December 1, 1997 – Monday – 8:20 p.m.

I have been a Christian for a total of 12 years now.  Today is my spiritual birthday.

It’s hard to know what I’m feeling right now.  Let me just try to catch up.

Sunday after church, Josh and I went shopping in Johnson City, TN then we picked Vince up from the airport.  We went to church that night and saw a presentation of the musical Star Queen.  It was so wonderful.

Sarah called me that night and then came over to see my Christmas tree.  We held hands and talked for nearly two hours.  She told me so many neat stories.  She has such an amazing heart and the world is so beautiful through her eyes.

She has gone to see a show two hours away tonight.  I am on duty and miss her greatly.

After she left at 11:00 p.m., Vince took me out to Subway and then we came back here and ate to the light of my Christmas tree.

I got some Teen Mania information today in the mail.  I began to cry as I read over it.  The Lord moved upon me.  I am applying to go on a two month mission trip to either India or South Africa next summer.  I am insanely excited!

There are only two weeks left of classes.  I don’t have any exams during finals week.  In less that 18 days I take the GRE.

Christmas is so soon.  It hardly feels real.

And the wonderful burden of everything changing is resting upon the shoulders of my mind right now.  I haven’t talked to Emily since May.  Sarah and I are telling each other things we tell no one else.  Auditions for the spring show are in one week.  I direct a one-act next semester.  Once the new semester begins in January, there will only be four months left until it’s all over.

Sarah is a freshman.  I am a senior.  Why does the world work this way?

I had to look through some old boxes for a picture negative earlier this evening and I came across a lot of ancient stuff.  Memories flooded my heart and soul.  And I realized how much things really have changed since I first arrived on this campus.  And then I realized how much everything was getting to change even more.

Oh Jesus, you are my one constant companion.  You are by my side no matter what!

Humble me God.

You are all I have.

You are all I’ll ever have.

I need you now.

More than ever.

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November 4, 1997 – Tuesday – 1:00 p.m.

After rehearsal last night, I had a message from Ann-Marie, so I called her back.  “Abigail and I want to come over and talk!” she said.

And they did.  The three of us just laid in my bed and Ann-Marie talked about the huge crush she has on Vince and Abigail said similar little things while I touched her face and hair.

Ann-Marie has low self-esteem.  It must be hard being a girl.

And Abigail said she was still in love with K.C.  And yet, I didn’t care.  I don’t need Abigail to like me, I just need to know that I comfort her.  Yes, I rub the fingers of my heart along her face and through her hair and yes, she may be taking advantage of my male touch, but none of that matters to me.  It’s simply how I tell her things that I can’t find the words for.  It’s how I let her know what she means to me.  And I know she isn’t getting the message; I know she doesn’t know that I’ve memorized the curves of her ears to the point that I can draw them in my sleep, but it doesn’t matter.

All that matters is that I know.

I’m in the middle.  I don’t know what I am to people and that’s probably a good thing.

I got Rebecca St. James new devotional today.  I read a bit of it.  Life is wonderful knowing that amazing woman lives in the next state over.

Life is wonderful knowing that it will change very soon.

And life is wonderful knowing Abigail and I share special moments together.  She lays near me and I simply touch her.  My mind is on her, and her mind is on K.C., but if I help soothe any pain, or help her let go of any stress, then I am happy.

Perhaps the Lord is using Abigail to teach me about his love.  He loves so many that do not love him back.

Hmmm.

I love you God.

Thank you for touching my face.

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.

October 25, 1997 – Saturday – 11:15 a.m.

Last night was a wonderful blessing.  Everything was healed and mended and even a part of my longing and my wishing came to be.

I met with Abigail to go over some “Masks” beats.  We met in her room at 10:00 p.m.  And after our little rehearsal, we talked until one in the morning.  Ann-Marie stopped by and we just had the best time, the three of us.

And during this time, Abigail let me in on what she thinks and feels.  She found comfort and joy in sharing those things with me.

She is still in love with K.C.  She writes him letters she never finds the courage to send.  Her model friend, Stephanie, is growing in the modeling world, but is losing her faith.  Abigail says she loves our friendship and feels she can tell me anything.  We feel perfect right now like this, even though our past has seen some rocky soil.  That’s all thanks to me, but I’m still thankful for the ups and downs since it makes us appreciate each other more.

