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.

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April 28, 1999 – Wednesday – 11:15 p.m.

I decided this afternoon to spend $65.50 and spontaneously go see The Phantom of the Opera in downtown Norfolk.  I had an excellent seat, and I saw the world’s most perfect musical three and a half years after I saw it for the first time in the exact same place.

During those days, my thoughts endlessly dwelt on Laura; a beautiful girl whom I’ll see again in another week.  But I hear her love rests on a young man named David now.

Last night I spent some quality conversation with a girl named Cindy.  I also chatted a bit with Chris.  It was really nice to talk to other students.

I’m afraid I’m losing my romantic soul.  I’m afraid I’m losing my childhood dreams and wishes.  I only wish…oh…look, it’s nearly the 30th of April.

Remember the 30th of April?

Oh how life wants to live.  May my passion never grow dim.

Will a girl ever know me?

Can I ever tell her all these things I write in these books?

Someone must be looking for me.

I give all of this to you God.  Take care of her.

Hide your face so the world will never find you.

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

April 15, 1999 – Thursday – 9:30 p.m.

Life is beautiful.

There are beautiful eternal instants happening all around me.  Moments of bike-riding with Kimberly and studying the photo albums of her youth with her under the amber light shade of her living room.

Mary Jo just left here.  We spent nearly an hour together just listening to good music, especially Caedmon’s Call’s Table for Two.  We have declared it our song.  Our conversation turned into a pillow fight.  She is so lovely to be around.

Kerstin came to visit me in the bookstore.  We seem to talk so much about relationships, despite the fact that neither of us are in one.  Oh how beautiful conversation is.

David and his brother and I are going to see The Matrix tonight.  They haven’t seen it yet. I called Vince last night, he said he saw it and he loves it.  He said he plans to spend the summer in Banner Elk, as does everyone else.

Everything looks better.  Everyone is beautiful.  Jesus has become my eyes.  To know him; that is the only reason why we are here.

Angela (from my South Africa trip) and I email each other regularly.  She is such a blessing.  She lives in Seattle.

I’m sure the air feels nice outside McAlister Hall right now, but I’d rather feel the air here.  How wild this thing is.  I don’t miss driving the hour back and forth between Siler City and Winston-Salem; I’m just glad to know I was once there.

I’m happy to know that I was a good undergraduate student and that I did it well.  Oh this life is not my own.  I’m so thankful for that; it’s easier to exist that way.  No burdens.  No fears.  I only task is to let go and love every minute freely and fully.  I job is to rest in his peace and salvation.

My beautiful Jesus.  You are perfection.  Thank you for the life you’ve breathed into me.  I love you.  I do, I do.

February 8, 1999 – Monday – 12:47 a.m.

How quickly the weekends come and go.  I spent Friday at Jorge’s apartment on a film shoot.  I played a secret agent sort of character.  I met the most beautiful 25-year-old woman in the world.  She had a bit part, and I can’t recall her name, but she has a 7-year-old little boy named Christian.  She got married when she was 17 and it didn’t work out.  We got to talk in between shot set ups.  It was nice.

I washed my clothes on Saturday and worked on a film shoot until 3:00 a.m.  At church on Sunday, I tried to talk to Christin’s mom about how Christin is doing.  She just hasn’t been herself recently and even her grades are suffering.  I didn’t get any answers, so I hope she’s okay.

After church I went with Josh, Jason, Robin, and Michelle to Waffle House and to see Stepmom.

It’s nearly one o’clock on this Monday morning.  I’ve gotten so used to this area, to the layout of this land.  It’s all so familiar to me now.  My mountain memories of Lees-McRae seem almost like a foreign country when compared to these flat suburbs.

It’s been six months since I returned from Africa.

I’m not ready to leave this place yet.  These smiles and eyes are too pretty God.  These souls are too precious and deep.  Help me love them God.  Help me make a difference while I am here, for they are making such a huge difference in me.

December 29, 1998 – Tuesday – 9:30 a.m.

It is nearing the end of the year.  I rest in Milton, Florida, USA, and these days force me to look back.

Nineteen Hundred Ninety-Eight.

Thoughts of Sarah, as well as saying goodbye to Lees-McRae, took up the first six months. I still long for that place, but I’m secretly and silently afraid to go back to visit, for I fear I might ruin it’s impact on my life and my heart.

There was a month of transition in the middle of this year through which I visited Texas and South Africa, with brief stops in New York and Miami.  Those were such perfect days.  I wish I could go back and stay in them a little longer, for they were simply too short.

Virginia Beach, Regent University, and Parkway Temple all immediately fell into my lap and my heart.  It seemed as though my collection grew overnight, and now it is the only home I long for.

I am enjoying my time off here, but my parents’ marriage, my stepfather’s need to explain everything, and my mother’s non-displays-of-affection towards her husband and myself still shock and hurt me.  I simply do not understand.  I stay silent.

Emily said she would call yesterday.  She did not.  She reminds me of Sarah.

I just want to do it right.  I want a true and simple love.

The tiny smile of Christin is all I need.

Since my first semester of graduate school is over, it is time to pick the most cherished moments of that time.  There are only two, and I was fully aware they were perfect moments while they were happening.

The first was on November 28, 1998, the Saturday evening I spent with Tracey.  It was the moment during Riverdance in which a gentlemen played a beautiful bagpipe sort of instrument and the entire world stopped.  The music brought peace to the entirety of my days and perfect love to my heart.  I had an old friend by my side and even older memories in my mind.  I had just seen Vince and Allen, a beautiful sunset, and fantastic fireworks.

Perfection.

The next one took place during the early morning hours of December 13, 1998.  My Heart Will Go On played over the credits of Titanic.  Sterling was asleep on one side of me, and Christin was asleep on the other.  Her beautiful face was on my chest and my fingers were in her hair.

Perfection.

And so, a few days of this year remain.

Can 1999 be so close?

What is happening to this world?

Jesus, you are my shelter.

You are all I seek.

Please guide me.

 

December 28, 1998 – Monday – 8:17 a.m.

I went to see Emily yesterday.  She looked different; she looked like Cheryl.  We sat out by her lake and talked, we drove around to meet the rest of her family and talked, and we went to a park in Crestview where we sat on top of an A-frame jungle gym and did the only thing we know how to do… talk.

We live in two separate worlds.  She is sun and I moon.  She is a fish and I am a bird.  How can we ever be together?  As sad as it may sound, I believe I have only been in love with the idea of Emily these past five years, for who she is in my mind is more amazing than who she is in person.  It is my perception that makes her so special and beautiful.

We may go out to a movie tonight, I am not sure.

But I have found contentment in our relationship.  This mysterious gift God has given to me through her these past five years has helped me endure some rough days.  Perhaps in some way I have been the same thing for her.  Perhaps that is our destiny for each other, to learn how God sees everyone as perfect, even when we are not.

Oh, how life brings many joys.

These have been relaxing days.  I’ve just been playing Zelda on the 64 during most of my free time.  It’s called Ocarina of Time, and it is the most wonderful game I have ever played.  It has been fantastic to just be free of all other work and just play that game.

I am looking forward to seeing Christin again.  She is a joy to me.  Bless her tonight oh Lord.