July 3, 1998 – Friday – 4:03 p.m.

Matt and I went to the birthday party with David yesterday.  The girl’s name is Christina and she is turning 34.  Everyone there was what I would call a “spirit-filled revivalist” and we spent five hours praying for each other and in worship.  My body was shaking most of the night.  I was told I have a gift of prophetic intersession and I had a word from the Lord for two people that night.  I was prayed over about four different times and God told me that me being at Regent was not a mistake and it was just the beginning.  Those who prayed for me had fire in their hands, I could feel it.

God moved so much last night.  I made so many new friends and they’re so much older than me.  I’m looking forward to learning so much from them.

What a different world from Lees-McRae, where I was the only charismatic Christian who spoke in tongues until Abigail and Ann-Marie showed up.  But we never got together and prayed for each other like the group last night did.

I talked to my mom last night and she said God was rewarding me to staying faithful to his spirit during my time at Lees-McRae.  Most Christian families I spent time with during my time at Lees-McRae weren’t really “spirit-filled revivalists,” but they sure knew how to love each other and love me in a very practical way.  Perhaps God is showing me the best of both worlds to make me a complete person.

I’m amazed at how he cares for and provides for me.

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June 30, 1998 – Tuesday – 10:39 p.m.

I wrote a bit this morning, and then I left for the beach to go ahead and get the tourist in me out of my system.  It worked.  I feel like a resident now.

I bought a beach towel and everything and tried to play the part, but it just wasn’t my thing to do.  I took a walk.  The waves were beautiful, but I couldn’t really see them due to all the people being in the way.  I couldn’t really see the sand either since that too was covered in people.  Folks were just putting themselves in a baking oven; I couldn’t believe.  I saw white folks today who were darker than Marcus.  I walked to the end of the boardwalk and had a perfect glass of lemonade, but then I got out of there as fast as I could.

I cooked hamburgers and fries this evening.  Matt and I watched Citizen Kane, and then I went for a walk.  I took a new sidewalk that ended up leading to the far side of campus.  I walked through the campus by the CBN Headquarters.  There was so many giant satellite dishes, I just stood in amazement.  Then I found another trail that wound through some trees and ended up behind the library, which I had never been to before.  There was a sculpture of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, it was so beautiful.

I enjoy walking.

Now that I actually have a car, I do drive it, but there is just something about walking.  It feels like the land is yours when you take the time to walk over every inch of it.

Banner Elk and Lees-McRae felt like mine, but they belong to others now.

This place will be mine very soon.

June 13, 1998 – Saturday – 11:07 a.m.

Things aren’t good.  I don’t feel happy.  I came to visit this place and it’s people.  They tell me they love me, but in reality my time here is over.  I am a “has been.”  This place is different now, for it seems Allen and Vince drink way too often, and even once Sarah returned to this land I felt a distance from her that I felt during the semester.

We talked a little last night, and I don’t think I’ll see her much this weekend.  This land is still new to her, she wants to visit with her friends who have stayed up here for Summer Theater, and I don’t want to compete for her time or attention.

I’m pretty miserable, for I no longer have my own room or place to go.  Lindy wants to stay up here longer and doesn’t want to take me back home now.  I’m not sure if Sarah or Jessi do either.  I feel like a burden, like extra baggage.

I’m staying over at Charlie’s.  The guys know I’m here, but they already made plans for the weekend and aren’t changing them.

I simply shouldn’t have come.

May 10, 1998 was a wonderful ending.  Now I fear this weekend will be all I see when I remember this place.  If this is how it will be from here on out, I don’t want to visit this place again.

I’d rather it live in on my memory…in my dreams.

June 3, 1998 – Wednesday – 10:00 p.m.

I just got back from church.  You know, I’m really beginning to miss Lees-McRae.  It can never again be like it was.  Vince, Dan, Allen, Curtis, Charlie, Justin, Josh, etc.; I don’t think I’ve ever had better friends.  Lindy, Tracey, Jeni, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Jessica, Ashley, Ellen, Jessi, Sherlive; I don’t think I’ve ever known sweeter girls.

Except for Sarah, of course.

And I know the God who designed their souls, who drew out the patterns in their eyes, who knew those very eyes would one day shoot daggers through my own soul.

A week from tomorrow I will be leaving to visit them all again with Lindy.

I feel Sarah has changed since she has returned home and taken her job at YMCA.  She seems more mature.  I like it.  I think about her constantly.  I want her forever; to grow old with her.  To simply experience everything by her side.

I will soon go a long time without seeing her, but I will never go a long time without loving her.

