February 20, 2000 – Sunday – 8:00 a.m.

Marie and I have talked very long and intensely about marriage and our future lives together.  We drove down to Siler City and Mt. Vernon Springs on Friday.  We also stopped in Henderson and I saw where she spent her past Christmases.  She said that during those times she always dreamed of marrying a boy from North Carolina.

We are planning on researching three areas to begin our life: Tucson, Arizona, Nashville, Tennessee, and Asheville, North Carolina.  We are going to list out the pros and cons of each.  I will talk with her parents over Easter break in April.  We will let them know of our plans and see which they favor and honor the most.

I will ask Marie to marry me sometime after the semester.  We will spend the next school year planning our wedding, honeymoon, and move.  We will more than likely marry in June of 2001 and life will be beautiful.

 

February 14, 2000 – Monday – 1:28 p.m.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Marie and I spent yesterday afternoon with a young married couple (younger than us) named Lori and Ben from Avalon Hills.  They are wonderful.  That evening after church Marie and I spoke practically of marriage.  My insides were going crazy.

In a year and a half we are both leaving this place together.  Perhaps we’ll be married in New Jersey.  I would like that.

Marie can work off some of her school loans by working as a teacher in a teacher-shortage area like Arizona or Wyoming.  How exciting!

I’m ready for anything.

This is your life God!

. . .

I’ve just been sitting here thinking.  My insides are pondering.  I’ve worked myself into an awkward corner.  My entire life has pointed in the direction of being a storyteller, of working in theater and film.  Did I put that desire there in my heart, or did God?

I do not believe that I could have come this far if God did not do this.  How this is going to happen, I do not know.  Perhaps it is best if I don’t even really try and just let go.  I must do what the Lord said so long ago, just show up every day.  Of course, now, showing up means loving Marie.  And it means sharing life with someone.  I see now why God makes men single for a while.  He must prepare their hearts.

I don’t want to just direct movies and theater productions, I want to also be alive.  And it grows clearer and clearer with each passing day that I will only be alive for a very short while.  I want to be alive with Marie.

So, I made Dang! and that might be the only one.  I had some great acting moments on a few different stages and there may not be any more moments.  I just want to love God, love the woman I marry, love our children, and never let my heart grow cold.  I just want to breathe in this beautiful creation with every new day.

Take me Lord, wherever you want, I’ll go.

January 27, 2000 – Thursday – 1:00 p.m.

The Word tells me to take no thought of my life, and no thought for my life.

Why then have I kept a journal?  Aren’t all these pages merely thoughts?

The Word however is the heart and thoughts of God, so perhaps I shouldn’t worry.

Marie and I talked of marriage last night.  Three months we’ve had this special friendship and now we are talking about marriage.

You are so beautiful God.  I am your bride.  You have washed this sinner clean.  You are worthy.  You are worthy to have your way between this little boy and this little girl way down here where we cannot see the big picture.

I feel so broken and so small.

Melt my pride and my doubt.

All I want is your love oh God.  I admit that on my knees.  If your love is through Marie, and I can love you through her, then I accept it so thankfully.  It is such a beautiful manifestation of you.

January 24, 2000 – Monday – 1:35 p.m.

Okay, let me just slow down enough to write in my journal.

Marie just stopped by on her way to class.  We are having dinner together in four hours, a special soup from her mother.  Marie is my best friend ever.  My beautiful love.  The woman I want to spend every day of my life with.  I’ve walked down many different paths and have had other relationships with girls, but they have all guided me here to these days in Virginia Beach with her.

We go to church together now and it has pulled me away from Parkway Temple, where I attended for the past 18 months.  We have tried Bethel Christian Fellowship, but I don’t think that is for us, so we’re going to try Avalon Hills next Sunday.

I am amazed and overwhelmed every day by the love of both Marie and Jesus.

This past Friday we drove around the Bacon’s Castle area of southeast Virginia.  There were so many little village type towns out there.  On February 11th we are driving down to Wilmington, NC, where I hope to move with her in a year and a half’s time.  Her birthday is in July and inside I’m praying that that is when I will ask her to marry me.

She is the sweetest and grandest of all women.  She views life through the eyes of a poet.  Her faith and relationship with Jesus is so true and steadfast.  She is a warrior and a little girl.  She is faithful and true.  She is beyond anything I could have dreamed to share my life with.  She listens to me, holds me, comforts me, prays for me, and loves me.

She amazes me.

Thank you Jesus.

January 23, 2000 – Sunday – 7:15 a.m.

It snowed last night.  The second snowfall in the past week.  And now I realize it has been a week since I’ve written.  It feels like a day.  Wow.

Things are good.  God is blessing me.  The Dang! footage looks great.  We will begin editing next week.  It also looks like there is a good chance that at least one of my screenplays will be selected for a funded production this summer.

Last night the roots of Marie and my’s relationship ran deeper.  It’s hard to write about the two of us because we have our own little book we started together.  We tell each other we love each other now.  And it is a very painful and scary thing; almost to the point that it is comforting.

We visited both sets of Grandparents, she even met my Dad last Sunday.  He acted like the total antisocial butthole that he is.  It was difficult, but it is also nice dealing with all this buried junk inside me with Marie by my side.  I’m learning to see it all through her eyes.

The purity outside reminds me of God’s fresh grace.

December 21, 1999 – Tuesday – 10:15 p.m.

Vince and I experienced the most beautiful sunset in the world last night.  We were out at Back Bay Wildlife Refuge.  It was unbelievable.  God is so big, so grand, and I see Him every day.

I called Marie this evening.  She sounded beautiful.  She said she wrote me a letter.  What a lovely creation oh God.  She is yours, not mine.

