April 10, 2001 – Tuesday – 4:00 p.m.

I just got off the phone with Lindy, easily one of the best friends I’ll ever have. I feel like my insides are going to explode. Everything is coming to the most amazing ending, and an entire universe is beginning.

The week of the wedding is going to be full of complete emotional ecstasy. There is much history and so many stories that will collide together for the moment Anna and I join our lives together. I will pick Vince up from the Miami airport, then we will drive up the coast for four hours after not seeing each other for over a year. Nearly all of Lees-McRae and Banner Elk, NC is dying to see him, and he will be there in when they all arrive on Thursday for the wedding on Saturday. Over 15 Lees-McRae friends are making the 11 hour trip south. Marcus is coming, as well as Danny and Peter, they are all bringing friends along.

Abigail is going to sing. Tracey is going to play piano. Vince, Lindy, and Dan will be standing next to me. I’ll share the weekend with all my friends, then drive away with Anna.

Anna just showed up. Gotta go!

March 30, 2001 – Friday – 11:06 a.m.

The past month has been full of much life, love, sorrow, and even death. My grandmother, my dad’s mom, passed away on Monday night at 8:30 p.m.

Anna and I went to see her in the hospital before our trip to Florida, but even then she was like a vegetable. She had leukemia. My grandpa is now alone, and everyone is deciding what to do with him.

He is nearly 80. My grandma was 72.

The funeral was yesterday, and my brother brought a rather annoying girl to it. Anna had to work, so she couldn’t come.

I quit my bookstore job this morning. April simply contains too much, and something had to go. I’ve got the church videos to produce, I’ve got to finish up two films, and I’m graduating.

Anna and I marry in about eight weeks. I’ll pick Vince up from the Miami International airport on the 21st of May. I haven’t seen him in a year.

I saw a bald eagle out in the wild a couple of days ago in West Point, VA. It got me thinking about the new beginning that is right around the corner. Very soon, my best friends will all be in one place, and the love of my life will be presented to me. I’ll then drive away to have to my honeymoon with Anna in a land that fills my soul, the mountains of North Carolina.

I love you Lord.

February 12, 2001 – Monday – 7:00 p.m.

I’m sitting in my new home. I do not live here fully yet, but my heart is here. Ann and I will live in this studio apartment in early June after we return from our honeymoon. I wonder how long we’ll stay.

My brother Nate turns 16 today. How crazy! I was only 8-years-old when he was born.

My family has gone through a lot recently. I don’t think I’ve written about it at all. Henry went through some sort of mental illness spell, but he is beginning to come around. Mom called me on her new cell phone tonight. Nate got on the call and said that she got so into reading the instructions about it that she forgot she was running a bath and ended up flooding the bathroom.

My small group had a fantastic time swing dancing the other night. I enjoy them so much. I’m glad Anna and I go there together; our love has become worship to God. All we seem to do is praise Him for what he placed in the other that we’ll benefit from. I am amazed every day.

I’ve never known a love like this. All this time, through all these journals, from Veronica to Marie, it was Anna all along.

I feel stupid.

I feel human.

But I am forgiven, and I am loved.

So much time has passed since I began these journals. I tried to seek after God, I tried to find a good woman, and I tried to become a filmmaker. I also tried to be a good friend and neighbor to all those around me. Overall, I think I did okay. I just showed up and let God do His thing. I’ve traveled everywhere from California to South Africa, and this whole time my future wife was in Florida.

In the end, all these journals told the story of how God brought me to Anna.

November 27, 2000 – Monday – 5:00 p.m.

I’m in the Dallas airport and much has happened since I’ve last written. So much so that it would make a pretty good movie, a character study about lonely people trying to communicate with God.

I have spent the past six days with Theresa, the 25-year old former co-worker of mine from the bookstore my roommate Dan thought he was supposed to marry. He believed this not only because he loves her and wants to be with her, but mainly because he feels God told him she was to be his wife.

I came to New Mexico because she invited me, and I wanted to visit a new state. However, Dan is back home wondering what the heck I’m finding out for him, for I suggested that if he gave me a letter to give to her, perhaps she would send one back with me for him.

