November 21, 1997 – Friday – 3:40 p.m.

Wow!! The Misanthrope opened and I received tons of flowers!  I got some from Lindy, Ann-Marie, and Abigail.  The show went great and everyone said I did great.

Four more shows remain.  I’m finally enjoying this play.  My mom comes on Saturday.

I finally got my Regent application in the mail.  Life is exciting.  Five and a half months left.  I’m looking forward to the change.  This will actually be somewhat easy, since I know Jesus is already preparing a place for me.

A couple of nights ago, when the moon was nearly full and the ground was covered in snow, Allen, Justin, Ashley, Shannon, and myself drove up to the top of Beech Mountain and sang praises to our Lord.  The midnight silhouette of the mountains below took my breath away.

It was perfect.

As is all of life these days.

Whatever happened to those feelings I had for Jessica, or Sherlive, or even Abigail?  I still see them, I still talk to them, I still even touch Abigail’s face, but it truly feels as if my emotions have moved on.

I love all the girls here, but there is not one of them I have come across whom I truly feel I want to spend my entire life with in marriage.  Just last night I went to spend time with all the girls after the show: Lindy, Tracey, Jeni, Abigail, and Ann-Marie.  Lindy, I believe, is content with her singleness, but the other four dream of love and a Godly man.  I can see their pain and longing in their eyes as they wait for that moment to come.  They almost seem desperate and hopeless.

I wish I could make them all happy forever, but I can’t.

So my job is to simply love all my friends, both guys and girls, for the next five and a half months, and then give each of them an extended “see you tomorrow.”

I feel God sending me to Regent.  He’s sending me to the beach.  Where I will continue to rest in this peace, love, and strength.

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November 17, 1997 – Monday – 1:00 a.m.

Most of my time has gone towards The Misanthrope and therefore I’ve spent a lot of time with Lindy.  I’m so glad we worked together in the box office this summer.  We know so much about each other.  I have so much fun when I’m with her.  We’ve gotten closer as well.  I play with her hair and tickle her back.  We study lines together on my bed and it’s nice.  Thanks God.

Jeni is here and we’ve had a good talk.  I’ve learned that God is using Tracey, Jeni, Abigail, and Ann-Marie to teach me to be a good husband.  Since I’ve grown up with so many girls as friends, I have insight like no other guy.  I’m very thankful for that.

After church today, I ate lunch over at Crystal and Clifton’s and watched Superman.  Whew, I haven’t seen that one in a while.

It’s already been three months since I turned 21.

It doesn’t slow down, does it.

November 13, 1997 – Thursday – 12:30 p.m.

Life has been hectic.  All I’ve been doing is trying to memorize my lines for The Misanthrope.  Lindy and I have been working together a lot.  We’ve gotten closer.  She is so funny and wonderful.

Last night, after our stressful rehearsal, I went and laid down in Tracey’s room.  The girls, knowing how stressed I was, comforted me.  Tracey gave me a massage, Ann-Marie played with my hair, and Abigail tickled my back and neck.  The female touch of a good friend sure is good medicine.  I later ran my fingers up and down Abigail’s arm.  She has the softest skin.

Jeni was there too.  She came to visit for a while.  No one was touching her though.

And Vince was there as well, next to Ann-Marie.

Oh man, I’m going to miss this place.

November 9, 1997 – Sunday – 1:00 p.m.

Friday morning at 5:00 a.m. I awoke and began my weekend.  I left before 6:00 and ate breakfast at McDonald’s in Marion.  I had 30 minutes to kill before my interview at the Radisson in Asheville at 8:30 a.m.

But it was then that I discovered we got the days mixed up and that my interview wasn’t until tomorrow (Saturday).  So, I had 24 hours, a full tank of gas, and a prayer for God to take me somewhere.

He took me home.

After spending three hours headed east on I-40, I ended up in Sanford, NC.  I surprised my mom at work, and visited Pastor Steve at his barn.  He told me about how his horses have brought him closer to the love of God.  I can understand that.

