October 7, 1997 – Tuesday – 7:00 p.m.

Hard to know what to think.

Or even what I’m thinking.

Nearly seven months left now.

Then a summer.

Then another life.

I try to stay alert, awake, and brave.  But when it comes down to it, I’m scared out of my mind.  I’m scared because around the winter of 1994 God used Shurby to speak an audible message to me: “You will do a great thing, not many will believe you, but don’t worry, all you have to do is show up, for you are not doing this great thing, I am.”

And that is what I’ve basically done these 3 1/2 years, I’ve just shown up.  I showed up at Lees-McRae and look what happened.  I didn’t try any harder than anyone else.  Many around me come to me with their problems.  People refer to me as their counselor.

My directing talents are being praised, but I just showed up to rehearsal like the rest of them.  Josh talked to me last night about how much of a leader I was; how much of a role model.

“The hand of God is on your life Jacob,” he said to me.

But I don’t get it.

I’m a sinner.  I fail all the time.  I judge people and I hurt people’s feelings.  I don’t pray any harder or worship any more and yet I intimidate other Christians.  They have said there is a God and Jacob connection that they don’t have.

Well I do…He’s my Savior!  He’s died for me for crying out loud.  And I’m scared to death cause the Creator of everything around me loves me and has his hand on my life.  This great thing, whatever it is, is actually coming true.  I’m not doing anything to deserve it.  And along with this life on earth, I get an eternal life too!  There’s so much grace around me, I simply don’t understand the level of mercy I see.

But God’s hand is on others too.  I know it because they are such a blessing to me.

So, I’m scared because I only have seven months to tell my friends how much I love them, and that simply isn’t enough time.

Advertisements

October 3, 1997 – Friday – 10:30 a.m.

Man, life is pretty cool.  Tuesday afternoon I hiked down to Elk River and laid out on the big rock where Charlie set up a cross.  I feel asleep and slept for an hour and a half.  It was so awesome.

Abigail and I have talked a little.  She apologized to me for acting so weird and taking things the wrong way.

Mason and Emily are doing wonderful in our scene.  I’m so proud of them.  I can’t wait for everyone to see it.  I’m even designing lights for it.

I was nominated for a scholarship today.  It’s based on my writing and it’s $2,500.  Way cool, huh?

I talked to Pastor Steve Wednesday night and asked him if he could send me that masks from the Mask Skit we used to do.  They arrived today.  It’s gonna be so awesome seeing this piece from my past performed again.

We had Bible study last night and Courtney came.  She was a pretty wild girl last year, but she said she got saved over the summer.  Then each of us wrote a little love letter to Jesus and Courtney’s was amazing.  She cried and couldn’t finish it, so I finished it for her.

Jesus can change everything.

We watched Liar, Liar after Bible study last night.  It was so good for all the guys and girls to hang out together.  We leave for Washington D.C. today to go to Stand In The Gap. It should be fun.

October is already here.  My application for Regent is nearly complete.  I will take the GRE next month.

Life is moving along and I can’t help but smile.

September 26, 1997 – Friday – 10:00 a.m.

I will leave for Kentucky in less than an hour.

Yesterday was an amazing day.  I spoke to Doc about Regent University, that I was applying, etc.  She said there was a guy in Boone who had graduated from there and that since she had a lot of pull with CITA (Christians in Theater Arts), her recommendation alone would guarantee my acceptance.  I’ve been wanting to attend Regent since the summer after my Freshman year, when I first learned about it at Fishnet.  Yesterday God just reassured me that he is the one calling me to attend there.

Also, Jeni was here yesterday.  It was so good to see her.  Last night after Bible study, all the guys and all the girls came to hang out in my room.  We talked for a while and then in the middle of all of the conversation, Abigail said something, something amazing.  We were talking about some joke I had told and she said, “You’re a funny guy Jacob.  I appreciate your humor and I appreciate you.”  And then she kinda stared at me.

In that moment I felt like our friendship was completely restored.

I got a letter from Marisa today and in it she said, “I’m sorry it’s your last year, but the Lord has called you elsewhere.”

And Sarah wrote me a letter as well.  She said, “Jacob, I want you to know that even though I haven’t known you very long, I love you.”

I am so loved here, and yet I’m leaving.

I don’t know whether to smile or to cry.

August 3, 1997 – Sunday – 11:30 p.m.

I sit in Rachel’s house in Sterling, VA.  Chrysalis is over.

P.C. was my roommate for the weekend and he kinda reminded me of Vince.  A wonderful person with a wonderful life ahead of him.  He has a problem with his left arm.  A part of his upper bone is hollow and he has gone through several surgeries to fix it and has a huge scar because of it.  They’ve had to take bone out of his leg to try and fix it and because of this he can’t join the Navy like he’s always wanted to.  This was a hard time for him in his life, but he met a girl on the Internet named Lisa.  They began to email each other.  Then they wrote to each other.  Then they called each other.  And then they visited each other.  She’s in Iowa and he’s in Virginia.  They are now boyfriend and girlfriend and they will start school together out in Boulder, Colorado.  They’ll be freshman together.  After he showed me her picture, I was amazed.  She was so beautiful.  I didn’t know girls that pretty talked on computers.

