June 11, 1997 – Wednesday – 12:15 p.m.

Life is good.  I go running every morning and I sleep in the peace of Jesus every night.  I pray and read his word every day.  I talk with friends in the afternoon at the box office and get paid for it.  I spent Sunday evening with Dawn until about 11:00 p.m.  She and Derek aren’t together anymore.  Derek wants to date other people.  I’ve seen all this happen before.

I’ve been trying to witness to Samarah, she is the RA in Canon this summer.  We went shopping the other night and had fun.  She feel so far from God at the moment.  Lindy and I have been talking about God and my faith a little.  I can’t help but talk about Jesus these days.

Rachel has been emailing me.  She wants me to go to a Chrysalis weekend in Virginia.  I’m going to try to go.  Its the first weekend in August.

Orientation is this weekend.  I’m going to help check people in and then on Saturday I’m driving two girls back to the airport.  Next week is Vacation Bible School.  I’m playing the main character of a play I wrote for the week.

The summer seems to be flying by so fast.  June is nearly half over.

Jessica still might get to be an RA.  One girl got a full scholarship and doesn’t need the job anymore.  I was so happy when I found that news out.

 

June 2, 1997 – Monday – 1:25 a.m.

It’s early in the morning.  What an evening!  June 1, 1997.

After the evening service, Crystal, Clifton’s sister, invited me to go to a drive-in movie with her down the mountain near the Tennessee state line.  We saw Volcano, one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.

I had never been to a drive-in before.  We laid out on sleeping bags, on our stomachs, which caused my neck to hurt really bad.  Crystal gave me a massage as the credits rolled.  Then she ran her fingers through my hair.

We went to Wal-Mart and played with toys until it closed at midnight.

I had a good time and we talked pretty deeply.  She says she is away from God.  She doesn’t even consider herself a Christian anymore.  She told me about a lot of things that happened when she went away to college in Asheville.  She said she lost her innocence.  I wonder if that means she isn’t a virgin anymore.  I didn’t condemn her.  I was just there and I listened.

We came back to my room and listened to some Rebecca St. James and Cindy Morgan.  She said she couldn’t do it.  She couldn’t give herself back to God.

I prayed with her.  And I hugged her goodbye at her car door.

Then she said, “I never should have grown up and gone off to college.”

Oh God.

Help her.

Help me.

All I know is that you love us.  There is evil in the world, but you still love everyone.  I want nothing but your love.

May 17, 1997 – Saturday – 10:08 p.m.

Today…

Today…

Today was the annual nationwide March For Jesus.  This was my first one that I’ve ever attended.  I had a wonderful time singing praises with fellow Christians as we walked the streets of Sanford.  I saw Gary there.  We talked a little and he told me that there was a big party at Kiwanis Park for Matt, Christi’s brother, who had just graduated from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC.  He said that both Matt and Jason were in town.  So, after the March was over I asked mom if we could stop by to see if they were there and say “hey.”  We did.

A car was in the driveway with the trunk open.  The front door was standing wide open.  We pulled up and I got out of the car and Jason runs out of the house.  His hands were waving around and he wasn’t really looking at us.  Frantically, he said, “Oh geez, oh geez, oh God, oh my God.  Mom and Christi and Andy and his girlfriend just got in a car accident.  They are three hours away from here.  And they’re burned!

It took a second for it to register, but then it all made sense when he just plopped down on the steps and cried.  He was in the middle of changing tires on the car out front because he and Matt were going on a fishing trip on the coast.  So, Clay took Jason to find his dad and Matt at the bank downtown.  Mom and I stayed there and prayed.

A few minutes later, Matt pulled up with Pastor Steve’s wife Nancy.  She said she found him walking on the side of the road because their car broke down at the bank.  We told Matt what happened and he went nuts.  Except he said Andy was in Wilmington and Christi and her mom were going to the mountains and Andy doesn’t even have a girlfriend.  Jason’s muttering made no sense.

