January 18, 1999 – Monday – 9:00 a.m.

What an awesome weekend in the Lord!  I attended a youth convention all day Friday and Saturday.  Jesus is my center.  He is my hope.  He allows me to utter “I am safe.  I am secure.  I will forever be okay.”  Jewel has a song out now that opens with the line, “If I could tell the whole world just one thing, it would be that we’re all okay.”  It’s a beautiful song, but I fear it isn’t true.  How can anyone be okay without Jesus?

My brother turned 24 yesterday.  Crazy!  I called him last night.  He is trying to get involved in a new church in Richmond.  He didn’t go back to school.  He isn’t allowed anymore financial aid.  So much time and money and he never got his degree.  Sad.

I went over to Sterling’s yesterday and we just hung out.  We worked on a puzzle and I played basketball with Cohen.  This whole place, Sterling’s house, Christin’s smile, it all feels like home.  I belong here.  God is moving here.  There is no greater peace than to know you are where you belong.

 

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November 9, 1998 – Monday – 5:30 p.m.

I don’t have much time to write, but I feel like talking to myself, and to God.

I love the weather this time of year.  I love the chill the tide brings in.  I’m enjoying this place.  It has become a home.  One like my old one on Foust Road.  One like my old one in McAlister Hall and even Tennessee Dorm.  One like my bed in Johannesburg, South Africa.

But God’s presence is where I will always be more comfortable.

I’m going over to Kimberly’s house tomorrow to study sign language for our show, and to also have dinner.  I pray it’s not too awkward.

I constantly miss Sharon’s home.

The Rebecca St. James concert is less than two weeks away.  Thanksgiving break with Allen, Vince, and Tracey is right after that.

And then the last month of this fantastic year!

October 21, 1998 – Wednesday – 9:00 a.m.

Much has happened since my last entry.  Tammie and Jose’s party was the most amazing event.  Justin came, all the girls had a burping contest, and I fell more in love with this whole world.  God has given me a heart of compassion for these people.  Each day, I find myself longing more and more for them.

Sunday’s church service was fantastic as well.  There was another party for Tammie and Jose that night.  My small group meeting is on Mondays at Connie and Christian’s, and on Tuesday nights I now have a men’s meeting at church.  I went last night and it was awesome.  No matter where I go, I find myself surrounded by good people.

I finished my “Eyebrows” script yesterday, but there are a few changes I need to make before I submit my first draft.

I’ve been emailing Angela and Dawn from my Africa trip.  Julie also sent me a letter.  I also found a new email buddy in a Canadian who went to Eastern Europe with Teen Mania.  Her name is Anna.  MovieMark and I have begun emailing each other again.

Time is moving forward.  The air is getting cooler, but the leaves are not changing.  I bought a plane ticket Monday to go down to Pensacola for Christmas.  I’ve never spent a Christmas in Florida before, and I’ve surely never spent one so close to Emily.  I will stay there until the Brownsville Revival starts back up at the beginning of 1999, then I will fly back.  I depart here on Christmas Eve.

November brings Tracey and Vince.  I used to think about going to visit my old home in the mountains, but to miss one tiny thing that happens here frightens me.

Thank you God for my homes!

October 14, 1998 – Wednesday – 12:45 a.m.

Life is getting a tad bit interesting and complicated.

“Eyebrows” is coming along nicely.  I have half the script completed.  The youth group at Parkway is in major transition, but God will take care of us.  Emily had a 19-year-old friend die of cancer and she has returned home for the funeral.  Justin from LMC is coming into town tomorrow night.  Thursday is my last day of filming for “Saturday Despair.”  And Dawn is no longer at work.

I’ve been here long enough to see change.  Perhaps it means this place is my home now.  And this is my third one here on this planet.

Siler City.

Banner Elk.

Virginia Beach.

These are the places I am from.

I sent to see the ocean this morning and heard a sound in the water that I’ve never heard before.  It was the billions of bubbles of the surf all popping at once.

It sound like an applause from far away.

May 19, 1998 – Tuesday – 11:44 p.m.

