April 1, 1999 – Thursday – 12:08 p.m.

The first day of April ’99 has brought forth great peace.  I finished editing my first five minute film this morning at 2:00 a.m.  Life since my last entry has been nice.  Justin from youth group came to stay with me on Sunday afternoon.  That was a fun time.  On Monday, I rented some French films.  They were all amazing, especially Blue of Three Colors; I need to see the other two now!

On Tuesday night we had a foot washing service with our teen leaders from youth church.  God is doing good things at Parkway Temple.

I’ve been told over and over here that I bless people by simply being me.  That has to be on of the greatest compliments anyone can ever receive.

Thank you God!

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.

December 31, 1998 – Thursday – 12:30 p.m.

It is the last day of the year.  Happy Birthday Christi!

And it is nearly the last day of the century.

Emily and I never went to a movie on Monday.  She left a message here on Wednesday night saying she had been in Atlanta for the past two days and now she is back in Tallahassee.  I flew down here from Virginia to see her and she goes to Atlanta, yet she writes letters to me saying, “In a perfect world, I could smell the salt of your skin.”

It doesn’t make any sense.  I want our story to be over.

So 1999 will begin soon.  I am going to spend the final night of this year at Brownsville Assembly of God.

Last night mom and I went to visit a local church and we ended up at Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Pace, FL.  There I met the oldest resident of Santa Rosa county.  She is 105 years old.

I often think that because I take the time to write my thoughts down on these blank pages that I’ve figured life out.  But then I look into the eyes of someone born in the 1890s and realize I don’t know anything.  She was all there too.  She had the clearest mind.  Oh God, may I get there some day.

I’ve found myself dreaming of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.  It has happened again.  Another home has come.  I long for it now more than my mountains.

Oh Lord, don’t ever let me go.

I spent the first days of this year in Siler City and Sanford, then months in Banner Elk where I spent time with Sarah who decided to let me go before I would have to let her go.  I played Billy Bibbit on stage, spent a week in Kentucky, a weekend in Tampa, and thousand of moments with the greatest humans on the earth: Vince, Allen, Dan, Curtis, Tracey, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Josh, Ashley, Justin, Jessica, Lindy, Jeni and many more.  Jenny got married.  I graduated.  And I spent a month driving back and forth to Winston-Salem trying to hold onto a girl I knew was fading away.  I raised some money, flew to Africa, and returned to a brand new world of Christin, Sterling, and Kimberly; a world I now greatly miss.

I saw God move in South Africa, but as I grow older, I realize God is moving everywhere.

In addition to my one-act in the early months of the year, I also directed a beautiful Christmas show at Parkway Temple.  Regent allowed me to work on many film projects, and of course there was my job at the bookstore.  I visited Lynchburg, and now I am here in Milton, FL, where I rode with mom to New Orleans and saw the coast line in between.

I am 22-years-old.

The days are not getting any easier.

The days are not getting any longer.

All I can do is grab the hand of Jesus on one side of me, grab the hand of a good friend on the other side, and hope the rock on which we stand will remain.

The first days of 1999 will begin as the last days of 1998 are ending.  I’ll be attending the famous Brownsville Revival.

I fly out on the fourth and will land in the arms of Christin, for she is picking me up from the airport.

If all goes well, I hope to spend most of my days in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake during the final months of the century, for I have a very acute feeling that I won’t be there very long.

Heaven will be nice.

There are no goodbyes there.

October 11, 1998 – Wednesday – 10:31 a.m.

Things are beginning to change.

Tammie and Jose made an announcement to the Discipleship class this afternoon.  They will be leaving in less than two weeks to serve as a youth minister in Fayetteville.

That probably means nothing to you because I haven’t mentioned them much in the past two months.  They are the youth pastors at Parkway Temple.  They are born leaders.  I found my refuge in them.  If not for their love, Parkway Temple would have been a church I visited once and not a church I now regularly attend.

The way they have affected these teenagers is unbelievable.  Everyone was crying during the meeting.  I couldn’t.  Goodbyes don’t make me cry.  I cry at the second hello.

They were so good to me.  But their leaving is a God thing.  I have a peace about it.  But what is frightening is how I showed up right before they were supposed to leave.

