January 18, 1998 – Sunday – 10:30 a.m.

My brother turned 23 yesterday.  Only seven months until I’m 22.

It seems all I think about these days is Sarah, but most of my thoughts are thankful praises to God for teaching me about his love.  I’m happy about it all, I just miss her near me.  But even when we pretended we were together, she wasn’t near me.

The first person I talked to about the whole thing was Abigail of all people.  Emily came up to me and hugged me yesterday, I guess the word has spread.  And last night, I spent nearly two hours with Lindy and told her the whole story.  She was so sweet to me, we were just really good friends to each other last night.

I’m on duty, so that’s why I’m not in church at the moment.

Oh, and guess what?!  Vince and Laura are back together.

Three months, three weeks, and counting.

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January 12, 1998 – Monday – 1:00 p.m.

It has begun.  My final semester.  All of my close friends are back now, except for Curtis, Abigail, and Ann-Marie.

Charlie and Kate and I went to see Good Will Hunting.  It was amazing, but man I think it had more bad language than any movie I’d ever seen.  Yuck!

Church was nice on Sunday.  Crystal has decided to not go back to school in Asheville.  She is going to stay home and work.

Saturday night I called Sarah from Dan’s room and we had a nice conversation.  We just caught each other up on our week and all that has happened.

During a meeting on Sunday night, I met all the new freshmen for the semester.  Sarah came in around that time and it was so good to see her.  She gave me a letter, a beautiful, beautiful letter.

I think perhaps you, the reader, should read it:

Dear Jacob,

Hi. I want to share some things with you. Let’s start with the fact that I am really really happy right now. You know how different times in life have different feelings? Well, for now, I am happy and I feel like I am waiting. God has brought me here, but am I making a difference while I wait? I’m just trying to live from the Him that I feel burning inside me.

I’ve never been good at getting my feelings across in words or on paper; if I could I suppose I’d be striving to be a lawyer or an author, but God wants me to do something. I know this because he saved me so many times; in this we are alike. You feel your wings itch inside and I feel something as well.  I want to rejoice in my life and how it leads me to live. I can see your wings Jacob, I know it’s true! I think I have chosen the wolf as my animal because they see and hear everything. This is the gift that God has given me that both delights and scares me. I see and know things that others can’t and what many overlook. These are pretty deep thoughts, thoughts that I share with no one because I’m afraid they won’t get it.

I am a sinner. We all sin, that is the part of our legacy as humans. I wish it weren’t so, but even the best of us do.  Most of the time we do it without even thinking about it.  I know that some of the things I do are not what you would call good, but they are part of who I am, a part of my past, a part of my life. I dedicated my life to God long ago and I gave him all of me, even my weakness, along with my joy, fears, love, pain, and stress. My life is his. I learn everyday. I’m trying.

Part of what I’m trying to explain is that… well, I love you and I don’t want to scare you away from me. For the next few months I need to soak as much of you up as I can, so that no matter what happens you will make me a better person just by being you. You understand don’t you? I love you. As I said, I wasn’t planning on falling in love with you, but this unexpected love for you excites and scares me. Except for my family and the few friends I have at home, all of my other relationships with people seem to turn sour. Please don’t let me scare you away. I don’t know what will happen, but I do know that we must learn from each other. I have found true love in your heart. Unfurl your wings and fly away.  

I love you.

Forever.

Sarah

It’s hard to know what to write after reading that.  But God is doing something.  After reading her letter, everything around me became more beautiful.  As I walked across campus today and had great moments with Vince, Justin, Josh, Sherlive, everyone; I realized that all of us were on the Titanic, Sarah too.  There is an iceberg ahead and it’s sole purpose is to separate us from each other.

But although the thought made me want to cry, I became full of so much joy because I know God has given me Sarah for this short while to help bring me beyond the iceberg.

I can survive this storm if she is with me.  I told her as much when we had a few moments alone last night.

After saying goodnight, I went to see Vince.  He read to me a long poetic story he wrote after he saw Titanic.  It dealt with Laura.  Man, one movie is ripping all of us open.  He saw it over Christmas with his family and he said he couldn’t believe how his mom and stepfather reacted; they only talked about the special effects! But Vince said he was dying inside and wished I was there so he wouldn’t feel so alone.  He didn’t want to be alone last night, so he came over and slept on the floor here in my apartment.  He got up in the middle of the night and threw up in my bathroom.  He said it was over Laura.

