May 6, 2000 – Saturday – 1:00 p.m.

I’m at my grandparents’.  I was headed out yesterday to visit Vince and say goodbye before he flew off to Bolivia, but my car broke down near Bottom’s Bridge in New Kent County.  I think I blew the engine.  I’m not sure what is going to happen, but it is nice being here.  I’ve had some time to reflect and think.

Soon I will be 24-years-old.  I am not married, but I’ve found a potential girl.  I’ll soon have a Master’s Degree, and I need to start working.  I have an interview Monday at a place called Acoustic Works.

I’ve watched some old home videos since I arrived here yesterday.  My grandpa always had the latest video camera in his hands while I was growing up.  How amazing to see me as a little boy back in 1987!  God is teaching me something.  I long for the life of pure love and innocence.  Oh, to be a child again.

I’ve come a long way.  High school, college, graduate school, all all the different churches that came with those places.  All the different friends.  Some now lost forever.

And all the different girls.

Cincinatti, Winston-Salem, Metuchen.

All the places I’ve walked.

I’m no longer a student, and that is all my memory has known.

So fix me God.  Prepare me for the next wave.  Send to the place you have prepared for me.

April 28, 2000 – Friday – 7:53 a.m.

April is ending.  As are many other things.  I am no longer a full-time student, and Marie and I have just come through a really difficult time.

I think the past week really traumatized me, so much so that I can hardly remember the harsh words that were spoken to me.  I feel my mind is trying to forever forget them, like a scab covering a wound and allowing new skin to grow.  I’m tempted to not write about this at all, but I should put something down in these pages.

Clearly hurt and rejected after spending a week with my friends in North Carolina, a vulnerable Marie and I visited her family.  And while they are kind in action, I didn’t have a great time these past few days in New Jersey, one, because I was sick, and two, because there just wasn’t an abundance of joy and peace, at least not when you compare it to the amount of joy and peace in all my friends in Banner Elk.  So, once we headed back to Virginia, all of that pain and defensiveness bubbled up in Marie, and she became very critical toward me and of all my friends.

She said it was unnatural and immoral of me to have as many female friends as I do.  And, as if that didn’t hurt enough, she then accused me of only being involved with the youth group at Parkway because I was sexually attracted to all the girls in the youth group.  She said that my friendship with girls like Sterling, Christin, and Kimberly was inappropriate and that I should be ashamed of myself.

Much more was said, many more stabs were taken at my heart, but I pulled off the road, got out of the car and found a distant ball park, where I sat on the bleachers and stared off into the landscapes of Delaware, trying to make sense of what had just happened with this girl I want to marry.

I don’t know if I’ve ever been more hurt.  Sterling, Christin, and Kimberly and their families and I all adore each other.  We are fellow believers together.  They take care of me, I like spending time with them, and yes Christin crushed on me for a while, but nothing ever happened.  I took her to her prom and I didn’t even kiss her.  The whole reason I didn’t pursue a relationship with her was because she was too young.  I sat there alone for a long time, and eventually heard from the Lord that Marie’s accusations were false.

So, I returned to the car.  By the look on her face, it was clear she knew she was out of line.  She apologized.  We drove home.

I prayed silently as we drove, and God gave me a very clear answer that I love my friends, and the fact that many of them are women is not a sin.  What Marie said to me reveals much more about her heart and mindset than it did mine, and, after spending a week with her family, it’s clear to see that she was raised in such a negative and narrow mindset.  We both got to experience where each of us came from these past two weeks, and the fact that we both came from two different words really broke us.  She felt like she didn’t belong with my group of friends and possibly even felt like she doesn’t have as good of friends as I do, and I felt rejected by (and bored with) her family.

So there it is.  God is breaking us.  Or maybe he’s sharpening us.

Perhaps this will make us a stronger couple than we were before.  Perhaps we won’t be able to recover from this.  Time will tell.

April 7, 2000 – Friday – 9:09 p.m.

I’m horrible at journal writing these days.

Right now though, I am in Metuchen, New Jersey.  I’m in Marie’s childhood home.  We had a wonderful dinner, and earlier I met some of Marie’s friends from when she was a teacher.

Looking back, I hardly know what has happened over the past week and a half.  I’ll try to slow down soon enough and really write.

But for now, Marie’s room is so adorable.  This entire house looks like the inside of a miniature doll’s house.  I always heard New Jersey was the armpit of America.  I never knew it could be so sweet.

January 23, 2000 – Sunday – 7:15 a.m.

It snowed last night.  The second snowfall in the past week.  And now I realize it has been a week since I’ve written.  It feels like a day.  Wow.

Things are good.  God is blessing me.  The Dang! footage looks great.  We will begin editing next week.  It also looks like there is a good chance that at least one of my screenplays will be selected for a funded production this summer.

