January 26, 1999 – Tuesday – 10:14 p.m.

Wow, I can’t believe how much time has passed since my last entry.  Let’s see…Friday’s youth service was great; we just worshipped and prayed.  God showed up and spoke through us.  On Saturday we had a rehearsal for Masks and performed it Sunday night for the church.  It went fabulously and many were blessed by it.

Our new youth group name is “Vision of Fire.”

Saturday night I went over to Nicole’s for a dinner party.  Many other film students were there and it great to hangout with guys and girls who were over the age of 22.

I led devotions in my Research and Writing class on Monday.  I used my teddy bear as an example and even played “Absence of Fear” by Jewel.  The message was basically that our relationship with Jesus should be a romantic one.

I spoke up at our home group on Monday night and shared about a vision I had related to my glorified body.  I cried as I spoke.  It was something else.

I also was accidentally locked out of my apartment last night and ended up staying over at April’s and Mary Jo’s until two in the morning.  I watched The Mirror Has Two Faces while they went to sleep.

Today itself was an excellent day.  Sharon called me to simply update me on what has been going on with her family.  She makes me feel like I am one of them.  She shared with me the Laura has woken up.  She felt that her relationship with the Lord was only based on her mother’s faith and that she herself was not in love with Jesus.  She rededicated her life to him, even prepared her own service on Monday night, gave her testimony, and even got re-baptized.  Pastor Brent asked her to share again on Sunday morning.  She did and afterwards eight people came to know Jesus as their savior.

Wow!

You are amazing Jesus!

According to Sharon, all of Heaton is in revival right now because one little girl decided to fully love her Lord.  Oh Laura, you are still the most amazing one I’ve come across.

Jesus, you are the lover of my soul.  You are my vision, my life, my love.  You are so beautiful.

And we will live forever.

December 31, 1998 – Thursday – 12:30 p.m.

It is the last day of the year.  Happy Birthday Christi!

And it is nearly the last day of the century.

Emily and I never went to a movie on Monday.  She left a message here on Wednesday night saying she had been in Atlanta for the past two days and now she is back in Tallahassee.  I flew down here from Virginia to see her and she goes to Atlanta, yet she writes letters to me saying, “In a perfect world, I could smell the salt of your skin.”

It doesn’t make any sense.  I want our story to be over.

So 1999 will begin soon.  I am going to spend the final night of this year at Brownsville Assembly of God.

Last night mom and I went to visit a local church and we ended up at Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Pace, FL.  There I met the oldest resident of Santa Rosa county.  She is 105 years old.

I often think that because I take the time to write my thoughts down on these blank pages that I’ve figured life out.  But then I look into the eyes of someone born in the 1890s and realize I don’t know anything.  She was all there too.  She had the clearest mind.  Oh God, may I get there some day.

I’ve found myself dreaming of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.  It has happened again.  Another home has come.  I long for it now more than my mountains.

Oh Lord, don’t ever let me go.

I spent the first days of this year in Siler City and Sanford, then months in Banner Elk where I spent time with Sarah who decided to let me go before I would have to let her go.  I played Billy Bibbit on stage, spent a week in Kentucky, a weekend in Tampa, and thousand of moments with the greatest humans on the earth: Vince, Allen, Dan, Curtis, Tracey, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Josh, Ashley, Justin, Jessica, Lindy, Jeni and many more.  Jenny got married.  I graduated.  And I spent a month driving back and forth to Winston-Salem trying to hold onto a girl I knew was fading away.  I raised some money, flew to Africa, and returned to a brand new world of Christin, Sterling, and Kimberly; a world I now greatly miss.

I saw God move in South Africa, but as I grow older, I realize God is moving everywhere.

In addition to my one-act in the early months of the year, I also directed a beautiful Christmas show at Parkway Temple.  Regent allowed me to work on many film projects, and of course there was my job at the bookstore.  I visited Lynchburg, and now I am here in Milton, FL, where I rode with mom to New Orleans and saw the coast line in between.

I am 22-years-old.

The days are not getting any easier.

The days are not getting any longer.

All I can do is grab the hand of Jesus on one side of me, grab the hand of a good friend on the other side, and hope the rock on which we stand will remain.

The first days of 1999 will begin as the last days of 1998 are ending.  I’ll be attending the famous Brownsville Revival.

I fly out on the fourth and will land in the arms of Christin, for she is picking me up from the airport.

If all goes well, I hope to spend most of my days in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake during the final months of the century, for I have a very acute feeling that I won’t be there very long.

Heaven will be nice.

There are no goodbyes there.

October 21, 1998 – Wednesday – 9:00 a.m.

Much has happened since my last entry.  Tammie and Jose’s party was the most amazing event.  Justin came, all the girls had a burping contest, and I fell more in love with this whole world.  God has given me a heart of compassion for these people.  Each day, I find myself longing more and more for them.

Sunday’s church service was fantastic as well.  There was another party for Tammie and Jose that night.  My small group meeting is on Mondays at Connie and Christian’s, and on Tuesday nights I now have a men’s meeting at church.  I went last night and it was awesome.  No matter where I go, I find myself surrounded by good people.

I finished my “Eyebrows” script yesterday, but there are a few changes I need to make before I submit my first draft.

I’ve been emailing Angela and Dawn from my Africa trip.  Julie also sent me a letter.  I also found a new email buddy in a Canadian who went to Eastern Europe with Teen Mania.  Her name is Anna.  MovieMark and I have begun emailing each other again.

