August 22, 1999 – Sunday – 10:00 a.m.

There are nine days left in the month of change, but I don’t know what has changed other than my age and my roommate.

I’m so clueless as to what is going on.  Perhaps I like it that way.  I feel the Lord calling me to Wilmington, NC.  That feels right and makes sense.  Could only 9 1/2 months remain here?

I feel I have no control over my life.  I’m just some leaf in the wind.  If so, why am I receiving such a life?  I’m not worthy of it.  It is the thing I enjoy, the thing I fear, and who I am.  Was I created to share? Am I an apostle who has no home?

I don’t want to know the answers God.  Honest, I’m afraid of them.  I just want to move forward, knowing one thing: that you will never let me go.  I’d rather have your storm, than my peace.

It doesn’t have to make sense to me.  Only to you.

I don’t need any miracles.  I don’t need any signs or wonders.  I see you every time I open my eyes.  I just need you to life my life for me while I love you.  I don’t have the strength to do both.

 

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August 9, 1999 – Monday – 6:57 p.m.

Time sure is moving itself along, isn’t it?

Church was great yesterday.  I so adore Pastor Trueblood’s sermons.  He is gifted and anointed.  Brandon and Jason hung out with me before we went to the final Master’s Commission service.  It was great to see everyone.  God definitely showed up at that service.  What a joy it is to know the Lord.

It was so nice to see Mary.  She came with a friend sho was staying at the beach.  So, after the service, we went to our spot over at Fort Henry.  That wonderful little overlook with a lighthouse on one side and a sparkling bridge on the other.

We stayed there for about an hour and simply held each other.  Through what Mary shared, God has used me to bring an amazing amount of healing to her heart and mind.  Thank you for using me God.  She wrote me a letter that contained quotes from other authors:

“To be touched tells man that he is loved.  To touch tells man that he is a lover.  Touching is therefore being.”

Thank you Lord for my ability to touch others.

 

August 6, 1999 – Friday – 8:30 p.m.

I’m at a rest area in Vermont.  This is an insanely beautiful state, but now I long to be home.  In fact, during a nine mile hike in the White Mountain National Forest, I decided to not head into Canada, but to turn around and head south.  I think it was something about all the land and all the new faces.  There was something in the voice of the beautiful girl who couldn’t find the napkins at McDonald’s in St. Jonesbury, VT… she just seemed like a human worth knowing, and I grew overwhelmed by the fact that I knew no one in the whole state.  Yet, much further south, there were tons of wonderful people I did know.

On the way down I-91 in Vermont, the sky and the mountains and the light were doing amazing things.  I began to cry thanks to the vastness of God’s beauty and holiness.  He created so many other people.  I had forgotten what a miracle it was to simply know another person.

I think that’s why God called me up here, to remind me of that simple fact.

Oh to be safe in my home.  I’m so tired after such a long hike, but can’t afford another hotel.  I think I’ll just sleep in my car in this rest area.

Protect me oh Lord.

 

July 14, 1999 – Wednesday – 3:14 p.m.

It is the 14th of July in 1999 and what a day it has been so far.  God has out done himself this time to communicate something to me.  My, how I love and adore him.  Why does he take so much time to teach me about life and love?  Why does he concern himself with me so much?

There is a story I need to tell, one I should write in here, but it is a long one.  The Lord has taught me an amazing lesson in faith and love and grace through Mary.

She came and sat next to me for the rest of the plane ride into Norfolk.  She laid her head in my lap.  I played with her hair.  She rubbed my fingers against her lips.  And we talked.  We talked about how everyone had gotten so worldly after Santa Monica and how she seemed to have more faults than I had realized.  She said I had to accept her for the way she was.  I told her there must be something wrong with that attitude; that it just didn’t seem right, that it focused more on serving the self than it did honoring and respecting those we were in close relationship with.  After I said that, she let her guard down, and we actually got to have a lovely talk again.  She got off the plane in Richmond and I had a good feeling about our relationship; that it just might hold promise for the future.

