February 7, 1998 – Saturday – 6:10 p.m.

Oh man! The beginning hours of February 7, 1998 were so amazing.

Sarah and I began a phone conversation at one in the morning and we didn’t hang up until four o’clock.  We had the best time!  I told her things about me that not many people know.  I told her about two Florida girls, Syndi and my pen pal Emily.

I just read my May 8, 1995 entry, the one about Syndi and I under the waterfall, and because I was so young and so scared, I didn’t even reveal the full events of that evening to the pages of my journal.  That entry is missing a great deal.  Maybe it’s just retrospect, the me of now looking back on the me of then, that was needed for the truth of that night to be revealed to me.

Either way, early this morning, I told Sarah, my girlfriend, the story of Syndi and the story of why I broke up with Jeni.  The truth is I had begun to hate how physical my relationship with Jeni had become.  We never had sex, but I just felt like a dirty slimy dog of a pervert because I began to care more about where I could touch her with my hands than I did the quality of our conversations.

I then told Sarah how I had only known Syndi for two weeks prior to our May 7th, 1995 escapade and how wild it was for me to be around her because, well…because Syndi had (and I’m sure she still has) beautiful, large, firm, gravity-defying breasts that simply demanded male eye-contact.  It was wild to be with her because I was used to Jeni, who was relatively flat-chested.  So, for me to be lying under a blanket of stars, beneath a beautiful waterfall, next to the most well-endowed girl I had even known, who kept saying she was cold, well…I began to pray.  If I felt like a slimy dog with flat-chested Jeni, how would I be if I was holding the insanely curvy Syndi?  I feared I wouldn’t be able to control my hands or my whole self.

And, of course, I went on to tell Sarah about how after I offered to hold Syndi to keep her warm, she began talking about sex.  Now I left this part out of my 1995 entry, but Syndi talked for a while about sex with her ex-boyfriend, and then she eventually said with a whisper, “Jacob, are you going to wait until you are married to have sex?”

With her breasts against my chest, I said, half giving up and half begging for mercy, “Well, that’s the way I had planned it.”

And I don’t know how much time had passed.  It could have been a second.  It could have been a minute.  But eventually Syndi said, “Well, I guess we better go then.”

I have since concluded that God used that night, that beautiful girl, and that cleansing waterfall to purify me, and show me that I was not a slimy dirty dog, but a man who loved and respected women.

Sarah and I had a good laugh, mainly because I’m somewhat of a Christian leader on campus and not viewed as one who would talk so openly about my love of breasts to my own girlfriend.  When trying to explain the shape of Syndi’s body to Sarah, I said, “Well, let’s just say, she’s is closer to your neck of the woods.”  Sarah laughed forever.

It was then I told my girlfriend that I greatly enjoy her.  I love to look at her.  I love to hold her.  I think she has a beautiful body, an amazing face, and I find her very sexy and pleasing to look at.  Our physical relationship is not a very big one, but I enjoy it greatly.

She thanked me for telling her that.

We continued talking and she told me some of her stories.  I also gave her a brief summary of Emily and I and even read some of Emily’s old letters to her.

She then told me that for the first time in a relationship, she was not jealous of the other girls in her man’s life.  Then she started crying.  And she said it felt so good not to have that burden.

I told her she has no reason to be jealous of the girls of yesterday, for they have helped make me who I am today, the me that loves her.  I owe them so much for that.

Sarah is in the picture below; it was taken during a performance of the Christmas Concert.

Can you find her?  She is the beautiful one.

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January 1, 1998 – Thursday – 8:45 p.m.

This is my third entry for the first day of 1998.  Marcus and I went to see Amistad this afternoon; a very good movie filled with wonderful moments.  I cried when they talked about my savior and described his life in the wonderful way they did.

So, about 1997.

I remember sleeping through the last night of 1996.  I spent the first evening of 1997 with Christy’s family playing cards.  I haven’t seen that family since Christi and Patti were burned back in May.  I remember the smell of Dawn during Children of A Lesser God.  I miss that show.  Of all I have performed at Lees-McRae, that is my favorite.  I remember touching Abigail’s face for the first time and kissing Jeni again and not really knowing why.  I remember my hundreds of hours spent with Dan, Allen, Vince, and Curtis.  They are the greatest guys ever created.  I remember my trip to Ft. Walton Beach, and when Emily lost a bit of her beauty in my eyes.  I remember the box office and Lindy’s funny stories.  I remember rooming with Dan and talking with Marisa.  I remember the orientations and meeting Sarah for the first time.  I remember my weekend trips in September, regaining Abigail’s friendship, and perfect days spent in Hilton Head.  I remember spending hours in The Misanthrope script.  I remember the beautiful girl who took the time to touch me.  I remember my Christmas tree and my love for Sarah growing.

A peaceful year.

So, I’ll begin this one now.

Nineteen Hundred Ninety-Eight.

I give it to you God!

December 15, 1997 – Monday – 10:30 p.m.

Yesterday morning’s church service was awesome, then I sang at Juries that afternoon.  The RA Christmas party was that evening and after that we went to more juries.  Sarah was in four of them.  But despite all of yesterday’s business, Sarah and Jessi and I found the time to watch It’s Only a Paper Moon.

And last night, after the midnight breakfast exam break, and after I made my Christmas tree lights blink, and after Dan and I played Tetris 2, and after Vince and Alex wrestled in my room, I called my Sarah.  We talked for a while; we talked about us.

I told her that I pray to God about us and ask him what this is.  And every answer he ever gives me is through Sarah.  She said once that loving me was not part of the plan.  And I told her that God tells me to simply let our relationship be what it is and to not worry about anything else.