Then, God took me to a house I haven’t been to in well over a year.  I drove down that long dirt driveway and there I saw a young blonde girl carrying a baby.  I pulled up to the house, ran out and greeted her at the door with a hug.

Nearly a month ago, Jenna gave birth to 10 pound Michael Joshua.  She will marry goateed Herb in December.  I met him.  Nice guy, but he couldn’t look me in the eye.

Tenielle freaked out when she saw me.  She still smokes and says she is trying some modeling stuff.

It was great spending time with those girls.  I love them so much and its hard to believe I have known them for nearly four years now.

I saw pictures of Jenna pregnant; she was so huge.  I wonder if she realizes what has happened to her.  If she knows she is now and always will be a mother.  Can a 16-year-old truly know such a thing?

As I listened to the conversations between them in that trailer, I became insanely aware of their incorrect grammar, their double negatives, and their generally poor word choices.  It hit me so suddenly, these two girls who have taught me so much about how to love unconditionally, they are what many would call “Trailer Trash.”  The next pay check and getting cigarettes is all the seemed to be on their minds.  I truly saw how valuable college was to me.  Lees-McRae saved me, but I’m still in Jenna and Tenielle’s debt.  They taught me more than they’ll ever know.

I ate dinner with Mom and Nate.  She showed me some videotapes from the Brownsville Revival down in Florida and I cried watching them.

I went to walk and pray on the railroad tracks and asked God to let me into his presence. That evening was similar to Valentine’s Day of 1993.  I fell to the ground and cried and laughed in all of God’s glory.  It was a wonderful time.

I left at four in the morning to get back to Asheville in time.  I talked a lot about God during my scholarship interview, but I didn’t get the award.  It doesn’t matter, it felt like all of that was orchestrated, so I would need to borrow a car, so I could spending a few hours back home and realize all that God has done for me.  There were so many hours driving this weekend in solitude that are more valuable to me than a scholarship.  I had so much fun.  I saw the sun rise twice in a row.

I spent time with Abigail and Lindy last night.  We rented some movies.  Abigail laid next to me for nearly four hours and I touched her hair and head.

For my birthday I was given Life on the Edge by Dr. James Dobson.  In it he writes about the steps to true intimacy and stresses how these steps should be taken in order and at a very slow pace:

Eye to Body

Eye to Eye

Voice to Voice

Hand to Hand

Hand to Shoulder

Hand to Waist

Face to Face (Hugging/Kissing)

Hand to Face

-MARRIAGE-

Hand to Body

Mouth to Breast

Touching below the Waist

Sexual Intercourse

Wow!  Did you notice step eight?  He writes, “Surprisingly, touching a person’s face and hair in a romantic way is more intimate than kissing and hugging.”

According to Dr. Dobson, Abigail and I skipped four major steps.  Oh well, these days, it’s the one thing I truly look forward to.  Her face has become familiar to me.  I know it so well, and even now, I miss it.

I miss her.

Oh Jacob, how funny you are.

September 7, 1997 – Sunday – 12:49 p.m.

Around four o’clock Friday afternoon I made my departure from the grand state of North Carolina in Sherlive’s red Nissan.  I sat alone in the back.  We drove into Tennessee while Anna, a freshman from New York, sat in the passenger’s seat.

Sherlive has quite an interesting family.  Her mother looks like her eyes are always closed.  She is constantly taking pictures and rambling.  But she is very loving.  Sherlive’s father, with his super deep voice, always begins each sentence with “when I was a boy.”  He cooked enough food for an army, but lives in yesterday.  Then, Mikayla, Sherlive’s 3-year-old adopted sister, clung to me like her long lost brother.  She’s a wonderful little girl and a great new friend.

After dinner on Friday night, we went to an Elizabethton High School football game.  Sherlive wanted to see some old friends and see the high school band, one she used to be a part of.  The game was okay, I was just kinda amazed by the whole high school scene.  I feel old.

