April 18, 1999 – Sunday – 7:09 a.m.

Two weeks and four days remain until I head back to Lees-McRae.  I look forward to walking alone on my own private mountain trails.  I need to think again with a clear mind.  The mountain air always does me good.

I called Allen yesterday morning.  Our conversation turned a bit serious when he told me that things went poorly with three of my dear friends as he attempted to do the boyfriend-girlfriend thing.  He said he feels terrible.  He crossed the line with each of them and they mean so much to me.  It hurt to hear it, but I can do nothing but love them and forgive them.  The conversation did make me very thankful to be there.  I’m surrounded by so much innocence and purity.  I would rather deal with loneliness than continually deal with the temptation I had to deal with during my days with Sarah.  God continues to heal me of all those past hurts and pains.  I want to me the real true me.

There really aren’t any girls here that seem to have my name on them.  My thoughts often dwell on Mary Jo, Kimberly, and even Kerstin, but I honestly don’t think they are for me.  I want to hold out for true love, and not just settle for a pretty girl I think I can live with.  Mary Jo has impressed me the most with her heart, but I’m afraid our future paths in life are completely different.

For my most immediate future, I want to live my life in airports.  I seem to find peace in them.  Perhaps because I already live each day watching others as I wait to fly away.

There was a funny moment that happened at IHOP the other night when I was there with the youth group.  I ordered pancakes and thought the thing in front of me on the table was syrup, but no…it was coffee.  And it came out fast.  I poured coffee all over my pancakes, myself, the table, those sitting next to me.  Marion laughed for the next ten minutes.  It was actually fantastic to be so the source of so much joy and laughter.

There are days when I like to be alone

To be still and silent

To listen

My stomach growls, my VCR rewinds

My memory does them both

A plane flies overhead

And I hear this pen move across this paper

 

Then there are days when I must listen to music

To hear the words of others as they dream

And to dream with them

I agree with Cindy Morgan, relate with Derek Webb

And adore Rebecca

But still there are times when my breath

Is the only music I need

 

And in this silent, I’ve come to ponder love

Is it terrible to love the wrong woman?

Is that such a waste of time?

If so, I wasted seven months

And can’t afford to spend this heart on the wrong one once again

The effort would be a tragedy

A ticking clock, never knowing the time

July 15, 1998 – Wednesday – 10:30 p.m.

Tomorrow is the birthday of two girls on my team: Angela and Sarah.  One will turn 15, the other 19.  Angela has an amazing heart in her and I see a fire in Sarah’s eyes that I never saw in my own Sarah.  And I’m jealous because she is so bright at just 15.

I’ve had some unique food so far, but it has all been pretty good.

Today was dedicated to rehearsal our street drama and we’ve got it down pretty well.

This morning during my quiet time, God showed me how important each of the people here are to him and how happy he makes him to see us sharing our life for this brief time.  Already I feel haunted by their eyes.  The girls here seem so pure.  I like how righteous they carry themselves and how they are saving themselves for their husbands.

And I am doing the same, though my two previous girlfriends so desperately wanted me to touch them.  But even that is too far, for a girl here said a guy should treat a girl like fine china, “no fingerprints.”

Hmmm.

Well, God protected me, and seeing all these pure eyes and pure spirits has given me so much hope that I will marry a woman who loves God as much as the girls around me do.

And I think they see the same in me.  One girl told me this morning that I was such an amazing guy.

Paul just entered.  He is 15, but in no way looks like it.  He is 6’3″ and from Maryland.

John is my other roommate.  He is 19 and from Arizona.

They are both here now.  Time to chat with them.

May 7, 1997 – Wednesday – 9:20 a.m.

Okay, let’s be honest.  I’m 20-years-old.  I am single.  I am not married.  I’ve only had two “so-called” girlfriends: Veronica and Jeni.  I’m not even sure Veronica counts (I kissed her once on the hand and once on the cheek), but our relationship felt more in God’s will than my relationship with Jeni.  Jeni and I never had sex, but my hands touched nearly every inch of her bare skin.

