September 25, 1996 – Wednesday – 12:30 a.m.

Life is great and busy.  There is hardly time to write.  Classes are fun.  Friends are awesome.

And God adores me.  I love him so much.

I led CSU tonight.  Amazing!  God showed up.

We have a sponsor named Kim, she is 26-years-old and the coolest girl!  We get along so well.

I can’t believe how amazing life is right now.

I performed The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe in Oral Interp.  The class couldn’t believe it.  They said I did such a good job.

I’ve already gotten tons of compliments for my Polonius in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and we’re only halfway through the rehearsal process.

Pastor Jim, Lisa, Hope, and Joy have left.  They moved to Florida.

But I am still here.  I don’t want to be anywhere else.

I am happy.  I am healthy.

Nothing more can be said.

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May 10, 1995 – Wednesday – 11:55 p.m.

I am home, if this place can be called home.

I am in my room, if this room can be called mine.

Jonathan is here.

We had a wonderful time this evening simply talking, laughing, and playing water-guns in the dark.

And so my summer has begun.

Tomorrow I plan on getting a haircut and visiting my old high school.  I will more than likely begin work on Monday.

Mom and I had a wonderful time on the way back home.  I told her about college.  She actually listened.

Perhaps this place is my home.

Perhaps it always has been.

Perhaps it always will be.

My Freshman year is over.

My collection has doubled.

I am smiling.

October 17, 1994 – Monday – 4:40 p.m.

I have been 18-years-old for two months.  And boy what a time I have had.  This past month has been one of the happiest times of my life.

I did well on my midterms this morning.

Afterwards, I washed my clothes.  Rachel was in there just finishing up her laundry.  When she took her clothes up to her room she saw Jeni coming back from dance rehearsal.  She told her I was down there and Jeni came to the laundry room; it’s in the basement of her dorm anyway.  While my clothes were drying we went up to her room.  I had seen her off and on all morning, but for some reason I missed her very much.  I sat down and she immediately sat on my lap.  And we kissed each other for about 45 minutes.  Our kisses feel so pure and just and righteous.  I’m not kissing her to make me feel good, I’m kissing her to let her know how much I care about her.

She smiled and said “Goodness Jacob, if you’re this cuddly now, I can’t wait to see how you are after I get back from tour.”

She goes on a dance theater tour for one week beginning on the 30th of October.

It’s time for dinner.

Goodbye.

June 30, 1994 – Thursday – 11:47 a.m.

I don’t know how to begin.  I’m so happy!

About six hours ago I woke up to take Kevin to work.  I stayed there and ate and then I went down to the gas station.  It was around 7:30 a.m. then.  I used the pay phone and dialed my most favorite number in the world.

Jenna answered.

“What did you call for?” she asked.

“I called because I’ve been thinking about what you said last night.”

“I wrote you a letter.”

“Well, are you busy today, ’cause I need to talk to you.”

She tells me about some doctor’s appointment at 10:30 a.m.  Her mom says it is okay if I come now.

So I put $4 of gas in the car and head down U.S. 1 towards Cameron.

When I get there we go outside and talk.  Just the three of us: Jenna, Tenielle, and Jacob.

This is what I told them:

“I know this might sound stupid, but the reason I’ve sort of been away is because I was selfish.  I figured that if I stray away and forget about you guys then when I leave it wouldn’t hurt as much.  But now I realize how stupid I was.  I was throwing away all of the times we spent together.  I’m so sorry.  I was wrong and I see that now.”

They forgave me.  I had my camera with me and we took a bunch of pictures of ourselves together.  We were all so happy; we jumped on the trampoline.

“Do you feel it guys?  It’s warm!”  I said.  “The last time jus the three of us were on this trampoline, the world was cold.”

We went in and went into their room.  I don’t even remember what was said, but we had a blast.  Ginger came in and said, “Jacob you should have heard them talking.  They missed you and you weren’t even gone yet.  And at least now they seem happy.  When it was just Kevin and Marcus over here Sunday night, they seemed gloomy.  You know how to have a much better time.”

Then she goes on to tell me that if I was with them Sunday night in Fayetteville that Kevin and Marcus would not have gotten in much trouble because it would have looked like a group and not two couples.

Jenna and Tenielle agreed.

“Well,” I said.  “Kevin and Marcus don’t like it when I’m there and they want to hang out with you.”

Tenielle said, “Well they’ll have to get over it!”

Then they all asked me to come over more often just on my own.  They asked me to come over tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday.

I told them that if it was Saturday or Sunday that Kevin or Marcus would be with me.