Last night the roots of Marie and my’s relationship ran deeper.  It’s hard to write about the two of us because we have our own little book we started together.  We tell each other we love each other now.  And it is a very painful and scary thing; almost to the point that it is comforting.

We visited both sets of Grandparents, she even met my Dad last Sunday.  He acted like the total antisocial butthole that he is.  It was difficult, but it is also nice dealing with all this buried junk inside me with Marie by my side.  I’m learning to see it all through her eyes.

The purity outside reminds me of God’s fresh grace.

December 17, 1999 – Friday – 10:50 p.m.

Marie and I went to Williamsburg today.  We visited my wonderful grandparents.  We shared a meal with them.  Everything my grandfather said was ten times funnier than usual for the simple thought that Marie was experiencing it for the first time.  I adored the way my grandparents said her name.  It was as if she was already family.

We walked to the reservoir and sat on a newly built pier; perhaps it was built just for us.

We visited Colonial Williamsburg at night.  I pretended in my own mind that we lived in another century.  Each window of these ancient buildings held a candle, as if the eyes of the past, present, and future were watching us walk through our own unknowingness.

We stopped at a bench beneath an ancient tree beneath a more ancient moon.  And there we pondered the other twin souls who might have stopped underneath this very tree throughout all its years.  But the tree whispered its secret to us; that God had created him for the sole purpose of providing a special atmosphere for Marie and I on the night of December 17th in the final year of a millennium.  And there the moon revealed it true purpose of creation, to shine on the two of us.

Sweet Marie.

On the way home we drove through the Christmas lights of Norfolk’s botanical gardens.

Tomorrow night is our Christmas.

Each night is our birthday.

August 2, 1999 – Monday – 11:00 a.m.

Much has happened in the past several days.  I am in Banner Elk, NC.  My last day on the film shoot was Friday, so Friday night I drove to Siler City, NC.  I spent the night with Peter at the Motor Lodge.  He was there with his girl Shivani and we stayed up until two in the morning, just talking.  I left early Saturday morning and went to Sylva and met up with my grandparents.  We all went to Deep Creek for the family reunion.  Everyone was there except for Nar, Kevin, and Patty.

I left Bryson City that night and drove up here to Banner Elk.  I went to Lees-McRae, but couldn’t find a soul.  I did finally find Jessi and learned that Sarah was in a show that night.  I only got to see her for about ten minutes.  Then I found out that Allen and Jessica had just returned from their road trip to Colorado, so I spent the night at Allen’s, as did Jessica.  They are getting married next summer.

We went to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship yesterday morning and there I saw Lindy and Tracey and Ashley and tons of others.  Dan was still in town saying goodbye to Abigail, who is going to Austria.  We all just freaked out when we saw each other!  We all went out to lunch, hung out all afternoon, then went out to dinner.  Everyone is working this morning, so I’m riding with Sharon to Asheville and back later today.  Vince is away on a cruise.  I miss him.

But here I am on a flat rock off the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I came here early this morning with Curtis and we took some amazing pictures.

Time to go meet Sharon.

. . .

It’s now 8:20 p.m. on the same day.

Sharon and Hannah and I drove to Asheville, she just had to get an Allergy shot, so I rode along so we could chat.  While down there we went to go see Runaway Bride; a perfect movie.  I don’t know if I’ve ever left a movie theater so happy before; there is such wisdom in that film.

Sharon and I had wonderful talks all day about life and love and Jesus and forgiveness.  Oh how I love and adore that woman.  I told her about Mary and she caught me up on Laura.

Runaway Bride taught me so much and I’m so thankful that I’m single right now.  After tomorrow, which is Lindy’s birthday, I’m going to get in the car and just drive.  I’m just going to keep driving and stay in weird places and be with my Jesus.  We are going on a honeymoon, if you will.

 

June 12, 1999 – Saturday – 4:51 p.m.

I feel like crying…crying because I don’t have best friend here.  At the moment, I feel so very much alone, very misunderstood, and I never feel like I can fully relax into the friendships I have here.

I talked to Justin, Abigail, Tracey, and Sarah the other night.  They sounded so good.  Sarah and I are all healed and that completely amazes me.  But these dear people are all far away.  Justin is in town, but at camp.  I leave in a week, so I won’t get to see him.

I’ll soon be around a new group of people.  Before I even depart, I guy I don’t know from Richmond is staying with me for a week while he helps out on a film shoot.

Oh Jesus…what is going on?

How am I doing?

I feel life has become so different and I don’t want it to be.  Is it my perspective or are things really changing?  Am I still young?  What do you want me to do?  Where have all my simple joys gone?  I am missing them so.  Why all this stress?  Life didn’t use to be this way.

Mom called me the other night.  She and Henry are having problems in their marriage.  They say they’re spiritual attacks because of their involvement with the Brownsville Revival and they are going to counseling.  I hope they’re still good.

There is a family reunion happening at Deep Creek, but I can’t go due to the film shoot.

Change.  I both love and hate it.