January 18, 1997 – Saturday – 6:30 p.m.

There’s something I’m not understanding.  I know I am a creation of God.  And I know that sin broke the original bond.  I know that Jesus’ blood has made a door that allows me to enter into the grace of God.

So, everything is complete.

But, I am being haunted.

Voices, eyes, smiles, they won’t let me break free.

Does one ever forget?  Or is this part of the joy?

I think now that God sees I understand the death of his son for a doorway into his grace, I believe he is now trying to show me why.

A day does not pass in which I don’t grow closer, in which a new angle is not seen, in which a soul’s eyes do not let me inside their true self.

A day does not pass in which I do not fall more in love with everything God created.

Souls have told me I have helped them become who they are.  Does that mean I have aided in their creation?

But perhaps an hour or two or a couple of years will pass and our two earthly souls haven’t been in fellowship, time and space prevents us from sharing those two very things.

Jesus died and rose in order to welcome us into his fellowship, both with him and everyone else, his bride, his grace, his glory, his everything.  Is he hurting when we are an hour or two away from each other?  Is he hurting when when two members that make up his bride can’t be together?

My collection is growing.

I know more souls now than ever.

I have seen more eyes now than ever.

I have created more smiles now than ever.

And I believe I am beginning to understand why he died.

I can’t imagine what it must feel like to give your own life for your creation…and they not even notice.

I am so sorry God.

September 11, 1994 – Sunday – 1:47 p.m.

I just got back from hours of fellowship with other Christians.  I went to Heaton Christian Church with Charlie.  Kristi was there with Michelle and a girl named Lisa I believe.  They are students here at Lees-McRae. Glenda is Charlie’s ex-girlfriend and she goes to church there as well.  This church is full of so many young people.  Both college and high school age.  They all know each other just like I knew all of the young people at Abundant Life Christian Center.

I am the stranger now.

But it takes time to get close to people and be their friend.

I have four years to do so.

My adventure has begun.

When we came back to eat lunch in the cafeteria, there was a Sunday School type thing in a private dining room that we all went to.  There was a leader, someone a part of the administration, and a lovely discussion with our meal.  During the discussion, Charlie mentioned me and my Christian walk and said he really looked up to me.

You are wonderful Jesus.

If I didn’t have you or this fellowship then my spiritual life would be lacking for sure.

You are up here with me.

You kept your word.

You knew what you were doing all along.

You are here.

Here with me at Lees-McRae.

June 27, 1994 – Monday – 11:30 a.m.

Yesterday didn’t turn out like I thought it would when I woke up that morning, but it was an awesome day!  I learned so much.

Church was nice; I did Faith Street.  I played my Heathcliff character.  At the fellowship afterwards, it just seemed like no one was there.  Jenna and Tenielle were at first and I said very little to both of them, but then they left with Kevin to go to their house.  Tenielle gave me two letters before she left.  In them she was saying how much she will miss me and stuff.  But she doesn’t spend any time with me now, so it all seemed like bull crap!

I stayed at the church because Kenny was supposed to pick me up at 4:30.

Boy was I wrong.

Everyone left at 4:00.  I was there alone.  Before I knew it an hour had passed.  I didn’t have a watch on.  I found out what time it was by asking the operator from a pay phone.  She said it was 5:05 p.m.  I figured Kenny wasn’t coming so I walked to the Neal’s house.  It was about two miles.  Scott was there.  The two of us and John (the dad of the family) had a nice talk.

Scott went home and then later, around 11:30 p.m., John and I went back over to his house to pick up something.  From there, I called to see if Kevin and Marcus could pick me up on their way back from Jenna and Tenielle’s.  Well, it turns out they weren’t there.  They all went to Fayetteville.  And guess what?!  The car broke down.  Their mom told me that my parents were going to get them and she would just tell them I was at the Neal’s.  So, at about 2:00 in the morning, they picked me up.

John and I were up talking.  He go out his old yearbooks and we talked about him when he was my age.  John has a daughter my age who lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.  She is beautiful.  He was married before.  He explained all of that to me.  He then told me how he met Carol (the mom of the family).  And now they have five kids, all ranging from about 2 to 12.

I learned so much from John that night.

I got home and went straight to bed.  

Something happened last night with Kevin and Marcus and Jenna and Tenielle.  Marcus said to me this morning, “Jacob, you are very wise by staying out of things,” and then he said he would talk to me later.  I could probably guess all that happened.

Jenna and Tenielle are fun to be around, but sometimes they can get these attitudes that can ruin everyone’s fun.

Kenny is here now.  His car broke down Sunday morning, so he couldn’t pick me up.  He felt bad.

Fishnet is a week from this Wednesday.

Nana called me this morning about tonight.  I told her about the car, but she said that she and Trish would come pick us up from our house, but she wants me to drive her car.  I guess she doesn’t like to drive.

And today is Trish’s birthday.

Happy Birthday Trish! 

 

November 14, 1993 – Sunday – 10:38 p.m.

I can’t believe it.  It happened.  It has been a year.  Fifty-two weeks ago, I started writing My Book of Days.

Yesterday, I went out on the bus ministry at church.  Ah, the projects.  I often think I don’t have much and that we are poor, but then I see how others live and I understand that I am beyond blessed.

So, Kevin came back from for the weekend last night.  I was talking to him about Rebecca and he told me that he liked her.  Evidently he met her at cross-country meets earlier in the school year.  It didn’t bother me.

