May 18, 1999 – Tuesday – 10:36 p.m.

This day brought some good news.  Dayton, the conference youth pastor for the PH church called me and asked me to teach/direct 12 chosen teenagers from Virginia and North Carolina some drama to use for street ministry in downtown Richmond, Virginia, and…wait for it…Los Angeles!

Can you believe that?

The dates couldn’t come at a more perfect time.  I will spend three weeks with them from June until July 12th!  Thank you so much God!

I’m going to California!

Woot!  And I’m also about to go see Episode I of Star Wars at a 12:20 a.m. showing.  I’m going with Tom, another film student.

I think the whole Lees-McRae gang is in Guatemala now.  Paul and Rachel are on their honeymoon.  I’m the only one who has really left as of yet.  I don’t know what God has in store for me, but I’ll just take it one day at a time.

1999 is going so fast.

A century is coming to a close.

I’m nearly 23-years-old.

Thank you God for letting me breathe and live.  Thank you for the simple joy of experiencing your love.

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May 13, 1999 – Thursday – 10:37 p.m.

My first year of graduate school is over.  Summer has arrived.  I have four truly treasured moments from the past year.  Kimberly telling me that I made her feel alive.  My aunt Patty singing the song she wrote about my grandpa.  Vince, Lindy, Tracey, and Justin talking over our random meal of chili, fish sticks, and spaghetti.  Finally, the night at the ice rink with all the teenagers.

Tonight I ate dinner with Gina and Chris at Ruby Tuesdays and then came back to watch Titanic.  I cried…again.  It’s good to know the movie still moves me after eight times.  I spent a little time with the girls over at Nicole’s place as well.  And I told Mary Jo about my weekend at Lees-McRae and how wonderful it was to see Sarah.

I find joy in writing her name.

May 11, 1999 – Tuesday – 1:15 p.m.

My four days in Banner Elk were wonderful.  Friday, after we picked up Kerstin in Johnson City, we ate at Applebees.  There we met our waitress Celina, whom we ended up praying with before we left.  We went hiking that afternoon with Jessica and Curtis’ new girlfriend Megan.  It was so beautiful out there on the back side of Grandfather Mountain.

Megan is so delightful.  We became instant friends just like how everyone became instant friends with Kerstin!

We saw Sunny that night in Boone with Abigail, Dan, Grayson, Josh, his dad, and I think that’s about it.

Sarah had a lead in the show and did so well; she looked absolutely beautiful.  I ran up to her after the show and embraced her so tightly.  I spent time with her on graduation Sunday as well.  Our relationship has been healed.  Love has intervened.  Time has surrounded us.  We are great now!

I took Kerstin back Saturday morning.  It was so lovely to see her outside of Regent.  She so beautiful and so much fun!

On Saturday I hung out with everybody I could.  That night I slept in Lindy’s room.  We just talked and talked until we drifted off to sleep.

Church seemed the same as always at Heaton.  It was great, but no longer for me.  All the kids have grown up.  It was weird being there.

And then graduation came.  What a wondrous day.  Tons of hugs.  Tons of pictures.  Tons of smiles.  I loved seeing Ashley, I forgot how much she makes me laugh.  A perfect day…and I had to drive away from it all at 4:30 p.m.

I don’t think any of us realized what truly took place on that day.  Dan, Vince, Jaime, Tracey, Lindy, Allen, and Curtis graduated.  Justin is transferring.  Abigail, Jessica, Anne-Marie, Ashley, and Josh remain.  What will become of our futures?

As I drove back seven hours toward the east coast, I found comfort in my home here.  Voicemail messages from Kimberly greeted me when I arrived.  David took me out to eat.  I was only gone four days, but I was missed.  Now summer classes have begun.  I have homework to do.

It’s already May 11th

Hmmm.

Must mean I’m having fun.

May 7, 1999 – Friday – 8:02 a.m.

I am now at Sharon’s home in Newland, NC.

Wednesday night was the opening night of the Regent University Film Festival.  The films were actually pretty good, especially The Window, which I bought a copy of.

On Tuesday I took Kerstin to the airport.  She is going to Johnson City, TN, so we decided to meet up while I’m here in the mountains.

I’m going backwards now…on Monday night the Lord really ministered to me at my home group about my relationship with my dad.  Then Wednesday night after the film festival I left for Banner Elk.  I left at one in the morning, drove through the whole night, and arrived at 7:30 in the morning.  I woke everybody up and basically just visited with everyone the whole day.  Everybody is doing great!  I came over to Sharon’s after lunch.  When little Hannah arrived home from school, we just swing danced the whole afternoon together.  Then most of the gang came over here last night and we just hung out the whole time.

