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.

 

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April 8, 1998 – Wednesday – 9:41 p.m.

Tuesday afternoon Sarah and I had a nice conversation down by Elk River.  We are slowly saying our goodbyes.  We simply shared a few droplets of our different oceans together.

Ann-Marie and I did a scene together tonight in front of the entire Performing Arts Department.  It was a little comedic sex scene from Lysistrata, but with out actual sex of course.  Everyone stood up and applauded when it was over.  Kinda weird.  We did the scene in the studio and not on the stage, so everyone was sitting on the studio floor.  Other scenes have been done that way, but I’ve never seen anyone get a standing ovation in the studio before.

Sarah got a trip out of it.

Last night the most amazing thing happened.  Curtis and I went to visit Sharon for I needed to return all of the Christmas decorations she let me borrow.  We stayed over and talked with Sharon and Laura for about an hour.  Then, when it was time for little Hannah’s bedtime, she let me go up with her and tuck her in.  I sat by her side and prayed with her.  And said goodnight and kissed her on her forehead.  It was completely awesome and will easily be one of my most treasured memories from my senior year.  It reminded me that there is a larger and more important life of parenting that awaits me after college.

Thanks God!

March 19, 1998 – Thursday – 6:03 p.m.

Wednesday, after we worked, we went to Lexington to go to Southland Christian Church. It was very huge and really awesome!  We ate at Taco Bell that night and then drove back to our prison home.  It took an hour and a half to get there.  I slept both to and fro.

Today was definitely our last day at the one house we’ve been working on.  We finished up the porches and cabinets and even built a staircase.  Half of the group left to go dig ditches.

The week has flown by.  It has been loads of fun, but terribly stressful.  My patience has grown very short with Alex, Kate, and Sherlive.  I love them all to death, but their habits and personalities annoy me.  Earlier today I wasn’t enjoying the company of those around me, so I took about 30 minutes, sat down, and stared at my picture of Sarah.  Afterwards, the whole world was beautiful again.

Ron (Joe Bill) was one of those beautiful sights.  He’s been a great leader this past week.  He is so poor though.  He makes about $100 a week, and is sterile because he grew up around his father’s work and got lead poisoning.  He can’t have children of his own, and yet this poor man bought everyone dinner this evening.

This trip has caused me to appreciate Lees-McRae again.  And honestly, I think that is the only true reason I came….to see what Sarah means to me, to discover what my comfort means to me, to learn what I can live with and what I can live without.

I miss my music, you know, the music I listen to when no one else is around.  I miss my shower.  I miss my apartment as the Resident Director.  And, oh I miss everything about Sarah.  I miss those slight indentions on her forehead from when she had chickenpox as a child.  I miss the curve of her back.  I miss her laughter, her voice, and her smile.  I miss her hair, her smell, and the way she looks at me.  I miss her touch.  I miss my hands on her.  I miss talking and sharing with her, talking about nothing and talking about everything.

I love you Sarah.  May we dream of each other tonight.

January 17, 1998 – Saturday – 11:00 a.m.

Okay, never mind.  I wasn’t way off.

Yesterday, Friday the 16th, was a record-breaking day for five girls came to my room and talked to me about their romantic pursuits.

First was Geana.  We talked about sex because she and her boyfriend have sex.  She knows the Bible teaches against it, but she says with him it doesn’t feel like a sin.  She was in a car accident about five years ago where she suffered brain damage.  After that, she said her thinking changed and started doing things she would have never done before.  She seemed confused and admitted as much.  I told her that if the love was true, both would stop having sex, guard their hearts and bodies, and get married.  She seemed to see the logic in that.  She’s an interesting and weird girl.  After telling me all this stuff, she then took a nap on my sofa for an hour.

And while she was asleep, Sherlive called.  She called to talk to me about Vince for she is but another girl who is crazy about him.  I told her he was still confused about Laura and to just be his friend, but to also not be a stranger.

