June 21, 1997 – Saturday – 12:10 p.m.

People change.

Life is strange.

Tracey has become a rude and hurtful individual, especially to Jeni and myself.  The people who occupy this summer theater residence hall are talented, but my heart goes out to them.  They simply don’t know truth, and it doesn’t seem they want to.

As an example there is Mariesa from Florida, near Miami, and her brother Mason, soon to be a student at LMC, plus their mother Dana.  To them, church is a place to catch up on sleep.  I spent some time with Mariesa in the computer lab.  She’s funny and pretty on the outside, but totally lost.

They have a condo up on Sugar Mountain and I went up there with Jeni and Tracey and a few others.  I found joy by playing with their camcorder and walking alone on the ski slope.  But as we were leaving, Jeni backed her car off the road.  It took all of us, plus an hours worth of time, to push it back on.

I am not appreciated by many people here.  I am looked over.  And that is good.

Allen, Vince, Dan, Curtis, Jeni, Jessica, and Sharon and her family are the ones I share my life with.

I called Regent University in Virginia Beach.  They are sending me an application and information on their film school.

I do not know what the summer of ’98 will bring, but by the beginning of September I will be creating a new home.  God is preparing me to leave Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, and Avery County.  My time here will always be treasured, but I must move on.  These friends here will last forever, but I must move ahead.

I give this life to my Holy Father.  I don’t want to live it on my own.  There is so much I don’t understand, but I know he does.

Here I am.  That’s all I know how to say.  Here I am.

June 14, 1997 – Saturday – 1:00 a.m.

Orientation was today.  I met some soon to be new students; two beautiful tennis players from Texas named Monica and Amber.  I will drive them to the airport tomorrow.  I also met a new Performing Arts major named Sarah.

I spent some time with Kim, she’s part of the orientation committee.  We talked and laughed a lot together.  She complemented me on my hair.  And I worked with Lindy in the box office.  We have such a good time, just hours of laughter.  I later watched the NBA championship with Samarah, played with Mangus, Allison and Craig’s cat, and visited with Tracey, Jeni, and Ann-Marie.

And now I’m in my bed in the middle of the night.  I just mentioned nine different girls.  I wonder if any of them are Her?  Right now the closest thing feels to be the Durango postcard on my wall.  There’s a foot and four inches between us, but we often seem to be on the same level.  I went and took a picture of her favorite tree the other day.

I like it when I miss people.  Reminds me that they really do matter.  You can’t miss someone unless you first genuinely share your life with them.

June 8, 1997 – Sunday – 5:23 p.m.

Yeah baby!  The weekend was so great!  I am a Promise Keeper!!  A stadium of 60,000 Christian men singing praises to one God!  A night spent in a beautiful Victorian Bed & Breakfast!  Charlie, Vince, and Allen right next to me, plus new friends I made from the trip!  Whew, walls were torn down.

Redemption!  I am free at last!

I will live in purity.  I will read, pray, and fellowship!  I am alive in Christ!!

When I returned home I read chapter 17 from Max Lucado’s God Came NearEternal Instants.  You know, the moments so perfect that the whole universe stands still to notice.  I can think of many right now, and I’ve only been alive for a little over 20 years.

Sitting in the treehouse on Hemlock Hill on a snowy night listening to Braveheart.

Crystal rubbing my neck at the drive-in in Tennessee.

Talking to Emily under the boardwalk in Ft. Walton Beach.

Touching Abigail’s face in McAlister room 206 on Lees-McRae’s campus.

Kissing Jeni in Cincinnati, Ohio while listening to The Wedding Song by Kenny G.

Playing underneath the full moon with Dan and Allen on the back side of Grandfather Mountain.

Holding a curled up Tenielle on her bathroom floor.

Performing “The Mask Skit” at Abundant Life Christian Center.

Eating Wheat Thins and slowly falling asleep next to Jessica under God’s open starry sky.

Playing water guns with Jonathan, Mike, Marcus, and Kevin.

Tubing down Deep Creek with Danny and Peter.

Holding Syndi under the waterfall.

Passing a car in the turning lane with Jonathan.

Helping a lost boy find his mother at Fishnet.

Playing Myst with Vince in New York.

Helping Ryan in and out of the corner tree.

Standing next to the Grand Canyon with Brandon.

Graduating high school and seeing Renee smile at me.

Signing my way through Children of A Lesser God.

