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.

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September 12, 1998 – Saturday – 9:08 a.m.

The 20th anniversary of Regent University is being celebrated.  I went to the convocation yesterday.  Dr. Jack Hayford spoke, as well as Pat Robertson.  It was a moving ceremony.

I am working this Saturday in just a few minutes, so I can have next Saturday off in order to go to King’s Dominion.  Youth church was awesome last night.  I had such a good time in worship.

My film audition for Saturday Despair was kind of weird on Thursday.  I have another audition today after work.

There is a lot going on, but I have yet to find some really close friends.  That takes time though.

I spent a couple of hours hanging out with Nicole the other night.  She seems really lonely as well.  She’s 24 and this is her first time away from home.

I received two amazing letters from Emily yesterday.  She is the sweetest thing on this planet.

Sarah hasn’t emailed me in nearly two weeks.

Jeni and Abigail just had birthdays, and it’s the 12th of September again.  Yesterday was a historical day in Washington D.C., but I forgive our President.

I talked with Colleen yesterday.  She reminds me so much of Jessica.  She loves the outdoors.  We talked about going camping some time soon.

Thank you for your love God.  Thanks for using me.  You are my everything.

September 6, 1998 – Sunday – 9:39 a.m.

It’s been three years now since Syndi and I went to Deep Creek.  That night with her, just sitting and talk in her car, still remains one of the most amazing conversations of my life.  I can in no way remember what was said, but only that it made an impression upon my soul.

Friday night’s youth service went really well, and we are having our first drama meeting on Wednesday night.  These kids are amazing.  I can’t believe God gave me this beautiful family so early after arriving to a new land.

Yesterday, Nicole and a girl named Patricia and I went up to my Grandparent’s house for lunch and to do some filming for a video project we have due.  We had such a good time. My grandparents were great hosts.

Last night I went over to Mary Jo’s and April’s since they were having a get-together.  I met some new people and we laughed the whole night.

The God that I love today is the same God who loved me and watched over me in my youth.  Even then, he knew.

I talked with Josh and Jessica over the weekend.  Josh was such an inspiration to me.  He also seemed lonely.  He misses me and I miss him.  He said things are different at Lees-McRae.  He said I was able to join all the people together and he can tell a difference now that I’m not there.  I told him that he should make the effort to bring people together.  We prayed and he admitted that perhaps it was him and not the others.  He says he feels really insecure and he’s not sure the others want to be his friend.

I do miss Lees-McRae, but I know that is not where I supposed to be right now.  I know without a doubt that is was where God wanted me for the days between August 28, 1994 and May 10, 1998.

And he has set these days here at Regent aside for me now.

August 27, 1998 – Thursday – 5:10 p.m.

We had a youth ministry meeting last night.  I’m excited about how God is using me at Parkway.  I also talked to Jeni over the phone last night.  It is so great to know we have a wonderful friendship.

I got an email from Sarah.  It was rude and cold, but I wrote the nicest letter back.

Orientation is tomorrow.  I only have classes on Monday, which I guess is nice, but it is very different from what I’m used to.  I want to go to class, I like it, but now they are all crammed into one day.  How different my new world is.

Matt called last night.  He went to Minnesota because his girlfriend’s dad has brain cancer and might die.  I’ve had the place to myself and it’s simply insane with how well I get along with myself.

Emily is supposed to call tonight.  I wish I could hold her.  She makes life normal.  She makes it romantic.  She adds so much and she does so little.  I do hope the day will come when we can see each other again.

I need to share my heart, to share my life.  I need to ride out and see the Grand Canyon with someone.

 

August 26, 1998 – Wednesday – 4:21 p.m.

Hurricane Bonnie is on her way.  I am not afraid.

My encounter with Rachel was a good one.  We talked about 30 minutes.  She knows I’m at Parkway and she knows some kids out there.  She said she might come out on Friday nights.

There was a bombing in Cape Town yesterday.  It seems like the world is about to explode.

I awoke this morning to a note from Matt on my bathroom mirror saying he had to leave in the middle of the night to go on a secret mission.  He won’t be back until Sunday night. I’ve decided I think Matt is a little weird.

Last night I called Tracey, Lindy, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Dan, Vince, and Ashley from Lees-McRae.  They started their classes today.  How strange it is that I am not there.  I miss them all so much.

God please be with me here.  Let me grow and prosper.  Bring people to me that I can minister to and bring me to people who can minister to me.

I love you God.

I need you.

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 14, 1998 – Friday – 3:00 p.m.

I have the day off and I am sitting alone facing the Atlantic Ocean.  I have discovered the beach for locals, it’s called Sandbridge, and no longer venture to the tourist trap that is Virginia Beach actual.  It is a beautiful day.  The waves are too powerful and no one is allowed in the water.  I just went for a walk and my steps joined in harmony with the crashing waves and the snapping bubbles of the surf.  I sang praises to my Lord and felt my Jesus with me.

The past two days of work were nice, and David and I visited Cindy’s on Wednesday night and enjoyed some yummy pizza.  Oh, and yesterday I called Lindy, and the two of us had the best conversation in the world.

I miss her.

I want her to come and see me.

So, here I am.  I will turn 22 after this weekend, I’ve experienced the beginnings of wonderful new friendships, and I’m facing a body of water that touches Africa, a land from which I have just returned.  And I’m about to start film school!

David has complimented me many times on how well I fit in with all the different groups of people.  Yet, he also says that when I blend in, I do it without changing who I am.

Wow, 19 pelican just flew over my head, all in a straight line.  Perhaps one day I can blend in with them and fly away.

But it is nice to have this sand, this earth, while I can.  I’ll be able to fly some day, but it is not now.  Now, I have the joy of sitting in complete peace with myself.  I can’t believe the world is full of so much beauty and so much love.

I love you God.

I love you.