Then, Jessica came over and we talked about her and Allen.  They went on a midnight hike at the beginning of the semester and she now likes him and wanted to know if I knew how he felt about her.

The next girl was Emily, not my pen pal, but Emily from the theater department, who plays the prostitute I have the underwear scene with in Cuckoo’s Nest.  She wanted to talk about her confusing feelings towards Timothy and AJ.

And then the last girl to desire my company and advice was Sarah, my girl, and we got to talk about us.  Thursday night, over the phone, she told me that she had a present for me, “a special present,” she added.

“Well, I’m excited,” I said.

I saw her around lunch time and we smiled brightly at each other.  I called her while Geana was asleep only to find her crying.  She said she was an emotional wreck, but that she had to go to class.  I told her she was beautiful and that I loved her.

At dinner, she was still a little weird and I told her I would look her up after rehearsal.  After rehearsal Sarah, Mason, and Jessi went to rent a movie.  I watched it with them in Mason’s room with half the freshmen Performing Arts students, but Sarah never acknowledged I was there.

I was on duty and I got a call over the radio, so I left to deal with that and never returned.  I went to my room, put on Hymn by Jars of Clay, then put it on repeat, and began to read the Gospel of John.  While reading, a peace came over me.  I have been praying for a while now for God to teach me to love like he loves.  And I realized that he answered my prayer through Sarah.  He showed me how much it hurts when he loves those who do not even acknowledge or look at him.

When I got to the second chapter, there was a knock at my door.

Sarah came in.

She sat on the floor, by the sofa I was sitting on, and laid her head upon me.  I put my arm around her and ran my fingers through her hair.

She began to cry and she didn’t stop until she left, which was about an hour later.

My eyes shed no tears.

She eventually spoke.  “You see a beauty in me that I have yet to see.  I see how much you love and care for me and its the scariest thing I’ve ever known.”

“You ought to be me,” I smiled.

“I just don’t know what to do.”

“Do you want me to let you go?”

“Not completely.”

“I know not completely, but enough where we don’t have to pretend to play this little game?  I can’t stop loving you Sarah, but I can stop trying to show it.  And you know that I’m here if you ever need someone to hold you.”

She continued to cry.

“I’ve known you’ve felt this way for a long time,” I told her, “I just wanted to be come and tell me.”

“I didn’t want to hurt you.”

“You couldn’t hurt me.”

“I don’t want you to have to need me.”

“Sarah, I needed me to love you more than I ever needed you to love me.  What has happened between us is a beautiful thing.  God has told me to love you now, because we both will need it later on.  Please don’t feel guilty.”

We looked at each other for a while.

She broke the silence with, “It’s not like I don’t love you, I do, and you know I’ll always be here,” she placed her hand on my chest, “but I’m just not ready.”

More silence passed.

“I had a cross necklace that I wanted to give you, something that I’ve had for a while that has been very special to me, but it feel out of my pocket today and I lost it.”

The tears poured from her eyes.

“I’m sorry.” I said.

After a few eternal silent moments of unending eye-contact, she finally kissed me on my cheek and said, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”  I said.

January 1, 1998 – Thursday – 8:45 p.m.

This is my third entry for the first day of 1998.  Marcus and I went to see Amistad this afternoon; a very good movie filled with wonderful moments.  I cried when they talked about my savior and described his life in the wonderful way they did.

So, about 1997.

I remember sleeping through the last night of 1996.  I spent the first evening of 1997 with Christy’s family playing cards.  I haven’t seen that family since Christi and Patti were burned back in May.  I remember the smell of Dawn during Children of A Lesser God.  I miss that show.  Of all I have performed at Lees-McRae, that is my favorite.  I remember touching Abigail’s face for the first time and kissing Jeni again and not really knowing why.  I remember my hundreds of hours spent with Dan, Allen, Vince, and Curtis.  They are the greatest guys ever created.  I remember my trip to Ft. Walton Beach, and when Emily lost a bit of her beauty in my eyes.  I remember the box office and Lindy’s funny stories.  I remember rooming with Dan and talking with Marisa.  I remember the orientations and meeting Sarah for the first time.  I remember my weekend trips in September, regaining Abigail’s friendship, and perfect days spent in Hilton Head.  I remember spending hours in The Misanthrope script.  I remember the beautiful girl who took the time to touch me.  I remember my Christmas tree and my love for Sarah growing.

