May 10, 2000 – Wednesday – 10:00 a.m.

Two years ago today I graduated from Lees-McRae!

I’m preparing to go to my second interview with Acoustic Works.  The first one went pretty well.  Then I’m going with Marie to the Regent Film Festival tonight.  I do love her dearly.  I read back on my time with Sarah and it hurt my heart to realize I was once so blind.  Thank you God for my salvation.

I don’t know who may be reading all these spiral-bound pondering, but I sure hope you are able to read it all.  Life can’t be summed up by one person in one day.  It is a process and we are all ever-changing.

Thank you for your forgiveness God.

The New Mexico trip has been cancelled.  Since my car broke down, I just need to work and save money.  So Dan isn’t going either, for it would be weird for him and Theresa to be out on the road alone.

Marie leaves on Saturday.  We won’t see each other for five weeks.

Oh, perfect Marie.

May I be worthy of her.

May 6, 2000 – Saturday – 1:00 p.m.

I’m at my grandparents’.  I was headed out yesterday to visit Vince and say goodbye before he flew off to Bolivia, but my car broke down near Bottom’s Bridge in New Kent County.  I think I blew the engine.  I’m not sure what is going to happen, but it is nice being here.  I’ve had some time to reflect and think.

Soon I will be 24-years-old.  I am not married, but I’ve found a potential girl.  I’ll soon have a Master’s Degree, and I need to start working.  I have an interview Monday at a place called Acoustic Works.

I’ve watched some old home videos since I arrived here yesterday.  My grandpa always had the latest video camera in his hands while I was growing up.  How amazing to see me as a little boy back in 1987!  God is teaching me something.  I long for the life of pure love and innocence.  Oh, to be a child again.

I’ve come a long way.  High school, college, graduate school, all all the different churches that came with those places.  All the different friends.  Some now lost forever.

And all the different girls.

Cincinatti, Winston-Salem, Metuchen.

All the places I’ve walked.

I’m no longer a student, and that is all my memory has known.

So fix me God.  Prepare me for the next wave.  Send to the place you have prepared for me.

February 26, 2000 – Saturday – 10:14 a.m.

Life has recently been spent in rehearsal, class, work, and with Marie.  We had our most favorite special “friend day” yesterday on a little peer out at Munden Point Park.  It is a perfect place of reflecting light, green trees, and blue sky.  We were barefoot little kids playing in life-giving water and spitting on mosquitoes.  A perfect day, an eternal instant, we wanted to spend our entire lives there.

Sarah emailed me this past week.  I emailed her back and let her know that I did not want to continue to keep in touch, that it was not fair to Marie.

I spoke with Tracey this morning.  Charlie was punched in the face and knocked out cold by a resident.  He felt the school didn’t support him, so he quit his Residence Life job and left Lees-McRae.  He’s staying with his parents, but they don’t want him there.  Kate moved down to Franklin, NC with her parents who recently moved there.

Dan is back in Colorado.

Tracey and Abigail’s Seven Strangers band is making a demo tape.  Everything is supposedly going really well for that little band.

Vince and Natalie have spent the past two weeks in New York with Vince’s dad.

And Lindy is trying to get certified in aerobics.

The Regent community, or rather our small group of Communication School acquaintances, are beginning to put two and two together when it comes to Marie and I.  Many guys have asked Marie if she is seeing someone because she has this “certain glow.”

She tells them yes.

I think it is funny.

I applied for an office manager job for a children’s theater company in Norfolk.  I pray God blesses me with it.

Children are playing outside my window now.  It’s very clear that March begins in four days.  The sounds are in the air.

I apologized to Marie last night for kissing Jeni and Sarah.  I told her I wished I had waited for her alone.  I regret the words and phrases I have written in past journals about other girls, thinking and believing I wanted to spend my life with them, thinking and believing I loved them so deeply.

Forgive me God.  I wish I could erase those pages from my journal.

I love you Jesus.  Thank you for this redemption.  I place my past and my sin before you.  You are holy and beautiful.

February 14, 2000 – Monday – 1:28 p.m.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Marie and I spent yesterday afternoon with a young married couple (younger than us) named Lori and Ben from Avalon Hills.  They are wonderful.  That evening after church Marie and I spoke practically of marriage.  My insides were going crazy.

In a year and a half we are both leaving this place together.  Perhaps we’ll be married in New Jersey.  I would like that.

Marie can work off some of her school loans by working as a teacher in a teacher-shortage area like Arizona or Wyoming.  How exciting!

I’m ready for anything.

This is your life God!

. . .

I’ve just been sitting here thinking.  My insides are pondering.  I’ve worked myself into an awkward corner.  My entire life has pointed in the direction of being a storyteller, of working in theater and film.  Did I put that desire there in my heart, or did God?

I do not believe that I could have come this far if God did not do this.  How this is going to happen, I do not know.  Perhaps it is best if I don’t even really try and just let go.  I must do what the Lord said so long ago, just show up every day.  Of course, now, showing up means loving Marie.  And it means sharing life with someone.  I see now why God makes men single for a while.  He must prepare their hearts.

I don’t want to just direct movies and theater productions, I want to also be alive.  And it grows clearer and clearer with each passing day that I will only be alive for a very short while.  I want to be alive with Marie.

So, I made Dang! and that might be the only one.  I had some great acting moments on a few different stages and there may not be any more moments.  I just want to love God, love the woman I marry, love our children, and never let my heart grow cold.  I just want to breathe in this beautiful creation with every new day.

Take me Lord, wherever you want, I’ll go.

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.