I left at a little after 7:00 p.m. tonight to go to a Bible study.  It was amazing.  They prayed for me.  God said the money for my trip will come in and I will be surprised.  They anointed my feet for travel.  And through someone there, God told me to keep my head up because he was going to use my handsome features.  I asked God to speak to me tonight and he sure did.  He said I would live a long life serving him.

What a joy!  Thank you Jesus.

After the Bible study, I went to visit Christi.  She was the only one home, but all her brothers are supposed to come home this weekend.  Christi looked so beautiful.  She was so thin and tanned.  I told her about South Africa and she got so excited for me.

And then she told me she was getting married in November.  Can you believe that?  This past Sunday was the year anniversary of her accident. However, she is not marrying the guy who was her boyfriend at the time who was in the car with her.

I listened to Christi talk the whole night.  She seems to be doing really well with Jesus.  She said Cheryl is dating a great Christian guy and Jason is getting married in July.  However, she had no news of Ryan or Amy.

Andy has a graduation party Sunday, and I hope I can bring Sarah to it.

Life is amazing.  God is good to all my friends.  He is doing everything.  I just get to show up and enjoy it.

Inseparable friends.

Christi said she was talking with her dad about me today.  We also talked about the old skit group.  I’ve grown so much since those days.

I am home.  Lees-McRae was a beautiful season; a season I am deeply in love with.  Thanks to that time, I now have a collection that spans the continent.

Bless Sarah tonight Lord.  May she sleep in your perfect peace.

May 11, 1998 – Monday – 6:30 p.m.

I am here at my home in Siler City.  Graduation was nothing short of amazing.  Sarah was so beautiful.  We cried at our goodbyes.  It is very hard for me to believe that those four years of college are over.

Marcus and I rode home together.  We stopped to go to a new church he is attending in Greensboro and then we ate at IHOP.

The house is a bit empty, for mom and Henry recently had a yard sale.

My Teen-Mania missions trip acceptance package was here when I arrived.  I’m a little behind schedule, but I’m still definitely going to go.  I’m trusting God wants me in South Africa, so he will send me there.

In 15 days I will go to Virginia Beach and no telling what will happen there.

I miss Sarah.

I miss the guys.

There’s no way I can describe how amazing my final two days were on campus.  Sarah and I held tightly to each other each night, for we have no idea what the future holds for us.

I love her.

December 21, 1997 – Sunday – 9:00 p.m.

Kevin and I plus Danny and Peter went to see the new James Bond flick on Friday night.  We’ve known each other 15 years now.  I find that amazing.

On Saturday Nate and I took a walk up to Ore Hill.  I wanted to see my old playground and also just to get outside (it is so much warmer down here in the lowlands).  But my playground had been destroyed.  The whole forest had been clear cut.  The trees were gone and a barren land laid before my eyes.  Where a few trees were still standing, half of them had been uprooted anyway thanks to the hurricane that came through a year or so ago.

Everything was different, but I still knew how to get to the top.  I could feel my way through that hill even though my original tree markers were gone.  We reached the top and found the caves.  Time had changed them a little, but they were still there.  It was difficult to go back the way we came, so Nate and I walked on and decided to return back to the main road by way of the old pine tree nursery, where I once stayed out in an old deer stand late one night, staring at the stars.  Whew, that has to be four or five years ago now.

And to my surprise, it wasn’t a nursery anymore, but a beautiful pine forest.  It towered over us and the smell of pine filled the air.  It was breathtaking.

It turns out to be true.  Things do grow.  Everything changes.  Trees will fall.  Trees will grow.  Enough said.

I talked to Sarah over the phone that night.  She sounded beautiful.  We made plans for Monday.  She gave me directions to her house.  I love her.  I love her.

. . .

Church was nice this morning.  We had a family gathering at Henry’s parents; there was good food and nice presents.

And this evening I went to High Falls to visit Dana, Tony, Lisa, and Kristen, my old Fishnet buddies.  Poor Kristen seems bored with life.  She wants so badly to have something to be excited about, but has no one to get excited with.  We have made plans to go horseback riding on Tuesday.  I hope we do.

Marcus and I hung out some more and I talked to Mike again.  I have forgotten how many friends I have here.  Thank you Lord for all I have.  It has all come from you.

Including my beautiful new tree, Sarah.