March 27, 2000 – Monday – 8:15 a.m.

Okay.  This is been a busy month.  I’ve also been so crazily in love with Marie that I’ve hardly written in these pages.  Forgive me.

Marie listens to me, so there’s often no reason to vent my thoughts out into these pages anymore.  And here it is, nearing the end of March, and I see how much life will change.  Here’s what’s up!

I’m leaving the bookstore.  I have no reason why other than that I feel it is time to go.  I will work for four more days, two this week and two next week, and then I’m done.

I’m the still photographer for the 5-minute short film I wrote titled The Tape that Binds.  It’s got a $5,000 budget.

Next weekend I’m going with Marie to New Jersey.  Then, on Saturday, we are driving to Philadelphia for one of her friend’s wedding.

Next week Marie and I will go to Banner Elk to visit my friends and the mountains.  We’ll also drive up to New Jersey again for Easter.

A week after we get back, I will direct The Accuser, another 5-minute film with a $5,000 budget.  May will arrive shortly after that and classes will end.  Marie will go home for a few weeks and by the end of May, my soon-to-be-roomate Dan and I plan to help Theresa from the bookstore move back to New Mexico.  We’ll hopefully take a non-direct route and I’ll visit many states I’ve never been to before.

Her parents said they’ll pay to fly me back to Banner Elk, where I’ll be a groomsman in Allen and Jessica’s outdoor sunrise wedding.

Those are my plans through the 11th of June.

Hopefully I’ll get the production coordinator job at Regent, as well as the Resident Director job at Virginia Wesleyan, then I’ll concentrate fully on Dang!

Marie and I are doing well!  What an amazingly sweet love!

August 4, 1999 – Wednesday – 8:15 a.m.

Yesterday was Lindy’s birthday.  We took her out to eat and to see Runaway Bride.  It was a fantastic time.  She’s 22.  We are only the same age together for two weeks every year.

I got to see Jeni last night.  We talked and caught up.  She is so busy with work and with marriage that she realize her relationship with the Lord feels very distant.  Again, it made me thankful that God was the only one on my heart at the moment.

In a little while I will leave from here and head north.  The Lord is my shepherd.  He is my guide.  My goal is to simply go away with him and see is creation.

Deep Creek last weekend brought bittersweet feelings.  I think I would like to go much less often and keep it a part of my childhood.  I did stand on my ledge and it was wonderful to pray there.

Talking to everyone about marriage is crazy.  Allen and Jessica really feel right for each other.  I’m excited for them.  Of course Dan and Abigail will probably get married next year as well.

God is keeping me young at this stage of life.  So, I leave my old college town now and prepare for the road ahead.  I am in your hands Father.  Protect me, guide me, love me.

 

August 2, 1999 – Monday – 11:00 a.m.

Much has happened in the past several days.  I am in Banner Elk, NC.  My last day on the film shoot was Friday, so Friday night I drove to Siler City, NC.  I spent the night with Peter at the Motor Lodge.  He was there with his girl Shivani and we stayed up until two in the morning, just talking.  I left early Saturday morning and went to Sylva and met up with my grandparents.  We all went to Deep Creek for the family reunion.  Everyone was there except for Nar, Kevin, and Patty.

I left Bryson City that night and drove up here to Banner Elk.  I went to Lees-McRae, but couldn’t find a soul.  I did finally find Jessi and learned that Sarah was in a show that night.  I only got to see her for about ten minutes.  Then I found out that Allen and Jessica had just returned from their road trip to Colorado, so I spent the night at Allen’s, as did Jessica.  They are getting married next summer.

We went to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship yesterday morning and there I saw Lindy and Tracey and Ashley and tons of others.  Dan was still in town saying goodbye to Abigail, who is going to Austria.  We all just freaked out when we saw each other!  We all went out to lunch, hung out all afternoon, then went out to dinner.  Everyone is working this morning, so I’m riding with Sharon to Asheville and back later today.  Vince is away on a cruise.  I miss him.

But here I am on a flat rock off the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I came here early this morning with Curtis and we took some amazing pictures.

Time to go meet Sharon.

. . .

It’s now 8:20 p.m. on the same day.

Sharon and Hannah and I drove to Asheville, she just had to get an Allergy shot, so I rode along so we could chat.  While down there we went to go see Runaway Bride; a perfect movie.  I don’t know if I’ve ever left a movie theater so happy before; there is such wisdom in that film.

Sharon and I had wonderful talks all day about life and love and Jesus and forgiveness.  Oh how I love and adore that woman.  I told her about Mary and she caught me up on Laura.

Runaway Bride taught me so much and I’m so thankful that I’m single right now.  After tomorrow, which is Lindy’s birthday, I’m going to get in the car and just drive.  I’m just going to keep driving and stay in weird places and be with my Jesus.  We are going on a honeymoon, if you will.

 

July 1, 1999 – Thursday – 7:50 a.m.

I’m at Seth’s house in Norfolk.  The guys stayed here last night.  What a wonderful family.  The father went to Lees-McRae; crazy!  And the brother-in-law went to Regent.  He and Seth’s sister pastor Living Word Church where we ministered last night.  Its amazing to see a family so united.  I pray I stay good friends with all these Master’s Commission kids after this is over.

Everybody, the guys and the girls, have started picking on Mary and I.  They say our crushes on each other are so obvious.  They’ve been giving us a hard time, but we just laugh along and enjoy it.

