July 25, 1997 – Friday – 1:00 p.m.

Another student orientation is today.  So many wonderful new freshmen.  So many eyes.  So many smiles.  So many stories.  So many girls.

And I have only one year with them.  Not even that really.  Really only nine months.

I will leave and they will enjoy life on my playground.

They will know my name and my face, for I will walk through their hallways of homes as I make my RD rounds.  Oh how I long to make each one happy, to make sure each one knows Christ as his or her savior and friend.  I want to tell each nervous parent that I will take care of their son or daughter.  I want to love each and every one of them.

Last night Jeanine and I went for a walk through the cool mountain night.  We get along well.

Dan has gone away for the weekend.  Not to my surprise, Vince and Laura have gotten back together.  My mom and Nate may come up on Sunday.

A month from today, all of these new stories and eyes will be here at the same time.

This should be a fun year; ’97-’98.  My senior year in college.

I’m nearly 21 years old.

Where suddenly have I gone?

July 8, 1997 – Tuesday – 10:30 p.m.

Okay.  So, Kate has been taking guitar lessons from Paul, a 23-year-old married guitar player at church.  They’ve become good friends and Kate supposedly had a crush on him.  Charlie confronted the issue and that seems to be the main reason they broke up.  His wife Sharon doesn’t know, and I’m sure nothing actually happened between Kate and Paul, but it doesn’t look good.  Charlie is really hurting, hates Paul, loves Kate, and has even confessed to suicidal thoughts.  He’s even thought of killing Paul.  The house he was renting sold, so he’s living with a family who has a huge collection of shotguns in their living room and Charlie just sits there staring at those guns.

Things aren’t good.  But the Lord reigns supreme.  Charlie is just heart broken.

To my surprise, Sherry has enrolled back in school for the summer.  I haven’t seen her since December.  She asked me out to a movie some night this week.

Jeni and I had another talk.  She said she always felt responsible for how close we had gotten physically when we were a couple since she unbuttoned her own shirt while kissing me.  I told her it was both of us.  She also bought me flowers as a way of saying “thank you” for letting her stay with me this past week.

Abigail came up again.  Her and the girls have gone up to Cincinnati for a while.

I discovered online that the Rebecca St. James concert is sold out for this Sunday.  I didn’t even know they sold tickets in advance.  That’s bad news, but I think we’ll still make it to Deep Creek this weekend.

All seems to be well except for Charlie.  And it seems Vince and Laura got things worked out, so he says, so they are still together.

And here I am, alone, writing about my friends.  I wonder if any of them are writing about me.

July 7, 1997 – Monday – 1:25 a.m.

Wow, what a recent couple of days.

Thursday evening I hung out with Lindy, Ann-Marie, Tracey, and Jeni at the Mill Pond.  Jeni and I found sticks and pretended they were swords.  Then we started wrestling.  I had a good time, and right now I can’t remember what I did later that night.

Friday, the fourth of July, came and for the first half of the day I waited around for Vince, so he and I and Allen could do something.  But he went out to eat with Laura and never came back.  So, I just left with Tracey and Jeni.  We went to the Tweetsie Railroad parking lot just to see what was going on, then we went to The Farm House to see Derek and Dawn, and then we ended up at the dollar theater and watched Sling Blade.  Wow, a great film!

Saturday morning began with me trying to get a five foot snake out of one of my residents’ bed.  That is a story in and of itself, but we finally got it out.

Also, Vince confronted Laura about their physical issues.  She ran away from him on Saturday.  Then she returned and brought him a box full of everything he ever gave her.  Charlie came over and Vince, Allen, Charlie and myself had a big talk about relationships.  Vince and Laura got things worked out, but Charlie and Kate…oh boy!

After we talked for a while on Saturday, we went to Johnson City, TN and walked around the mall.  We ate pizza, saw Men in Black, a completely stupid movie, and Charlie stopped to look at engagement rings.  It was weird.  They’ve broken up, but he’s looking at engagement rings.  That stage of my life seems so far away from me right now.

Charlie is a mess, but Kate seems to love her newly found freedom away from him.

Sunday (today) was Homecoming Sunday.  Our new pastor was there.  His name is Brent.  Jim was also there.  There was a lot of food, so I ate a good lunch.

A girl, a visitor, caught my eye and we smiled at each other; so delightful when a new face comes along.

