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.

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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.

September 29, 1997 – Monday – 1:30 p.m.

A lovely day.

Yesterday was rainy, but still wonderful.  I think I prefer rain over sunshine, especially in the mountains.

Jeni came over and we talked.  Dan and Allen were here and we began talking about relationships.  Then Jeni said to Dan, as though I wasn’t there, “I could never see myself dating Jacob again, mainly because his spiritual relationship with God is so much further along than mine.”

That statement surprised me greatly.  After Dan and Allen left, Jeni and I talked about it.  She said that Abigail and Tracey feel the same way; I somehow make them feel inferior.  “But I don’t do anything!” I told Jeni.  “I’m just me, I don’t think or even try to act like I’m better.  In fact, I’m the lowest of the low.”

She said that maybe it was just their own spiritual insecurity.  She said it was the hardest thing in the world for each of them since they all love me so much.

I didn’t understand.  They love me, but don’t want to pursue anything further with me because I make them feel less close to God?

Then Jeni confessed that over the summer when she stayed with me, she went into my room and read my journal.  She immediately started crying, fearing I would hate her.  She said she opened it up to May 7th, 1997, I believe.  And well, you should flip back and read it for this to make sense, but she said that reading that nearly killed her and she wished she had never read it.

I explained what that entry meant to me and I forgave her.

Then she told me that she told Abigail once, “No matter who Jacob marries, she will never be worthy enough.  He is wonderful.”

There it is.  Because I love God, girls are turned away.  I guess following Jesus does cost something.

But all that was yesterday and I woke up today with a smile on my face.

Speaking of girls, Sherlive is completely confused and foggy about life.  She is asking questions that shouldn’t be asked.  I used to think she had it all together, but she is in the ozone.  I spent three hours talking with her last night.  I asked her to lay her head in my lap so I could just pet her hair and pray for her.  She never seemed to relax.

Dan told me later on, “Jacob it’s going to be terrible next year.”

“Why?”

“Who’s going to be here to take care of us?”

September 28, 1997 – Sunday – 1:40 a.m.

I’m in my room again.  The drives to Louisville and back were as much fun as any time we spent there.

I have grown accustomed to my new apartment.  It is now my place, my room, but I couldn’t call it my home.  Lees-McRae is my home, and this is simply my room.

After I got back from Kentucky, I went down to Cannon lobby and discovered that a lot of people were down there singing praises to our God!  Abigail had some friends up and Tracey’s family was there.  I joined in and it was a wonderful time of song.  Abigail’s face was a huge and constant smile.  I could see in her eyes how special those two people were to her.  She was amazingly happy and that happiness had nothing to do with me.  That’s probably how it will always be and how it should always be.

Jeni is going to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship tomorrow.  She is excited about seeing David, I think something nice happened between them while I was gone.

I saw an unbelievable Kentucky sunset a few hours ago.  It really was an amazing drive home.  Dr. and Mrs. Martin told Charlie and I the story of how they met, it was just a couple of days into their Freshmen year of college.

I was reading a little bit out of my older Books of Days.  I read about Jenna and Tenielle and about lost keys and alphabets.  How crazy and different I seemed back them.  But that was me then and it isn’t me now.

It made me realize that very soon all of these girls here at Lees-McRae will simply be stories in My Book of Days.  But they haven’t completely faded from my heart into the pages of my journal just yet.  I still remember Jeni’s long, soft legs and the curves of Abigail’s face.  I still dream of Jessica’s hair, Ann-Marie’s smile, and Ellen’s laugh.  These girls mean more to me than I ever let them know.

Then there are the new girls like Sarah and Sherlive, whose college experience will continue on without me.  Every night I go to bed so thankful, so thankful for an extra day with these beautiful women and my fantastic guy friends.  They are bringing me closer to God.  God is loving me through them.

Lees-McRae is passing and I know I’ll be able to let it go.  These people here are everything to me.  When we reach the other side, I’m sure one of the first things I’ll do is look for them.

I have been here simply to love

To witness and experience joy and fun

Soon I’ll leave calmly like a dove

The way night does when day is done.

September 26, 1997 – Friday – 10:00 a.m.

I will leave for Kentucky in less than an hour.

Yesterday was an amazing day.  I spoke to Doc about Regent University, that I was applying, etc.  She said there was a guy in Boone who had graduated from there and that since she had a lot of pull with CITA (Christians in Theater Arts), her recommendation alone would guarantee my acceptance.  I’ve been wanting to attend Regent since the summer after my Freshman year, when I first learned about it at Fishnet.  Yesterday God just reassured me that he is the one calling me to attend there.

Also, Jeni was here yesterday.  It was so good to see her.  Last night after Bible study, all the guys and all the girls came to hang out in my room.  We talked for a while and then in the middle of all of the conversation, Abigail said something, something amazing.  We were talking about some joke I had told and she said, “You’re a funny guy Jacob.  I appreciate your humor and I appreciate you.”  And then she kinda stared at me.

In that moment I felt like our friendship was completely restored.

I got a letter from Marisa today and in it she said, “I’m sorry it’s your last year, but the Lord has called you elsewhere.”

And Sarah wrote me a letter as well.  She said, “Jacob, I want you to know that even though I haven’t known you very long, I love you.”

I am so loved here, and yet I’m leaving.

I don’t know whether to smile or to cry.