December 11, 1997 – Thursday – 7:30 p.m.

I went to our Team Meetings last night.  I saw Sarah there.  We were in The Pinnacle Room since it was the Department’s Christmas Party.  After a while of talking with other people and eyeing Sarah out of the corner of my eye all night, I finally went up to her.  She hugged me and I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk later on.  She said yes.

It was a cold and windy night, but the near full moon, diffused through the clouds, lit the world for us.  Bundled up, we walked to Banner Elk Park.  We had fun.  There was a lot of laughter and a lot of playing.  We were on the playground and she mentioned how everyone in the Performing Arts Department thinks we are going out.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

That made me feel like the idea of us together was a bad idea to her.

“I guess we need to talk about that?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

I went on to tell her how confused I was since I was leaving in five months.  She said she understood.  I asked her to help me in my confusion, but she said she couldn’t.

Wonderful Eternal Instances passed by as we continued to play, but we also found time to be still as we viewed the sky and moon above our small silent souls.

We ended up in a tiny cubbyhole only big enough for the two of us.  And there with her I could be myself.  My soul can go free when I’m with Sarah.

A second passed where I wanted to kiss her, but I felt what we had was going to fade into a lasting friendship and not a romantic one, so I wasn’t too sure if I should kiss her.

She noticed by confusion and asked what was wrong.

I told her.

“Why aren’t you sure if you should kiss me?”

I couldn’t answer.  I was speechless.  I wanted her so badly that I froze.

Forever passed.

“Well here’s my face,” she said.

. . .

Her face is so soft and her lips are so amazing.  I’m not sure how long we kissed, but she had a rehearsal to go to, so we had to walk back to campus.

I returned to my room and three hours went by.  All of that time was spent talking with friends.  Ann-Marie was there, as well as some of the guys.  Ann-Marie stayed until 12:30 a.m. and we talked about the weird and wonderful way we think.

After she left I stripped down to my underwear and jumped in my bed.  Before I even thought about turning off my light, I called Sarah.

Jaminda and Sherlive were there in her room with her.  She said the three of them were having girl talk.  An hour of conversation passed by and during that time Sarah asked me to write down Exodus 23:20.  I could hear Jaminda and Sherlive in the background and they were telling metaphorical stories that made me think Sarah actually wanted our relationship to grow, despite the fact that I would be graduating soon.

I couldn’t handle it anymore.  Finally I said, “Sarah, I’m crazy about you.  I know I’m not here for very long, but I want you.”

A weird sound came from her voice.

“Why didn’t you tell me this on our walk?”

“I don’t know, I lose my mind when I’m with you.”

“Well…”

“Oh no!  I’m freaking you out aren’t I?”

“No, no, no, I’m just really surprised you feel this way.”

“You are?”

“Yeah!!!”

“Well, how do you feel?”

“Well…” she began.

I listened.  And she spoke a series of words that I will never forget.

“I love you Jacob.  And I don’t mean “love” like I love all my friends.  I mean I love you.  I love you.”

I’ve never been shot, but it can’t feel much different.

And I love her too.  I told her.  I jumped out of bed and bundled up again.  We met halfway between our dorms super early on this Thursday morning.  We hugged and kissed at the intersection of the college store and said a prayer before we said goodnight.

When I got back to my bed, I looked up the verse Sarah gave me, “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.”

 

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December 10, 1997 – Wednesday – 6:02 p.m.

All of my classes are over and I have no exams, just a couple of juries.

Auditions for the spring show One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest were on Monday and Tuesday.  I wanted so badly the part of Billy Bibbit and I got it!  He’s a stutterer who is picked on by the other mental patients.  They get a prostitute for him and he later kills himself.  It should be a challenging role.  Sarah was cast a prostitute in the show.  I don’t think she is very happy with that role.  During callbacks the director asked her to pull her sweater down in the front and bend over to see how much cleavage she could reveal.     It seems like she was cast as a prostitute just because she has larger breasts than the other girls.  I felt bad for her.

But life moves on.  Things are changing here.  Another semester is over and there is only one more to go.

I just realized that I’ve got the part I wanted to every show I auditioned for here at Lees-McRae.  God continues to bless me.

Yet, it seems the knowledge of my leaving seems to complicate things between me and Sarah.  What do I do?  She is beginning what I am ending.  Would a deeper relationship only harm the transition we are both in the middle of?

Oh God, please show me the way.