Sherlive, Anna, and myself got into some deep conversations about life, love, and relationships.  After halftime we ended up at a coffee shop in Johnson City.  Anna is this cute little 100% Greek girl who feels more like someone’s grandmother instead of an 18-year-old, but I mean that in a cool way.

Dan met us Saturday morning to go hiking with us.  He ate breakfast with us too; a huge amount of food made by Sherlive’s dad.  We went to Blue Hold and then to Red Fork Falls, at least I think that’s what it was called.  They were really pretty places.  I took some pictures.

Sherlive is such a funny little nutcase.  She goes rock climbing in her bare feet and Dan says “Hey is Blue Hole cool?”

“No, it’s cold.” she says.

Dan looks at me funny.  “Okay, well, is it rad?”

“No, it’s blue!”

Dan and I burst out laughing.  Then, after Sherlive has been stuck on the side of the cliff for about 30 minutes, Dan just jumps up and runs towards it and scurries up it like a squirrel.  He reaches the top that Sherlive has been trying to climb to in two seconds.  Oh, Sherlive was so mad, she just screamed bloody murder.

In the middle of all the beautiful scenery, Dan and I just broke free, ran around, and laughed our butts off everywhere we went.  We stuck our heads out the window whenever we were in the car and just hooted and hollered the whole day.  If I wrote down every funny thing we said, oh, this book would be full.

Linda visited me last night.  We sort of got caught up on our Box Office talk.  And Marisa called me last night.  She said she just wanted to hear my voice.

Church was amazing this morning.  I cried.  Heaven is a guarantee.

Abigail and Ann-Marie both come to Heaton now.  Our college age group is so huge.

Friends.  What an amazing concept.  I would do anything for these people.

I would live.

I would die.

September 5, 1997 – 12:30 p.m.

One of the greatest gifts God has ever given his creation is words.

Words.

You are amazing God.

It is thirty minutes past high noon.  Another day has already passed its halfway mark.

I proposed to put the Emmanuel Players old Mask Skit in the Fall Dance Concert.  I had to type up a proposal and deliver a presentation to the Performing Arts Department.  They approved it and want me to do it.  So the Mask Skit will live again.  I will have a completely different cast, but the Emmanuel Players will never die.  The dance concert opens in October.

There are so many stories here.  The new freshmen have such lives, such eyes.  I am slowly being introduced to each one.  They don’t know how much I watch them, how I study their faces and reactions.  I examine each word and expression.  God, you created so many amazing people.

This weekend, or this evening rather, I’m leaving with Sherlive and another girl to go to Sherlive’s house.  Tonight we’ll go to a football game and on Saturday Dan will meet up with us and we’ll go hiking in the Eastern Tennessee wilderness.

Marisa and I still email and write.  She is coming up here in four weeks.  I can’t wait to see her.  Lindy was cast as my love interest in The Misanthrope.  That should be fun.  And Dawn made a proclamation of her faith in our Acting and Directing classes today.  She says she is finally making God her number one.

My horsemanship class is so amazing.  My horse is Bay Lady, she was Jeni’s horse when she took the class back in 1994.

Speaking of Jeni, girls just don’t make a very good god.  Our relationship seems so long ago and I easily made her my number one during that season.  Whatever is number one in your life is your god.

Nothing will ever replace you Father!

August 12, 1997 – Tuesday – 12:40 p.m.

All of the summer theater people are gone.  The season is over.  That story is finished.

Lindy and I in the box office.  Marisa and I talking until two in the morning.  Jeanine and I walking in the darkness of Hemlock Hill.  These are the girls that summer theater brought me.  And with each one I shared Jesus.

One girl who came along, but not because of summer theater, is Sherlive.  And I pray I am never without her friendship.

Allen has also kissed Crystal.  He does not anticipate or plan these things.  Girls are just all over him these days.  Neither of us know why.

RD training is going well.  I am now CPR and first-aid certified.  I move into McAlister by the end of the week.  New Freshman arrive a week later.  Jessica, Abigail, Josh, and all are returning.

But Curtis will not be.

Hello.

Goodbye.