Well, Sterling, Christin, Brandon, and Jason from the youth group picked me up at the airport.  I went to church that night and felt the Lord.  I worked on Monday and then spent the night at Jason’s house along with Brandon.  We had a great time.

Tuesday night, the Master’s Commission group came and we did a service at Parkway.  I attended and afterwards Sterling and Rebekah and I went to see Tarzan.

While at church, Mary and I talked a little sweet to each other and last night, before midnight, she called me from Erica’s house in Norfolk.  We talked until two this morning.  And… I just learned a lot about her past and who she is now and how no one else really knows her because they put her up on a pedestal.  I suppose I am guilty of that as well.

Mary’s mother left her when she was nine months old.  She grew up around her father and brother, which she said made her more cold-hearted.   She said her mother wasn’t an affectionate person and didn’t start seeing her again until she was 9-years-old.  She told me stories about sexual abuse from a family member and that she grew up in the church, but didn’t experience true salvation until she was 14.  But, in both high school and college, things went too far with some different boyfriends, and these experiences broke her completely.

When she confessed all this to me, my throat turned into a rock and my body began to shake.  I did have high expectations of who she was, or who I wanted her to be I guess.  I was disappointed in myself for setting such a high standard and for doing to her what everyone else has done: putting her up on an insanely high pedestal.  Our conversation got a bit funny and awkward and then the cordless phone she was on lost power and we got cut off.  We didn’t get to say goodbye.  I just went to sleep nearly in tears.

I went to work this morning and found myself playing our conversation over and over in my head.  After work, when I was running some errands, I felt the Lord say, “Go to Parkway.”  I did and the Master’s Commission team was there getting ready to leave for North Carolina.  I had no idea they were going to be there, so long story short…Mary and I got a chance to talk.

I was the first guy to come along since she broke things off with the previous guy and rededicated her life to God.  I was the testing ground of a newly healed and wanting-to-trust heart.  Through her story I have learned that there is not a perfect girl out there, but that we are all in the process of being made perfect through the love and grace of Jesus.

Mary and I have both been redeemed.  As has everyone else.

I do not understand it, I only accept it.

July 5, 1999 – Monday – 10:40 a.m.

This has been the greatest of all mornings.

I sit now in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport in Texas.  I was here nearly a year ago.  I sure didn’t know then that I’d be back.  The rest of the team is in the air right now, on their way to L.A.  I, because I’m an adult, was forced to take a later flight since the other one was over booked.

So, I’m alone now, and that is a good thing.  I need this time to write.

We had an outreach in Chesapeake on Saturday and afterwards the team went to see Tarzan at the movies.  I sat next to Mary.  Our elbows rested on the same arm rest and touched.  And around the middle of the movie, we discovered that we could touch each other’s fingers through the cup holder without any of the team seeing.

It was awesome.

After the show everyone went to my apartment and some of the girls and Corey cooked for everyone.  Mary and I got a chance to talk again.  We wanted to make sure that we weren’t just using each other for a little summer fling.  We hold each other in the highest respect.  The night ended in a crazy conversation about our most embarrassing moments.  Everyone was laughing so hard. A dozen or more teens were in my apartment having the time of their life and not even realizing it.  It was priceless.

July 4th was the next morning and we ministered at a small church in Toano, which is the same town my grandparents live in.  I went to visit both sets.  I even saw my dad, who didn’t look well at all.  He’s gotten insanely fat.  He also told me that Kevin got in another accident last night.

I hurriedly returned to my Master’s Commission gang, fully aware that I’d rather spend time with them than my own father.  We decided to take the super long and scenic route back to Chesapeake, which involved a ferry ride.  That evening, Meagan and Mary and I went to Meagan’s beautiful country home out in Pungo.  The three of us drove to Sandbridge and spend the final hours of the last 4th of July of the 1900s playing in the deep dark waves of the Altantic Ocean.  An airplane made amazing glow-in-the-dark smoke trails in the star-filled sky above.  The night was perfect, but soon midnight came and the day that I am now breathing in began.