I’ve been thinking and I believe that my life has stages.  God plans on using me in different places, different areas, and in each area, in each place, he just wants to watch me interact with and love the other people he has made.  He wants me to experience his creation.  He made me to show me off, and he made others to show them off.

But each stage will eventually come to an end, and the love between us will be all that will live on.

Nothing truly dies.

The Emmanuel Players skit group was a time.

Chatham Central High School was a time.

Lees-McRae College was a time.

Heaton Christian Church was a time.

South Africa will be a time.

Regent University will be a time.

And possibly, some day, I will satisfy these desires in me to make movies, to make theater, to write, and I will move on to what’s next.

It’s funny though, because through all of these stages, I feel they came to a peak when God showed me Sarah.  Or perhaps it feels that way because I’m currently in this moment.  Perhaps she is just here to aid in the transition to the next stage.

If I never see Sarah again after South Africa, all will still be well for the rest of my life, for I know I at least had seven great months by her side.

And even an hour is way more than I deserve.

May 27, 1998 – Wednesday – 11:30 a.m.

I received a letter from Emily yesterday.  It was very sad.  Her break up with Brandon has destroyed her.  She has been with him for as long as she has known me.  I talked with her over the phone for an hour and a half.  She cried the entire time.

She is such a beautiful girl with a very tender heart.  She doesn’t like the world and refuses to let her harden her.

I talked to Sarah yesterday too, and she isn’t enjoying her job.  She was down as well.

I’ve been praying for both of them.

I can’t believe this month is over.

Lees-McRae is over.

I feel my life drastically changing under my own feet.  What lies behind me was unbelievable, but I still feel there is more for me.

Oh God, you are doing this…not me.

I miss Sarah.  I miss the guys.  I miss me when I’m with them.

May 17, 1998 – Sunday – 6:00 p.m.

A very wonderful weekend.  I spent Friday with Sarah and friends.  We had a picnic in Reynolds Gardens.  It was so beautiful!  I swung on a swing so high that I kept hitting my head on tree branch.  Sarah and KT showed me the Stevens Center, a beautiful theater in downtown Winston-Salem where she ushered.

We hung out with her friend Madelene for a while, then Sarah went to train for her summer job at the YMCA.  I ate dinner with KT and her family, took a nap, then picked Sarah up and went to her father’s house to watch Conspiracy Theory.  I spent the night at KT’s house, ate breakfast there, then drove to Banner Elk where I met up with Allen.  We drove up Beech Mountain to the house where the girls were staying.  Lindy, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Tracey, and Abigail’s parents were there.

Allen stayed up there the whole week and I later found out through Lindy that they would stay up late every night and make out together.  Wow!  Lindy feels great about it, but Allen doesn’t.

It was nice to see everyone.  We went to Jeni’s wedding.  She was absolutely beautiful.  I was very thankful that our relationship ended when it did, that we never went too far physically, and that I wasn’t the one marrying her.  I hugged her and said congratulations.  Then, surprisingly, she kissed me on my mouth.  It was just a little tap, but it was a nice moment, a nice goodbye, and I greatly enjoyed seeing her getting married.

Thank you God!

I drove to Winston-Salem that night and met up with Sarah at Madelene’s house.  Sarah and I went for a late night walk on those city streets.  The sky was purple, and it felt more like summer than any moment thus far; a very peaceful walk.

This past week I have been working on a book for Sarah that is basically just a collection of poems for her.  I let her read the thirteen poems I’ve written for her so far.  She has been doing a similar thing for me.  I love her so much.  It scares me, because I know I would do anything for her.

I came back that night, slept, then went to church this morning.  Cheryl was there.  She seems to be doing really well.  We talked a little and plan on doing something later.

And I just now returned from visiting Wynne, a guy a graduated high school with.  He caught me up on how all the old high school folks were doing.  Apparently, many are totally messed up.  One guy died, others are already divorced, but a few did finish college on time just like me.

It’s time to go to church again.

May 14, 1998 – Thursday – 7:00 p.m.

There are “final episode of Seinfeld” parties happening all over the country tonight, but I won’t be at one.  I never watched the show.  College was too much fun to spend it watching TV.

But I will talk to Sarah instead, for she is supposed to call tonight.  And I will leave tomorrow to go and see her in Winston-Salem.  After spending the day with Sarah, I will drive on to Banner Elk to attend Jeni’s wedding.

Weird, Jeni was the first girl I kissed and now I’m attending her wedding.  I remember when Tracey said our friendship after our breakup was better than most people’s marriages.  Jeni’s a good friend, and I’m happy she found someone.