April 18, 2001 – Wednesday – 7:46 p.m.

I went to a funeral today. It was my job to video it. Her name was Megan. She was 16-years-old. We went to church together at Forefront, but I did not know her. I did know her dad, and this was simply tragic. She died in a single car accident as she headed home.

I take Anna to Banner Elk tomorrow. We will return on Sunday. Only Lindy, Dan, and Tracey will be there, but we’ll have a good time nonetheless.

The next month holds a great deal. It is the beginning and ending of everything. It feels like life is dying every day.

Heaven must be something grand, for down here I am losing myself down here in my everydayness. From what the scriptures tell me, there are no days in heaven. That is what I long for; just Jesus and I for eternity.

I miss you Jesus.

I am waiting for you.

February 19, 2001 – Monday – 2:09 p.m.

Yesterday proved interesting. Sarah called me, yes, my old Sarah. I thought for sure she knew I was engaged, but she had no idea. Her boyfriend dumped her three weeks ago. She was calling me to get back in touch, to see if anything remained from our previous relationship, but when she heard me tell her of my lovely Anna, she instantly started crying.

What a moment. We talked a bit, but eventually said our goodbyes.

As I move closer to my wedding date, I find it harder and harder to write in my journal. Perhaps because I give my heart and soul to a beautiful woman now, and I no longer put it down on paper for all to read.

Perhaps the only thing left to say is “Thank you God for your mercy and grace.”

February 15, 2001 – Thursday – 6:15 p.m.

It’s already mid-February. Can the second month of the year already be half over?

In 100 days I will marry the love of my life. The more I say that number, the more I realize it is a very short amount of time.

My heart has been burdened recently. I was asked to put together a little drama for church, but, once I finalized the script, much confusion set in. I work in a world that exists somewhere between the church and entertainment, between the sacred and the secular. I feel as if sometimes art has to prostitute itself out to the church in order for the church to make its points. It weakens both the art and the message. I feel I’m stuck in the middle, often questioning where I stand.

God, I often wonder why you called me to this field. There’s no security in this profession. I’ve seen the vicious circle of it all, the constant chasing after, the constant self-promotion, the constant selling, but I want none of that. I just want to tell the stories you’ve placed in me. Do I have to sell them God? Couldn’t I just make them for the two of us to enjoy together? Why does money have to be an issue?

There has to be a better way.

Please show it to me God.

November 3, 2000 – Friday – 5:10 p.m.

Trey and I have completed a rough cut of Dang!, but it is going to cost a few more thousand dollars to finish it on 16mm, which is what is required for it to play at the Regent Film Festival at the Naro Cinema in the spring. Having already put a few thousand dollars on a credit card to make this movie, I thought I’d show it to Terry, one of the top dogs in the administration, to see if he could help. I showed it to him this afternoon.

After it was over he said, “Wow! I’ll make sure you get your money.”

And there it is! My God has remained faithful. Not only will my film show here, but also in Los Angeles at the Director’s Guild of America later next year. From there I’ll try to submit it to as many festivals as I can.

I’m still a bit speechless. I feel very thankful inside. I’m making movies, and I stand in awe of it every day.

On a totally different note, I’ve met some amazing girls this past week. Perhaps I know my movie is good, and that has improved my confidence, which makes me a bit more appealing than I usually would be. Oh, I wonder if that movie will ever get made.

There’s a girl out there somewhere praying for me, and there’s a song inside each us of that neither of us have ever heard. We will hear it soon, when we find one another.

Oh God, I’m amazed by you.

October 8, 2000 – Sunday – 1:00 p.m.

It is one o’clock on a Sunday afternoon.

I am alone.

Love Song for a Savior fills my ears. There is a chill in the air. I just ate a peanut butter and a banana sandwich, and I can tell I’m in one of those moods.

The Caedmon’s Call concert Friday night was wonderful. I was able to go backstage, and I learned that my favorite male artist, Derek Webb, is marrying one of my favorite female artists, Sandra McCracken! That blew me away and really made my whole year!

