December 3, 1997 – Wednesday – 11:00 a.m.

I stand in awe of you God.

I went for a walk yesterday.  I went to the treehouse, but the ladder was broken and I couldn’t get up to the top.  So, I continued to walk towards Wildcat Lake.  I stopped and talked with an elderly gentleman.  He told me some stories from his past and that brought everything into perspective.  I realize now that I don’t know anything at all.

When I arrived at Wildcat Lake, I discovered the swings had been taken down for the winter.  The lake was completely still, a perfect mirror, as was my soul.

Life is short.

Life is long.

Things come and go.

I wish I didn’t know these truths.

Sarah came over last night.  We are growing.  People call my room looking for her now.  She holds my hand in front of others now.  We talk.  We sit in silence.  I touch her soft face and run my fingers across her lips.  She is beautiful to me.  She tells me the funniest, most beautiful stories.  She is full of love.

When I’m with her, I forget the past, I forget the future, I forget the fact that I’m leaving after a single semester, and all I see is her, right in front of me.  She freezes time for me.

I think our friends have started talking about us.  Who knows what is being said.  But it matters not.  I don’t know what is going on between us, save for this one fact: when she is near, time grows in quality.

She gave me a poem.  She didn’t write it.  It was something she found in a book, but she said it described us perfectly:

“A friend.

What is a friend?  I’ll tell you.

It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.

Your soul can go naked with him.

He seems to ask you to put on nothing, only be what you really are.

When you are with him, you do not have to be on your guard.

You can say what you think, so long as it is genuinely you.

He understands those contradictions in your nature that cause others to misjudge you.

With him you breathe freely, you can avow your little vanities and envies and absurdities, and in opening up to him they are dissolved on a white ocean of his loyalty.

He understands.  You can weep with him, laugh with him, pray with him, and through and underneath it all, he sees, knows, and loves you.

A friend, I repeat, is one with whom you dare to be yourself.”

Author Unknown

She is a gift from God.

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November 4, 1997 – Tuesday – 1:00 p.m.

After rehearsal last night, I had a message from Ann-Marie, so I called her back.  “Abigail and I want to come over and talk!” she said.

And they did.  The three of us just laid in my bed and Ann-Marie talked about the huge crush she has on Vince and Abigail said similar little things while I touched her face and hair.

Ann-Marie has low self-esteem.  It must be hard being a girl.

And Abigail said she was still in love with K.C.  And yet, I didn’t care.  I don’t need Abigail to like me, I just need to know that I comfort her.  Yes, I rub the fingers of my heart along her face and through her hair and yes, she may be taking advantage of my male touch, but none of that matters to me.  It’s simply how I tell her things that I can’t find the words for.  It’s how I let her know what she means to me.  And I know she isn’t getting the message; I know she doesn’t know that I’ve memorized the curves of her ears to the point that I can draw them in my sleep, but it doesn’t matter.

All that matters is that I know.

I’m in the middle.  I don’t know what I am to people and that’s probably a good thing.

I got Rebecca St. James new devotional today.  I read a bit of it.  Life is wonderful knowing that amazing woman lives in the next state over.

Life is wonderful knowing that it will change very soon.

And life is wonderful knowing Abigail and I share special moments together.  She lays near me and I simply touch her.  My mind is on her, and her mind is on K.C., but if I help soothe any pain, or help her let go of any stress, then I am happy.

Perhaps the Lord is using Abigail to teach me about his love.  He loves so many that do not love him back.

Hmmm.

I love you God.

Thank you for touching my face.

October 24, 1997 – Friday – 3:10 p.m.

God is so good to me and I don’t know why.  I am a finalist in the North Carolina Theater Conference, so I have to go to Asheville on November 7th.  But other things are going nicely as well.  She smiles at me more.  We talk about little things.  I’ve stopped trying to keep myself from dreaming about her.  I just let my mind wander.

Little things happen and though I’m sure half of it is just my imagination, God has given me a peace.

Today, Doc had me talk to a guy named Marty over the phone.  He graduated from Regent University with a film degree.  He said that a person can easily go very far, very fast in the film industry, but only if they are single.  Doc told me the same thing.  There are some who accomplish it with a family, but they are rare.

Rare.

I’ve been described that way before.

“Masks” is coming along beautifully.  Doc came and watched it last night.  She was amazed at how I directed and how people listened to and respected me.  She said that my art was good.

God is taking such good care of me.  I don’t deserve his love, yet he gives it so freely.

You know, I think I’ve forgotten how to be a boyfriend.  I haven’t been someone’s boyfriend for so long.  If something were to happen, if someone were to come along, I don’t think I’d know what to do.

Oh God, I give everything to you.  My desire to marry and have family, my desire to work in film and theater, these two things that the wise say can never work together, I give them to you.  Show me the way.  Teach me how to love and care.  I wait upon you.

October 22, 1997 – Wednesday – 7:40 p.m.

You know what I want?  You know what I wish for?  I want to come home to a beautiful woman, and we will embrace each other after a long day’s work.

I’m sure those days will come, but it’s obvious to me that I’ll have to wait quite a while until that daily comfort arrives.

It is nearing the end of October.  It’s very dark outside now.  The stars are visible, but I am not.  I am not really busy, but it feels that way.  “Masks” opens in a week and a day.  The Misanthrope rehearsals are somewhat difficult.  I miss Mark, my director for Children of a Lesser God.  He knew what he was doing, and I always felt confident in myself as an actor under him.  I don’t feel that way now.

