September 20, 1998 – Sunday – 8:28 p.m.

My life has gone on a crazy ride recently.  To begin, my Communication Theory class blew my mind.  God is definitely using this class to deal with the way I think and see the world.  Perhaps I’ll go into detail with that later.

I worked Wednesday afternoon and that night we had drama practice.  It went okay, but these kids really have no idea of how to do this thing, but I guess it’s my job to teach them.  Nevertheless, we all had fun.

Sometimes at Regent I feel like I just don’t fit in.  There is a Law School and a Theology School and I feel like some of those students in their suits walk by and judge me and my duck-taped sandals.

I worked all day Friday, it was a bit rough.  I just wasn’t happy with all that was around me.  But once I got off work, all that changed.

Dawn, a coworker, needed a ride home.  She’s insanely beautiful and a lot of fun, she actually reminds me Emily.  Well, I was taking her home and she wanted to stop and get some pepperoni rolls at a nearby bakery, so we did.  We ate there together and talked and it was just simple fun.  I shared a meal with an insanely beautiful girl and sometimes that is all a man needs to make it through the week.  We drove to her house, and I was just being me, you know the one that often feels like he doesn’t fit in at Regent, and she was just cracking up a storm, telling me I was the funniest thing in the world.

Thank you Dawn!  You saved my life that day.

Then, I went back to Regent to watch some of the student films that were being screened.  I saw three and they were all pretty good.  Then I left to go watch One True Thing at the Regal Cinemas.  That movie changed my whole perspective.

One day, my own mom is going to start dying.  I love her so much and that day is many years away, but still, we will all die one day.  And the movie taught me that I have so much here in Virginia Beach to love and care about.

I haven’t been doing that well enough.

I cried the entire way home from the movie.  I just a big baby in the car.  I didn’t like who I was and I wanted to change.  I asked God to forgive me.

I arrived home, slept, and got up early yesterday morning and left with some members of the youth group to go to King’s Dominion.  I spent most of the day with our leaders Tammy and Jose, as well as Kimberly and Lauren.  Kim is 15 and Laura is 13 and we eventually split off and it was just Kimberly and Lauren and me.  And I had the best day with those two.

I just loved whatever was around me.  Kim and Lauren and I talked the entire day.  I was a 22-year-old graduate student who got to feel 14 again.  God was giving me a gift and I was reminded of who I was and what I’m called to.  God knows me better than I know myself.

Kimberley reminded me a lot of Ryan, my first crush, and Kimberley said I make everything so much fun that she wants to do everything with me now, even shopping.  Lauren was an absolute sweetheart and I now have two dear new friends.

What a lovely thing that is, a friend.

One True Thing revealed to me how I had needlessly complicated my life.  I’d forgotten about the simple sounds, simply joys, simple tastes, and simple smiles of the good life.

On Saturday, September 19, 1998, I became young again.

Advertisements

September 13, 1998 – Sunday – 8:39 a.m.

Today is my mother’s birthday.  She turns 45.  I just called her.  She has a job working for the city, and Henry is going to class and working part-time at the local Wal-Mart.  I’m sure this would make no sense to the world.  Henry had a great job as a detective at UNC and now he is pushing carts.  But they are not of this world and he is where God wants him to be.

Nate is now in 8th grade.  I switched schools in 6th grade and that was rough, I’m sure switching in 8th grade is even more difficult.

Mom says they will stay down there for Thanksgiving.  She wants us to come down, but I’ve already made plans, so I can’t.

Yesterday after work I auditioned for a sci-fi film being produced independently by some Regent students.  It is something they hope to sell and turn into a series.  Call backs are next Wednesday; we’ll see.  The audition was so much fun.  I do love this stuff.

Yesterday I saw two movies, Rounders and Simon Birch.  They were both fantastic!  Sitting behind me in the theater was a huge group of guy friends and it made me miss Vince, Dan, Allen, Curtis, Justin, Charlie, and Josh so much.  I just miss laughing with them and letting the world fade away.

 

August 18, 1998 – Tuesday – 8:37 a.m.

I had the best birthday in the world!

Church on Sunday went very well.  I went to Parkway Temple and I think I’m going to stick with it.  I’m going to call the youth pastor this week to talk about the skit group.

Yesterday, for my 22nd birthday, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. to drive to Sandbridge and watch the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.  I took some pictures and had an excellent time alone with God.  A policeman came and told me I parked in the wrong spot.  He wondered why I was out there so early, so I told him it was my birthday and that I just moved here and didn’t really know anyone so I had to celebrate somehow.

I registered for my classes yesterday, and I met with my advisor to plan out my schedule for the next two years.  I should be finished with all my courses by the summer of 2000.  Only two years; that’s crazy!

