January 16, 2000 – Sunday – 9:05 a.m.

Marie and I had a perfect Friday!  She was completely surprised by Martin Guerre at the Kennedy Center in D.C.  And last night we just held each other and had a delightful conversation.

We are going to church together at Bethel Christian Fellowship in Pungo this morning, then we’re visiting my grandparents north of Williamsburg.  She will meet my father and I pray God helps us today.

I just recently read what C. S. Lewis had to say about prayer.  I feel often that my prayers are answered, just never the prayers I speak, only the prayers I live.

Why is life, which I often see is so hard and hurting for others, absolutely wonderful for me?  Are all things filtered through Christ before they get to me?  Is life easy now because it will be super difficult later?  I don’t know what’s going on Lord, but I know I am doing nothing to deserve it.  All I know is I see you.  I see you moving.  And you are beautiful!

January 13, 2000 – Thursday – 6:00 p.m.

Marie and I walked the trials of Back Bay this afternoon.  There is such beauty in the flatness surrounding the water.

We are visiting parks in the northeastern areas of Virginia tomorrow.  We had decided this a while back, but I discovered through a newspaper that was accidentally placed under my door, that the new musical by the guys that wrote Les Miserables, Martin Guerre, was showing in Washington D.C. just farther north than where we planned to go. So, I got us two tickets and told her that I have a surprise for her.  She has no clue what we are doing.

We had a little Bible study and prayer time las night.  It was wonderful.  God is guiding us.

Our journal we are keeping together is the most beautiful thing in the world.  We exchange it back and forth every day.

Sweet Marie.

Oh God, your love is amazing!

December 23, 1999 – Thursday – 9:22 p.m.

There has been much time of reflection tonight as I wait for Marie to call or visit.  I enjoy waiting for her.  There is a calm peace about me now.  There is time to sit with Jesus in the candlelight and the blinking, colored lights from my very tiny fake tree.  I’ve listened to music and I’ve listened to the silence of my breath.  I’m listening to my own breathy laughter as I remember all that my beautiful God has brought me through.

And now I turn to ink and lined paper to simply see what happens when I combine the two.  I’m attempting to end the nineties.  I have cleaned up, thrown old things out, and listened to ancient music from the past ten years.

My father called me tonight, and I love him.  He has problems, he doesn’t do too much, he’s not very exciting, but he is alive, and that alone surrounds him with hope.

My 23 years have shown me the eastern coast of America.  Good things are happening here.  I’ve even seen the Gulf of Mexico and walked along Santa Monica Blvd, but who I am will always be an Appalachian mountain.  For over seven of these past 23 years, I have not lived in North Carolina, but it is the land I grew up in.  I hope to always know it is only a short drive away.

I realize my story is small, and I pray it always remains that way.  I want the simple.  I want the small.  There are many more states to see, but I would exchange them all for more time with Marie.  There was at knock a my door this evening, and I thought it was her.  I opened my door to a short lady with a plastic bag.

“Oops, wrong door.  Sorry,” she said.

I helped her find who she was looking for, but as I returned to my room my whole body was shaking in result of the thought of seeing her.

Hmmm.

A younger me experiencing these final days would reflect on each individual year of the ’90s and comment on them, but I would rather live in the now, in the hope of seeing Marie.

Lord, make me ready for a life of sharing.  Let me give to her all that you have placed in me.  Purify me.  Break me and burn me.  I love letting you take over Lord, but I realize this freedom comes at a huge price.  I thank you.

Eight days remain in this time of closing.

I want to spend them quietly with you.

December 21, 1999 – Tuesday – 10:15 p.m.

Vince and I experienced the most beautiful sunset in the world last night.  We were out at Back Bay Wildlife Refuge.  It was unbelievable.  God is so big, so grand, and I see Him every day.

I called Marie this evening.  She sounded beautiful.  She said she wrote me a letter.  What a lovely creation oh God.  She is yours, not mine.

She will be here in two days, but I’ll only get to see her a little while and then she’ll be back eight days later.

This relationship is the truest one I’ve seen or known.  I am overwhelmed with joy and thanksgiving.

There are ten days remaining in this millennium.  Vince lies to my left reading Passion and Purity.  My small Christmas tree is blinking in front of us with wrapped Christmas presents underneath.  We are listening to Whisper loaned to me by a beautiful girl now in New Jersey.  But she feels so close to me tonight.

Justin visited with us yesterday and Sunday.  He is doing very well.  What a great friend!

God’s blessings continue to multiply, so much so that I feel I can’t contain all the joy.  He’s given me so much in talent, in Marie, and in friends.

It is in dying that we are born.