In this day and age, sex is everywhere.  My body longs to be intimate and sensual.  I fight it every day.  Nude women seem to fill up magazines and billboards.  It’s so hard to quench my desires.  I thank God that he hasn’t provided another girlfriend for me these past two years; I probably wouldn’t have been able to handle it.

I have dreamed in this journal of my other half, my other self, or the other side of me.  I see now, that doesn’t exist.  I’ve learned that I alone have a purpose.  Two halves never make a whole; only a whole person in Christ and another whole person in Christ will make two people wholly each other in marriage.

I am me and Jesus has made me whole.  In Him, I am pure.  If God longs to place me in a relationship, then it will be done in his timing.  Love is too strong and it will kill me if I try to force it into being.  I must let love grow on its own.

January 11, 1995 – Wednesday – 11:45 p.m.

Where shall I begin?

First of all, let me tell you where I am, for I am pretty sure I will never be in this exact spot ever again.

I am in Albany, Georgia, on the grounds of Sherwood Baptist Church.  At this moment I am sitting at a picnic table writing by a small flashlight that Charlie has let me borrow.

It is very warm out tonight.  Well, at least compared to places like Banner Elk and Cincinnati.

Now, about yesterday…to sum it up Jeni and I are a little upset.  People have been giving us a hard time about how close we are.  They pick on us and say things like, “Should we count Jeni and Jacob as one person or two?”

It really began to annoy us.

Then last night Charlie mentions it to me.  He says that we offend him and other people when we kiss in public.

I laughed and said, “Is everyone so perverted that they can’t stand the sight of two people kissing?”  I just didn’t understand and it made Jeni angry when I told her.  We both felt like our private relationship was being intruded upon and judged.

So Charlie and I had a long talk.  But before this talk every little thing got to me.  I got hurt when people picked on me and joked around with me.  It just seemed like the whole world was against me.  So I let it all go by talking to Charlie.  This was eventually the result of our conversation:

He says that I need to conform to how society and the world around me works and thinks in order to please them and make myself look good.  I said that it is the rest of the world that is messed up and wrong.  Jeni and I just see those things as innocent and beautiful displays of our affection for each other.  After talking for a while, Charlie eventually came to the conclusion that I was right.  He said that he used to see things the way I did, but now his heart has been hardened because he has seen many of his friends get close to someone else, have sex and it totally tear both of them apart.  Now, simple kisses appear dirty to him and it tears him up inside.  He encouraged me to never lose my purity and innocence by seeing things the way that he does now.

So, we are okay.

I talked to Jeni and said that what Charlie said had some truth, so we should sacrifice a little just to make the people around us a little more comfortable.  But it is really just to shut Charlie up so he doesn’t continue to embarrass us.  Jeni believes that only Charlie feels this way and that he is jealous of our relationship.

I don’t know what to think, but hopefully it is over.

Tonight we went to a church service at a local church.  I enjoyed it.  Afterwards a few of us went to the movies.  Some saw Richie Rich, but Jeni and I went to see Little Women.  I thought it was completely wonderful and absolutely precious and pure.  There was no sex, nudity, violence or cursing at all.  I loved it!  Jeni and I both cried.

Being alone together inside that theater, we realized how much we had missed each other these past few days.

I really do love her.

It drives me crazy!

With Veronica and Ryan, that romantic love was simply a small chill or feeling.  I thought it was love, but it wasn’t.  With Jeni, it is a knowing.  My whole body knows that I love her and my body knows when she is near.

Yet still, I want to learn more about her.  I want to know when to laugh and when to cry.  I want to know when to smile and when not to smile.  I want to know every little thing that makes her work.

I want to make a great husband.  More than film, I have a greater desire to learn about Jeni, because if there is one thing I’m good at, it is loving her.

So there it is.  A harsh day, but a great ending and I learned so much.

I am lending my hands to those in great need.  I enjoy it.  It makes me feel good knowing I am doing something.  I feel more like me than I ever have before.  Yes, there are times when I reflect on the past.  I still do think of Jenna, Tenielle, Christi, Ryan, and Veronica.  Those days are missed, but they are still forever gone.

