February 11, 1998 – Wednesday – 1:00 p.m.

Last night was so weird.

Emily has a big long break between her scene’s in Cuckoo’s Nest, and last night, during that break, she went and drank all her problems away.  She came back to her scene with me in our underwear all liquored up, that’s the first time I’ve ever had to kiss anyone with so much alcohol on their breath.  Then after our scene she pours her heart out to me backstage, and starts crying.  She said something really bad happened to her that day, but she didn’t want to tell me the details.  Whew.  I felt for her.

I bought my plane ticket for Tampa today.  $221, pretty good, huh?

Justin and I have decided to spend Spring Break doing some flood relief work in Kentucky.  It should be fun.

Titanic received 14 Oscar nominations.  That’s a tie for the record, crazy!

Life is running along very smoothly.  Less than three months remain now.

Sarah gets more beautiful with each passing day.  I am only 21-years-old, but I know I have truly loved a woman.

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February 4, 1998 – Wednesday – 2:09 p.m.

Wow!  I just got off the phone with Elinor from Regent University.  We had an awesome time!  She even prayed for me.  I’m going there!  I’m sure of it! I’ve been sure of it for a long time.  We talked so much about film and ministry and everything.

In Radio/TV/Film class the other day I had a mock film audition and Doc said I was a natural.  Other people evidently saw the audition somehow and have been complimenting me on it.  Emily even stopped me just to say I did an amazing job.  Others have started calling me “Film Boy.”

I want to make movies so badly.  I want to learn this craft, to tell stories, to be used by God.  I just want to sit at his table and consume every good thing he has for me.

I’m reaching the point where I don’t want to be with Sarah anymore.  I’m going to give it some more time, but I don’t have much time left.  I need to spend that time being me with my true friends, and not just sitting around waiting for my girlfriend, who never seems to come by or call me.

January 24, 1998 – Saturday – 6:17 p.m.

I saw Titanic again today.  Sarah wasn’t with me, but I went with Dan and Justin and they were amazed.

Sarah and I have been together for nearly three months and we seem to get closer and closer each day.  The time will come when I will have to go, but I know it won’t be without her.  I have found an amazing love with her.  Something that can never be broken.  She will always be in my heart, even if I love and marry another, she will still be there.

In a way though, I’m glad she came as my time at Lees-McRae is ending.  It has helped me love her.  Everything from my 21 years behind me has helped me love her.

It is so wonderful to love; so wonderful to give.

And I have so far to go.

January 12, 1998 – Monday – 1:00 p.m.

It has begun.  My final semester.  All of my close friends are back now, except for Curtis, Abigail, and Ann-Marie.

Charlie and Kate and I went to see Good Will Hunting.  It was amazing, but man I think it had more bad language than any movie I’d ever seen.  Yuck!

Church was nice on Sunday.  Crystal has decided to not go back to school in Asheville.  She is going to stay home and work.

Saturday night I called Sarah from Dan’s room and we had a nice conversation.  We just caught each other up on our week and all that has happened.

During a meeting on Sunday night, I met all the new freshmen for the semester.  Sarah came in around that time and it was so good to see her.  She gave me a letter, a beautiful, beautiful letter.

I think perhaps you, the reader, should read it:

Dear Jacob,

Hi. I want to share some things with you. Let’s start with the fact that I am really really happy right now. You know how different times in life have different feelings? Well, for now, I am happy and I feel like I am waiting. God has brought me here, but am I making a difference while I wait? I’m just trying to live from the Him that I feel burning inside me.

I’ve never been good at getting my feelings across in words or on paper; if I could I suppose I’d be striving to be a lawyer or an author, but God wants me to do something. I know this because he saved me so many times; in this we are alike. You feel your wings itch inside and I feel something as well.  I want to rejoice in my life and how it leads me to live. I can see your wings Jacob, I know it’s true! I think I have chosen the wolf as my animal because they see and hear everything. This is the gift that God has given me that both delights and scares me. I see and know things that others can’t and what many overlook. These are pretty deep thoughts, thoughts that I share with no one because I’m afraid they won’t get it.