There is a girl that I’ve taken to noticing. I really don’t know anything about her except that she is 20, and I like the simple way she puts up her blonde hair, as well as the little glasses she wears. She has a beautiful high-pitched voice, and it blesses me when she says my name.

Why is it that I often feel like I go through life all alone? The first week of October has flown by, and I’ve reached one of those days where I feel so lost and out of place. Why do these days come?

Will I ever share this life with someone and spend our days living in harmony with God and each other?

My friends back in North Carolina never call. Why am I always the one to keep in touch? It would be nice for them to call me every once in a while.

There is really only one thing I desire right now, and that is that it’ll eventually hurt when I leave this little corner of the world. Is there anything more tragic than spending years in a place and then never missing it? Oh God, let me do some good while I’m here.

I give you the rest of this Sunday. Use me.

September 22, 2000 – Friday – 3:30 p.m.

Many days have passed since my last journal entry. Let me try to sum up what has happened.

I began working at Forefront, so I’ve been around many of the staff: Rolon, Kevin, Chris, Matt, Christi, and sometimes Vince and Joe.

While on a location scout for ‘The Accuser,’ a five-minute short film the university is paying for, I got in a car accident because the dudes in the back told me to take an immediate left, and I did, right into a fish truck that was coming up behind me. I have a nice huge dent on the left side, but no one was hurt.

I’ve been swamped with production both at Regent and for Forefront. I’ve got two 16mm films in the works now, as well as two more videos I just finished editing this morning.

That’s mainly why I haven’t written, I just been making movies. It’s been freeing to just be running around shooting a quick Forefront video, prepping a movie with an actual budget, or editing quietly on the iMac the church gave me.

Dan is completely depressed over Theresa. He was convinced God told him she was to be his future wife, but he definitely shouldn’t have told her that. He is now questioning if God exists at all.

Sarah wrote me a lovely letter, but I’ve been busy with film-making that I haven’t give it much thought. After getting my pictures from Dan and Abigail’s wedding, I discovered a perfect picture of the two of us.

I’m sure if I hadn’t been so busy I’d try to pursue her again, so I really thankful I have been busy.

This evening I’ll be selling nachos at a local air show. The band Train is performing. They have a song called ‘Meet Virginia’ that comes on the radio all time. I sing it at the top of lungs while driving around town.

On Wednesday morning I’ll be leaving for Grundy, VA. It is eight hours away.

In two months I’ll be in Mexico for the first time.

Can the year be ending so soon?

Christi, on the Forefront staff, is a beautiful, single, 24-year-old, Children’s Ministry Director. I’m trying not to dwell on that fact too much.

We had lunch together a few days ago. She’s fun, but is lacking encouragement.

I have shown the latest cut of Dang! to an experienced filmmaker in the area. He says he’s never seen a more perfect student film.

Thank you God for what you are doing.

May I continue to serve you.

I love you so.

August 12, 2000 – Saturday – 7:00 p.m.

I have five days left to be 23.  Dan and Abigail marry each other in three weeks.  I met with the ministers of Forefront, and they want to work with me concerning Dang! and perhaps other future projects.  After returning from a men’s prayer breakfast with Forefront folks, I finished reading The Hobbit this morning.  I saw Kimberly today at her bookstore.  She recently got a haircut and looked beautiful.

I look at the map on my mall and all the pins placed in it representing all the places I’ve been.  Are all the pins there God?  Did I miss out on anything He wanted to show me?  I feel as though I miss whatever I didn’t experience, or didn’t take the time to notice.

I love you Jesus.  Thank you for this time in my life.  Sometime the thought of Marie not wanting to be my friend comes back to me, and it hurts my heart so.

How joyful it is when I get a phone call from someone who wants to talk to me.  All my friends are married, and now I fear my calls turns into interruptions.

Jesus, your love is all I own.  I see that now.  Friends, family, passions,…they all fade away.

You are my final destination.

You are my process.

You are my end and my beginning.

I found my creator.

August 4, 2000 – Friday – 11:45 a.m.

I’m sitting on a slanted picnic table in a park near the Library and Community Center of Sterling, Virginia.  I left at 7:30 this morning to drive up here, because someone associated with a sister company of Acoustic Works is going to train me on Dreamweaver.

