February 13, 1999 – Saturday – 10:43 p.m.

I began writing in these books nearly six years ago for a reason of which I am not really sure.  I only remember beginning them.  When I search myself for the most honest answer, all I can say is that I did it for myself.  Not for the person I was then, but for the person I knew I would become after reading about the time and place which formed me….and to read about it in my own hand.

And thus far, it has all brought me to this day, this hour, this minute.

I have just returned from a True Love Waits rally in Williamsburg, VA, a town I’ve spent many hours in over the years, for it is where we would go when I visited my dad’s side of the family in my earlier days.  My brother Kevin was there.  He’s 24 and looks nothing like it.  He handed me Christmas presents from people I didn’t see since I went chasing after my long lost pen pal, my family of old, and the revival everyone’s been talking about.

I drove one of two Parkway Temple vans to our destination and back tonight.  I used to be one of the kids always riding in the van, but now I’m the one driving it.

Our team performed Masks tonight.  This short vignette is very dear to my heart and has been in existence for nearly as long as these journals.  And I see now what these writings have done for me.  They help me examine my thoughts and feelings and help me remove all the false masks that try to cling to me each day.

There is no doubt that these entries have tremendously aided in forming who I am today.

For today, I am a free man.

And yesterday, on the 12th day of the 2nd month of 1999, I think I met her.

I left youth group a little early last night to attend the swing dance at Regent University.  During one dance where all the girls lined up on one side and the guys on the other, I walked towards a girl and met her in the middle.  There, we found ourselves; my arm around her back, our hands in each other’s, her hand on my shoulder.

We moved to the music.

“What’s your name?”

“Amy, yours?”

“Jacob.  Nice to meet you.”

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February 8, 1999 – Monday – 12:47 a.m.

How quickly the weekends come and go.  I spent Friday at Jorge’s apartment on a film shoot.  I played a secret agent sort of character.  I met the most beautiful 25-year-old woman in the world.  She had a bit part, and I can’t recall her name, but she has a 7-year-old little boy named Christian.  She got married when she was 17 and it didn’t work out.  We got to talk in between shot set ups.  It was nice.

I washed my clothes on Saturday and worked on a film shoot until 3:00 a.m.  At church on Sunday, I tried to talk to Christin’s mom about how Christin is doing.  She just hasn’t been herself recently and even her grades are suffering.  I didn’t get any answers, so I hope she’s okay.

After church I went with Josh, Jason, Robin, and Michelle to Waffle House and to see Stepmom.

It’s nearly one o’clock on this Monday morning.  I’ve gotten so used to this area, to the layout of this land.  It’s all so familiar to me now.  My mountain memories of Lees-McRae seem almost like a foreign country when compared to these flat suburbs.

It’s been six months since I returned from Africa.

I’m not ready to leave this place yet.  These smiles and eyes are too pretty God.  These souls are too precious and deep.  Help me love them God.  Help me make a difference while I am here, for they are making such a huge difference in me.

February 3, 1999 – Wednesday – 11:50 p.m.

It’s been a hectic past three days, but God has pulled me through.

One funny thing was that on Tuesday night, while doing sit-ups, I noticed the entire upper half of my body was blue.  I later discovered it from from a new blue shirt I wore in the rain.  At church tonight, I showed the kids and told them that I was sleeping walking while naked and got moon-burned.  A few actually believed me.  Funny!

Last night I talked to both Abigail and Lindy over the phone.  They are so precious.  I miss them so.

God has been doing a number on me recently.  This whole film school thing, this whole life I’m supposed to be living in this huge city has gotten too big for me.  But I think God likes it that way.  It makes me trust him.

 

January 31, 1999 – Sunday – 11:38 p.m.

What an amazing weekend!  Friday, after youth group, Kimberly, Sterling, Christin, new friend Tessa, and a few others went to eat at IHOP.  These girls are the joy of my life these days.  I took Kimberly home afterwards.

Saturday, after going to Northwest River Park to measure a pier I found there for a short film I hope to make, I went to Kim’s birthday party, and everyone just had a fantastic time.  There was so much laughter!

Afterwards, some of us went to the movies and saw She’s All That.  It was definitely a movie for 16-year-old girls, but that’s who I surrounded by, so it was fun.  I took Kimberly home then as well.  I sat next to her in church this morning and felt like a helpless high schooler again.  She’s unbelievable, and I wanted so badly to reach over and hold her hand, but I didn’t.  Sometimes it feels like I like every girl I ever meet.

I went over to Sterling’s this afternoon and we played in her room all afternoon.  At the Super Bowl party tonight at church, the teenagers started talking about potential guy/girl relationships, so I walked away and stayed out of it.  Later Rebekah came and talked to me and asked me if I knew how women wanted to be treated.  I shared my answer and her mouth hung open in disbelief.  She said I was spot on.  My feelings then were bittersweet.  Many women tell me I have them all figured out, yet I don’t have anyone to give share my life with.

