March 19, 1998 – Thursday – 6:03 p.m.

Wednesday, after we worked, we went to Lexington to go to Southland Christian Church. It was very huge and really awesome!  We ate at Taco Bell that night and then drove back to our prison home.  It took an hour and a half to get there.  I slept both to and fro.

Today was definitely our last day at the one house we’ve been working on.  We finished up the porches and cabinets and even built a staircase.  Half of the group left to go dig ditches.

The week has flown by.  It has been loads of fun, but terribly stressful.  My patience has grown very short with Alex, Kate, and Sherlive.  I love them all to death, but their habits and personalities annoy me.  Earlier today I wasn’t enjoying the company of those around me, so I took about 30 minutes, sat down, and stared at my picture of Sarah.  Afterwards, the whole world was beautiful again.

Ron (Joe Bill) was one of those beautiful sights.  He’s been a great leader this past week.  He is so poor though.  He makes about $100 a week, and is sterile because he grew up around his father’s work and got lead poisoning.  He can’t have children of his own, and yet this poor man bought everyone dinner this evening.

This trip has caused me to appreciate Lees-McRae again.  And honestly, I think that is the only true reason I came….to see what Sarah means to me, to discover what my comfort means to me, to learn what I can live with and what I can live without.

I miss my music, you know, the music I listen to when no one else is around.  I miss my shower.  I miss my apartment as the Resident Director.  And, oh I miss everything about Sarah.  I miss those slight indentions on her forehead from when she had chickenpox as a child.  I miss the curve of her back.  I miss her laughter, her voice, and her smile.  I miss her hair, her smell, and the way she looks at me.  I miss her touch.  I miss my hands on her.  I miss talking and sharing with her, talking about nothing and talking about everything.

I love you Sarah.  May we dream of each other tonight.

February 4, 1998 – Wednesday – 2:09 p.m.

Wow!  I just got off the phone with Elinor from Regent University.  We had an awesome time!  She even prayed for me.  I’m going there!  I’m sure of it! I’ve been sure of it for a long time.  We talked so much about film and ministry and everything.

In Radio/TV/Film class the other day I had a mock film audition and Doc said I was a natural.  Other people evidently saw the audition somehow and have been complimenting me on it.  Emily even stopped me just to say I did an amazing job.  Others have started calling me “Film Boy.”

I want to make movies so badly.  I want to learn this craft, to tell stories, to be used by God.  I just want to sit at his table and consume every good thing he has for me.

I’m reaching the point where I don’t want to be with Sarah anymore.  I’m going to give it some more time, but I don’t have much time left.  I need to spend that time being me with my true friends, and not just sitting around waiting for my girlfriend, who never seems to come by or call me.

September 29, 1997 – Monday – 1:30 p.m.

A lovely day.

Yesterday was rainy, but still wonderful.  I think I prefer rain over sunshine, especially in the mountains.

Jeni came over and we talked.  Dan and Allen were here and we began talking about relationships.  Then Jeni said to Dan, as though I wasn’t there, “I could never see myself dating Jacob again, mainly because his spiritual relationship with God is so much further along than mine.”

That statement surprised me greatly.  After Dan and Allen left, Jeni and I talked about it.  She said that Abigail and Tracey feel the same way; I somehow make them feel inferior.  “But I don’t do anything!” I told Jeni.  “I’m just me, I don’t think or even try to act like I’m better.  In fact, I’m the lowest of the low.”

She said that maybe it was just their own spiritual insecurity.  She said it was the hardest thing in the world for each of them since they all love me so much.

I didn’t understand.  They love me, but don’t want to pursue anything further with me because I make them feel less close to God?

Then Jeni confessed that over the summer when she stayed with me, she went into my room and read my journal.  She immediately started crying, fearing I would hate her.  She said she opened it up to May 7th, 1997, I believe.  And well, you should flip back and read it for this to make sense, but she said that reading that nearly killed her and she wished she had never read it.

I explained what that entry meant to me and I forgave her.

Then she told me that she told Abigail once, “No matter who Jacob marries, she will never be worthy enough.  He is wonderful.”

There it is.  Because I love God, girls are turned away.  I guess following Jesus does cost something.

But all that was yesterday and I woke up today with a smile on my face.

Speaking of girls, Sherlive is completely confused and foggy about life.  She is asking questions that shouldn’t be asked.  I used to think she had it all together, but she is in the ozone.  I spent three hours talking with her last night.  I asked her to lay her head in my lap so I could just pet her hair and pray for her.  She never seemed to relax.

Dan told me later on, “Jacob it’s going to be terrible next year.”