The story of my youth.  Is it over?  Was it interesting?  Did I understand?  Was I me?  Was I beautiful?  Did I love?  Did others love me?

I guess all that matters is that somewhere along the past 21 years I learned of a Jesus who adores me.  For that reason alone, life has been pretty good.

It’s been nearly five years since I began keeping these journals.  Five years.

1992-1997.

Sixteen to twenty-one.

I’m so glad God created laughter.  Life is so much fun.  I can honestly say I have fantastic friends.  They are my salvation.  God loves us through other people.

But still, despite all the bliss of love and laughter, I’m not sure I like living here.  People can be weird.  People can be harsh.  And it hurts even more to know that I am one of those weird, harsh, and hurtful people.  I don’t love people enough.  I don’t smile enough.  I am not nice enough.  I seclude myself too much.

My mom says it’s simply a part of my heritage, that I, like her, receive my strength from being alone.  How can I help a dying world if I’m alone all the time?  How can I be a good Christian if I only hang around other Christians?

I don’t like this world.  I don’t like me in this world.  Yet I also love every day I am alive because here I get to practice my faith in, and my love for, my beautiful savior.

The truth is, despite all my plans, despite all my goals, and despite all my dreams, I don’t know what to do or where to go.  So, I just stand right here, loving all the beauty around me, waiting for him to show me our tomorrow.

August 30, 1997 – Saturday – 11:16 p.m.

So far this has been a crazy weekend.  First of all, Curtis came to visit, which was great!  They all went to Sharon’s house, but I was on duty.  While on duty I had to take care of an alcohol problem in Avery dorm.  It is a crazy long story, no need to write it here.  I don’t want to remember it.

Allen, to everyone’s surprise, went out on a date with a girl named Alicia from ASU.  He met her a week ago some how.  They evidently had a good time.  He really likes her.

While sitting in my room earlier today, I got a call from Dan, “Jacob, you need to come over here we have a problem.”

I ran over to Dan’s room and I saw Allen with his face in his hands crying.  It turns out he talked with his mother over the phone and found out one of his close buddies from back home in New York died in a motorcycle accident.  Allen was bawling hard and no body was saying anything.  He left and I followed him to his room.  We talked some.  He told me how close he was to this guy.  He told me how he called the mother earlier today and could barely say her name through the tears.

I told him it wasn’t fair.  Everyone has their sad stories, but I don’t have any.  Not that I want them, but I simply can’t share in their pain.

“You’re just lucky,” Allen said.  We talked later in the day, after he got himself together.  We were talking about this world and the trials we must go through.  He said the wisest thing, “We simply don’t belong here.”

And he is right.  Just like Marisa said, this weird place is not our home.  There is more to life than this.

Jeanine also came up to visit.  She got really close to Allen this summer and she was hurt when she found out there was a new girl.  My shoulder was there for her to cry on.

My brother Kevin is also up visiting.  He is in a Putt-Putt tournament nearby.  But no one is here now.  They all went bowling in Boone, even Kevin.

These duty night are something else, but they pay the bills and hopefully this job will look good on a resume.  Most of the campus has gone home for Labor Day weekend, so I just find myself sitting here thinking of Sherlive.

August 28, 1997 – Thursday – 11:50 a.m.

Three full years now.

There is a lump in my throat.  I lay in my bed in a somewhat emotional state, I’ll admit, but everything I’m thinking feels painfully true.

I’m getting older.  I’m losing my hair.  I’m dying.  My mother will soon be a child and I will be her father to take care of her.  My youth seems to be escaping me.

Although I hate it, I’ll probably have to play the dating game soon.  Hmmm.

Am I still young?  What about those days from so long ago?  Those days of innocence with Jenna and Tenielle?  All my life, I’ve always wanted to be different.  People color their hair, pierce their bodies, but I was going to remain different by staying the same.  But I have changed.  I am changing.  Changing like the rest of the generation and the world.  I wish I could escape somehow and not be a part of this.  That way I would be completely different.

But instead my sin has also killed Christ and he died for me as well as all the others.  I am no different.  I am a sinner.  I did nothing for my salvation.  I simply accepted His Grace.  So I will continue to live and go through this life in the footsteps of my forefathers.  I will simply try to share God’s love in all I do and everywhere I go.

My emotions will tickle me.  I will laugh, cry, and simply live this roller coaster with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye.  This mask will leave me and I will be free.  My freedom comes now in simply knowing that I will be soon.  Loving and praising God is all that matters and all that will last.  That is the key.  That is the absolute.  That is the truth.

My children will begin to leave me on the day they are born.  And I will love people by letting them go.

And I will even let myself go.

July 28, 1997 – Monday – 5:09 p.m.

I miss her.  I miss her like crazy.

My mother and Nate came last night.  We went driving and exploring this morning.  It was great to spend time with them.

I told her about Sherlive.

The thing that’s driving me crazy is that I’m leaving early Thursday morning to go to Chrysalis in Maryland (I don’t know why I thought it was in Virginia).  I won’t comeback until Monday.  The only time I would probably get to see her would be Sunday, but I won’t be here.  I don’t have her phone number or any way to get in touch with her.  She’s about an hour away in TN and I don’t have a car, so…

I’m in la la land.

I don’t know what’s happening, except that this past weekend with her was a gift from God.

And I miss that gift.

Forever Plaid ends tonight.  There is a line in that play, “One perfect moment, that’s all we have a right to ask for.”

Could that be true?  If so, then my first 21 years have been perfect.  I don’t have the right to ask for anything else, but it seems to get better with each passing second.

It only gets better, because truth has found me.