February 12, 1999 – Friday – 9:15 a.m.

Nate turns 14 today.  My other brother is 24.

And last night, all my thought dwelt on a 25-year-old mother.  Her name is Janie.  I met her a week ago today.  I first wrote about her on the 8th.

I called her last night to ask if she would be my actress in Forever, a short film I’m writing and directing for my Introduction to Film class.  She said yes, and then we just kept talking.  We spoke over the phone for an hour and a half.  Our conversation covered everything from God’s provision to God’s forgiveness.  She is so funny and so beautiful.  I invited her to attend our youth service tonight.

We’ll see.

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February 8, 1999 – Monday – 12:47 a.m.

How quickly the weekends come and go.  I spent Friday at Jorge’s apartment on a film shoot.  I played a secret agent sort of character.  I met the most beautiful 25-year-old woman in the world.  She had a bit part, and I can’t recall her name, but she has a 7-year-old little boy named Christian.  She got married when she was 17 and it didn’t work out.  We got to talk in between shot set ups.  It was nice.

I washed my clothes on Saturday and worked on a film shoot until 3:00 a.m.  At church on Sunday, I tried to talk to Christin’s mom about how Christin is doing.  She just hasn’t been herself recently and even her grades are suffering.  I didn’t get any answers, so I hope she’s okay.

After church I went with Josh, Jason, Robin, and Michelle to Waffle House and to see Stepmom.

It’s nearly one o’clock on this Monday morning.  I’ve gotten so used to this area, to the layout of this land.  It’s all so familiar to me now.  My mountain memories of Lees-McRae seem almost like a foreign country when compared to these flat suburbs.

It’s been six months since I returned from Africa.

I’m not ready to leave this place yet.  These smiles and eyes are too pretty God.  These souls are too precious and deep.  Help me love them God.  Help me make a difference while I am here, for they are making such a huge difference in me.

January 31, 1999 – Sunday – 11:38 p.m.

What an amazing weekend!  Friday, after youth group, Kimberly, Sterling, Christin, new friend Tessa, and a few others went to eat at IHOP.  These girls are the joy of my life these days.  I took Kimberly home afterwards.

Saturday, after going to Northwest River Park to measure a pier I found there for a short film I hope to make, I went to Kim’s birthday party, and everyone just had a fantastic time.  There was so much laughter!

Afterwards, some of us went to the movies and saw She’s All That.  It was definitely a movie for 16-year-old girls, but that’s who I surrounded by, so it was fun.  I took Kimberly home then as well.  I sat next to her in church this morning and felt like a helpless high schooler again.  She’s unbelievable, and I wanted so badly to reach over and hold her hand, but I didn’t.  Sometimes it feels like I like every girl I ever meet.

I went over to Sterling’s this afternoon and we played in her room all afternoon.  At the Super Bowl party tonight at church, the teenagers started talking about potential guy/girl relationships, so I walked away and stayed out of it.  Later Rebekah came and talked to me and asked me if I knew how women wanted to be treated.  I shared my answer and her mouth hung open in disbelief.  She said I was spot on.  My feelings then were bittersweet.  Many women tell me I have them all figured out, yet I don’t have anyone to give share my life with.

David and I talked a bit after everyone left.  He is interested in a 20-year old girl at church.  He’s 26.  It should happen.

February is around the corner, so it feels like talk of love and relationships is in the air.

But no matter how much I dream of Kimberly or Christin, these girls are simply too young for me at this stage of life.  They are Winter Dreams.  I will have moved on from here by the time they are of the right age for a serious relationship to truly go anywhere.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t lose sleep thinking about them now.

January 26, 1999 – Tuesday – 10:14 p.m.

Wow, I can’t believe how much time has passed since my last entry.  Let’s see…Friday’s youth service was great; we just worshipped and prayed.  God showed up and spoke through us.  On Saturday we had a rehearsal for Masks and performed it Sunday night for the church.  It went fabulously and many were blessed by it.

Our new youth group name is “Vision of Fire.”

Saturday night I went over to Nicole’s for a dinner party.  Many other film students were there and it great to hangout with guys and girls who were over the age of 22.

I led devotions in my Research and Writing class on Monday.  I used my teddy bear as an example and even played “Absence of Fear” by Jewel.  The message was basically that our relationship with Jesus should be a romantic one.

I spoke up at our home group on Monday night and shared about a vision I had related to my glorified body.  I cried as I spoke.  It was something else.