Church was wonderful today.  I went into children’s church.  I wasn’t supposed to, but I had to take someone’s place, which meant I was actually there when Ryan and Cheryl were.  They told me that all they want (and what all women want) is romance, attention, and sensitivity.  If that is the case, I should be okay when it comes to the finding a wife down the road.  I sure hope they know what they’re talking about.

After church, I was talking to Shirley (Veronica’s mom) and she said she was pregnant.  They evidently been wanting that to happen for a while.  Praise God it did.  She was so happy.

I didn’t go home after church.  I went with Cheryl, Ryan, Amy, Jill, and Marcus to Mr. Gatti’s.  Afterwards, we went to Ryan and Amy’s house.  We watched a little bit of Far and Away.  

Tomorrow is our Pastor’s birthday, so we had a little fellowship thing after church tonight.  It was a nice time.  He is 41.

So it’s been a year.  Since this is a special occasion, I’m going to look back through my journals and copy here some of my favorite things that I’ve written or quoted:

“These are the best days of my life and I will take them one day at a time.”

“And she is eleven.”

“Is your dad a thief?”

“I’m still laughing, why?”

“If only I knew.”

“I fell straight on my knees, and then on my face.”

“And the plot of my life thickens.”

“Stay a child, while you can be a child.”

“Time is just a fragment of man’s imagination; it doesn’t really exist.”

“Poof!  It’s over.”

“Dare to be happy!”

“And being so in love you can hardly eat.”

“Winter Dreams are things you want so bad, but deep down you know you’ll never get them.”

“Maturity is learning what to do with your free will.”

“The party is over and I have no one to talk to.”

“How can I see so far?”

“My ears are starving for some honesty?”

“Man does not live, he just survives.”

“I didn’t pinch her to hurt her.”

“If only the sun would set.”

“Life is simply a collection of greetings and farewells and the love you share in between.”

And now another year has begun…

November 8, 1993 – Monday – 9:53 p.m.

I got a letter from Emily today.  She’s doing great!

In Art we are beginning a new project.  We’re supposed to write and illustrate a children’s book.  I already have my idea.  I’ll keep you informed.

Yesterday, when I was at Christi’s, the two of us went into her room to listen to Miss Saigon and Les Miserables (by the way, it’s in ten days).  Christi was going to go with her school, but she has a Sound of Music rehearsal, so she gave her ticket to Andy, her brother.  Bummer.

Well, we were just talking and then she began telling me about how in The Sound of Music she has to kiss this guy.  She said she always wanted a boyfriend so she could tell him that the stage kiss means nothing to her, but that if he (her boyfriend) was up there acting with her, then it would mean something.

I was happy.  She was telling me something that she would want to say to her boyfriend.

The subject of church came up.  I never asked her about it; she just began talking.  She said things weren’t the same.  The love of the fellowship just wasn’t there anymore.

I agreed.  The church has gone through a rough period, but it’s getting back up on its feet.

She also said its because she’s moving next year and wants to get use to the church in Rocky Mount.

I’m moving next year, too.

I think Christi is scared.

I know I am.

I learned what life was this past weekend.

Life is simply a collection of greetings and farewells, and the love you share in between.

You may not be coming to church anymore Christi, but I’m not going to say goodbye to you unless I have to.

September 26, 1993 – Sunday – 7:15 p.m.

The church fellowship was today, so we didn’t have church tonight.

I just skimmed through my first three Books of Days.  I feel so stupid.  When I first started my journal I never wrote much about skit group or youth group; I just wrote about Veronica and she isn’t half as important to me as those memories are now.  Today was so hard after yesterday’s realizations.  I can’t go back and I feel like it’s killing me.  I wish I could make you understand.

The summer of ’93 was great, but the fall, winter, and spring of ’92 and ’93 were far better.

September 12, 1992 to June 5, 1993.

So many complications with Veronica, the one I thought I loved, when the people I truly loved and still love were the group of friends whose company I took for granted.  Most of them are still around and we will continue to have great times, but right now it hurts because I know it will end soon.

Why am I like this Jesus?  Why do memories mean so much to me?

Today a little girl gave a picture to me.  I don’t know when it was taken, but it was after December and before May because Tammy is in the picture.  Jonathan is in there, too.  I realized how much I miss him.

I’m not in the picture, and neither is Marcus, but mostly everyone else is.  Look at us all!  Inseparable friends!  All happy, all smiling, covered in the joy of the Lord.

But the day will come when another group of young people will grow up in that church and we will go our own way.  But, wherever we end up, we all know who we are and whose we are.  Nothing can take that away.

The Lord just showed it to me.  I shouldn’t be sad over this; I should count it all joy.  We are the Endtime Warriors!  We are the Emmanuel Players!  Whether we are together or not, we are family.  Even if we are on the opposite sides of the globe, we will always be one.

We will grow up and never forget our youth and we will love the Lord until the end of our days.

Lord, Make us instruments of your peace,

Where there is hatred, let your love increase

Lord, make us instruments of your peace,

Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease

When we are your instruments of peace.

Where there is hatred, we will show his love

Where there is injury, we will never judge

Where there is striving, we will speak his peace

To the millions crying for release,

We will be his instruments of peace

Where there is blindness, we will pray for sight

Where there is darkness, we will shine his light

Where there is sadness, we will bear their grief

To the millions crying for relief,

We will be your instruments of peace.

Always.