David and I talked a bit after everyone left.  He is interested in a 20-year old girl at church.  He’s 26.  It should happen.

February is around the corner, so it feels like talk of love and relationships is in the air.

But no matter how much I dream of Kimberly or Christin, these girls are simply too young for me at this stage of life.  They are Winter Dreams.  I will have moved on from here by the time they are of the right age for a serious relationship to truly go anywhere.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t lose sleep thinking about them now.

January 29, 1999 – Friday – 8:12 a.m.

I talked to Dan and Curtis over the phone.  I must make it back to Lees-McRae on May 9th to attend their graduation.  They both seem to be doing well.  Needless to say, I miss them.

Things are good here.  I have many assignments and papers ahead of me, so I’m headed to the library today.

February is almost here.  That only means a little over three months remain the in the semester.

Not long at all.

Then, I’ll only have a year left.

Time is moving faster than it ever has before.

Hmm.

I’ve just been sitting here for a while.  It’s funny how, during some moments, the world makes sense, and, in others, it doesn’t.

Money hardly exists anymore.  It used to be numbers on paper, but now it is only numbers on a screen, numbers on computers, numbers in cyberspace that seem to have no value whatsoever.  We drive around in our cars like robots, and all we are buying with these useless numbers are lies.

When I was in Africa playing underneath the Milky Way, I was away from all the lies.

When I would sit in the treehouse on Hemlock Hill during a midnight snowfall, I was away from it all.

I hope the Lord comes back this year.  I don’t want to live in a world after the year 2000.  I fear things are going to get ugly, and that humans might only become more robotic.

It pains me to know that I’m a part of it all.

January 8, 1999 – Friday – 8:20 a.m.

Tracey just left for home.  She stayed the night, along with Vince and Lindy, who are both still here.  They came in last night.  We visited Justin, who was a little sick, and also went to see Christin.

Oh, how I love my friends!  They are so good and so good to me.

I have to go to work soon, but it has been a while since I’ve written, so I just wanted to jot something down.  On Wednesday we had our first Drama meeting of the year.  To begin, I’m going to lead the kids through a six-week discipleship course.  Everything is wonderful!  Classes start soon!

I love you Jesus!

 

December 31, 1998 – Thursday – 12:30 p.m.

It is the last day of the year.  Happy Birthday Christi!

And it is nearly the last day of the century.

Emily and I never went to a movie on Monday.  She left a message here on Wednesday night saying she had been in Atlanta for the past two days and now she is back in Tallahassee.  I flew down here from Virginia to see her and she goes to Atlanta, yet she writes letters to me saying, “In a perfect world, I could smell the salt of your skin.”

It doesn’t make any sense.  I want our story to be over.

So 1999 will begin soon.  I am going to spend the final night of this year at Brownsville Assembly of God.

Last night mom and I went to visit a local church and we ended up at Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Pace, FL.  There I met the oldest resident of Santa Rosa county.  She is 105 years old.

I often think that because I take the time to write my thoughts down on these blank pages that I’ve figured life out.  But then I look into the eyes of someone born in the 1890s and realize I don’t know anything.  She was all there too.  She had the clearest mind.  Oh God, may I get there some day.

I’ve found myself dreaming of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.  It has happened again.  Another home has come.  I long for it now more than my mountains.

Oh Lord, don’t ever let me go.

I spent the first days of this year in Siler City and Sanford, then months in Banner Elk where I spent time with Sarah who decided to let me go before I would have to let her go.  I played Billy Bibbit on stage, spent a week in Kentucky, a weekend in Tampa, and thousand of moments with the greatest humans on the earth: Vince, Allen, Dan, Curtis, Tracey, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Josh, Ashley, Justin, Jessica, Lindy, Jeni and many more.  Jenny got married.  I graduated.  And I spent a month driving back and forth to Winston-Salem trying to hold onto a girl I knew was fading away.  I raised some money, flew to Africa, and returned to a brand new world of Christin, Sterling, and Kimberly; a world I now greatly miss.

I saw God move in South Africa, but as I grow older, I realize God is moving everywhere.

In addition to my one-act in the early months of the year, I also directed a beautiful Christmas show at Parkway Temple.  Regent allowed me to work on many film projects, and of course there was my job at the bookstore.  I visited Lynchburg, and now I am here in Milton, FL, where I rode with mom to New Orleans and saw the coast line in between.

I am 22-years-old.

The days are not getting any easier.

The days are not getting any longer.

All I can do is grab the hand of Jesus on one side of me, grab the hand of a good friend on the other side, and hope the rock on which we stand will remain.

The first days of 1999 will begin as the last days of 1998 are ending.  I’ll be attending the famous Brownsville Revival.

I fly out on the fourth and will land in the arms of Christin, for she is picking me up from the airport.

If all goes well, I hope to spend most of my days in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake during the final months of the century, for I have a very acute feeling that I won’t be there very long.

Heaven will be nice.

There are no goodbyes there.