I was wrong.

She did not.

I arrived late Tuesday night and slept on an air mattress in a one bedroom apartment in Albuquerque. I woke up the next morning to discover this is a very brown city. I forgot how green the east coast was, even in November.

We then picked up Michael, a 40-year-old massage therapy student, who I could immediately tell has the hots for Theresa. I should add here that I have never been attracted to Theresa or have ever been even remotely interested in her. She’s always been Dan’s girl in my mind.

We headed south and drove through very wide and flat land. We stopped in Truth or Consequences just to see it, for I have some significant scenes taking place there in my screenplay To Fly. While I was looking around and taking pictures, Michael spoke endlessly to me about the power of touch.

We stopped at a small hut in the middle of an open desert plain to visit a friend and client of Michael’s. There was no water or electricity at this place, but it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. The couple living there chose to live that way, off the grid, as they say. They wanted to be separate from society. I took pictures, especially of their distant out house that had no walls. Every time they relieved themselves they saw a sight few will ever see.

We continued around a chain of green mountains and ended up in Grant County and finally Silver City, where Theresa’s parents live. We ordered takeout and then awoke the next day to serve the hungry and homeless a warm Thanksgiving meal at a local soup kitchen. It was a beautiful time.

That afternoon Theresa and I visited the City of Rocks and we talked about how Dan never really knew the real her. Dan simply put the ideal woman he wanted to marry onto Theresa simply because she took the time to show him a bit of attention while they worked together.

That evening, after a very healthy and natural dinner, I went to see M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable with Theresa’s dad. I love going to a movie theater on Thanksgiving Day!

The next day, Michael, Theresa, her dad, and I hiked around Catwalk State Park about an hour north from where they live. It was a beautiful canyon with waterfalls, brown rocks, and green cacti. Again, I took pictures.

On Saturday we drove back to Albuquerque and then hiked with Theresa’s other friend Justin. We went up to Sandia Crest, and that was without a doubt my favorite part of my days in New Mexico. We were 10,678 feet above sea level, easily the highest I’ve ever been. Everything was covered in snow. The sunset was a bright red blaze over the entirety of the west, and Theresa was glued to Justin’s side. He is only 19, but he is filled with confidence, and this is something Dan does not have.

Confidence and beauty are the two main things Theresa is attracted to. Sadly, Dan, in her eyes at least, has neither.

That night I held a crying Theresa on her couch. She cried because she is no longer sure of her relationship with God.

The next day we drove north to Colorado and drove back along beautiful, snow-covered, secondary roads. I enjoyed every minute of seeing a new part of God’s creation.

After we returned we went to see Bounce, and this morning I went to her Massage Therapy class with her. What I experienced there broke my heart. So many people were looking for answers, looking for meaning, but they were looking for it in their own physical bodies. They were not looking for God at all. Imagine the good work one could do if they invited God into massage therapy. Surely someone is doing that.

So now I’m at the airport in my middle of my return journey. Of course, nothing I mentioned above is what truly happened, what truly happened can be found in the expressions I saw in each person’s face as they sought out human connection, meaning, and love. Those eyes, eyebrows, and glances are difficult to capture in these pages, but that is where the true stories reside.

October 15, 2000 – Sunday – 8:26 p.m.

It has been a week since I have written. We are now in the middle of the tenth month, what an amazing time! It feels like much has happened.

I just returned from visiting Jean, one of the employees from Acoustic Works. I feel so safe talking with her about love and relationships because she is married. We had dinner and played with Katie, the adorable little girl she was babysitting. Katie seemed to enjoy the way I would make my hair tickle her forehead; she has such a beautiful smile.

This past weekend were our shooting days for The Accuser. I directed a fantastic cast and crew on Ft. Wool, which is an island in the middle of Hampton Roads. Jeremy played his role so well that he banged his head open and cut up his leg. He’s okay though. I can’t wait to see the dailies!

I feel so at home when I’m directing a film. It puts me and all my thoughts, hopes, memories, and feelings together in such a way that everything of who I am, and who God has made me to be, completely makes sense.

