November 28, 1997 – Friday – 5:00 p.m.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I spent most of the day on top of Sugar Mountain.  Marisa, Mason, their cousins, friends, and parents were there and Mason asked me if I would pray for the meal.  I was happy to do so.

The meal was nice, but the family was not.  They are full of bitterness and not love.  But they sure could make me laugh.

I came home and stayed up until two in the morning, writing a short story about the kiss Sarah and I shared on Saturday.  What a perfect Eternal Instant it was.  I feel like I’m still living in that moment, my lips on hers, yet it was so unexpected.

I watched The Spitfire Grill this morning and cried.  Then I met up with Marisa and skied for the bulk of the afternoon.  Their whole gang was there skiing as well, but I never saw them.  It’s easy to lose people when skiing.  It really felt like I spent the afternoon on those slopes alone, with the occasional few moments with Marisa.

This was my first Thanksgiving in Banner Elk.  Three years ago I was in Cincinnati.  Two years ago I was in Hampton Roads.  Last year I was in New York City.

I’m going to meet up with Sharon and family for the evening.  We are going to see a movie.

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 24, 1997 – Sunday – 7:30 p.m.

I haven’t bought my new Book of Days yet.  I’ll copy whatever I write here into it later on.  It’s Sunday, August 24th and the new students have arrived.  Sherlive is here, but I often forget that she is.  Amber and Monica are here, even Abigail.  RA training is over.

Last night, Sherlive and I went to Paul and Sharon’s.  They hosted a college cookout for both LMC and ASU students.  Josh is back and he was there, as well as Mason, Timothy, Allen, Kate, etc.  I had fun.  Josh has gained weight from his surgery and he is always tired.  He takes naps twice a day.  It’s like he’s going through puberty for the first time.

A lot has been on my mind.  I’ll try to explain and write it down in great detail after I buy the actual notebook.  I went to Linville Caverns today with some new freshmen.  It was really fun, but I feel kind of beyond them now.  Weird huh?

So another year.  New girls, but I don’t really care.  I live for Jesus and I will do my best to show him to everyone I come across.  Marisa and I write a lot through both email and snail mail.  She gives me so much encouragement.  She calls me her future husband.  I pray she keeps it up.  Perhaps she’ll speak it into existence someday.

August 17, 1997 – Sunday – 2:00 p.m.

I have turned 21-years-old.  For me, the summer ends today.  RD training is over.  RA training is beginning.  I have moved to the McAlister RD apartment.  I have unpacked.  All I need to do now is decorate my walls.

Over the past week, I have had three different letters written to me from three different girls:

“Jacob, I just wanted to thank you for being my friend and welcoming me so kindly.  Without you I would have spent these past three weeks all alone in my room.  You are a very sweet guy and I’m going to miss you.  I wish I could stay longer.  Time sure does fly!  I wish this summer didn’t have to end, but I guess all good things have to end eventually.  I will always remember these three weeks as the highlight of my summer.  Thank you for giving me a chance to become your friend.  You will never be forgotten!  Love, Jeanine”

“Hey Jacob, that’s really cool about your deer encounter.  I want to go up there and meet it.  Yes, I’m going to accept the RA job.  I’m already thinking about what programs I want to do.  Did I tell you about my wedding?  No, it’s not anytime soon, I don’t have a guy, I just decided where I want it to be.  Cannonball Mesa!  It’s this cool place out in the middle of nowhere.  I rode out on my bike to the end of the mesa and looked out at the landscape.  The wind was blowing.  I’m going to get married there when the sun rises to symbolize new beginnings and it will be beautiful.  Guess what??  I was thinking today and I decided to rewrite my rules of dating.  I decided it was unrealistic to say that I would only date a guy I would marry because I don’t know what kind of guy I want to marry.  Also, I’ve only been involved with two guys in my life and neither of them had any kind of respect for me.  I don’t even know what a good relationship is.  Love, Jessica”

“Jacob, let me start by saying I love you and end it with thanking you for helping me find my missing part and as we speak it’s being filled with God’s love.  I am so thankful for your awesome friendship and how much you have helped me realize that God is a major part of my life and he will help me through everything!  If it wasn’t for your love and willingness to help, I would never have been so close to the Lord and Jesus.  Thank you so much!  I love you with all my heart and really appreciate everything that you have helped me with this summer.  Thanks for everything.  This has been the best summer of my life and it wouldn’t be complete without you and the wonderful Lord.  Jacob, I feel so much better now that I’ve found him.  I am almost going to cry because I feel so free, just like you and your eagles.  I’m going to miss you so much.  Please write me all the time and send me e-mail too.  I know I will write you all the time!  When the summer comes again, I hope you will be here and definitely Thanksgiving because I’m coming up then.  I can’t wait to see you if you’ll be up here.  If I don’t get to see you over the summer, please keep writing and give me your address to where you are and I will always write to you…my future husband!  Thanks for our perfect friendship!  Please keep in touch.  Happy 21st birthday!  Love, Marisa.”

Jeanine has gone back to Concord.

Jessica will be here a week from Tuesday.

Marisa left for Florida today.

Take care of them Lord.

July 26, 1997 – Saturday – 10:00 a.m.

Today is Rebecca St. James’ birthday.  She is 20-years-old.

Orientation is not quite over.  How exciting this age is.  How exciting these days are.  To join together with four hundred people your own age, and to live in such a small, personal space with those individuals and their eyes who are striving and longing for that same goal.

My Lees-McRae College story has only one year left.  I can only tell my story as I experienced it.  I can tell no one else’s.  And after this year, that story will be complete; well, at least the story of my official time as a student will be complete.  Then, I will begin a new story in a new place and there I will join with other eyes who are seeking the same goal.

And after that, I do not believe this type of life will ever happen again.  Well, maybe in an old folks home.  Wouldn’t it be great if Dan, Allen, Vince, and Curtis and I all ended up in the same old folks home several decades from now!

But as for today, I feel as though Lees-McRae is mine.  I feel as though Banner Elk is mine.    I feel is it my job to love and care for the people here.

Jeanine went home for the weekend, so Kristina, the little 11-year-old girl Jeanine is here to look after, was alone.  After Forever Plaid last night, which I watched with Sherlive, Kristina, plus tons of other people like Marisa, her brother Mason, Ann-Marie, Tracey, etc., all just played around in the lobby.  Around one o’clock in the morning, everyone left except for Kristina.  I don’t think she wanted to be alone.  So, I told her I’d stay with her.  I slept in her room on Jeanine’s bed.  We fell asleep while watching The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

I awoke this morning to see Kristina sound asleep.  Another set of eyes.  Another name.  Another soul.  Just a little girl, like Veronica, like Jenna, like Tenielle, and like Hannah.  Perhaps God has brought so many young girls into my life to teach me that every woman I will ever meet…well, part of her will always be that little girl; that little girl that just wants to be loved and protected and reminded that she isn’t alone.

 

 

 

July 23, 1997 – Wednesday – 11:40 a.m.

Jeanine, a girl down the hall, came and watched Wayne’s World with Dan and Allen and I last night.  She has just graduated from high school and is here to be summer nanny to a younger girl in the show.  She really has nothing to do.  I invited her to church tonight.  Hopefully she’ll come.

Marisa came and talked to me late last night.  We talked about Christianity.  She seem to listen more to me this time.  I pray that God finds a home in her heart.

A week from tomorrow I’ll be leaving for Chrysalis in Virginia.  I don’t know how I’m getting there though.  God will take care of it, I’m sure.

I love you Lord!