I am a sinner. We all sin, that is the part of our legacy as humans. I wish it weren’t so, but even the best of us do.  Most of the time we do it without even thinking about it.  I know that some of the things I do are not what you would call good, but they are part of who I am, a part of my past, a part of my life. I dedicated my life to God long ago and I gave him all of me, even my weakness, along with my joy, fears, love, pain, and stress. My life is his. I learn everyday. I’m trying.

Part of what I’m trying to explain is that… well, I love you and I don’t want to scare you away from me. For the next few months I need to soak as much of you up as I can, so that no matter what happens you will make me a better person just by being you. You understand don’t you? I love you. As I said, I wasn’t planning on falling in love with you, but this unexpected love for you excites and scares me. Except for my family and the few friends I have at home, all of my other relationships with people seem to turn sour. Please don’t let me scare you away. I don’t know what will happen, but I do know that we must learn from each other. I have found true love in your heart. Unfurl your wings and fly away.  

I love you.

Forever.

Sarah

It’s hard to know what to write after reading that.  But God is doing something.  After reading her letter, everything around me became more beautiful.  As I walked across campus today and had great moments with Vince, Justin, Josh, Sherlive, everyone; I realized that all of us were on the Titanic, Sarah too.  There is an iceberg ahead and it’s sole purpose is to separate us from each other.

But although the thought made me want to cry, I became full of so much joy because I know God has given me Sarah for this short while to help bring me beyond the iceberg.

I can survive this storm if she is with me.  I told her as much when we had a few moments alone last night.

After saying goodnight, I went to see Vince.  He read to me a long poetic story he wrote after he saw Titanic.  It dealt with Laura.  Man, one movie is ripping all of us open.  He saw it over Christmas with his family and he said he couldn’t believe how his mom and stepfather reacted; they only talked about the special effects! But Vince said he was dying inside and wished I was there so he wouldn’t feel so alone.  He didn’t want to be alone last night, so he came over and slept on the floor here in my apartment.  He got up in the middle of the night and threw up in my bathroom.  He said it was over Laura.

It’s good to have Vince here to talk to.

This morning we went down to the Jehovah Petra, the cross we built on a huge bolder in the middle of the river, but the storm and flooding that happened over the break must have washed it away.  Our place to pray and worship was no where to be found.

Oh, these days; my mind seems to be overflowing.  Of all those things, number one is my Lord, number two is Sarah, number three are these wonderful friends.

It’s so hard to see Sarah when other people are around. I want so badly just to hold her and talk with her about things I barely tell myself.  It’s difficult to see her everyday because I love her so much.  I don’t know how to be a couple with her, I just know how to love her and give her my all.

Every day is an amazing new day.  Every new day is the best day ever.  Are these the best days of my life?  Am I living them now?  God is so true and alive and real.

I love others.

And that is the greatest of all gifts.

January 9, 1998 – Friday – 4:30 p.m.

Mom brought me back up to school on Thursday.

Wednesday night I called Sarah.  She was very mean to me, but she said she was kidding. Recently she just hasn’t been the Sarah I once knew.

I bought a rose for her and put it in her room today.  I’ve given our relationship to God.  I don’t know what happened, but I hope we get a chance to really talk soon.

I have a wonderful world up here.  Dan and his brother are here now.  The other come soon.  A great change is happening inside me.  My spirit and flesh war every day.  I try to keep the relationships around me growing and, at the same time, pursue an education and a career.

Overall though and more than anything, I just want to love and serve God.  I want to live this life to its fullest in God’s perfect plan and I do not want to sin.

Only four months are left.

Four.

Two of those four will be given to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Next.  On stage anyway, I’ll end my Lees-McRae career with a death scene, a suicide to be exact.  Weird.

Man.

I do miss Sarah.

I miss touching her.

I just miss her.