Tenielle rolled her eyes and snarled her nose when I said that.  I couldn’t believe it.

We joked around some more and I took more pictures.  They were going to some woman’s house at 9:30 a.m., then leaving from there to go to the Doctor’s.  Their mom went on ahead and I drove them later.  We stopped on the way and took another picture.

We got to the woman’s house.  Her name is Sally, one of Ginger’s friends.  Tenielle threw her arm my neck and said, “See my buddy, Sally!”

When we said our goodbyes, I hugged them.  They wanted me to come over later today around 1:30 p.m., but Marcus was here at the house alone.

Jenna gave me her letter while I was at their house.  She said I could read it, but that I couldn’t say anything to her after I read it.

Here’s the letter:

Jacob,

I’m sorry, but you make me upset!  I really miss you as a friend.  I know you just want to leave and live a new life, but I don’t want to lose you.  You probably don’t even care or don’t even want to worry about it, but I feel like I don’t know you anymore.  I want to know what’s going on in your life.  Jacob, I love you and I don’t want our friendship to end.  This means a lot to me, even if you don’t care.  Please tell me how you feel about all this.  Sorry for telling you my problems.

Love ya,

Jenna

P.S. You’re someone I can really trust, but you’re just not there for me.  Please look up these verses:

Proverbs 17:17

Proverbs 18:24

John 15: 13-15

I Love U

After reading that, I laid my head on her shoulder, “That was sweet Jenna.”

A minute later she got up and left the room.

I matter to them.  They care.  Oh God…why did I move away from their precious lives?  Bring us closer together Lord in these last 59 days.

Very close.

So close that 170 miles couldn’t keep us apart.

Someone here still needs me.

I told them today:

“I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.”

March 24, 1994 – Thursday – 10:30 p.m.

Grandma and Grandpa are here for the night.  They’re on their way to Florida; just for the heck of it.  They’re retired so they do what they want.  Grandpa and I had a good talk about making a living.  Wisdom must come with age.

The weather is getting so warm; I love it so much.  I watched a movie on TV tonight about a woman with cancer.  It made me think of Mrs. Nance.  Bless her family Lord.

There are 46 days of school left; then the summer.  This may be the last summer I will have here.

So I will dare to be happy and make the most of it.  Nothing will stop me from having a great time.  I will not waste a second of it either.

Please Lord, let me be active, very active.  All of this is just too precious.

October 23, 1993 – Saturday – 10:20 p.m.

We didn’t have skit group today.  We didn’t have singing practice either.  I stayed home all day.  A lot happened.  Too much to explain.  I’m happy right now.  Really happy.  So happy it’s scary.

Today I got up around nine o’clock.  I took a shower, moused my hair, and then watched some TV.  Jonathan called.  Everyone left to go wherever they went.

I was alone.

A whole Saturday.  A whole house.  All to myself.

What did I do?

Actually, I don’t really know.  I wrote a little while listening to The Phantom of the Opera.  I watched some more TV and then I prayed in the spirit for a while.  I played the Power of One soundtrack super loud and danced to the music in the kitchen.  I practiced my monologues for my college audition and tonight I watched four hours of TV in a row.  I haven’t done that in a long time.  I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation, Baywatch, and the movie Mermaids.  Mermaids was really good.

But you know what?  Things are going to be okay.  I got a letter from Emily yesterday and in it she wrote a poem for me:

Today I saw an eagle flying

Crying out to you and me

Wondering who is free

Asking who might be…

An eagle

Making his dreams come true

Fly, eagle, fly!

Though this world may have no hope

His dreams can keep him free

Like an eagle

Making his dreams come true

Be an eagle, Jacob

Be an eagle.

Everything is going to be fine.  My dreams will come true.  I will write.  I will make movies.  And I will find that right girl out there in the world.  Whether she lives in Florida, North Carolina, or somewhere else; I will find her.

I dare you to keep reading.  By the loving grace and blessings of God, my dreams will come true.

September 24, 1993 – Friday – 12:40 a.m.

As you can tell by the time, I got back from the revival at church pretty late.  It was so awesome.  The Lord was there.  And I’m going to fast every Monday from now on.

Ryan wasn’t there.  But this absolutely adorable black five-year-old friend of mine from the projects came up to me and asked me where Happy, Joy, and Sunshine were.

Not only did I not know where they were, I didn’t know who they were.  Then, after asking more questions, I came to find out that a while back Cheryl, Amy, and Ryan dressed up as clowns for some street ministry in the projects.  They named themselves Happy, Joy, and Sunshine.  Ryan was Sunshine.

It suits her in many ways.