Here is me.

I am who I am.

I don’t have a problem with myself.

I feel secure.

Some days are good and some days are bad.  There are times when it hurts.  There are times when I am confused and unsure.  There are times when I doubt.

But with that there are also times of joy.

I enjoy who I am.

I enjoy my personality.

But there are also times when I don’t.

Lord, sometimes it hurts just to be me.  At time it is hard to be me.  There are times when I am scared.

Yet I continue.

To praise you.

To do your will.

To love your creation.

To be me, the only one like me that you have created.

Thank you Lord for teaching me how to be me.

January 6, 1995 – Friday – 12:15 p.m.

It’s Friday.  This wonderful week is over.  Basically, I just spent a lot of time with Jeni.  While we are on the missions trip next week we probably won’t get to spend much time with each other.  We’re going to be really busy.

However, something did happen that is a little different.

The other day Jeni and I were in the basement of her house.  I was sitting down on the sofa down there and she came over and straddled her legs around my lap and started kissing me.  Yet, while we were kissing, I realized Jeni was slowly unbuttoning her shirt.  Jeni does not like to wear a bra.  She does every now and then, but she wasn’t this time.  So, I wasn’t quite sure why she was unbuttoning her shirt since we have often talked about how we want to keep ourselves pure until marriage and not get too close physically.  But what really shocked me was when she took hold of my head and placed it on one of her breasts.

So what was I to do?  She obviously wanted me to kiss and hold her there, so I did, but then her whole body just started to tremble and shake…it was all just too amazing.

So I said, “Jeni, what are we doing?”

“I don’t know,” she replied.

I buttoned her shirt back up and we talked.  I told her I didn’t want to hurt her or make her feel uncomfortable.  She said that I didn’t.  I embarrassed her when I said she had really nice breasts and we had a good laugh.

To sum it all up, Jeni is a touchy-feely person and she says she likes it when I touch and feel and hold her body.  She says it is how she experiences my love and affection for her.  She doesn’t mind.  In fact, she is literally asking me to.  I wasn’t sure how to handle this.  She asked me if it was wrong and I said that if we both feel uncomfortable it is wrong.  We know what we can handle and what we can’t handle in our personal physical relationship.

We both agreed that we can’t handle sex, because we simply know it is sin and not love when done outside of marriage.

So there it is.  My girlfriend is a very physical person.  I like that, but at times she is a little too much for me and I am uncomfortable, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that.  She has a beautiful body and now I can’t get it out of my mind.

It’s weird.  Growing up, I was always told that the guy was the aggressive one in relationships, and that girls were just desperately trying to keep themselves safe and pure.  Learning this, I made the decision to never be that guy because I wanted to love a woman, not hurt her or violate her.

I guess I never really knew women could experience sexual desires as strongly as men.

Lord, please give me wisdom to keep this relationship pure.

I love you Jeni.

December 7, 1993 – Tuesday – 10:12 p.m.

Hmmm.

Last year this time I was happy beyond my wildest imagination.  I remember when Veronica and I exchanged bracelets and hers smelled of her perfume.  That same night after the service was over she ran up to me and hugged me and said that I was her Jacob.

On that night I asked her if her dad was a thief, since he must have stolen the stars from the skies to put them in her eyes.  Cheesy, I know, but it all felt so good.

I wish it could happen again, but only with someone new.

But I am not desperate.  I can wait.

Recently the world has gotten me down.  Purity in the world today simply doesn’t exist anymore.  TV is trash, with “Parental Discretion is Advised” in front of nearly every show.  Everybody is into sex.  All you hear about is sex.  What’s the big deal?

I mean, yes, I’m looking forward to marriage mainly for all the sex involved, but that is about making-love with my future wife, not about all the sinful sex I see around me.  Sex has gotten out of hand in the world.

I have to focus every day not to fall into those traps.

No.  No.  I’m not going to mess up my life and mess up my love for those lies.  

I’m staying pure.