It’s so great to be here.  Sharon is the best.  Hannah and Laura are the greatest girls on the planet right now.  This feels more like home than any place I know.  This is where I am from.

Vince and Curtis are on their way over here right now.  They are going with me to pick up Kerstin.  Then tonight we are going to see Sunny at Blue Ridge Community Theater.  Sarah has one of the leads in that show.

Thank you God for these few days here.  I love you.

April 30, 1999 – Friday – 11:46 a.m.

It is another April 30th.  The sixth one I have experienced since I began keeping my Book of Days.  Into the Woods, Sonburst at Carowinds, driving with Laura, hiking with Jessi, and too much time with Sarah.

Far less special moments seem to be happening here at Regent University than they did at Lees-McRae.  Every day seemed special at Lees-McRae.

Only one thing is lasting: change.

I feel so lazy, so boring, so slow, so stupid.  I have no drive, no excitement, no inspiration. I miss the encouragement of friends I knew I would see every day.

I wonder what God is teaching me.

But the days are not stopping.  This isn’t slowing down.  The sun continues to rise and set.  My story is continuing.  And it seems as though God is my only audience.

I find comfort in only one thought: he will never leave me.

Here we go God.  Please take the lead.

April 25, 1999 – Sunday – 11:05 p.m.

It feels much later into that night than it actually is.  Winter has definitely passed.  It is curious how the sun rises and sets and many do not seem to notice.  In eleven days I revisit Lees-McRae again.  It will be a blessing to lay my eyes on that land and its people again.  Thank you for this opportunity Lord.

In one week and one day my first year of graduate school will be no more.  Ice-skating was really wonderful last night.  We were there for about three hours until I took the time to soak in everything around me.  I am surrounded by treasures in these young people.  Each are so beautiful.  And it seems now as if a part of me is forever trapped in that ice rink.  God, for some reason, seems to be keeping me young.  Everyone tells me I look like a high-schooler and I hang around a bunch of high-schoolers.  Why is he doing this?  I know not.  And life should always be as such… not knowing.  What a beautiful thing.

My personal internal passion for cinema and theater and art is growing and expanding.  It feels as though I will die if I cannot do this.  I will starve.  It is how I worship, how I love, how I communicate.  It says in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God will complete the work he has begun in me.  He will finish my story.  He is the author and perfecto of my faith.  Do this sweet thing Jesus.  I give you my broken soul.  You are my life.

I pray you find pleasure in me.

I love you so.

It’s hard to stop writing.  I want nothing but to talk with you forever.

April 18, 1999 – Sunday – 7:09 a.m.

Two weeks and four days remain until I head back to Lees-McRae.  I look forward to walking alone on my own private mountain trails.  I need to think again with a clear mind.  The mountain air always does me good.

I called Allen yesterday morning.  Our conversation turned a bit serious when he told me that things went poorly with three of my dear friends as he attempted to do the boyfriend-girlfriend thing.  He said he feels terrible.  He crossed the line with each of them and they mean so much to me.  It hurt to hear it, but I can do nothing but love them and forgive them.  The conversation did make me very thankful to be there.  I’m surrounded by so much innocence and purity.  I would rather deal with loneliness than continually deal with the temptation I had to deal with during my days with Sarah.  God continues to heal me of all those past hurts and pains.  I want to me the real true me.

There really aren’t any girls here that seem to have my name on them.  My thoughts often dwell on Mary Jo, Kimberly, and even Kerstin, but I honestly don’t think they are for me.  I want to hold out for true love, and not just settle for a pretty girl I think I can live with.  Mary Jo has impressed me the most with her heart, but I’m afraid our future paths in life are completely different.

For my most immediate future, I want to live my life in airports.  I seem to find peace in them.  Perhaps because I already live each day watching others as I wait to fly away.

There was a funny moment that happened at IHOP the other night when I was there with the youth group.  I ordered pancakes and thought the thing in front of me on the table was syrup, but no…it was coffee.  And it came out fast.  I poured coffee all over my pancakes, myself, the table, those sitting next to me.  Marion laughed for the next ten minutes.  It was actually fantastic to be so the source of so much joy and laughter.

There are days when I like to be alone

To be still and silent

To listen

My stomach growls, my VCR rewinds

My memory does them both

A plane flies overhead

And I hear this pen move across this paper

 

Then there are days when I must listen to music

To hear the words of others as they dream

And to dream with them

I agree with Cindy Morgan, relate with Derek Webb

And adore Rebecca

But still there are times when my breath

Is the only music I need

 

And in this silent, I’ve come to ponder love

Is it terrible to love the wrong woman?

Is that such a waste of time?

If so, I wasted seven months

And can’t afford to spend this heart on the wrong one once again

The effort would be a tragedy

A ticking clock, never knowing the time