is already half over.

The last performance of Li’l Abner was today.  Everyone from church came.  We had strike afterwards and didn’t get finished until 8:30 p.m.

Eddie just left my room.  He came to get some notes for Diction.  We talked about Christianity some and then about acting and theater.  He tells me I have great talent.  I’m not sure how to take all of this.  Recently, because of Antigone, everyone has noticed my acting ability, talent, and gift from God.  God has given me this talent.  This gift.

And I can’t wait until the next time I get to use it!

October 22, 1994 – Saturday – 9:45 a.m.

Its only a little later than my last entry.  A lot is on my mind and I must write about it.

Jeni and I have only been together for one month, but our relationship is so close.  This morning, while I was still in bed, she came in and gave me a kiss.

Just now I was looking at the pictures in my wallet.  Most of the pictures were of girls.  Jeni gave me a picture of her and it is the picture on top now.  I care for her so much.  I want nothing to happen to us.  I want to be with her forever.  She has so many dreams and I want to be a part of those dreams.

Everything has happened so fast.  I feel like this house here in Cincinnati is my home, and I like it!