A peaceful year.

So, I’ll begin this one now.

Nineteen Hundred Ninety-Eight.

I give it to you God!

December 17, 1997 – Wednesday – 8:30 p.m.

Nearly a week until Christmas and this is the final evening of my seventh semester at Lees-McRae college.  The fall semester of 1997 is almost over.

I spent some time last night with Abigail.  I told her the whole Sarah story and she shared some more with me about K.C.  She thanked me for sharing stuff like that with her.  What a good friend I have in her.  Thank you God for healing us.

And most of this afternoon and evening was spent with Sarah.  After she packed I held her in her bed.  She fell asleep, but I just kept watching her, touching her face and neck as she slept and made little snoring noises.

She is so beautiful.

She left this evening.  Just now, before I started writing, as a matter of fact.  We plan to see each other over the holidays.  I can’t wait!

This has been an amazing semester.  There were many great and favorite moments:

– Laughing with Dan and Sherlive about the blue hole thing

– Midnight bowling in Savannah and scoring a 224.

– The “Stand in the Gap” trip.

– Cantering with Bay Lady.

– A mute Abigail asking me to touch her face.

– Seeing “Masks” resurrected.

– Every minute of the Hilton Head Island trip

– November 22, 1997 and nearly every second since then when I was close to Sarah.

– And I can’t forget to mention, although I don’t think I ever wrote about it here in my journal, the time I held Sarah under a rainbow.

What a blessed semester this has been.  And I even had my own real Christmas tree!  I got to travel, direct and choreograph, act in a leading role again, and meet Sarah.

I have so much to love, so much to cherish, and it all comes back to Jesus.

Jesus, I love you so much.  Thank you for all you have given me.  You are my life.  You are my all.

Oh vast pursuing lover come.

December 1, 1997 – Monday – 8:20 p.m.

I have been a Christian for a total of 12 years now.  Today is my spiritual birthday.

It’s hard to know what I’m feeling right now.  Let me just try to catch up.

Sunday after church, Josh and I went shopping in Johnson City, TN then we picked Vince up from the airport.  We went to church that night and saw a presentation of the musical Star Queen.  It was so wonderful.

Sarah called me that night and then came over to see my Christmas tree.  We held hands and talked for nearly two hours.  She told me so many neat stories.  She has such an amazing heart and the world is so beautiful through her eyes.

She has gone to see a show two hours away tonight.  I am on duty and miss her greatly.

After she left at 11:00 p.m., Vince took me out to Subway and then we came back here and ate to the light of my Christmas tree.

I got some Teen Mania information today in the mail.  I began to cry as I read over it.  The Lord moved upon me.  I am applying to go on a two month mission trip to either India or South Africa next summer.  I am insanely excited!

There are only two weeks left of classes.  I don’t have any exams during finals week.  In less that 18 days I take the GRE.

Christmas is so soon.  It hardly feels real.

And the wonderful burden of everything changing is resting upon the shoulders of my mind right now.  I haven’t talked to Emily since May.  Sarah and I are telling each other things we tell no one else.  Auditions for the spring show are in one week.  I direct a one-act next semester.  Once the new semester begins in January, there will only be four months left until it’s all over.

Sarah is a freshman.  I am a senior.  Why does the world work this way?

I had to look through some old boxes for a picture negative earlier this evening and I came across a lot of ancient stuff.  Memories flooded my heart and soul.  And I realized how much things really have changed since I first arrived on this campus.  And then I realized how much everything was getting to change even more.

Oh Jesus, you are my one constant companion.  You are by my side no matter what!

Humble me God.

You are all I have.

You are all I’ll ever have.

I need you now.

More than ever.