September 28, 1997 – Sunday – 1:40 a.m.

I’m in my room again.  The drives to Louisville and back were as much fun as any time we spent there.

I have grown accustomed to my new apartment.  It is now my place, my room, but I couldn’t call it my home.  Lees-McRae is my home, and this is simply my room.

After I got back from Kentucky, I went down to Cannon lobby and discovered that a lot of people were down there singing praises to our God!  Abigail had some friends up and Tracey’s family was there.  I joined in and it was a wonderful time of song.  Abigail’s face was a huge and constant smile.  I could see in her eyes how special those two people were to her.  She was amazingly happy and that happiness had nothing to do with me.  That’s probably how it will always be and how it should always be.

Jeni is going to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship tomorrow.  She is excited about seeing David, I think something nice happened between them while I was gone.

I saw an unbelievable Kentucky sunset a few hours ago.  It really was an amazing drive home.  Dr. and Mrs. Martin told Charlie and I the story of how they met, it was just a couple of days into their Freshmen year of college.

I was reading a little bit out of my older Books of Days.  I read about Jenna and Tenielle and about lost keys and alphabets.  How crazy and different I seemed back them.  But that was me then and it isn’t me now.

It made me realize that very soon all of these girls here at Lees-McRae will simply be stories in My Book of Days.  But they haven’t completely faded from my heart into the pages of my journal just yet.  I still remember Jeni’s long, soft legs and the curves of Abigail’s face.  I still dream of Jessica’s hair, Ann-Marie’s smile, and Ellen’s laugh.  These girls mean more to me than I ever let them know.

Then there are the new girls like Sarah and Sherlive, whose college experience will continue on without me.  Every night I go to bed so thankful, so thankful for an extra day with these beautiful women and my fantastic guy friends.  They are bringing me closer to God.  God is loving me through them.

Lees-McRae is passing and I know I’ll be able to let it go.  These people here are everything to me.  When we reach the other side, I’m sure one of the first things I’ll do is look for them.

I have been here simply to love

To witness and experience joy and fun

Soon I’ll leave calmly like a dove

The way night does when day is done.

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September 5, 1997 – 12:30 p.m.

One of the greatest gifts God has ever given his creation is words.

Words.

You are amazing God.

It is thirty minutes past high noon.  Another day has already passed its halfway mark.

I proposed to put the Emmanuel Players old Mask Skit in the Fall Dance Concert.  I had to type up a proposal and deliver a presentation to the Performing Arts Department.  They approved it and want me to do it.  So the Mask Skit will live again.  I will have a completely different cast, but the Emmanuel Players will never die.  The dance concert opens in October.

There are so many stories here.  The new freshmen have such lives, such eyes.  I am slowly being introduced to each one.  They don’t know how much I watch them, how I study their faces and reactions.  I examine each word and expression.  God, you created so many amazing people.

This weekend, or this evening rather, I’m leaving with Sherlive and another girl to go to Sherlive’s house.  Tonight we’ll go to a football game and on Saturday Dan will meet up with us and we’ll go hiking in the Eastern Tennessee wilderness.

Marisa and I still email and write.  She is coming up here in four weeks.  I can’t wait to see her.  Lindy was cast as my love interest in The Misanthrope.  That should be fun.  And Dawn made a proclamation of her faith in our Acting and Directing classes today.  She says she is finally making God her number one.

My horsemanship class is so amazing.  My horse is Bay Lady, she was Jeni’s horse when she took the class back in 1994.

Speaking of Jeni, girls just don’t make a very good god.  Our relationship seems so long ago and I easily made her my number one during that season.  Whatever is number one in your life is your god.

Nothing will ever replace you Father!

August 27, 1997 – Wednesday – 2:00 p.m.

I finally bought my new Book of Days, but it’s kinda flimsy.  I hope it doesn’t fall apart on me.

Classes started today!

Things are good.  I was duty Monday night and I already wrote up some people for alcohol.  Sherlive and I rode to the parkway last night and did some star gazing.  We had fun.  We acted like kids and played little games, like dodging the car headlight beams.

This morning Vince and I ate breakfast with Amber and Monica, plus two new transfer students named Amanda and Shay.  Vince is amazed at me for some reason.  He calls me at the J-Dog because of how easily I get along with so many different beautiful girls.

He and Laura are having problems again.

I got a letter from Jeanine today.  She told me that she misses us all and she believes she is in love with Allen.  I think I’ll call her tonight.

Jessica is back.  She is overwhelmed with school work and her new RA job.  It’s great to have her back!

I’m excited about this new year, about the new Christians, and the new soon-to-be Christians.

I give my senior year to you God!

August 24, 1997 – Sunday – 7:30 p.m.

I haven’t bought my new Book of Days yet.  I’ll copy whatever I write here into it later on.  It’s Sunday, August 24th and the new students have arrived.  Sherlive is here, but I often forget that she is.  Amber and Monica are here, even Abigail.  RA training is over.

Last night, Sherlive and I went to Paul and Sharon’s.  They hosted a college cookout for both LMC and ASU students.  Josh is back and he was there, as well as Mason, Timothy, Allen, Kate, etc.  I had fun.  Josh has gained weight from his surgery and he is always tired.  He takes naps twice a day.  It’s like he’s going through puberty for the first time.

A lot has been on my mind.  I’ll try to explain and write it down in great detail after I buy the actual notebook.  I went to Linville Caverns today with some new freshmen.  It was really fun, but I feel kind of beyond them now.  Weird huh?

So another year.  New girls, but I don’t really care.  I live for Jesus and I will do my best to show him to everyone I come across.  Marisa and I write a lot through both email and snail mail.  She gives me so much encouragement.  She calls me her future husband.  I pray she keeps it up.  Perhaps she’ll speak it into existence someday.