My meeting isn’t until 1:00 p.m., but I left early just to spend some time alone in a new town.  Three kids are playing loudly on the playground near me.  I’m glad they are happy.

I received Dan and Abigail’s wedding invitation in the mail.  It makes me both happy and sad.  Only Vince and I have yet to get married, and he is in Bolivia.

After Dan and Abigail’s wedding, I wonder if I should stop visiting Banner Elk.  I can so easily get stuck in the past.  It may be better for me to not see that land for a while.

. . .

I’ve sat here in silence for a while now.  I fear I have a broken heart.  I feel Jeni, Sarah, Emily, and Marie have each broken it in their own slight way.  But most of all, I feel I have broken it as well.

An older woman just brought two little blonde girls down to the playground, but then she turned around and walked away after she saw three Black kids playing on it.  And now the two white girls are sad and asking a bunch of questions.  They don’t understand why they can’t play.

Such a sight makes me so thankful I grew up with Marcus, Danny, and Peter.  And that I even had a Black youth pastor for a while.

Life seems to get harder as I grow older.  As a child, I would have never noticed the subtle racism I just experienced.

Jesus, you are my savior.  Am I living fully in your salvation?  Am I accepting all your mercy and forgiveness?  All I want is you.

When it comes down to it, I just want that treehouse covered in snow with the Braveheart soundtrack in my ear.  I want you all around me like that.

Can I have that everyday?

I just realized this is my second time in Sterling, VA.  The first time was with Rachel’s mom when she brought me up to Chrysalis in 1997.  In fact, that was exactly three years ago, for I remember it was in early August.

Is there any love left in me?

It feels like I’m losing all my friends.  I can never have Banner Elk and Lees-McRae again, so I should stop looking and waiting for it.

Do you still have a plan for me God?

Thank you for the leaf that just floated down and sat next to me.  I want more quiet moments alone with you.

Please don’t send me a girl if she’ll only distract me from you, or if I’ll distract her from you as well.  Too many hearts have been bruised.  I want to give all of my heart to you.

July 2, 2000 – Sunday – 8:10 a.m.

Well, at four o’clock yesterday afternoon I decided to go visit Dan in West Virginia.  I’ve never been here before.  It is a beautiful place full of lovely mountains.  My drive up was amazing.

Dan grew up in this awesome cabin-style house.  We went up to the top of the closest mountain last night and saw satellites floating high above.  The stars were so beautiful; there was no moon.

Dan told me that he and Abigail had talked about me and said that I seemed weirder since I left Lees-McRae.

I guess they’re right.

God I just want you to make me who you want me to be.

So it’s the 4th of July weekend and I’m in West Virginia.  Life is making less and less sense.  All seems to be fading away.  I guess I should stop expecting any of this to make sense.

I want adventure.  I want memories.  I want family.

What is keeping me from you God?  I give it up.  Take it from me.

May 21, 2000 – Sunday – 7:15 a.m.

It is early before church.  I think I’ve found a place to sit and think.  I’m on a park bench in the park for Lake James Residences only.  I guess it is kind of illegal for me to be here, but I need a place within walking distance from my apartment where I can go and be by myself.  There’s a nice mist in the air and turtles and fish are playing in the water below.

I have a new pair of glasses that look and feel very nice.  I’m going to be wearing my contacts a little less often I think.

Marie called last night.  I miss her so much.

Kimberly, Sterling, and I went to see Dinosaur.  It was so horrible.  It was just the same old story, and I didn’t think it looked that great.

There was a spaghetti party over at Townley’s place on Friday night, so I went and got to know some of my co-workers a bit more.

We’ve had several nighttime thunderstorms recently that have sounded awesome!

Oh God, I miss you in me.  Whatever is blocking you from being everything in me, I lay it at your feet.  Please take it away.

Life is getting very odd.  I just want to love you.  Wash me clean oh God.  Prepare me to be a living sacrifice.  May I be dead to all.  Calm my spirit, my temper, my jealousy, and my flesh.  Purify me oh God.  This is my prayer.  For I am nothing without you.  Please make me like the lilies of the valley.  I love you God.