This past week I also wrote a letter to Sarah. It is difficult to describe what came over me, but I told her that I loved her fully and unconditionally for who she is, and that she is one of the few people in the world whom I love in such a way. I can explain my love for others away, but I cannot explain my love for Sarah away. It simply exists, it is there, I cannot deny it, and it blesses my soul so much.

Also this past week I picked up a rat for The Accuser shoot. It takes place in a dungeon, so I thought a rat would add some atmosphere. The crew named her Rosie, and I decided to keep her. She is in her cage in my room now.

This coming Thursday kicks off the college-age small group that I will be leading. I’m so excited. I want God to show up. I want him to change us and this whole area.

Thanks for a great week God, you are so good!

June 4, 2000 – Sunday – 10:30 p.m.

Whew…life!

I miss Marie.

Good things are happening, but I do feel separated from Regent University and from my film Dang!.

Townley, Andy, Jean, and I had a great trip to D.C. this past week.  I really got the chance to talk with them about Jesus.  Jean is a Christian, but she is sad because her husband Chad isn’t very affectionate toward her.  I know how she feels.  Marie isn’t terribly affectionate towards me either.

I helped the team put the Glo-Cycling package together up at Langley Air Force Base.  It starts tomorrow.  The means I be spending half the week cycling and getting paid for it.

It is all a bit odd to me.  I’m surrounded by people desperately trying to make a buck and I’m just not passionate about money.  Sure I need it, and I’m very much in debt, but what is most important to me are spiritual matters, matters of the heart.  These people at work are successful, but I feel they are losing their souls in the process.

I went to Rob and Mary Jo’s wedding on Saturday.  It was the most beautiful and Christlike wedding that I’ve ever attended.  I see more and more each day how the only thing that matters is Jesus.  Forgive me God for my apathy.

Jean is selling her house.  It is in a fine neighborhood only ten minutes from downtown Norfolk.  It’s small, I’ve wondered if I should buy it; I don’t know, I’ve also been thinking about building a log cabin out in rural Chesapeake or Suffolk.  I have exactly one year until I’m through with my movie and my thesis.  I will graduate and have to move out of the Regent apartments.  I really don’t want to pay rent again.  Please reveal your will to me oh God.

It is a beautiful and cool night.  I have an interesting job.  There is a girl I dearly love in New Jersey.  This evening I had some fantastic barbecue with the Acoustic Works Xtreme Fitness team.  In less than a month it will have been two years since I moved here.  Hmmm…life.

May 21, 2000 – Sunday – 7:15 a.m.

It is early before church.  I think I’ve found a place to sit and think.  I’m on a park bench in the park for Lake James Residences only.  I guess it is kind of illegal for me to be here, but I need a place within walking distance from my apartment where I can go and be by myself.  There’s a nice mist in the air and turtles and fish are playing in the water below.

I have a new pair of glasses that look and feel very nice.  I’m going to be wearing my contacts a little less often I think.

Marie called last night.  I miss her so much.

Kimberly, Sterling, and I went to see Dinosaur.  It was so horrible.  It was just the same old story, and I didn’t think it looked that great.

There was a spaghetti party over at Townley’s place on Friday night, so I went and got to know some of my co-workers a bit more.

We’ve had several nighttime thunderstorms recently that have sounded awesome!

Oh God, I miss you in me.  Whatever is blocking you from being everything in me, I lay it at your feet.  Please take it away.

Life is getting very odd.  I just want to love you.  Wash me clean oh God.  Prepare me to be a living sacrifice.  May I be dead to all.  Calm my spirit, my temper, my jealousy, and my flesh.  Purify me oh God.  This is my prayer.  For I am nothing without you.  Please make me like the lilies of the valley.  I love you God.

 

April 12, 2000 – Wednesday – 11:00 a.m.

It’s nearly the middle of April.  In a little over a month’s time, I will embark out across the country and be back in Virginia Beach exactly two months from today.

It is nice not having to work for a season.  But I’m also looking forward to that time in the near future when God will allow me to serve the community and actually make some money.

Trey and I completed our first rough cut of Dang! last night.  We’re going to go tweak it tonight.  I can’t wait!