“Why?”

“Who’s going to be here to take care of us?”

August 31, 1995 – Thursday – 11:45 a.m.

It is the last day of August.

I am supposed to meet Syndi in 15 minutes for lunch.  Last night she and I had a craving for cookies, so at 10:30 p.m. we drove to Newland, but the grocery store was closed so we went all the way to Boone and got back around midnight.  It was just the two of us, roaming the High Country with no purpose at all.  James thinks we are together and that is why he’s had some problems.  He’s never had a girlfriend and he is almost 20-years-old.  He’s seems really depressed.

Syndi said something like, “Let’s do such and such together since we are supposed to be dating…at least according to James.

She asked me earlier if I would meet her for lunch and dinner.

Oh well, I’m in college!  Let’s just have a little fun with this situation.  I have no idea where this is going, but I’m sure the two of us will have the greatest time this weekend.

November 20, 1994 – Sunday – 1:50 a.m.

Jeni and I spent the whole day together after Marcus and Scott left.

It was a wonderful day of us just being close to each other.

Near the end of the day she told me this:

“Jacob, there are two things I am determined to do in life.  The first is to be a servant for Christ.  The second is to become your wife.”

I couldn’t move.  She shocked me.

And I replied: “Nothing would please me more.”

October 3, 1994 – Monday – 2:03 p.m.

We went to church yesterday.  I enjoyed it.  Jeni was dressed so beautifully.  We did some homework together and then we both took a nap in her bed.  Tracey was above us on the top bunk taking a nap.  It was so nice to sleep so close to Jeni.

Last night after rehearsal we went to Subway and after we got back Jeni and I went for a walk.  We prayed together.  Then she sat on my lap and we began kissing each other.  That went on for a while.  Then she leaned forward and had me lying down the stone bench with her on top of me, kissing me.  After a few moments she got up and said, “I think we better go.”

I agreed.

We have been a couple for 11 days.

I only met her about 20 days ago.

Look how far we have come.

Physically we cannot get any closer without sinning.  And that will not happen.  We can only get closer emotionally and spiritually.  We have moved fast, but it bothers neither of us.  It feels natural.

I might go home with her for fall break.  It depends on what her mother says.  If I do then I will be in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I was born in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1976 on August 17th I was born in Columbus.

In 1976 on September 10th she was born in Cincinnati.

Five weeks later, two hours away.

It’s funny because although I’ve only known her for 20 days, it feels like I’ve known her for much longer.

Why is that?

September 26, 1994 – Monday – 2:30 p.m.

I am changing.

I can feel it.

My brother just called me.  He and Tenielle aren’t “together anymore.”  He hates his college life.  He says there is nothing there for him.

My college life is wonderful.  I owe it all to Jesus.  I’ll pray for him.  He and Marcus are getting along well.

He said he went to a fellowship service at Abundant Life yesterday.  He told everyone about Jeni.  He told me he couldn’t believe it, that his little brother would ever actually have a girlfriend.  He said she seemed sweet.

I got a card today from a girl named Lori.  I don’t know a Lori, but as I read it I learned she is a friend of Cheryl’s, but she lives in Ohio, not North Carolina.  I don’t know her though.  She wants me to write her back.

Kristen also wrote me.  She is okay.  It was great seeing her this past weekend.

Anyway, as I talked to Kevin today, I realized what was important to me.

Right now, all I see is me growing in my relationship with God and with Jeni, focusing on my studies of theater, making the best of my years here at Lees-McRae, and getting into a film school.

I have so many people I am suppose to keep in touch with, but truthfully I don’t really want to worry about it.

Forgive me Sanford, but Banner Elk is where I am now.

September 25, 1994 – Sunday – 9:24 a.m.

Yesterday has to be one of the most amazing days I have ever experienced.  Jeni and Tracey and I arrived at Carowinds at a different time than Charlie and his gang, so we weren’t really with them throughout the day.  The people in front of us had an extra ticket, so Tracey got in for free.  The traffic was so intense that we got there after eleven o’clock, so I wasn’t there to meet the High Falls youth group at the front gate.

We rode the Vortex first then went to see Paramount on Ice.  We found Rachel and her friend before the show.  Before it started there was this guy with a microphone who went around to a bunch of audience members and picked on them.  He started picking on Tracey, saying she was cute and how he wanted to kiss her and stuff.  Then he looked at me and said, “Hey, you look like a macho kind of guy.  Is this your girlfriend sitting here next to you?”

“Yes.”