December 7, 1997 – Sunday – 11:00 a.m.

I am on duty, so I couldn’t go to church this morning.  I slept in on this morning and basically just abided in the Lord’s presence and thought about Him and my life.

My how things have changed.

Over the past five years my thoughts have changed from Veronica to Ryan to Christi to Jenna to Tenielle to Jeni to Christi to Syndi to Laura to Abigail to Jessica to Sherlive to Abigail and now to Sarah.

I called Marcus yesterday.  We had a great talk and I told him about Sarah.  He was amazed.

Sarah and I were at the basketball game together yesterday.  We talked about some pretty deep stuff last night.  She has so many stories inside her.  Some sad, some happy, some romantic, some hilarious.  And she is slowly telling all of them to me.

Our relationship is not a “boyfriend/girlfriend” relationship.  It is a “God has allowed us to share our existence together for a short while” relationship.

I am happy and very content.

I don’t see the other girls as much these days.  But like I said, “things change.”

Dan, Allen, Vince, Curtis, and Justin are the greatest guys in the world.  I’m living a wonderful life, and I’m living it for God.  Thank you for my salvation Lord!  Thank you for my life in you!  You are all that matters.

December 3, 1997 – Wednesday – 11:00 a.m.

I stand in awe of you God.

I went for a walk yesterday.  I went to the treehouse, but the ladder was broken and I couldn’t get up to the top.  So, I continued to walk towards Wildcat Lake.  I stopped and talked with an elderly gentleman.  He told me some stories from his past and that brought everything into perspective.  I realize now that I don’t know anything at all.

When I arrived at Wildcat Lake, I discovered the swings had been taken down for the winter.  The lake was completely still, a perfect mirror, as was my soul.

Life is short.

Life is long.

Things come and go.

I wish I didn’t know these truths.

Sarah came over last night.  We are growing.  People call my room looking for her now.  She holds my hand in front of others now.  We talk.  We sit in silence.  I touch her soft face and run my fingers across her lips.  She is beautiful to me.  She tells me the funniest, most beautiful stories.  She is full of love.

When I’m with her, I forget the past, I forget the future, I forget the fact that I’m leaving after a single semester, and all I see is her, right in front of me.  She freezes time for me.

I think our friends have started talking about us.  Who knows what is being said.  But it matters not.  I don’t know what is going on between us, save for this one fact: when she is near, time grows in quality.

She gave me a poem.  She didn’t write it.  It was something she found in a book, but she said it described us perfectly:

“A friend.

What is a friend?  I’ll tell you.

It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.

Your soul can go naked with him.

He seems to ask you to put on nothing, only be what you really are.

When you are with him, you do not have to be on your guard.

You can say what you think, so long as it is genuinely you.

He understands those contradictions in your nature that cause others to misjudge you.

With him you breathe freely, you can avow your little vanities and envies and absurdities, and in opening up to him they are dissolved on a white ocean of his loyalty.

He understands.  You can weep with him, laugh with him, pray with him, and through and underneath it all, he sees, knows, and loves you.

A friend, I repeat, is one with whom you dare to be yourself.”

Author Unknown

She is a gift from God.

November 26, 1997 – Wednesday – 10:50 p.m.

I am amazingly happy right now.  It is the day before Thanksgiving.  Sarah and I, plus Sherlive, Vince, and Curtis went to see George of the Jungle.  It was so funny.

Sarah and I seem to say more in our silent glances than we do through spoken words.  She is from God.  I know it because all good things come from the Lord.

Marisa came up today!  She hugged me so tight.  I took Vince to the airport in his car, then went to see The Rainmaker.  I love going to the movies alone.  I get there early, sit on the front row, stare up at the blank screen, and just dream.

It was an awesome, awesome movie!  I just praised the Lord the whole way home.  I love good movies and can’t wait to make my own.

I drove through the darkness of the mountains that make up my beautiful home and just felt completely wonderful.  I still feel wonderful.

I have friends, mountains, movies, a church that feels like family, and now there is a girl who looks at me in a way that melts me to the core.

I know nothing about the world.

I just know I am loved.

And I love my God who freely gives all this to me.

November 9, 1997 – Sunday – 1:00 p.m.

Friday morning at 5:00 a.m. I awoke and began my weekend.  I left before 6:00 and ate breakfast at McDonald’s in Marion.  I had 30 minutes to kill before my interview at the Radisson in Asheville at 8:30 a.m.