Marie is doing fine.  We have only a week and a half of classes left.  Life is moving too fast.

God is molding her and I into mates for life.  I love and adore how he is changing me.

The Accuser is having problems when it comes to locations.  Please provide for us God.  I’m waiting on you.

So, it is the fourth month of the year 2000.  Nineteen years of nonstop education is ending for me.  My life is changing and has changed.  I want to be a husband, father, and lover.  I want to help set people free and encourage them to be themselves.  I want to delight in my creator’s eye.

Here we go…

March 27, 2000 – Monday – 8:15 a.m.

Okay.  This is been a busy month.  I’ve also been so crazily in love with Marie that I’ve hardly written in these pages.  Forgive me.

Marie listens to me, so there’s often no reason to vent my thoughts out into these pages anymore.  And here it is, nearing the end of March, and I see how much life will change.  Here’s what’s up!

I’m leaving the bookstore.  I have no reason why other than that I feel it is time to go.  I will work for four more days, two this week and two next week, and then I’m done.

I’m the still photographer for the 5-minute short film I wrote titled The Tape that Binds.  It’s got a $5,000 budget.

Next weekend I’m going with Marie to New Jersey.  Then, on Saturday, we are driving to Philadelphia for one of her friend’s wedding.

Next week Marie and I will go to Banner Elk to visit my friends and the mountains.  We’ll also drive up to New Jersey again for Easter.

A week after we get back, I will direct The Accuser, another 5-minute film with a $5,000 budget.  May will arrive shortly after that and classes will end.  Marie will go home for a few weeks and by the end of May, my soon-to-be-roomate Dan and I plan to help Theresa from the bookstore move back to New Mexico.  We’ll hopefully take a non-direct route and I’ll visit many states I’ve never been to before.

Her parents said they’ll pay to fly me back to Banner Elk, where I’ll be a groomsman in Allen and Jessica’s outdoor sunrise wedding.

Those are my plans through the 11th of June.

Hopefully I’ll get the production coordinator job at Regent, as well as the Resident Director job at Virginia Wesleyan, then I’ll concentrate fully on Dang!

Marie and I are doing well!  What an amazingly sweet love!

February 26, 2000 – Saturday – 10:14 a.m.

Life has recently been spent in rehearsal, class, work, and with Marie.  We had our most favorite special “friend day” yesterday on a little peer out at Munden Point Park.  It is a perfect place of reflecting light, green trees, and blue sky.  We were barefoot little kids playing in life-giving water and spitting on mosquitoes.  A perfect day, an eternal instant, we wanted to spend our entire lives there.

Sarah emailed me this past week.  I emailed her back and let her know that I did not want to continue to keep in touch, that it was not fair to Marie.

I spoke with Tracey this morning.  Charlie was punched in the face and knocked out cold by a resident.  He felt the school didn’t support him, so he quit his Residence Life job and left Lees-McRae.  He’s staying with his parents, but they don’t want him there.  Kate moved down to Franklin, NC with her parents who recently moved there.

Dan is back in Colorado.

Tracey and Abigail’s Seven Strangers band is making a demo tape.  Everything is supposedly going really well for that little band.

Vince and Natalie have spent the past two weeks in New York with Vince’s dad.

And Lindy is trying to get certified in aerobics.

The Regent community, or rather our small group of Communication School acquaintances, are beginning to put two and two together when it comes to Marie and I.  Many guys have asked Marie if she is seeing someone because she has this “certain glow.”

She tells them yes.

I think it is funny.

I applied for an office manager job for a children’s theater company in Norfolk.  I pray God blesses me with it.

Children are playing outside my window now.  It’s very clear that March begins in four days.  The sounds are in the air.

I apologized to Marie last night for kissing Jeni and Sarah.  I told her I wished I had waited for her alone.  I regret the words and phrases I have written in past journals about other girls, thinking and believing I wanted to spend my life with them, thinking and believing I loved them so deeply.

Forgive me God.  I wish I could erase those pages from my journal.

I love you Jesus.  Thank you for this redemption.  I place my past and my sin before you.  You are holy and beautiful.