October 22, 1998 – Thursday – 10:00 p.m.

I talked with Sharon tonight. Snow was in the air over Avery County this morning.  I wasn’t there to see it. October 27th was the first snowfall of my last LMC winter.  I didn’t realize how true that statement was when I wrote it nearly a year ago.

I’ve realized when I write these words in these spiral-bound books that they will never go away.  All 13 books are in my sight at this moment.  They sit on a shelf in my closet in front of me.  They are a record of nearly the past six years of my life.

I put Christmas lights up in my room this evening, and it caused me to miss the wintery feel of Banner Elk so much.  So, another day is closing.  One of the final ones for Tammie and Jose in this land.

I turned in four copies of the first draft of “Eyebrows” to the school’s team of producers yesterday.  They said I was the first of the final four to turn it in.  They seemed pleased and impressed.

And so God moves me on.  My memories fight with the present moment every day.  My heart questions why we can’t go back, but it also longs to see what is ahead.

I have no one to really talk to here.  I miss Vince and our deep talks to Counting Crows’ “August and Everything After.”  We had a ritual.  We would start with track four, “Perfect Blue Buildings,” and play it through to the end.  We would turn off the lights and stare up at his glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, most of which were placed there by Laura, and we’d talk of God, love, and beauty until the midnight hour.

I miss Dan and I pondering over the questions of life while playing “Tetris 2” on the Super Nintendo.

I miss riding in Curtis’ car and staring out the window in deep thought.  He’s always ask me what was on my mind.  I’d always tell him.  I felt listened to.

I miss Allen disagreeing with my way of thinking.  He’d ask my advice and then go do the opposite.  But somehow it still made me feel loved by him.

And I miss Charlie, the one I’ve known the longest.

But God needs me elsewhere.  His breath is blowing me forward.  So, I continue and I do this not for me, for all I want is heaven, but God asks me to wait and spend more time with his creation first.

I cannot argue with that.  So that is what I will do.

But how can I live in today when I long for the past?  How can I make new friends when all I want are my old ones?  How can I help save others from a world I can’t admit I’m in?

Why did you make me this way God?  To find comfort in asking questions and not needing the answers.  Is that what faith is?  I don’t need the answers Lord, I just need to know you are listening.

I miss you.  I miss the eyes I’ve never seen.  You comfort me more than my memories and my Teddy Bear from Tenielle.  I want to hold you instead as I fall asleep.  Be with me tonight sweet Jesus, and take me to be with you.  I want to awake in heaven, but if I’m here tomorrow, I will laugh and play in your love.

Heaven feels closer tonight.

How perfect your grace is.

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October 10, 1998 – Saturday – 12:30 a.m.

It’s past midnight.  Memories haunt me.  Faces, smells, and touches.  I am missing Lees-McRae.

Hard to believe it has already come and gone.

I talked to Tracey tonight.  And for the first time since she has returned to Lees-McRae, I tried to call Sarah.  I woke up her roommate instead and Sarah wasn’t there.  Elizabeth said she would have her call me.  It is Homecoming weekend there.  I’m afraid tonight I may lie awake waiting for her to call, but I know she never will, just like she never did so many nights that I waited in McAllister Dorm.

I fear God has created me to just drop me into a place for a season, then I’m off to somewhere else.

We live to communicate, but most of that is just us asking questions.

I can’t get to sleep right now.  I’m wondering what God is up to.

Why is he so good to me?  Why does he like to blow the wind through my hair?  Why am I constantly studying the shapes, angles, and beauty of every girl’s eyebrows?

Look where I am now.  This is one heck of a ride, but the ending is all that matters.

Words are losing their value.

All except these three:

Jesus loves me.

July 3, 1998 – Friday – 4:03 p.m.

Matt and I went to the birthday party with David yesterday.  The girl’s name is Christina and she is turning 34.  Everyone there was what I would call a “spirit-filled revivalist” and we spent five hours praying for each other and in worship.  My body was shaking most of the night.  I was told I have a gift of prophetic intersession and I had a word from the Lord for two people that night.  I was prayed over about four different times and God told me that me being at Regent was not a mistake and it was just the beginning.  Those who prayed for me had fire in their hands, I could feel it.

God moved so much last night.  I made so many new friends and they’re so much older than me.  I’m looking forward to learning so much from them.

What a different world from Lees-McRae, where I was the only charismatic Christian who spoke in tongues until Abigail and Ann-Marie showed up.  But we never got together and prayed for each other like the group last night did.

I talked to my mom last night and she said God was rewarding me to staying faithful to his spirit during my time at Lees-McRae.  Most Christian families I spent time with during my time at Lees-McRae weren’t really “spirit-filled revivalists,” but they sure knew how to love each other and love me in a very practical way.  Perhaps God is showing me the best of both worlds to make me a complete person.

I’m amazed at how he cares for and provides for me.

June 3, 1998 – Wednesday – 10:00 p.m.

I just got back from church.  You know, I’m really beginning to miss Lees-McRae.  It can never again be like it was.  Vince, Dan, Allen, Curtis, Charlie, Justin, Josh, etc.; I don’t think I’ve ever had better friends.  Lindy, Tracey, Jeni, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Jessica, Ashley, Ellen, Jessi, Sherlive; I don’t think I’ve ever known sweeter girls.