We both know I’m leaving and comfort is found in that.  I doubt I’ll spend the rest of my life with Sarah, but thanks to God, I’m pretty sure I’ll spend a lot of the next five months with her.

Perhaps I have lived life too carefully.  Perhaps I’ve guarded my heart too much.  Sarah is too amazing of a girl to simply pass up.  I do not want to be an old man, and right before I die, realize that I have not lived.

How frail we are.

So Sarah is my girl.  I love her.  I love her as much as my time will allow me.  We’ve only been close for three weeks, and, as we all know, love takes time.

Perhaps we should have left everything alone in that perfect first Eternal Instant on November 22nd, but why have one Eternal Instant when you can have hundreds.

I’m so young.

And Sarah is eighteen.

I just read back on my freshman year recently, and I didn’t know anything back then, but through Jeni and many others, I learned.

I first wrote Sarah’s name down in these Books of Days on June 14, 1997.  I had no idea then that I would repeat that name on these pages, in my heart, and on my lips for the rest of my life.  But it’s clear to me that she has arrived into my life and her influence will fade away.

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.

November 21, 1997 – Friday – 3:40 p.m.

Wow!! The Misanthrope opened and I received tons of flowers!  I got some from Lindy, Ann-Marie, and Abigail.  The show went great and everyone said I did great.

Four more shows remain.  I’m finally enjoying this play.  My mom comes on Saturday.

I finally got my Regent application in the mail.  Life is exciting.  Five and a half months left.  I’m looking forward to the change.  This will actually be somewhat easy, since I know Jesus is already preparing a place for me.

A couple of nights ago, when the moon was nearly full and the ground was covered in snow, Allen, Justin, Ashley, Shannon, and myself drove up to the top of Beech Mountain and sang praises to our Lord.  The midnight silhouette of the mountains below took my breath away.

It was perfect.

As is all of life these days.

Whatever happened to those feelings I had for Jessica, or Sherlive, or even Abigail?  I still see them, I still talk to them, I still even touch Abigail’s face, but it truly feels as if my emotions have moved on.

I love all the girls here, but there is not one of them I have come across whom I truly feel I want to spend my entire life with in marriage.  Just last night I went to spend time with all the girls after the show: Lindy, Tracey, Jeni, Abigail, and Ann-Marie.  Lindy, I believe, is content with her singleness, but the other four dream of love and a Godly man.  I can see their pain and longing in their eyes as they wait for that moment to come.  They almost seem desperate and hopeless.

I wish I could make them all happy forever, but I can’t.

So my job is to simply love all my friends, both guys and girls, for the next five and a half months, and then give each of them an extended “see you tomorrow.”

I feel God sending me to Regent.  He’s sending me to the beach.  Where I will continue to rest in this peace, love, and strength.

November 17, 1997 – Monday – 1:00 a.m.

Most of my time has gone towards The Misanthrope and therefore I’ve spent a lot of time with Lindy.  I’m so glad we worked together in the box office this summer.  We know so much about each other.  I have so much fun when I’m with her.  We’ve gotten closer as well.  I play with her hair and tickle her back.  We study lines together on my bed and it’s nice.  Thanks God.

Jeni is here and we’ve had a good talk.  I’ve learned that God is using Tracey, Jeni, Abigail, and Ann-Marie to teach me to be a good husband.  Since I’ve grown up with so many girls as friends, I have insight like no other guy.  I’m very thankful for that.

After church today, I ate lunch over at Crystal and Clifton’s and watched Superman.  Whew, I haven’t seen that one in a while.

It’s already been three months since I turned 21.

It doesn’t slow down, does it.

October 31, 1997 – Friday – 4:11 p.m.

October is ending.

And my life is beginning.

“Masks” is a beautiful piece.  So many tell me it is their favorite dance of the show.  They even like it better than what X-Factor, our professional dance company, does.  But I think it is only great because I covered it in prayer.

I hugged Abigail after the show last night.  She is so soft.  She held my hand and I held hers.  We both looked into each other’s eyes and said “thank you.”

We had Bible Study after the show, but due to Charlie’s shout out with Kate, and a lot of girls overheard it, he decided to let me lead.  He didn’t even show up.  We praised the Lord for so long last night and I gave a simple message about knowing truth.  Emily was there; that’s Emily from my scene with Mason, not “my” true Emily from Crestview.  She cried.  She will belong to the Lord very soon.  Jesus can change anyone and everyone.

Abigail gave a testimony about how she has finally come to peace with her life and she looked at me the whole time.  We shared so many smiles last night.

We have spent a small amount of time together each day and we seem to grow closer.  I undoubtedly go to sleep the happiest man in the world every night.  We sat next to each other during lunch.  Her uncovered knee touched mine and it took her a few seconds before she pulled away.

I believe her parents are coming tomorrow.  I wonder if they’ll see me any differently.  Perhaps she as shared with her mom the small things that have happened between us.  Perhaps not.  Perhaps it is all in my head; like last time.

Jeni called me last night.  She said she has been thinking about me a lot recently.  She seemed sad and even cried over the phone.  I told her about the 27 people at Bible Study and how everything has been forgiven and set free between everyone.

So now, it is only appropriate that I thank my Jesus.  He has given me this peace.  He has given me Abigail’s smile again, so if it that smile goes away, it won’t break my heart completely.  Through her smile, he has shown me a grace that is way more than I deserve.

I’ve never been so in love with Jesus.  He gives me my dance in the shower.  He gives me my minutes in each hour.  This peace is indescribable.  I wear no mask.  I’m surrounded by his love.

I want nothing but to worship you Lord.

Spring worship unto thee.