December 14, 1998 – Monday – 8:47 a.m.

It’s nearing the middle of December.  Ten days until I fly to Florida.  Will time never stop?

I am trying to slow these days down.  I’ve put a lot of time into school, which is needed of course, but I feel I’m missing out on some of the better things of life.  I reserved the entire weekend to study, but I didn’t study a bit, I simply lived.

There is so much here to love.  There is so much here I have yet to discover.  An entire summer here will be nice.  I can’t wait to see how this land blooms in the spring.  My first autumn here as already flown by.

Oh God, I just want to be the me you meant for me to be.  I simply want to live and give it all away.  Thank you for teaching me all you have.

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November 12, 1998 – Thursday – 10:57 p.m.

Things are moving faster now.

My greatest fear is that I will lose the time to remember.

My closest friends here are the age of my little brother.

Look at what I have become.

A role model, simple as that.

But the ones I am an example for…

I want to be their age again.

I don’t want to grow up.

But I do want to live.

The storm is already brewing again.

Even now I remind those I love here that I will be leaving.

What can be beyond here?

When will life let me catch my breath?

When can I share this lily pad?

When can I be a role model to my own blood?

When will the others become alive?

When will Emily forgive and forget?

When will my father live in God’s will?

When will Sarah let God in?

When will I have kept all my promises, and drive away into my memories?

November 9, 1998 – Monday – 5:30 p.m.

I don’t have much time to write, but I feel like talking to myself, and to God.

I love the weather this time of year.  I love the chill the tide brings in.  I’m enjoying this place.  It has become a home.  One like my old one on Foust Road.  One like my old one in McAlister Hall and even Tennessee Dorm.  One like my bed in Johannesburg, South Africa.

But God’s presence is where I will always be more comfortable.

I’m going over to Kimberly’s house tomorrow to study sign language for our show, and to also have dinner.  I pray it’s not too awkward.

I constantly miss Sharon’s home.

The Rebecca St. James concert is less than two weeks away.  Thanksgiving break with Allen, Vince, and Tracey is right after that.

And then the last month of this fantastic year!

November 1, 1998 – Sunday – 4:20 p.m.

November began today.  I awoke in my room and Justin, Vince, and Dan were asleep on the floor beside me.  Dan called me Friday and said they were coming and come they did.  They spent the night at the beach on Friday and arrived at my apartment early Saturday morning.  It was so great to see them.  They came to drama practice with me and we spent Halloween night between Justin’s church and my church.

They came to church with me this morning and we went to the beach together this afternoon.  And just now we all prayed together before they drove off and left me here to continue my life without them by my side every day.

Every minute with them was perfect.  Nothing was different between us.  Time does not harm true friends.  I got to give them a brief taste of my life here, as well as my new friends, and it became very clear to all of us that this was my home and not theirs.

They home they have is mine no longer.

They were the same, and we were the same together, but life will take us to different corners of the earth.  But no matter how far we travel, I would give my life for them.

True perfect friends.

October 28, 1998 – Wednesday – 8:00 a.m.

I got up before the sun did this morning.  I prayed and I read.  The men’s meeting at church was such a blessing last night.  It is great being a guy.

I look forward to the Holidays and visiting the people I haven’t seen in a while.  I look forward to classes next year.

David is now the youth pastor at Parkway.  He will be quitting his bookstore job in two weeks.  More things are changing, but God is Lord of them all.

Life is good.

Time is flying by.  I will moving on in no time at all.

I can’t wait to hold Emily.  I also just want to snuggle up and read a book of my own choosing.  I wish the adventure so easily found in the mountains was closer by.

I’m glad God understands me even when I do not.

August 12, 1998 – Wednesday – 1:10 a.m.

The 11th of August was an amazing day!  I woke up, went for a prayer walk around the campus, and read and studied my Bible until I went to work at the bookstore, where I trained with David.  I went to see Saving Private Ryan, and then went to a girl named Cindy’s house and helped her move.  I came back to my apartment and had an awesome prayer time with Matt, my roommate and two other students named Jeff and Jason.  God showed up, cleansed my heart, and I felt forgiven and fantastic!

Saving Private Ryan was beyond fantastic!

“Earn this.”

Jesus died for me, but no matter what I do, I can never do enough to earn this grace he has freely given me.  It is his to give, not mine to earn.  For some odd reason, I have found favor with him.

And he just told me that I was already worth dying for.

So, he is definitely worth living for.

August 10, 1998 – Monday – 5:45 p.m.

I only have one week left to be 21.

Today was great!  I had some training at the bookstore and then all the employees there went to the beach for a cookout.  I had the best time.  It was myself, Matt, David, and new people I met today: Steven, Dawn, Sarah, Jenny, Channing, Donna, Katy, Aaron, and Amy.

Great people; not all of them go to Regent, but they all love the Lord!

David and I played in the waves and talked about South Africa and it made me miss the place even more.  Matt had really dug deep in to community while I was away.  He has been going to prayer meetings and such.  I’ve been invited to one tonight.

I found out my mom and family are not in Florida yet.  They are in Atlanta.  The RV broke down.  I haven’t talked to them yet.  I haven’t talked to anyone from my old world yet.  I’m afraid to I think.  I’m afraid it will seem like they are all in slow motion and that I’m moving forward so quickly that we’ll be out of reach of each other.

Thank you God for this job.  Thank you for this place.  You are so good to me.  I love living with you and for you.  You have always placed me in a family of believers, no matter where you have called me.  Please speak to me tonight at this meeting.