August 17, 1997 – Sunday – 2:00 p.m.

I have turned 21-years-old.  For me, the summer ends today.  RD training is over.  RA training is beginning.  I have moved to the McAlister RD apartment.  I have unpacked.  All I need to do now is decorate my walls.

Over the past week, I have had three different letters written to me from three different girls:

“Jacob, I just wanted to thank you for being my friend and welcoming me so kindly.  Without you I would have spent these past three weeks all alone in my room.  You are a very sweet guy and I’m going to miss you.  I wish I could stay longer.  Time sure does fly!  I wish this summer didn’t have to end, but I guess all good things have to end eventually.  I will always remember these three weeks as the highlight of my summer.  Thank you for giving me a chance to become your friend.  You will never be forgotten!  Love, Jeanine”

“Hey Jacob, that’s really cool about your deer encounter.  I want to go up there and meet it.  Yes, I’m going to accept the RA job.  I’m already thinking about what programs I want to do.  Did I tell you about my wedding?  No, it’s not anytime soon, I don’t have a guy, I just decided where I want it to be.  Cannonball Mesa!  It’s this cool place out in the middle of nowhere.  I rode out on my bike to the end of the mesa and looked out at the landscape.  The wind was blowing.  I’m going to get married there when the sun rises to symbolize new beginnings and it will be beautiful.  Guess what??  I was thinking today and I decided to rewrite my rules of dating.  I decided it was unrealistic to say that I would only date a guy I would marry because I don’t know what kind of guy I want to marry.  Also, I’ve only been involved with two guys in my life and neither of them had any kind of respect for me.  I don’t even know what a good relationship is.  Love, Jessica”

“Jacob, let me start by saying I love you and end it with thanking you for helping me find my missing part and as we speak it’s being filled with God’s love.  I am so thankful for your awesome friendship and how much you have helped me realize that God is a major part of my life and he will help me through everything!  If it wasn’t for your love and willingness to help, I would never have been so close to the Lord and Jesus.  Thank you so much!  I love you with all my heart and really appreciate everything that you have helped me with this summer.  Thanks for everything.  This has been the best summer of my life and it wouldn’t be complete without you and the wonderful Lord.  Jacob, I feel so much better now that I’ve found him.  I am almost going to cry because I feel so free, just like you and your eagles.  I’m going to miss you so much.  Please write me all the time and send me e-mail too.  I know I will write you all the time!  When the summer comes again, I hope you will be here and definitely Thanksgiving because I’m coming up then.  I can’t wait to see you if you’ll be up here.  If I don’t get to see you over the summer, please keep writing and give me your address to where you are and I will always write to you…my future husband!  Thanks for our perfect friendship!  Please keep in touch.  Happy 21st birthday!  Love, Marisa.”

Jeanine has gone back to Concord.

Jessica will be here a week from Tuesday.

Marisa left for Florida today.

Take care of them Lord.

July 26, 1997 – Saturday – 10:00 a.m.

Today is Rebecca St. James’ birthday.  She is 20-years-old.

Orientation is not quite over.  How exciting this age is.  How exciting these days are.  To join together with four hundred people your own age, and to live in such a small, personal space with those individuals and their eyes who are striving and longing for that same goal.

My Lees-McRae College story has only one year left.  I can only tell my story as I experienced it.  I can tell no one else’s.  And after this year, that story will be complete; well, at least the story of my official time as a student will be complete.  Then, I will begin a new story in a new place and there I will join with other eyes who are seeking the same goal.

And after that, I do not believe this type of life will ever happen again.  Well, maybe in an old folks home.  Wouldn’t it be great if Dan, Allen, Vince, and Curtis and I all ended up in the same old folks home several decades from now!

But as for today, I feel as though Lees-McRae is mine.  I feel as though Banner Elk is mine.    I feel is it my job to love and care for the people here.

Jeanine went home for the weekend, so Kristina, the little 11-year-old girl Jeanine is here to look after, was alone.  After Forever Plaid last night, which I watched with Sherlive, Kristina, plus tons of other people like Marisa, her brother Mason, Ann-Marie, Tracey, etc., all just played around in the lobby.  Around one o’clock in the morning, everyone left except for Kristina.  I don’t think she wanted to be alone.  So, I told her I’d stay with her.  I slept in her room on Jeanine’s bed.  We fell asleep while watching The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

I awoke this morning to see Kristina sound asleep.  Another set of eyes.  Another name.  Another soul.  Just a little girl, like Veronica, like Jenna, like Tenielle, and like Hannah.  Perhaps God has brought so many young girls into my life to teach me that every woman I will ever meet…well, part of her will always be that little girl; that little girl that just wants to be loved and protected and reminded that she isn’t alone.

 

 

 

July 25, 1997 – Friday – 1:00 p.m.

Another student orientation is today.  So many wonderful new freshmen.  So many eyes.  So many smiles.  So many stories.  So many girls.

And I have only one year with them.  Not even that really.  Really only nine months.

I will leave and they will enjoy life on my playground.

They will know my name and my face, for I will walk through their hallways of homes as I make my RD rounds.  Oh how I long to make each one happy, to make sure each one knows Christ as his or her savior and friend.  I want to tell each nervous parent that I will take care of their son or daughter.  I want to love each and every one of them.

Last night Jeanine and I went for a walk through the cool mountain night.  We get along well.

Dan has gone away for the weekend.  Not to my surprise, Vince and Laura have gotten back together.  My mom and Nate may come up on Sunday.

A month from today, all of these new stories and eyes will be here at the same time.

This should be a fun year; ’97-’98.  My senior year in college.

I’m nearly 21 years old.

Where suddenly have I gone?