Singing with 60,000 men in Knoxville.

And that eternal instant right before I fall asleep each night, when I reflect on the beauty of each amazing day!

Oh wait, and how could I forget, perhaps the most perfect moment of all, riding back from Tennessee with Sharon as Hannah fell asleep in my lap.

June 5, 1997 – Thursday – 11:50 p.m.

Let’s see, what has happened these past couple of days?  The box office has opened; business is slow.  Lindy, my assistant, and I have wonderful conversations while we work.  She is simply great.  Last night Jeni and Tracey and I spent the night at a house down in Foscoe (they were house sitting).  I fell down the stairs; it really scared me.  I went swimming with Allen, Vince, and Laura on Wednesday.  Been chatting with MovieMark on the Rebecca St. James chatline, and he isn’t doing too well.  I got Jerry Maquire in the mail and I’ve watched it a couple of times already.  And, well, we leave for Promise Keepers in the morning.

Life has never felt so fast.

Will this ever slow down?

May 30, 1997 – Friday – 5:31 p.m.

Last night Vince, Allen, Laura, Sharon, and Bob and I went to Hannah’s graduation from Crossnore Elementary School.  Crossnore is a public school, yet they handed out Bibles to the 5th grade class and said prayers throughout the service all night long.  They even pray every morning there.  It’s so nice to know there are still small corners of America that remain untouched by the world around them.

The program was great and it’s so awesome to see Hannah growing up right before my eyes.  I feel like I’ve been a part of her life.  She just lights up when she sees me.  She’s the greatest!

Nearly a year ago I was at another graduation:  Lee Senior for Ryan and Christi.  Christi is now covered in 2nd degree burns and Ryan is supposedly 17 miles down the mountain at App. State, but I have yet to see her.

I have not seen the sun for the past week.  We’ve been covered with rain clouds.

One more day remains in May.  1997 is nearly half over.

Sherry won’t be here this summer.  She left after the first semester last year.  Jeni, however, is doing the first summer theater show.  She says she wants to move here permanently.

Hmm.  Some leave and never say goodbye, and others you can’t seem to say goodbye to.

I really miss the Internet.  The computer lab isn’t open for summer classes yet.  I miss chatting with MovieMark.

I’m going to try to return to Siler City in the middle of July to see Rebecca St. James in concert.

And then I turn 21 nearly a month later.

May 14, 1997 – Wednesday – 8:49 a.m.

Our meeting was good.

She had a meeting at 5:00 p.m., so we went to the beach and talked for nearly four hours.  She looked great.  She told me about her world and her problems.  She told me how much she hates her dad, how her and Brandon are back together, and how much he wanted to meet me.  Perhaps he doesn’t remember me from before.  We had a good talk.  Talking and writing is all we know how to do.  We have given up the romance and focused on our needed friendship.

I told her about Abigail, Jeni, and Jessica.  She told me about this world and I’m very glad that I live in a secluded little village in the mountains.  Emily has changed over the years.  Her focus on life is different.  All of the death around her has changed her.  I liked her better three years ago, but I love her so much more now.

This story of mine.

And Emily is another girl.

Just one of the many.

But I could not exist without her.

And I don’t know why.

May 7, 1997 – Wednesday – 9:20 a.m.

Okay, let’s be honest.  I’m 20-years-old.  I am single.  I am not married.  I’ve only had two “so-called” girlfriends: Veronica and Jeni.  I’m not even sure Veronica counts (I kissed her once on the hand and once on the cheek), but our relationship felt more in God’s will than my relationship with Jeni.  Jeni and I never had sex, but my hands touched nearly every inch of her bare skin.

In this day and age, sex is everywhere.  My body longs to be intimate and sensual.  I fight it every day.  Nude women seem to fill up magazines and billboards.  It’s so hard to quench my desires.  I thank God that he hasn’t provided another girlfriend for me these past two years; I probably wouldn’t have been able to handle it.

I have dreamed in this journal of my other half, my other self, or the other side of me.  I see now, that doesn’t exist.  I’ve learned that I alone have a purpose.  Two halves never make a whole; only a whole person in Christ and another whole person in Christ will make two people wholly each other in marriage.

I am me and Jesus has made me whole.  In Him, I am pure.  If God longs to place me in a relationship, then it will be done in his timing.  Love is too strong and it will kill me if I try to force it into being.  I must let love grow on its own.