What are you doing God?

I’m in charge of about 20 teenagers on Wednesday nights for Drama and Tammie and Jose were the ones I leaned on.  Perhaps God is teaching all of us to lean on him.

I don’t know what will happen, but this is making too much sense.  I thought I was just supposed to come to Regent, but now I see that I was called to Parkway Temple for this time.

Life has a plot.  Life has an author.  Life has an audience.

September 30, 1998 – Wednesday – 10:31 p.m.

I cannot believe it is the last day of September.  Nine months of 1998 are over.  Only three months remain until the final year of the century.

And here I am in Virginia Beach.  How much have I shown you about this place? You know my roommate is Matt and he is a very spiritually sensitive, freshly baptized in the Holy Spirit, Christian.  God is using him in amazing ways.  He is very different from me, and he hardly ever says a word.  We’ve only really talked openly about two times.  He is obsessed with the Spice Girls, keeps a long distance relationship with Kelly, and likes to make clothes out of shower curtains.  Wow, when I look at that on paper, I see how unique he really is.

I work with him as well as with David, Katie, Jenny, April, Curren, and Dawn.  Dawn is beautiful, engaged, and leaving the bookstore.  We connected and seemed to understand each other the most.  Curren plans to be president of the United States.  April is the smart-mouthed roommate of Mary Jo, with whom I spent the 4th of July.  We basically pick on each other every time we work together.  It’s fun.  Jenny is the daughter of Channing, the textbook manager, and sister of Sara, who worked until school started back earlier this month.  Sara and I seem to share more with our eyes than with our actual words.  I always find us looking at each other.  Katie is part of the Parkway Temple youth church and on my drama team.  She got saved after seeing last year’s Christmas show, the very show I’m attempting to recreate.  And, of course, there is David.  He’s the Worship Pastor for Parkway’s Youth Church, and the first person I met here.  Oh, and I can’t forget Donna, the bookstore manager.  She’s from Boston, and her husband has the most expensive prosthetic leg in the world.

Aaron and Blisson work in receiving, and Amy, Kieth, Valarie, and Jennifer work in textbooks and book keeping.  Who knew it took so many people to run a small campus bookstore?

As far as classes go, I have three on Monday and one on Wednesday.  Anna, Nicole, and Chris are in my first class on Monday and Wednesday.  We usually sit together since we all hung out together that first night we went dancing near the waterfront.  Boy, that seems like a long time ago.

In my 2nd Monday class, Video Production, I’ve gotten to know Kirsten, Gina, and others.  They are nice.  Nicole is in there as well.  We are on a team together with Patty.

My third Monday class is Dynamic Communication.  There I have met Brian, who owns more movies than anyone I’ve ever known.  I visited his place the other night.  He’s very nice, shy, and simple, but he still makes me laugh.

I’ve also met Shawn in that class.  He’s our School of Communication Chaplin and has a personality similar to Marcus.

Living around me are Mary Jo, Coleen, and Connie & Christian.  The latter are married and from Germany.  Matt and I get together with them on Monday nights for a prayer meeting.

Jason and Rachel are worship leaders for Divinity Chapel and two of the most amazing people I’ve come across.  They carry the face of Christ.

Cindy lives farther away, but I’ve spent time with her and David outside of Regent on several occasions.

I’ve worked with many people on several different film and video projects here.  Yet, I hardly see many of them now that those projects are over.  With theater you really get to know people over months, but short film projects can last only a day or two.

Monroe is a Teen Mania veteran who is in theater and also loved my pitch this past Friday.  I’ve noticed many other beautiful eyes and smiles.  Hopefully soon I’ll know their names.

Parkway Temple brings along an entirely different collection of beautiful souls.  Tammie and Jose are our leaders, then there’s Kimberly (beautiful, innocent, sweet, loving, kind, amazing….too bad she’s 15), Robyn, Sterling, Justin, Matt, Jeremy, David, Kyle, Aaron, Jennifer, Jamie, Kristen, Charlotte, Lauren, Brett, Cameron, Jason, Ed, and many others whose names I’ve forgotten.

And there you have it; those names are the major players so far.

August 26, 1998 – Wednesday – 4:21 p.m.