A lot of guys from the church made plans to play tennis that afternoon, and we did, but then Charlie came by with a hitchhiker and asked me to go with the two of them to Lenoir.

There is a very detailed story that I must explain, but I’ll do that in the morning hopefully.

Dan is back.  He looks like Jesus with his long hair and beard.  We’ve had so much fun already.  He’s staying with me.

More to tell, but I’m so sleepy.

July 3, 1997 – Thursday – 11:15 a.m.

There was an amazing thunderstorm last night.  It was so loud and very bright.

So, the thing with Vince and Laura is that they just got too close physically.  He would be rubbing her stomach and she would just push is hand further down.  This was crazy for me to hear.  I thought Laura was the most innocent and wonderful girl alive.  But look at me, Jeni and I got way too close as well.  Vince said they never went all the way, we all make mistakes.  Vince made Laura his God; he put her before the Lord.  And that always ends badly.

Last night was a bit of a confession time between Vince, Allen and I.  We confessed our sins to each other and we sharpened each other.  I was not alone and I never will be.  I may feel it sometimes, but I am never truly alone.  Those guys mean the world to me.

We prayed together last night.  We thanked God for his forgiveness and we also prayed for our future wives.  We prayed that God would keep them safe and teach each of us everything we need before we meet.

I’m so happy and excited!

God’s love is unbelievable!  A personal relationship with the creator of the universe is the only way to go through life.  It’s the only answer.  It our only hope!

July 2, 1997 – Wednesday – 11:30 p.m.

The box office was relaxing yesterday afternoon.  Lindy and I sure know how to laugh together. After work, Jeni, Ann-Marie, and I went to the Emporium for dinner and to see My Best Friend’s Wedding.  I laughed so hard.

But it also me a lesson.  Earlier in the day, Jeni and I talked a little about what had happened between us a few days earlier, you know, all the late night kissing.  People think we would be a good couple.  I asked Jeni what she thought when she heard people say that.  She said she felt happy and proud.

But tonight, the movie helped me realize that Jeni is just a wonderful friend that I once had a deeper relationship with.  I do not love her other than as my sister in Christ.  And I do not want to be with her.

Thanks for forgiving me for my mistakes God.

This evening was wonderful.  Vince and I finally sat down and talked.  And I mean TALKED.  I can’t go into detail now, because I’m so excited.  But my friend is back.  I am back.  Allen is back.  Dan will be here Sunday.  We will strengthen each other.

Some things have happened with Vince and Laura.  Picture the way Jeni and I used to be so physical two and a half years ago and that is Vince and Laura today.  He knows its wrong, but there are other things with her personality that he doesn’t like and he wants to break up with her.  I will be praying for them.

But right now, I am so amazed by God’s grace, love, and forgiveness.  He is so great!

June 30, 1997 – Monday – 12:20 p.m.

The last day of June!

1997 will be half over in 12 hours.

I went running this morning.  Some days are great and I know everything.  Others are confusing and I know nothing.  Some days I live in the spirit.  Other days I live in the flesh.  But I will be free.  I am already.

Allen turned 21 yesterday.  I never see Vince anymore.  He is always with that girl who thinks she is so holy she won’t allow people to pass gas around her.  It’s nice knowing no girl will ever take Jesus away from me.

I just wish there was a girl here I could really talk to; a girl who would just relax.  If one ever does come, I will not throw my guy friends to the side.  A month and a half until I’m 21.  I’m growing older.  I don’t mind, I just pray I never lose the child inside me.

Oh God…take me home!

June 25, 1997 – Wednesday – 11:00 p.m.

I rode to church with Vince and Laura tonight, but we stopped to get some Chinese food beforehand.  It did not sit well with my stomach and I had bad gas throughout the whole service.  I did my best to control it, but when we all got back in Vince’s car I let loose a “Silent but deadly.”  Allen, being Allen, immediately smelled it and decided to announce it to the whole world.  Laura instantly shouted, “Guys, I will have Vince stop this car and I’ll walk back to church and call my mom and have her take me home.  If you want to do that while you’re by yourselves, that’s fine, but you should never do that in the presence of a lady!  It’s rude and I won’t put up with it!!”

Wow.  I felt embarrassed for her.  Is she so uptight that she can’t handle a little toot; an act of nature?

I was thankful that I wasn’t like that and I was so thankful that Laura wasn’t my girl.