Thank you God, thanks for mending our friendship.

I told her before I left, “If I could have anything I want, I would want to be that guy that introduces you, Ann-Marie, and Tracey to the men God intended for you.”  And I meant it and it felt so good to know my heart.

The Jesus I love and adore lives in those three girls and they are a part of me.

Convinced of my deception

I’ve always been a fool

I fear this love reaction

Just like you said I would.

A rose could never lie

About the love it brings

And I could never promise 

To be any of those things.

If I was not so weak

If I was not so cold

If I was not so scared of

Being broken, growing old

I would be

I would be…

Blessed are the shallow

For depth they’ll never find

Seems to be some comfort

In rooms I try to hide.

Exposed beyond the shadows

You take the cup from me

Your dirt removes my blindness

Your pain becomes my peace.

If I was not so weak

If I was not so cold

If I was not so scared of

Being broken, growing old

I would be

I would be

Frail.

-Jars of Clay

October 22, 1997 – Wednesday – 7:40 p.m.

You know what I want?  You know what I wish for?  I want to come home to a beautiful woman, and we will embrace each other after a long day’s work.

I’m sure those days will come, but it’s obvious to me that I’ll have to wait quite a while until that daily comfort arrives.

It is nearing the end of October.  It’s very dark outside now.  The stars are visible, but I am not.  I am not really busy, but it feels that way.  “Masks” opens in a week and a day.  The Misanthrope rehearsals are somewhat difficult.  I miss Mark, my director for Children of a Lesser God.  He knew what he was doing, and I always felt confident in myself as an actor under him.  I don’t feel that way now.

The story of my youth.  Is it over?  Was it interesting?  Did I understand?  Was I me?  Was I beautiful?  Did I love?  Did others love me?

I guess all that matters is that somewhere along the past 21 years I learned of a Jesus who adores me.  For that reason alone, life has been pretty good.

It’s been nearly five years since I began keeping these journals.  Five years.

1992-1997.

Sixteen to twenty-one.

I’m so glad God created laughter.  Life is so much fun.  I can honestly say I have fantastic friends.  They are my salvation.  God loves us through other people.

But still, despite all the bliss of love and laughter, I’m not sure I like living here.  People can be weird.  People can be harsh.  And it hurts even more to know that I am one of those weird, harsh, and hurtful people.  I don’t love people enough.  I don’t smile enough.  I am not nice enough.  I seclude myself too much.

My mom says it’s simply a part of my heritage, that I, like her, receive my strength from being alone.  How can I help a dying world if I’m alone all the time?  How can I be a good Christian if I only hang around other Christians?

I don’t like this world.  I don’t like me in this world.  Yet I also love every day I am alive because here I get to practice my faith in, and my love for, my beautiful savior.

The truth is, despite all my plans, despite all my goals, and despite all my dreams, I don’t know what to do or where to go.  So, I just stand right here, loving all the beauty around me, waiting for him to show me our tomorrow.

October 3, 1997 – Friday – 10:30 a.m.

Man, life is pretty cool.  Tuesday afternoon I hiked down to Elk River and laid out on the big rock where Charlie set up a cross.  I feel asleep and slept for an hour and a half.  It was so awesome.

Abigail and I have talked a little.  She apologized to me for acting so weird and taking things the wrong way.

Mason and Emily are doing wonderful in our scene.  I’m so proud of them.  I can’t wait for everyone to see it.  I’m even designing lights for it.

I was nominated for a scholarship today.  It’s based on my writing and it’s $2,500.  Way cool, huh?

I talked to Pastor Steve Wednesday night and asked him if he could send me that masks from the Mask Skit we used to do.  They arrived today.  It’s gonna be so awesome seeing this piece from my past performed again.

We had Bible study last night and Courtney came.  She was a pretty wild girl last year, but she said she got saved over the summer.  Then each of us wrote a little love letter to Jesus and Courtney’s was amazing.  She cried and couldn’t finish it, so I finished it for her.

Jesus can change everything.

We watched Liar, Liar after Bible study last night.  It was so good for all the guys and girls to hang out together.  We leave for Washington D.C. today to go to Stand In The Gap. It should be fun.

October is already here.  My application for Regent is nearly complete.  I will take the GRE next month.

Life is moving along and I can’t help but smile.

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?”