Except for Sarah, of course.

And I know the God who designed their souls, who drew out the patterns in their eyes, who knew those very eyes would one day shoot daggers through my own soul.

A week from tomorrow I will be leaving to visit them all again with Lindy.

I feel Sarah has changed since she has returned home and taken her job at YMCA.  She seems more mature.  I like it.  I think about her constantly.  I want her forever; to grow old with her.  To simply experience everything by her side.

I will soon go a long time without seeing her, but I will never go a long time without loving her.

I’ve been thinking and I believe that my life has stages.  God plans on using me in different places, different areas, and in each area, in each place, he just wants to watch me interact with and love the other people he has made.  He wants me to experience his creation.  He made me to show me off, and he made others to show them off.

But each stage will eventually come to an end, and the love between us will be all that will live on.

Nothing truly dies.

The Emmanuel Players skit group was a time.

Chatham Central High School was a time.

Lees-McRae College was a time.

Heaton Christian Church was a time.

South Africa will be a time.

Regent University will be a time.

And possibly, some day, I will satisfy these desires in me to make movies, to make theater, to write, and I will move on to what’s next.

It’s funny though, because through all of these stages, I feel they came to a peak when God showed me Sarah.  Or perhaps it feels that way because I’m currently in this moment.  Perhaps she is just here to aid in the transition to the next stage.

If I never see Sarah again after South Africa, all will still be well for the rest of my life, for I know I at least had seven great months by her side.

And even an hour is way more than I deserve.

May 31, 1998 – Sunday – 5:30 p.m.

On Friday I needed another $700 to meet a payment for South Africa.  I prayed and prayed, but only $75 came in the mail yesterday.  But they took a love offering for me at church today and I received $1,575.25.

That is well over $700!

Thank you God.

I spent half of yesterday with Sarah.  We ate at her dad’s house and watched some old home videos.  I laughed for hours.  We then went to see The Horse Whisperer, it was a beautiful movie.

I didn’t leave Sarah’s house until 3:00 a.m.  We just spent our time constantly affirming each other.  I am in love with her.  It blows my mind.

I am in love with God.

I am in love with Jesus.

He is the only way to go.

April 13, 1998 – Monday – 5:30 p.m.

Something is happening inside me.  I only have 27 days.

Twenty-seven.

I’m done with everything, I mean I’m not “done done,” but once graduation comes, I am ready to leave and say goodbye to everyone and everything except for one beautiful girl.

Oh, Sarah Maria!

But this ship is sinking.  I just want to hold Sarah and cry.  She is becoming all I think about.  I have found a good and wonderful thing in her.  She loves me.  I know the good in her wants to be with me.  She has taken me on the most amazing journey of the heart. I want to be inside her flesh and soul and spirit and feel her heart beat in unison with mine.

Love is so amazing.  Don’t wish it upon yourself.  I used to say to take life a day at a time, but that no longer works for me.  Now I have to take it minute by minute; to dare and be happy and love completely for 60 seconds.

I’m in my room now, but it soon will be my room no longer.  Oh what memories I have created here.

Oh God, what is going on inside me?

Are you doing this?

I feel so alive.

It’s as if your very breath is in me.

 

April 9, 1998 – Thursday – 7:30 p.m.

We are nearing mid-April.  It’s already the forth month, yet it feels like 1998 just began.

A year ago I was dealing with Abigail hating my guts, but earlier tonight she was hugging me tightly for a few minutes for we know time is slipping away.

Two years ago I performed the Easter skit at Heaton Christian Church with the high schoolers.  Then Dan and Charlie and I had a deep talk of love.  Dan couldn’t stand to even talk about love and today he talked about his blooming relationship with Abigail.

And three years ago I was receiving letters from Emily, my one true thing whom I haven’t seen, spoken, or written to in nearly a year.

And then there was today.  Sarah came over just before midnight last night.  My visitation hours ended at one this morning, but Sarah didn’t leave until 5:00 a.m.  We went a little too far in those early hours of today.  Our bodies just seemed to take over.  We didn’t go all the way, but I do think in a slight way it made us closer, cause we took the time to talk about how we crossed the line.

Honestly, I think it was the scene from Lysistrata.  I played an extremely horny character and I was rolling around on the studio floor with another girl.  I think it turned both Sarah and I on.

The storm is 30 days away.  Sarah is still with me.  She told me last night that she was in love with me and that it scared her.  She wondered why I chose her out of all the girls on campus.

These days are so weird.  I have a whole new world to think about, yet I’m so in love with the one I have right here.  Yet, I know that if I just take it a day at a time, it’ll all be okay.

I wondered today if I could spend my life with Sarah.  And I don’t know.  I’m not sure yet.  We will see in time.  One can never know what lies ahead.

Will I still write about Sarah three Aprils from now?

What a time in my life this has been.  From November 22nd until this day, Sarah has been the defining force of my senior year.

I put my cap and gown on today.  It felt weird.  It’s been four years since I wore one of those.

Things are so up in the air.  I look forward to the day when I know a person will always be by my side, for Sarah with me in my bed until five in the morning was an amazing treasure.  To have your wife always by your side when you sleep, could there be anything more wonderful?

Well, yesterday was yesterday and tomorrow will soon be today.  I wish time would slow down, just a little bit.