And I miss Titanic.  I haven’t stopped listening to the soundtrack since I got it.  Hmmm.  You spend 3 1/2 hours in a theater, yet you feel as though you have lived a lifetime.  I pray I can do that for people.

But as for now I am alive, just like any person who ends up reading this.

And I always will be alive.

Forever.

December 23, 1997 – Tuesday – 2:00 p.m.

I just wrote a letter to Sarah.  I took a passage from Hinds’ Feet on High Places, a book she let me borrow, and put it in her letter.  It reads:

I must tell you a great truth, Much-Afraid, which only few understand. All the fairest beauties in the human soul, its greatest victories, and its most splendid achievements are always those which no one else knows anything about, or can only dimly guess at.  Every inner response of the human heart to love and every conquest over self-love is a new flower on the tree of love.

Many a quiet, ordinary, and hidden life, unknown to the world, is a veritable garden in which love’s flowers and fruits have come to such perfection that it is a place of delight where the King of Love himself walks and rejoices with his friends. Some of my servants have indeed won great visible victories and are rightly loved and reverenced by other men, but always their greatest victories are like the wild flowers, those which no one knows about.

And that has happened.  A great victory has occurred inside me, for I love Sarah, a girl so unlike me, a girl so similar to me.  I haven’t tried to change her, though there is much I wish I could.  I know I’ve said I’ve loved in the past, but with Veronica, I was too young to know, with Jeni, it quickly turned to lust, and with Emily, I fear I was in love with the idea of a long lost pen pal.

But now with Sarah, I love her and I will forever, for true love never dies.

I saw her yesterday.  We went see a movie, but this wasn’t just any movie, for it is now our movie.  Throughout it’s running time, we held each other so tightly.  We held hands, arms, legs.  My years at college are sinking into the ocean of time and I’m just holding onto the ones I love as tightly as a can.

Jack saved Rose’s life, in every way possible.  He brought her to the rest of her life beyond that maiden voyage.  I keep dwelling on Exodus 23:20, but I can’t figure out who is bringing who.  Our world is splitting in two.  The iceberg has stuck.  It’s only a matter of time.

Is she bringing me?

Or am I bringing her?

Or maybe we are bringing each other.

Love can touch us once and last for a lifetime.  Love is what brings us.  She has brought me, and I love her now and forever for that.

Jack lived a short life so Rose could live a long one.

I bought the soundtrack today.  In it, James Cameron wrote about James Horner: “And most importantly, he has made us one with Jack and Rose, feeling the beat of their hearts as they experience the kind of love we all dream about, but seldom find.”

I have, if only for a short while, found it.

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December 19, 1997 – Friday – 2:00 p.m.

I took the GRE yesterday morning.  It went okay.  Mom and I talked a lot on the way home.  The Neals are getting divorced.  Sad, sad story.

Last night I called up Mike.  He’s doing well.  He said he might call me today.  And then, realizing it’s been two years since I have seen or talked to Jonathan, I decided to call his old house to see if his dad knew where he was.  And guess what…Jonathan was there.

He drove over to visit.  His hair was green and he had two tongue rings and a nose ring.  He hasn’t grown and he looks like he’s only changed for the worse.  He looked scared and worried and stressed.

I hugged my lost friend and everything became okay.  He is still alive.  Thank God for that.

Danny flies in from California today.  Marcus and Peter came over last night.  Marcus said that more than half of our graduating class has a kid now.  Most dropped out of college.  Some are already divorced.

Kevin says he’s moving to Texas to transfer to a school there.  He will transfer in as a sophomore after five years at Methodist College in Fayetteville.  He turns 23 in less than a month and he is only going to be a sophomore.  I’m 21 and just took the GRE for graduate school.  I just don’t understand what my brother has been doing.

Nate has begun shaving at 12.  He will be hairy like Henry.

I called Sarah today.  She was baking cookies and listening to Christmas music.    She says that she misses me and its only been one day.  That is good.  I will call her again on Monday and we will go see Titanic.  Hmm.  Sarah actually looks a little bit like Kate Winslet.