It’s good to have Vince here to talk to.

This morning we went down to the Jehovah Petra, the cross we built on a huge bolder in the middle of the river, but the storm and flooding that happened over the break must have washed it away.  Our place to pray and worship was no where to be found.

Oh, these days; my mind seems to be overflowing.  Of all those things, number one is my Lord, number two is Sarah, number three are these wonderful friends.

It’s so hard to see Sarah when other people are around. I want so badly just to hold her and talk with her about things I barely tell myself.  It’s difficult to see her everyday because I love her so much.  I don’t know how to be a couple with her, I just know how to love her and give her my all.

Every day is an amazing new day.  Every new day is the best day ever.  Are these the best days of my life?  Am I living them now?  God is so true and alive and real.

I love others.

And that is the greatest of all gifts.

December 7, 1997 – Sunday – 11:00 a.m.

I am on duty, so I couldn’t go to church this morning.  I slept in on this morning and basically just abided in the Lord’s presence and thought about Him and my life.

My how things have changed.

Over the past five years my thoughts have changed from Veronica to Ryan to Christi to Jenna to Tenielle to Jeni to Christi to Syndi to Laura to Abigail to Jessica to Sherlive to Abigail and now to Sarah.

I called Marcus yesterday.  We had a great talk and I told him about Sarah.  He was amazed.

Sarah and I were at the basketball game together yesterday.  We talked about some pretty deep stuff last night.  She has so many stories inside her.  Some sad, some happy, some romantic, some hilarious.  And she is slowly telling all of them to me.

Our relationship is not a “boyfriend/girlfriend” relationship.  It is a “God has allowed us to share our existence together for a short while” relationship.

I am happy and very content.

I don’t see the other girls as much these days.  But like I said, “things change.”

Dan, Allen, Vince, Curtis, and Justin are the greatest guys in the world.  I’m living a wonderful life, and I’m living it for God.  Thank you for my salvation Lord!  Thank you for my life in you!  You are all that matters.

September 15, 1997 – Monday – 12:10 a.m.

An interesting Sunday evening.  I went over to Tate Hall after church to try and shoot my T.A.G. target.  I stopped to visit Sarah, who came to church this morning, but while I was in her room Lesley came in and shot me.  Oh well, I’m out of this year’s game.

Sarah and I had an amazing talk.  She has such a big heart.  We talked for a while and she told me her story.  She said that God has given me a gift and that people feel comfortable, safe, and loved around me.  She said she felt so good after talking to me.

We talked for nearly an hour and a half.

I believe Vince and Laura have finally called it quits.  The two of them sure have gone through it.

I know I say this a lot, but September is already half over.

September 4, 1997 – Thursday – 10:00 a.m.

It’s been a year now since that wonderful moment when I rode in Sharon’s truck with Hannah asleep in my lap.  Vince and Laura were beginning a relationship that is nearly ruined now.

Fall auditions are over and I got the lead role in The Misanthrope.  Pretty exciting I guess.  Thanks God!

The Misanthrope may be the last show I do here at Lees-McRae.  I’m directing a one-act next semester and I’m not sure if I’ll have the time to be in the next show in the spring, but we’ll see.

While here, I’ve played a singing knight in Once Upon A Mattress, a nervous messenger in Antigone, a gay orderly in Bearclaw, a grumpy old man in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and a lovesick speech therapist in Children of a Lesser God.

The only experience I had prior to Lees-McRae was church drama.  It’s safe to say that college has taught me much.

August 27, 1997 – Wednesday – 2:00 p.m.

I finally bought my new Book of Days, but it’s kinda flimsy.  I hope it doesn’t fall apart on me.

Classes started today!

Things are good.  I was duty Monday night and I already wrote up some people for alcohol.  Sherlive and I rode to the parkway last night and did some star gazing.  We had fun.  We acted like kids and played little games, like dodging the car headlight beams.

This morning Vince and I ate breakfast with Amber and Monica, plus two new transfer students named Amanda and Shay.  Vince is amazed at me for some reason.  He calls me at the J-Dog because of how easily I get along with so many different beautiful girls.

He and Laura are having problems again.

I got a letter from Jeanine today.  She told me that she misses us all and she believes she is in love with Allen.  I think I’ll call her tonight.

Jessica is back.  She is overwhelmed with school work and her new RA job.  It’s great to have her back!

I’m excited about this new year, about the new Christians, and the new soon-to-be Christians.

I give my senior year to you God!

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?