We left Sandbridge around one in the morning.  Meagan drove, Mary sat in front of me, and she would reach back and we would hold and touch each other’s hands.  We got to the house and showered all the salt and sand off of us.  Meagan went to bed and then, for about two hours, I held and touched the most amazing girl alive.

Mary and I spent the early hours of this morning realizing this would be the only chance we had to touch each other.  So, we cautiously spoke into each other’s hearts while guarding them at the same time.  We did not sleep.  It was the most precious few hours of my history.  How beautiful was its purity!  Her soft skin.  Her eyebrows.  Her neck.  Her back.  Her ears.  Her hair.  Oh, and she wanted to shave my face, so I let her.  And then I shaved her legs.  How weird and crazy we are!

I want her so bad, but I’ll only be around her for another week, and in the busy town of L.A. at that.  Our conversation this morning was so precious.  We were no longer two team leaders, but we were man and woman, stopping the world for a few brief hours, so we could acknowledge the value in each other.  Thank you for this morning God.  Use it for your glory!

Now she flies over New Mexico, while I sit in Texas.  Why do goodbyes take place?  Why do I have to part from this girl?  If coming to Virginia Beach did anything for me, it introduced me to Mary, and that makes everything worth it!

Above that though, God has used her to do a healing in me.  My faith in Christian women has grown strong again.  She and I are no accident.  We are no mishap.  This is divine.  I’m not saying she is the one, I’m just saying she has been divinely appointed to me for this brief time, as I have been to her.

Sweet Jesus, you never let me go.  You are my desire.  You bring such good things into my life.  Thank you!

 

July 3, 1999 – Saturday – 9:15 a.m.

Mary and I talked yesterday about our relationship with one another.  It was amazing.  We were so honest and so smart about it.  Thank you God for your wisdom.  She said that when I touched her face on Thursday night, she melted.  I told her that God has been speaking to me very much about my career through this trip, and that he said nothing about a girl.  That doesn’t mean that we are not put together for a purpose though.  So, we are just soaking each other in, appreciating this time.  God, please protect our hearts.  Please have your will.

Last night we ministered at Parkway Temple.  God did a work in me, preparing me for L.A.  I cannot believe the work he is doing in me.  I see now that I am so small.  I used to think I was called to save Hollywood, but I’m actually just a small town church kid going to film school.  I’m not called to break down the chains of bondage around Hollywood, I’m just called to pray, to praise his name, to live in holiness, and to love others.

He’s the one doing everything.  He is all powerful and mighty.  I just wake up and worship him.

 

July 2, 1999 – Friday – 8:30 a.m.

A beautiful and precious thing happened last night.  After a crazy and peaceful afternoon full of tubing behind a boat, swimming, laying out in the sun, little miniature sandstorms and a yummy seafood buffet, Mary and I ended up alone together on the walkway of the Cape Henry Memorial in Northern Virginia Beach.  A tall lighthouse was off to our right, and a beautiful huge house was on our left with all the windows lit up.  The ocean was out in front, yet we were high above it, and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to the Eastern Shore was sparkling over the horizon.

And there in that perfect spot we were able to spend fifteen minutes away from the group.  We heard nothing but the waves, the wind, and each other’s voice.

The wind blew some of her hair into her eye, so I moved it back behind her ear.  It felt so good to touch her face.

I have been to that spot twice now.  Both during the summer; once in 1998 and now once in 1999.  It will remain a special corner of this world in my heart.

The group had some discussion time this morning.  Many little petty things were taken care of.  I’m so thankful that God gave me this adventure for the summer.  It is a blessing.

I’ve been reading over the beatitudes in Matthew.  Our Lord is so simple and wise.  How I love him who made me.

Lord I want to bless and protect Mary’s heart, not hinder or destroy it.  Let me know what to do and how to act.

Thank you so much for your protection over my life.  I want to bring you as much joy as you bring me.  You are perfect in all your ways!