The thing that gets me most about Mary is her relationship and dedication to God.  She is so strong in her faith, and she feels to be so intimate and romantic with him, it even intimidates me.  She is a born leader with a romantic spirit towards life!

Tuesday night during the service at Bethel in Pungo, I just sat at the altar seeking God’s will about my career in theater and film.  After a while, a man whom I did not see, for my eyes were closed, laid his hands on my head and God spoke through him to me.  He told me he would take me beyond what I had envisioned for my future, to lean not on my own understanding, and to follow him.

I cried.  Then I took a walk in the parking lot under a full red moon and listened to the frogs.  The word gave me a new level of trust.  I feel called to do a work, but it may not be forever, it may just be for a season, and there is something else beyond that work.

July has begun.  Will I have finished my Master’s degree by this time next year?  The last 4th of July was spent with David and Colleen on a swing by windy riverbank in Colerain, NC.

I wonder if Mary and I are just two lonely Christians forced to spend a lot of time together, or is it something deeper and divine?

Will I ever have a wall with pictures of my children hanging on it?

What will happen to me when I step off the plane in Los Angeles?

I talked to Dan and Lindy the other morning.  They told me that Curtis and his girlfriend Megan are planning on getting married next August.  That sent me for a whirl.  And they said Allen and Jessica are talking about getting engaged over Christmas.  Lindy is looking into moving to Houston for a theater gig, Dan might go to Denver for YWAM, and Vince may go back to Guatemala.

Seth just came up.

Its time for breakfast.

 

January 17, 1998 – Saturday – 11:00 a.m.

Okay, never mind.  I wasn’t way off.

Yesterday, Friday the 16th, was a record-breaking day for five girls came to my room and talked to me about their romantic pursuits.

First was Geana.  We talked about sex because she and her boyfriend have sex.  She knows the Bible teaches against it, but she says with him it doesn’t feel like a sin.  She was in a car accident about five years ago where she suffered brain damage.  After that, she said her thinking changed and started doing things she would have never done before.  She seemed confused and admitted as much.  I told her that if the love was true, both would stop having sex, guard their hearts and bodies, and get married.  She seemed to see the logic in that.  She’s an interesting and weird girl.  After telling me all this stuff, she then took a nap on my sofa for an hour.

And while she was asleep, Sherlive called.  She called to talk to me about Vince for she is but another girl who is crazy about him.  I told her he was still confused about Laura and to just be his friend, but to also not be a stranger.

Then, Jessica came over and we talked about her and Allen.  They went on a midnight hike at the beginning of the semester and she now likes him and wanted to know if I knew how he felt about her.

The next girl was Emily, not my pen pal, but Emily from the theater department, who plays the prostitute I have the underwear scene with in Cuckoo’s Nest.  She wanted to talk about her confusing feelings towards Timothy and AJ.

And then the last girl to desire my company and advice was Sarah, my girl, and we got to talk about us.  Thursday night, over the phone, she told me that she had a present for me, “a special present,” she added.

“Well, I’m excited,” I said.

I saw her around lunch time and we smiled brightly at each other.  I called her while Geana was asleep only to find her crying.  She said she was an emotional wreck, but that she had to go to class.  I told her she was beautiful and that I loved her.

At dinner, she was still a little weird and I told her I would look her up after rehearsal.  After rehearsal Sarah, Mason, and Jessi went to rent a movie.  I watched it with them in Mason’s room with half the freshmen Performing Arts students, but Sarah never acknowledged I was there.

I was on duty and I got a call over the radio, so I left to deal with that and never returned.  I went to my room, put on Hymn by Jars of Clay, then put it on repeat, and began to read the Gospel of John.  While reading, a peace came over me.  I have been praying for a while now for God to teach me to love like he loves.  And I realized that he answered my prayer through Sarah.  He showed me how much it hurts when he loves those who do not even acknowledge or look at him.

When I got to the second chapter, there was a knock at my door.

Sarah came in.

She sat on the floor, by the sofa I was sitting on, and laid her head upon me.  I put my arm around her and ran my fingers through her hair.

She began to cry and she didn’t stop until she left, which was about an hour later.

My eyes shed no tears.

She eventually spoke.  “You see a beauty in me that I have yet to see.  I see how much you love and care for me and its the scariest thing I’ve ever known.”

“You ought to be me,” I smiled.

“I just don’t know what to do.”

“Do you want me to let you go?”

“Not completely.”

“I know not completely, but enough where we don’t have to pretend to play this little game?  I can’t stop loving you Sarah, but I can stop trying to show it.  And you know that I’m here if you ever need someone to hold you.”

She continued to cry.

“I’ve known you’ve felt this way for a long time,” I told her, “I just wanted to be come and tell me.”

“I didn’t want to hurt you.”

“You couldn’t hurt me.”

“I don’t want you to have to need me.”

“Sarah, I needed me to love you more than I ever needed you to love me.  What has happened between us is a beautiful thing.  God has told me to love you now, because we both will need it later on.  Please don’t feel guilty.”

We looked at each other for a while.

She broke the silence with, “It’s not like I don’t love you, I do, and you know I’ll always be here,” she placed her hand on my chest, “but I’m just not ready.”

More silence passed.

“I had a cross necklace that I wanted to give you, something that I’ve had for a while that has been very special to me, but it feel out of my pocket today and I lost it.”

The tears poured from her eyes.

“I’m sorry.” I said.

After a few eternal silent moments of unending eye-contact, she finally kissed me on my cheek and said, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”  I said.

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.

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.