I also was accidentally locked out of my apartment last night and ended up staying over at April’s and Mary Jo’s until two in the morning.  I watched The Mirror Has Two Faces while they went to sleep.

Today itself was an excellent day.  Sharon called me to simply update me on what has been going on with her family.  She makes me feel like I am one of them.  She shared with me the Laura has woken up.  She felt that her relationship with the Lord was only based on her mother’s faith and that she herself was not in love with Jesus.  She rededicated her life to him, even prepared her own service on Monday night, gave her testimony, and even got re-baptized.  Pastor Brent asked her to share again on Sunday morning.  She did and afterwards eight people came to know Jesus as their savior.

Wow!

You are amazing Jesus!

According to Sharon, all of Heaton is in revival right now because one little girl decided to fully love her Lord.  Oh Laura, you are still the most amazing one I’ve come across.

Jesus, you are the lover of my soul.  You are my vision, my life, my love.  You are so beautiful.

And we will live forever.

December 29, 1998 – Tuesday – 9:30 a.m.

It is nearing the end of the year.  I rest in Milton, Florida, USA, and these days force me to look back.

Nineteen Hundred Ninety-Eight.

Thoughts of Sarah, as well as saying goodbye to Lees-McRae, took up the first six months. I still long for that place, but I’m secretly and silently afraid to go back to visit, for I fear I might ruin it’s impact on my life and my heart.

There was a month of transition in the middle of this year through which I visited Texas and South Africa, with brief stops in New York and Miami.  Those were such perfect days.  I wish I could go back and stay in them a little longer, for they were simply too short.

Virginia Beach, Regent University, and Parkway Temple all immediately fell into my lap and my heart.  It seemed as though my collection grew overnight, and now it is the only home I long for.

I am enjoying my time off here, but my parents’ marriage, my stepfather’s need to explain everything, and my mother’s non-displays-of-affection towards her husband and myself still shock and hurt me.  I simply do not understand.  I stay silent.

Emily said she would call yesterday.  She did not.  She reminds me of Sarah.

I just want to do it right.  I want a true and simple love.

The tiny smile of Christin is all I need.

Since my first semester of graduate school is over, it is time to pick the most cherished moments of that time.  There are only two, and I was fully aware they were perfect moments while they were happening.

The first was on November 28, 1998, the Saturday evening I spent with Tracey.  It was the moment during Riverdance in which a gentlemen played a beautiful bagpipe sort of instrument and the entire world stopped.  The music brought peace to the entirety of my days and perfect love to my heart.  I had an old friend by my side and even older memories in my mind.  I had just seen Vince and Allen, a beautiful sunset, and fantastic fireworks.

Perfection.

The next one took place during the early morning hours of December 13, 1998.  My Heart Will Go On played over the credits of Titanic.  Sterling was asleep on one side of me, and Christin was asleep on the other.  Her beautiful face was on my chest and my fingers were in her hair.

Perfection.

And so, a few days of this year remain.

Can 1999 be so close?

What is happening to this world?

Jesus, you are my shelter.

You are all I seek.

Please guide me.

 

December 25, 1998 – Friday – 8:03 a.m.

It’s Christmas Day.  I’m in my parent’s RV.

On Wednesday night, Christin and I went to see You’ve Got Mail after church.  Then we went back to my apartment.  I needed to finish packing, then go spend the night at her house so she and her parents could drive me to the airport early the next morning.  While over at my apartment, she laid on my bed, I played some music, and then sat down next to her and put my arm around her.  She laid her head on my chest and we shared a few brief moments of eternal beauty together.  I just watched her and ran my fingers across the curves of her face.  She is beautiful.

We played Nintendo when we got to her house.  She is so much fun and so good to me.

Both of my flights were delayed due to the weather, but I finally arrived in Pensacola.  I talked to Kevin last night.  I miss him.  We are about to open presents.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

December 18, 1998 – Friday – 11:49 p.m.

Our show opened tonight, and I received two invitations from other churches to bring the show to their church.  One woman wants me to plan a drama workshop weekend in August.

What are you doing God?

I went with Christin and Justin and others to see The Prince of Egypt tonight.  It was so wonderful.  Christin invited me over for a family Christmas gathering tomorrow.

There is something about her.  I want to be closer to her.  Why do things like this always happen?  Oh Emily…what is going on?