But it was then that I discovered we got the days mixed up and that my interview wasn’t until tomorrow (Saturday).  So, I had 24 hours, a full tank of gas, and a prayer for God to take me somewhere.

He took me home.

After spending three hours headed east on I-40, I ended up in Sanford, NC.  I surprised my mom at work, and visited Pastor Steve at his barn.  He told me about how his horses have brought him closer to the love of God.  I can understand that.

Then, God took me to a house I haven’t been to in well over a year.  I drove down that long dirt driveway and there I saw a young blonde girl carrying a baby.  I pulled up to the house, ran out and greeted her at the door with a hug.

Nearly a month ago, Jenna gave birth to 10 pound Michael Joshua.  She will marry goateed Herb in December.  I met him.  Nice guy, but he couldn’t look me in the eye.

Tenielle freaked out when she saw me.  She still smokes and says she is trying some modeling stuff.

It was great spending time with those girls.  I love them so much and its hard to believe I have known them for nearly four years now.

I saw pictures of Jenna pregnant; she was so huge.  I wonder if she realizes what has happened to her.  If she knows she is now and always will be a mother.  Can a 16-year-old truly know such a thing?

As I listened to the conversations between them in that trailer, I became insanely aware of their incorrect grammar, their double negatives, and their generally poor word choices.  It hit me so suddenly, these two girls who have taught me so much about how to love unconditionally, they are what many would call “Trailer Trash.”  The next pay check and getting cigarettes is all the seemed to be on their minds.  I truly saw how valuable college was to me.  Lees-McRae saved me, but I’m still in Jenna and Tenielle’s debt.  They taught me more than they’ll ever know.

I ate dinner with Mom and Nate.  She showed me some videotapes from the Brownsville Revival down in Florida and I cried watching them.

I went to walk and pray on the railroad tracks and asked God to let me into his presence. That evening was similar to Valentine’s Day of 1993.  I fell to the ground and cried and laughed in all of God’s glory.  It was a wonderful time.

I left at four in the morning to get back to Asheville in time.  I talked a lot about God during my scholarship interview, but I didn’t get the award.  It doesn’t matter, it felt like all of that was orchestrated, so I would need to borrow a car, so I could spending a few hours back home and realize all that God has done for me.  There were so many hours driving this weekend in solitude that are more valuable to me than a scholarship.  I had so much fun.  I saw the sun rise twice in a row.

I spent time with Abigail and Lindy last night.  We rented some movies.  Abigail laid next to me for nearly four hours and I touched her hair and head.

For my birthday I was given Life on the Edge by Dr. James Dobson.  In it he writes about the steps to true intimacy and stresses how these steps should be taken in order and at a very slow pace:

Eye to Body

Eye to Eye

Voice to Voice

Hand to Hand

Hand to Shoulder

Hand to Waist

Face to Face (Hugging/Kissing)

Hand to Face

-MARRIAGE-

Hand to Body

Mouth to Breast

Touching below the Waist

Sexual Intercourse

Wow!  Did you notice step eight?  He writes, “Surprisingly, touching a person’s face and hair in a romantic way is more intimate than kissing and hugging.”

According to Dr. Dobson, Abigail and I skipped four major steps.  Oh well, these days, it’s the one thing I truly look forward to.  Her face has become familiar to me.  I know it so well, and even now, I miss it.

I miss her.

Oh Jacob, how funny you are.

November 6, 1997 – Thursday – 11:00 p.m.

Yesterday I had a nice talk with Abigail in her room.  We talked about each other and she let me into her heart and told me what she longs for deeply.  And I’m afraid I’m not the one who can give it to her.  But even that realization makes me smile.

I went to a voice-over workshop today, which I enjoyed greatly.  It was a bit further south and I drove down with Mr. Taylor.  The fall colors were so amazing and we sang praise songs the whole way down.  He’s such a great man.

We returned in time for rehearsal and the finished right before Bible Study.  There were so many people there.  Our group has doubled in two weeks.  God is blessing this school.  Things seem almost perfect.  I guess that’s why it’s time to leave.  God is nearly through with me here.

I have to wake up at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.  I have an interview in Asheville and Jessica has let me borrow her truck for the weekend.  I’m not sure when I’ll come back or what will happen.  I think I may just drive around and have some awesome God time.

I love the Lord and everything he has created.  Words fail me.

Oh, and I got a message from Tenielle tonight.  That’s an old name.