Then he said, “You could probably stand up right here and say ‘KISS ME’ and all the girls would run to you and kiss you, wouldn’t they?”

So he had me stand up and shout into the microphone “KISS ME!”  And guess who kissed me?  Not Jeni, but the guy with the microphone, right on the cheek.  I was so embarrassed.

We ate lunch and that is when I saw Lisa.  She hugged me and I found out that Marcus and Kevin were there.

Kevin found me in during the White Heart concert.  He hugged me.  Kim was with him, she hugged me too.  I introduced him to Jeni.  We watched White Heart together and then Jeni and I walked around.

The whole day she kept looking at me and smiling.  I told her I loved it when she looks at me that way.  I also told her that she has pretty eyes.  She said that she simply likes looking into my eyes.

Throughout the day I found Tony, Leslie, and Kristen.  I hugged them all and the only thing I could think about was Fishnet when I saw them.

Audio Adrenaline was there and I enjoyed them the most.  It began raining as the sun went down, and Jeni and Tracey and I left after the Audio Adrenaline concert.  But on the way out I ran into Marcus.  He hollered my name when he saw me and just grabbed ahold of me and shook me.  Since we were leaving I couldn’t talk long.  He told Jeni to take care of me.

We got soaked on our way to the car and then discovered that Jeni’s battery had died.  Luckily, it only took us about 15 minutes to find a cop in the parking lot and he jumped us off.  We drove north on I-77 and got lost and ended up in Winston-Salem.  We asked for directions twice.  We finally got onto 421 and Jeni, being desperate to get back home, was going about 80 miles an hour.  Yep, we were pulled over and she got a ticket.  I felt so sorry for her.  She had never gotten a ticket before.

By the time we got to Boone it was really foggy.  She couldn’t see and said that she just wanted to go home, get out of the car, and cry.  I told her she could have my shoulder to cry on.

When we finally got back to Lees-McRae it was almost two in the morning.  I kissed her goodnight, more than once.

I have more to write about yesterday, but Jeni and Tracey and I are going to church together.  I’ve got to get ready.

September 22, 1994 – Thursday – 3:35 p.m.

Remember this day!

Last night after rehearsal I walked Jeni back to her dorm and asked her if she wanted to go for a walk today at 1:00 p.m.  She said yes.

So I called her at 12:55 p.m. and reminded her.  I met her at her dorm and we took at walk down to Elk River on the back side of campus.  We talked about a few things.  We saw something really neat on the other side of the creek, so we tried to cross.  One part was too wide between the rocks, so I suggested that she go first.  I’m not sure why I offered for her to go first, but she did and, yep, she fell in.  She fell right on her but and her jeans were soaked.  We both laughed and picked on each other.  We sat down and talked about one thing, knowing we were thinking about another.  I knew it was up to me to say something.

As we walked back, I said this:

“Jeni, I know that I have told you about meeting my friends at Carowinds and how they will probably want to go around with me.  But the one person I really want to go on all the rides with and see all the concerts with is you.  A week ago, I didn’t even know your name, but now I can’t stop thinking about you and I think you should know that.”

She smiled and said, “Well, I’m glad you feel that way.”

I didn’t know what to say, so I just took a hold of her hand.  “So, can I see you?”  I asked.

“Yes!” she said.

I’m suppose to meet her for dinner at five.

My roommate tells me that my brother Kevin called, as well as some other girl.  He didn’t get her name.

September 22, 1994.

I am about five weeks older than Jeni.

Veronica was five years younger.

I know it sounds stupid, but this is a first for me.

December 7, 1993 – Tuesday – 10:12 p.m.

Hmmm.

Last year this time I was happy beyond my wildest imagination.  I remember when Veronica and I exchanged bracelets and hers smelled of her perfume.  That same night after the service was over she ran up to me and hugged me and said that I was her Jacob.

On that night I asked her if her dad was a thief, since he must have stolen the stars from the skies to put them in her eyes.  Cheesy, I know, but it all felt so good.

I wish it could happen again, but only with someone new.

But I am not desperate.  I can wait.

Recently the world has gotten me down.  Purity in the world today simply doesn’t exist anymore.  TV is trash, with “Parental Discretion is Advised” in front of nearly every show.  Everybody is into sex.  All you hear about is sex.  What’s the big deal?

I mean, yes, I’m looking forward to marriage mainly for all the sex involved, but that is about making-love with my future wife, not about all the sinful sex I see around me.  Sex has gotten out of hand in the world.

I have to focus every day not to fall into those traps.

No.  No.  I’m not going to mess up my life and mess up my love for those lies.  

I’m staying pure.