November 12, 1998 – Thursday – 10:57 p.m.

Things are moving faster now.

My greatest fear is that I will lose the time to remember.

My closest friends here are the age of my little brother.

Look at what I have become.

A role model, simple as that.

But the ones I am an example for…

I want to be their age again.

I don’t want to grow up.

But I do want to live.

The storm is already brewing again.

Even now I remind those I love here that I will be leaving.

What can be beyond here?

When will life let me catch my breath?

When can I share this lily pad?

When can I be a role model to my own blood?

When will the others become alive?

When will Emily forgive and forget?

When will my father live in God’s will?

When will Sarah let God in?

When will I have kept all my promises, and drive away into my memories?

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November 11, 1998 – Wednesday – 12:55 a.m.

Tonight was wonderful.  I had dinner over at Kimberly’s, and we worked on sign language stuff for the show.  I like the way she laughs; her whole body just vibrates with no sound.

I came back after five hours and worked on a paper, then I felt the need to call Sarah.  She actually talked to me a little.  She is not good, her life is confusing, and without purpose.  She told me about getting drunk on Halloween.  I prayed for her and we were able to talk about our relationship and what really happened between us and what it meant.  And we agreed on this:  that I let her bring me to the place I am now, but she never let me bring her.

But it isn’t too late.  It is never too late.

November 9, 1998 – Monday – 5:30 p.m.

I don’t have much time to write, but I feel like talking to myself, and to God.

I love the weather this time of year.  I love the chill the tide brings in.  I’m enjoying this place.  It has become a home.  One like my old one on Foust Road.  One like my old one in McAlister Hall and even Tennessee Dorm.  One like my bed in Johannesburg, South Africa.

But God’s presence is where I will always be more comfortable.

I’m going over to Kimberly’s house tomorrow to study sign language for our show, and to also have dinner.  I pray it’s not too awkward.

I constantly miss Sharon’s home.

The Rebecca St. James concert is less than two weeks away.  Thanksgiving break with Allen, Vince, and Tracey is right after that.

And then the last month of this fantastic year!

November 8, 1998 – Sunday – 9:00 a.m.

“You have one wing, I have another, seeking shelter like sister and brother

Through the winter and through the summer, like one angel, we’ll fly…far away.”

This is the chorus of Burlap to Cashmere’s second song.  It has become my new prayer for Emily and me.  This is basically our story.

This album is blessing me unlike any other.  I am saved by grace.  I am free from sin.

I have no worries.

I am weak, but God grants me strength.  The year is winding down.  It is nearing mid November, which is when I began keeping a journal in 1992.  It seems to come sooner with each passing year.

1998 contained so much change.

And its not even over.

October 25, 1998 – Sunday – 9:47 a.m.

I talked to Vince and Charlie over the weekend.  I’m so excited to hang out with Vince over Thanksgiving.

I’m becoming good friends with Brian, he’s a first year communication student.  We have one class together.

On Friday I helped Kirstin, a beautiful German girl, on her audio project.  We had a lot of fun, and actually talked about other stuff.

Friday night’s youth service was so awesome.  So many people got saved.  I spent the night over at Sterling family’s house.  Kimberley stayed over as well.  We watched The Land Before Time.  Sterling’s mom was so sweet to me.  It was a wonderfully simple time.

Halloween is Saturday.  Christmas play practice begins and I’m helping with the harvest party that night as well.  November is just around the corner and I’ve got much to do to finish out the semester.

1999 will drive before I know it.

It feels like the whole world is moving quickly into the future.  But I’m trying to stay right here.  Hmm, I’m even trying to stay in yesterday.

October 22, 1998 – Thursday – 10:00 p.m.

I talked with Sharon tonight. Snow was in the air over Avery County this morning.  I wasn’t there to see it. October 27th was the first snowfall of my last LMC winter.  I didn’t realize how true that statement was when I wrote it nearly a year ago.

I’ve realized when I write these words in these spiral-bound books that they will never go away.  All 13 books are in my sight at this moment.  They sit on a shelf in my closet in front of me.  They are a record of nearly the past six years of my life.

I put Christmas lights up in my room this evening, and it caused me to miss the wintery feel of Banner Elk so much.  So, another day is closing.  One of the final ones for Tammie and Jose in this land.

I turned in four copies of the first draft of “Eyebrows” to the school’s team of producers yesterday.  They said I was the first of the final four to turn it in.  They seemed pleased and impressed.

And so God moves me on.  My memories fight with the present moment every day.  My heart questions why we can’t go back, but it also longs to see what is ahead.

I have no one to really talk to here.  I miss Vince and our deep talks to Counting Crows’ “August and Everything After.”  We had a ritual.  We would start with track four, “Perfect Blue Buildings,” and play it through to the end.  We would turn off the lights and stare up at his glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, most of which were placed there by Laura, and we’d talk of God, love, and beauty until the midnight hour.

I miss Dan and I pondering over the questions of life while playing “Tetris 2” on the Super Nintendo.

I miss riding in Curtis’ car and staring out the window in deep thought.  He’s always ask me what was on my mind.  I’d always tell him.  I felt listened to.

I miss Allen disagreeing with my way of thinking.  He’d ask my advice and then go do the opposite.  But somehow it still made me feel loved by him.

And I miss Charlie, the one I’ve known the longest.

But God needs me elsewhere.  His breath is blowing me forward.  So, I continue and I do this not for me, for all I want is heaven, but God asks me to wait and spend more time with his creation first.

I cannot argue with that.  So that is what I will do.

But how can I live in today when I long for the past?  How can I make new friends when all I want are my old ones?  How can I help save others from a world I can’t admit I’m in?

Why did you make me this way God?  To find comfort in asking questions and not needing the answers.  Is that what faith is?  I don’t need the answers Lord, I just need to know you are listening.

I miss you.  I miss the eyes I’ve never seen.  You comfort me more than my memories and my Teddy Bear from Tenielle.  I want to hold you instead as I fall asleep.  Be with me tonight sweet Jesus, and take me to be with you.  I want to awake in heaven, but if I’m here tomorrow, I will laugh and play in your love.

Heaven feels closer tonight.

How perfect your grace is.

October 21, 1998 – Wednesday – 9:00 a.m.

Much has happened since my last entry.  Tammie and Jose’s party was the most amazing event.  Justin came, all the girls had a burping contest, and I fell more in love with this whole world.  God has given me a heart of compassion for these people.  Each day, I find myself longing more and more for them.

Sunday’s church service was fantastic as well.  There was another party for Tammie and Jose that night.  My small group meeting is on Mondays at Connie and Christian’s, and on Tuesday nights I now have a men’s meeting at church.  I went last night and it was awesome.  No matter where I go, I find myself surrounded by good people.

I finished my “Eyebrows” script yesterday, but there are a few changes I need to make before I submit my first draft.

I’ve been emailing Angela and Dawn from my Africa trip.  Julie also sent me a letter.  I also found a new email buddy in a Canadian who went to Eastern Europe with Teen Mania.  Her name is Anna.  MovieMark and I have begun emailing each other again.

Time is moving forward.  The air is getting cooler, but the leaves are not changing.  I bought a plane ticket Monday to go down to Pensacola for Christmas.  I’ve never spent a Christmas in Florida before, and I’ve surely never spent one so close to Emily.  I will stay there until the Brownsville Revival starts back up at the beginning of 1999, then I will fly back.  I depart here on Christmas Eve.

November brings Tracey and Vince.  I used to think about going to visit my old home in the mountains, but to miss one tiny thing that happens here frightens me.

Thank you God for my homes!