Hours of confusion took place.  Phone calls were made.  Hank finally made it home and the emotions went wild because no one knew what was going on.

This is what actually happened:

Christi and her mom Patti and Christi’s boyfriend Adam were going to western North Carolina to say goodbye to Christi’s old gym coach.  Patti was taking off Christi’s shoes while Christi was driving, yet at the same time, they were looking at a pretty mountain.  A bump is felt and Christi shouts out an “oops” as she swerves back to the road.  Yet, the beginning of a guard rail is right in front of her and it catches the gas tank near the rear of the car.  It rips it off and flips the car at the same time.  They head straight into the other lane, thankfully there wasn’t any oncoming traffic.  They come to a stop on the other side of the road and the car bursts into flames.  The three shocked passengers crawl out of the car.

Jason got off the phone with the hospital 30 seconds before we drove up.  Matt, Hank, Gary, and Adam’s mom drove up to the mountains to be with them.  I stayed with Jason until my parents picked me up for a church service at 5:30 p.m.

Christi was burned the worst of all three, but nobody should be left with permanent scars.

And that was today.

Today…

No doubt Christi and Adam’s relationship will grow stronger through this shared drama. They’re love is as good as forever.

It’s a week before I go back to the mountains.  I will so go to my perfect world of Banner Elk.  Yet here, the people of my days before LMC are either pregnant, nicotine addicts, or burned.

And I will leave them that way, knowing my prayers and never ending love will be with them.

I am a little blonde-haired boy, lying in my bed on a school day, only I’m too young to attend.  “Why can’t I go, mommy?”

“You have to wait another year until you’re old enough,” she says.

She should have said, “Oh sweetie, don’t rush things.  Enjoy these careless days while they are around.  Soon your closest friends will be in pain and there won’t be any answers to the flames life brings.  Please, stay a child while you can be a child.”

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.

April 18, 1997 – Friday – 10:43 a.m.

It is snowing!!!

It started last night.  The ground is covered.  Everything is pure.  My room is clean.  I am clean.  As clean as the purity outside thanks to Jesus.  He humbles me.  He shines down me.  On my dying flower.  Take me God.  I give myself to you.  Heal me and mold me and make me new.

You save me again and again.

You purify me again and again.

April 9, 1997 – Wednesday – 11:30 p.m.

Yesterday was a wonderful day.  I was on a wonderful Jesus high.  Then at dinner, I sat with Jeni and Abigail.  A lot of time went by with just me talking and Jeni saying a few things.  Then I asked Abigail why she was so quiet.

She stared at me intently for a few silent seconds, and then she said, “Do you really care, Jacob?”

“Yes,” I said in a very simple tone.

And with such a mean and devilish look, she asked, “Why?”

She stared at me.  I stared at her.  Then she went to get dessert and I stood up and walked slowly back to my room.  My wonderful day came to a screeching halt thanks to Abigail’s six words.

So, I gave her a call and said, “What was that?”  A long conversation followed and we spilled our hearts and thoughts.  She is one confused and confusing girl.  I am so thankful that I learned this about her.  I like her way less now and can’t believe I ever dreamed so endlessly about her.

She thought all my “God talk” and Bible studies were just to get close to her and get on her good side.  She sees so much with worldly eyes.  I thought she was more mature in her faith.  It hurt that she would assume I’d play such petty games.  So, we’ll see how this will close before she leaves near the end of the month.

Everything else is slightly short of perfect.

I love you Lord!

April 8, 1997 – Tuesday – 9:05 a.m.

I am wonderful.

I am beautiful.

I have no idea what happened yesterday, or what will happen tomorrow.  I simply know that I am alive and loved.  I have become that which I’ve always dreamed of becoming.

Birds are singing my name.

Clouds are forming my initials.

No one sees me but Jesus and a handful of earth-grown flowers.

I have everything I will ever need.  I am content.  I know nothing except the love of God.  All else is confusing.  All else will fade away.

There is only one constant, only one absolute:  I am loved by a perfect God, and I will spend my whole life loving him back.