Hurricane Bonnie is on her way.  I am not afraid.

My encounter with Rachel was a good one.  We talked about 30 minutes.  She knows I’m at Parkway and she knows some kids out there.  She said she might come out on Friday nights.

There was a bombing in Cape Town yesterday.  It seems like the world is about to explode.

I awoke this morning to a note from Matt on my bathroom mirror saying he had to leave in the middle of the night to go on a secret mission.  He won’t be back until Sunday night. I’ve decided I think Matt is a little weird.

Last night I called Tracey, Lindy, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Dan, Vince, and Ashley from Lees-McRae.  They started their classes today.  How strange it is that I am not there.  I miss them all so much.

God please be with me here.  Let me grow and prosper.  Bring people to me that I can minister to and bring me to people who can minister to me.

I love you God.

I need you.

August 19, 1998 – Wednesday – 8:21 a.m.

There are nearly 500 days left in this millennium.  Crazy!

They threw a little party for me at work yesterday and gave me a card where my co-workers said the coolest things about me.  It’s just unbelievable how amazing my birthday was.  I mean, I’ve practically only been here a week.

I’ve called a few folks based on some posters I’ve seen, and, over the next month or so, I will be helping other film students on two different projects.  I’m excited!  And I talked to the youth pastor at Parkway Temple.  He said he would love for me to help out with their drama ministry.  The Lord is simply fulfilling the desires of my heart.

Emily and I talked for over an hour last night on the phone.  She asked about Sarah.  I told her I didn’t know.  Sarah told me before that she was going to have letters waiting for me when I got back from Africa.  There was nothing.  But Emily and I had such a good talk.  I prayed for her.  She cried.  We’ve come such a long way; over five years now.  She will always be there.  She never lets me down.

The days are moving faster now.  I hope I can spend the last hours of this millennium sitting next to Emily.  I hope that is possible.

What a wonderful little life I’m living.

July 5, 1998 – Sunday – 9:38 p.m.

I went to Parkway Temple this morning.  I felt so welcome!  One woman came straight up to me and told me I had the most beautiful eyes in the world.  Afterwards I went out to lunch with David and two other members of the youth group.

That afternoon I spoke with Emily and Lindy over the phone.  Then I went to the Founder’s Inn on campus and stood in line for 40 minutes to see Mark Lowry in concert.  I stood in line and sat with three beautiful women: one mother, one daughter, and one aunt.  The mom went to Parkway Temple.

Mark Lowry was hilarious.  I saw him many years ago with my mom in Asheboro.  I also got a free ticket to see him on the 700 Club tomorrow morning.  How cool is that!

I feel like God is showing me so much and it’s making him so happy!  Loving God and enjoying everything he has made is the only way to be alive!  He has truly given me an abundant life!

July 4, 1998 – Saturday – 11:59 p.m.

I am now in a beautiful country home on the outskirts of Colerain, NC; a place I’ve never been to before.

I went to the youth service with David at Parkway Temple on Friday night.  It was so awesome.  I’ve never seen kids praise the Lord like that before.  I was around an entire new set of people, but I felt so at home.

After the service I went over to Justin’s house where he and all of his camp friends were getting together.  I spent another two hours with people I’ve never met before.

The past few days have just been new people after new people!  America is just filled with wonderful people everywhere I look.

Then, this morning, I left with David, Mary Jo, and Mark and we drove down to Mary Jo’s house here in Colerain, NC, 15 miles east of Ahoskie for the 4th of July.  All three of them are Divinity students at Regent, and we spent most of the day on the shore of the Chowan River that runs nearby.

Mary Jo’s parents are hilarious, especially her dad.  They are so hospitable and they fed us like crazy!  Three other friends of hers came over, Kelly and Chad from Greenville, NC and Coleen, another girl from Regent.

We swam in the river, enjoyed the beautiful scenery, but the fireworks were cancelled that evening due to strong winds.  Instead, we just sat on the swings and talked.  We spent hours and hours there; the conversation just flowed.  The warm wind blew all over us.  Coleen is so unique and beautiful.  It was just the most perfect 4th of July I could have had.  Talking and sharing with new souls who seem so eager to know you is one of life’s greatest gifts!

Now it’s time for a peaceful sleep.