Jesus broke the bread before he multiplied it.

Did my breaking come my senior year of Lees-McRae?  My first year of Regent?  Or is my true breaking yet to come?

Oh Lord, please have your way.

Teach me about all that is good in you.  Melt me away.  I don’t want to exist.  Only you Lord.  Take me over.  Take me over.

I love you my sweet savior.

 

December 19, 1999 – Tuesday – 10:15 p.m.

The most beautiful morning of all!  Vince and Marie and I visited Tracey’s parents last night.  What a wonderful night of southern food and laughter!  We played Bible Trivia, and, of course, Marie won.

Marie and I had our Christmas together afterwards at her apartment.  We exchanged our presents for each other.  She loved the picture I gave her of my younger true self.  We then danced the night away to Jill Phillips’ “Everyday.”

And in the early morning hours of this very day we shared our first kiss.

Beautiful.  Soft.  Sweet.

She is on the road now to New Jersey.  Protect her Lord.

Thank you for this beauty Jesus.

Thank you for this life.

 

November 22, 1999 – Monday – 5:08 p.m.

Things are getting…well…I don’t believe there is a word for it.

Marie came to church with me and I think she had a good time.  We talked later in the evening.  It turns out that eight other guys beside myself have expressed their interest in her since she moved here in August.  I see that she is a tall, thin, and beautiful woman of God, but that still surprised and shocked me to hear.  But then she said that all of those other guys didn’t really know the real her, but that I did.  She said she felt overwhelmingly blessed by my friendship and that scares her.  She sees me as a treasure.  So there is really nothing I can do except let go and be myself.  We will constantly try to just be thankful for what we have, whatever that is, and try to not look too deeply into the future.

I called Lindy last night.  It seems like Vince is going to be coming here on Friday.

Life feels to be move so quickly.  It is constantly changing.  The very moment something seems to be a constant, or seems to be secure, poof!, it changes!  Only God’s love and grace is constant.  Which brings me to mention that I believe I’ve felt Him more during the past few months than other times in my life.  I wake up in peace although my world is in chaos.

How excellent and crazy it will be to have Vince here!  My good, good friend, yet he does not really belong in this world.  Maybe he can find a place.

Lord, help me not grow too anxious about anything.  Help me take it a day at a time as it comes.

Thanksgiving is around the corner again.  I haven’t had Thanksgiving with my mom since 1993 and even that wasn’t in our home in Siler City.  How weird that I don’t have a home in Siler City anymore.

It is 5:30 p.m. and it is already dark.  I’m looking forward to seeing tomorrow’s full moon with Marie again in North Carolina.  Due to my rehearsal, we will only have an hour to spend there.  Only three weeks of classes remain.  Not only do I have to complete the semester, but I have to finish all of pre-production for DANG!.

Oh God, what is happening?  I laugh because I have no control.  I see your hand on everything.  I see all is fading save you.  I don’t want to be scared God.  I don’t want to be afraid.  You always seem so close.

 

November 21, 1999 – Sunday – 8:35 a.m.

It has been so long since I’ve written.  I guess I’ve been occupied.

Marie and I have been affirming each other more and more.  She is coming to church with me this morning.

Sarah sent me an email saying she was in love with me and that she is sorry for all she did.  I wrote her back forgiving her and telling her that I met the woman I wanted to marry.

I also wrote Mary, and she said for me not to go off and find a girl when there is one in Oklahoma who is still in love with me.

Mary and Sarah once meant so much to me, but now they only offer words on a screen. Marie is right in front of me.

I acted in two different directing scenes on Friday and I even directed my own.  All went well.

Vince is coming to spend about three weeks with me.  The bookstore needs some extra help, so he is going to live with me and take the temporary job.

These days are just full of unbelievable grace.  Marie is turning into my best friend.  I’m creating the Lord’s art.  My soul is completely free.  I’m finding beauty in this land, and it is mostly in Marie’s eyes.  What did I ever do to deserve such beauty?

The days ahead hold so much change.

It is a full moon on Tuesday, so Marie and I will return to that field in North Carolina to celebrate a full passing of the moon over our great friendship.  She will travel home for Thanksgiving the next morning and I will stay here and try to write a short screenplay.  I’ll visit with Tracey, Vince, and Justin, and I’ll work in the bookstore.

December will bring the final weeks of school, as well as all the final preparations for DANG!.  We had a rehearsal for it last night and it was just perfect.  God’s hands are all over this!

Marie and I are making plans to see each other over Christmas.  I can’t wait to meet her family.  Thank you Jesus for handling this relationship.  You are all that is perfect and pure and beautiful.  I love you Lord!