I went to a cookout yesterday at a family’s house with a pool.  They have four kids from 14 to 5: Jessica, Jonathan, Jeremy, and Jenna.  Jenna, the 5-year-old and I had the best time!  She had some cool toys and loved to show them off.  To my surprise, all the folks at the cookout had a cake for me for my birthday; they prayed for me and everything.  I met most of them last Monday when I went to a prayer meeting at Christian’s house.  Christian and his family are from Germany.  Anyway, everyone didn’t want me to spend my birthday alone, so they planned this cookout for me.  I almost didn’t go because I thought I should stay home and wait for my mom to call.  Funny thing is, my mom never called.  I think she’s totally forgotten my birthday.

Oh well, God is already giving me a new family, no matter where I find myself.

Thank you God!

August 10, 1998 – Monday – 5:45 p.m.

I only have one week left to be 21.

Today was great!  I had some training at the bookstore and then all the employees there went to the beach for a cookout.  I had the best time.  It was myself, Matt, David, and new people I met today: Steven, Dawn, Sarah, Jenny, Channing, Donna, Katy, Aaron, and Amy.

Great people; not all of them go to Regent, but they all love the Lord!

David and I played in the waves and talked about South Africa and it made me miss the place even more.  Matt had really dug deep in to community while I was away.  He has been going to prayer meetings and such.  I’ve been invited to one tonight.

I found out my mom and family are not in Florida yet.  They are in Atlanta.  The RV broke down.  I haven’t talked to them yet.  I haven’t talked to anyone from my old world yet.  I’m afraid to I think.  I’m afraid it will seem like they are all in slow motion and that I’m moving forward so quickly that we’ll be out of reach of each other.

Thank you God for this job.  Thank you for this place.  You are so good to me.  I love living with you and for you.  You have always placed me in a family of believers, no matter where you have called me.  Please speak to me tonight at this meeting.

April 16, 1998 – Thursday – 11:30 a.m.

It is Henry’s birthday.  He is 44 or 45.  I talked to my mom today.  There is a slight possibility that Mom, Henry, and Nate might move to Pensacola, Florida.  Wow, that’s only about 30 minutes from Emily.

Hmmm.

Henry is going to go to the Brownsville School of Evangelism or Ministry or something.  They don’t allow distant marriages, so Mom and Nate would have to go with him.  That means selling the house and everything.

I talked to Marcus today as well.  He is going to come up on the 10th of May and will head back on the 11th.  Mom said Kevin goes up to Virginia every weekend to see Dad and Grandpa.  Grandpa hasn’t been doing to well.  He’s been in the hospital for nearly a month now.  I’ll try to get up there in May.

Sarah and Jessi didn’t make it into Summer Theater.  It came as a big blow to the whole department.  No one understands and Sarah has taken that rejection really hard.  Both of them came over last night and I held both of them for an hour.  They don’t know what the summer of ’98 will hold for them.

I’m not really sure what it holds for me.  Regent classes begin on the 31st of August.  I hope to arrive by the 18th.

Sarah and Jessi have been the greatest blessing of my senior year.  Things are moving so quickly and feeling so crazy.  I don’t know which way the wind blows, so I’m going to let God take care of tomorrow.  He is in control.

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.

December 29, 1997 – Monday – 1:19 p.m.

Guess what?

Yep.

Sarah and I made plans for today.  I was going to see her after my dentist appointment, but it started snowing and mom wouldn’t let me go.  I got upset, but she wouldn’t change her mind.  I called Sarah and she was disappointed, but she understood.

Mom drove me to the dentist and we got a chance to talk.  I told her I was disappointed because she doesn’t seem interested in my relationship with Sarah.  She never asks about her, she never asks about anything.

We went back and forth for a while and I told her I was in love with Sarah and that I was glad that I got upset when I couldn’t go see her today.  I’m glad that it hurt.  It would be terrible if I was okay with not seeing the one I love.  I told her that I watch her and Henry and I watch so many other married couples and that they’ve all become these sad sad stories of boredom.

Henry asks for kisses from mom and she keeps on walking.  Henry sleeps in a chair downstairs alone while mom sleeps upstairs.  I said, “if that is what happens to the fire that is inside me now, then I don’t want it at all.”

It’s true.  I pray every day that my relationship with Sarah never becomes boring, or something that I’m used to.  I pray it never looses its magic and I pray God helps us to keep it alive and new and real.

I think mom felt a little convicted.  And she should.  Christians should have the most amazing romantic relationships of all humans.  God is love and he is supposed to be with them!  If my mom and stepfather call themselves Christians, but they don’t share a bed and I never see them kiss each other, then I think they are being bad Christians.

I told Sarah all of this over the phone after the dentist and she agreed with me.  I can’t wait till the next time I see her.

God gave me this life and I refuse to let the world ruin me.  I am going to live.  I am going to love.  I am alive.  I’m not dead like half this world.  I am alive and well!