She will be here in two days, but I’ll only get to see her a little while and then she’ll be back eight days later.

This relationship is the truest one I’ve seen or known.  I am overwhelmed with joy and thanksgiving.

There are ten days remaining in this millennium.  Vince lies to my left reading Passion and Purity.  My small Christmas tree is blinking in front of us with wrapped Christmas presents underneath.  We are listening to Whisper loaned to me by a beautiful girl now in New Jersey.  But she feels so close to me tonight.

Justin visited with us yesterday and Sunday.  He is doing very well.  What a great friend!

God’s blessings continue to multiply, so much so that I feel I can’t contain all the joy.  He’s given me so much in talent, in Marie, and in friends.

It is in dying that we are born.

Jesus broke the bread before he multiplied it.

Did my breaking come my senior year of Lees-McRae?  My first year of Regent?  Or is my true breaking yet to come?

Oh Lord, please have your way.

Teach me about all that is good in you.  Melt me away.  I don’t want to exist.  Only you Lord.  Take me over.  Take me over.

I love you my sweet savior.

 

November 27, 1999 – Saturday – 5:38 p.m.

Sometimes I wait for my life to begin

Sometimes our hearts should begin in the end

Sometimes my life is just paper and pen

But then sometimes I think of you

. . .

Tracey and I watched old Lees-McRae dance videos last night.  They were from four or five years ago.  I have forgotten that I am 23.  Those two numbers next to each other look very old to me.  But it is all relative.  I’m sure to others I’m a little punk who doesn’t know anything about life yet.  And they are probably right.

This month is ending and I have two screenplays and a huge paper to finish.

But this is not about me.

I am beginning to see that I will never do really huge things in my career.  Sure, I may make some movies, and I may have a few good roles on the stage and screen, but these things will never be greater than making a girl smile.  What am I if I do not love?

I am nothing.

. . .

Vince is coming, but I have so much work and a show to do.  I know not what Christmas brings, but I hope to see Marie and meet her family.  I know not what will happen for New Year’s either, but I do know that the following week I will be directing Dang!.

Oh God, you have much to do through me.

Hold the clock.  Stop the sun.

Speed me up.  Slow me down.

 

November 21, 1999 – Sunday – 8:35 a.m.

It has been so long since I’ve written.  I guess I’ve been occupied.

Marie and I have been affirming each other more and more.  She is coming to church with me this morning.

Sarah sent me an email saying she was in love with me and that she is sorry for all she did.  I wrote her back forgiving her and telling her that I met the woman I wanted to marry.

I also wrote Mary, and she said for me not to go off and find a girl when there is one in Oklahoma who is still in love with me.

Mary and Sarah once meant so much to me, but now they only offer words on a screen. Marie is right in front of me.

I acted in two different directing scenes on Friday and I even directed my own.  All went well.

Vince is coming to spend about three weeks with me.  The bookstore needs some extra help, so he is going to live with me and take the temporary job.

These days are just full of unbelievable grace.  Marie is turning into my best friend.  I’m creating the Lord’s art.  My soul is completely free.  I’m finding beauty in this land, and it is mostly in Marie’s eyes.  What did I ever do to deserve such beauty?

The days ahead hold so much change.

It is a full moon on Tuesday, so Marie and I will return to that field in North Carolina to celebrate a full passing of the moon over our great friendship.  She will travel home for Thanksgiving the next morning and I will stay here and try to write a short screenplay.  I’ll visit with Tracey, Vince, and Justin, and I’ll work in the bookstore.

December will bring the final weeks of school, as well as all the final preparations for DANG!.  We had a rehearsal for it last night and it was just perfect.  God’s hands are all over this!

Marie and I are making plans to see each other over Christmas.  I can’t wait to meet her family.  Thank you Jesus for handling this relationship.  You are all that is perfect and pure and beautiful.  I love you Lord!

 

September 11, 1999 – Saturday – 6:30 p.m.

The weather has been unbelievable recently.  I finished the shoot for the CBN feature on Thursday.  The piece was about a daughter whose boyfriend killed her mother and father.  It caused me to reflect.  I’ve come to notice the amount of pain and suffering my life has not seen.  No one truly close to me has died.

As autumn comes closer, I’m reminded of change.  This all seems to happen too fast.  I hate that I get too selfish.  I hate that it took me too long to love this place, and now it feels I’m about to leave it.  I wish I was more full of love.  I wish I wasn’t so picky when it comes to girls.  Is it bed to be satisfied with your love God?  I’m content with what you have given me.

So where do we go from here?  You died so that I might live.  Is that what I should do?  Live?  Love others?  Love you?  Love you by loving others?  Love others by loving you?

I can do that.  I can enjoy those within my proximity.  I can enjoy all the beauty.  I can see you in all of them.

 

August 20, 1999 – Friday – 1:30 p.m.

I feel haunted by every moment.  Memories of these days here in Virginia Beach have already begun to linger in my mind and heart.  It seems I live every moment knowing it will never be again.  I do believe that true love lasts forever.  Veronica, Jeni, Emily, Sarah, these loves did not last forever.  Who they are now is not the person I once knew.  I’m sure I too have changed.

The summer is slowly closing, and I wish I could be back in the arms of Mary.  I wish I could sit above the city of dreams and overlook L.A.  I wish I could wake up once more under the thin slice of the Vermont moon.

I am missing days I haven’t even entered.

Oh to be 22 again.  To have just returned from Africa, to be working with the beautiful Dawn, to be sitting in class talking about movies, to be directing fifteen teens in a Christmas show.

I visited eleven new states while I was 22.

I miss the wife I have yet to meet.  Forgive me for looking for you in others’ hearts.

I want to sleep in the arms of the one who knows me.