Sean, always seated in a wheelchair, was never seen without a smile on his face.  Kay is soon to donate a kidney to her brother.  Colleen, a beautiful 25-year-old, who lost her little brother to a rare disease when she was 15.  Then she bore her own son as teenager, but then the father left them both.  She said the death of her brother tore her from God, but the eyes of her baby brought her back to him.

After hearing her talk of her brother, I wrote her a poem:

I said hello

I say goodbye

I saw you live

And now you die

But death is life

And life is love

Love is God

Eternal from above

So I’ll see you soon

There’s no need to cry

I too am changing

And to you I’ll fly

I found out later that the poem made her cry.  When I said goodbye to her today, she hugged me so tight.  Her lips said nothing, but her eyes shouted a desperate “thank you.”

And there was Vanny, who tried to commit suicide twice before, but now only smiles as bright as the sun.

And that was just a few.  There were so many stories full of death and tragedy.  But I don’t have those stories.  My tragedies are Bs on papers and mixed emotions.  I still have my family, my virginity, my sanity, my life, my legs, my health.

But there is one tragic story in my life.  I discovered this weekend that I am capable of so much more love.  I’ve been keeping it inside and only sharing it with a select few.  Now it’s time to give it to the world.

I spoke up at the gathering and told the group that each one of them was beautiful and I thanked God for allowing me to add their eyes and names to my collection.  Some came to me and said I seemed very Christlike.  They said they saw Jesus in me.  If so, then perhaps I am beginning to live a Christian life.

Rachel told me that others told her I seemed very creative.  People are so good to me.  God is so good to me.  So, here I am God.  I’m ready.  I don’t know everything, but I know you.

Here I am.

I’ve shown up.

 

August 3, 1997 – Sunday – 7:30 a.m.

A Sunday morning.  I am on a deck in Maryland overlooking Maryland, Virginia, and parts of Pennsylvania.  The sun is peaking over a long narrow cloud; shining on me like a spotlight.  Saturday has passed.  An amazing day.  We talked.  We learned.  We sang.  We loved.  And even today, we still love.

There was a talent show.  Our skit won the “Most Uplifting Award.”  Our award was a bra, so funny.  There was also a beauty contest.  My group dressed me up as a girl and I won that too.

God brought me up here to show me his love and to teach me how to love my family and friends.  I thought of Jonathan and how he isn’t able to go back to college.  He sure could use a bag of letters like I received yesterday.

Everyone is up and around on this deck now.  Time to live in the love of others.

August 1, 1997 – Friday – 11:45 p.m.

The month of change has begun on the right foot.  I am in Maryland at Chrysalis.  Rachel is here.  I have a roommate named P.C.; we talked forever last night.  The drive up here was fun, Rachel had a friend of hers drive me up most of the way.  The Virginia Blue Ridge mountains were so beautiful.

On Wednesday night Sherlive came to church and afterwards we went to see Air Force One.  We had a good time.  I hope I can see her again soon.  I told P.C. about her.

But the most amazing thing was that today each caterpillar (that’s what they call us here at Chrysalis) received a bag full of letters.  They were letters from people I didn’t know, they were just general supporters of Chrysalis, but there were also letters from even dear people I do know.  I have a letter from Rachel, Ellen, Tracey, Lindy, Paul, my mom and dad, Nate, Sharon, Jeni, and Marisa.

Love is all around me.  People are so nice here.  I only pray that I can be as nice.

Jeni said in her letter that if my movies and stories in anyway reflect what is in my heart, then I would be in my success.  God loves me so much.  I just praise and love and thank him.  The weekend is so amazing so far, but it’s just getting started.  Words cannot express how happy I feel.  Is this what heaven will be like?

July 25, 1997 – Friday – 1:00 p.m.

Another student orientation is today.  So many wonderful new freshmen.  So many eyes.  So many smiles.  So many stories.  So many girls.

And I have only one year with them.  Not even that really.  Really only nine months.

I will leave and they will enjoy life on my playground.

They will know my name and my face, for I will walk through their hallways of homes as I make my RD rounds.  Oh how I long to make each one happy, to make sure each one knows Christ as his or her savior and friend.  I want to tell each nervous parent that I will take care of their son or daughter.  I want to love each and every one of them.

Last night Jeanine and I went for a walk through the cool mountain night.  We get along well.

Dan has gone away for the weekend.  Not to my surprise, Vince and Laura have gotten back together.  My mom and Nate may come up on Sunday.

A month from today, all of these new stories and eyes will be here at the same time.

This should be a fun year; ’97-’98.  My senior year in college.

I’m nearly 21 years old.

Where suddenly have I gone?