Time is moving forward.  The air is getting cooler, but the leaves are not changing.  I bought a plane ticket Monday to go down to Pensacola for Christmas.  I’ve never spent a Christmas in Florida before, and I’ve surely never spent one so close to Emily.  I will stay there until the Brownsville Revival starts back up at the beginning of 1999, then I will fly back.  I depart here on Christmas Eve.

November brings Tracey and Vince.  I used to think about going to visit my old home in the mountains, but to miss one tiny thing that happens here frightens me.

Thank you God for my homes!

August 22, 1998 – Saturday – 9:35 p.m.

Friday night I went with David and Cindy to Hampton to go to a revival service at Bethel Temple.  And once we entered, David and I went into the bookstore there.  I immediately saw a beautiful young woman with the most amazing smile, hair, facial features, wow!  She was reading a book, and her beauty struck me so suddenly, I couldn’t help but verbalize it out loud.  David heard me, but she didn’t.

We looked at some music and then sat down and after some time, she came and sat next to me with her parents and grandparents.  I didn’t say anything.  She began talking to me and we really seemed to enjoy each other’s company.

The service was great.  We prayed a lot for our nation due to all of this Clinton sex stuff, and U.S. strikes on Sudan and Afghanistan.  As we were leaving she asked me if I would be back for another Friday night service.  I told her I wasn’t sure, but I asked her for her phone number and she happily gave it to me.  She lives in Chesapeake, in a place called Deep Creek (imagine that) and she works at Greenbrier mall at a Christian bookstore; that’s only five minutes from my apartment!  She asked me to come and see her there.

I told her I would.

I worked today and then went to be an extra on a student film being shot nearby.  I learned so much by just watching.  I stayed on set for about two and a half hours.

I ended the day talking with my brother and dad over the phone.  My brother has decided not to return to college and I felt this desire to lovingly confront my father about his pornography addiction.  I felt God directed our conversation and I hope some healing has begun in his heart.

I am smiling so brightly.  I love you Lord!

May 15, 1997 – Thursday – 10:15 p.m.

I am in Atlanta, Georgia.  Life sure is a funny thing.

We went to the revival in Pensacola at Brownsville Assembly last night, but for some reason they weren’t having a service on that Wednesday night, so I came back and watched a little TV.  I watched the series finale of Coach; it was very good.

We left this morning.  Ryan cried.  I don’t know what Curtis sees in that girl.  But I’m not sure I want to know.  Life is easier when you don’t understand everything.

The drive was hot and we passed by that bridge in Chambers County, Alabama where Marcus and I broke down in August of 1995.  I spent so many hours of hope and worry under that bridge.  Part of me will be trapped there forever.

Carla came over here tonight and we went out to eat.  She’s such a pretty girl.  I don’t know why Curtis treats her so badly.  Well, we had a nice talk.  We talked about city life versus country life.  I’m so glad I got to see her.

This trip has made me appreciate the home I have in Banner Elk.  It’s like I’m the king of the world there.  I can’t seem to go wrong there.  But I have only one year left.

I really miss Jessica.  She is just so simple.  She’s so fun and easy to get along with.  She makes so much sense to me.

I’ve grown too old.  I long to be young again.  I long to be childlike.  I want to find joy in simplicity.  I want to smile at each new step and each new second.

I am lying down on a foldout sofa in a home office on Cartsworth Circle in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.

How in the world did little me, a blonde baby boy who learned to crawl, walk, and talk in Germany, but learned of life and love in North Carolina, ever end up here?

May 14, 1994 – Saturday – 5:50 p.m.

Friday night was one of the greatest nights of my life.  It was special for two reasons: the revival service I attended where the Lord showed up and for the people I was with, mainly two beautiful flowers.

Thursday I called Jenna and Tenielle.  Jenna was so happy and excited. It was her mom’s birthday and they just got finished throwing her a surprise party.  We had a nice talk and I asked the two of them if they wanted to go with me to Marcus’s spring concert at my school on Sunday.  They said yes.

Wednesday night when I talked to Cheryl on the phone she told me that Shurby didn’t want the “young one’s” going with the youth group Friday night.  Shurby had to preach in Danville and he wanted us to go with him.  I felt bad when I was talking to Jenna and Tenielle Thursday because I wanted them to come on Friday.  But Cheryl told me not to tell them, so I stayed quiet.  It was kind of weird because Jenna and Cheryl are the same age.  Anyway, I figured if Shurby wanted them to come then he would invite them himself.

I got off work for Friday and Kevin got a ride to church from college.  Our car was a bit messed up, so I couldn’t drive to Sanford, instead the youth group was going to pick me up since I was on the way to Danville.

I was waiting outside on the porch and after a long wait two vans and a car finally drove up.  Shurby told me to get in the van he was in.  I opened the slide door and there I saw my Jenna and my Tenielle.  I couldn’t believe it!  They were here!  They came!

It was about a two hour drive.  A two hour drive with them!  It was wonderful.  I braided Tenielle’s hair, she gave me a massage.  Jenna was so funny that night.  Tenielle accidentally hit me in the mouth and I started bleeding.  Jenna kept touching my face and playing with my hair.

Why?

I don’t know, but I love it when she does.

The service was amazing!  A lot of people were healed spiritually; including me.  I don’t have to live in this world even though I am here.  

We stopped by McDonald’s and I got a chicken sandwich meal.  When we got back in the van, Jenna sat by me.  We were laughing about something and then Jenna just took hold of my face and squeezed her lips tightly against my cheek.  

She kissed me!  

At first I didn’t realize that she did it.  I was still laughing.  Then it hit me.  I don’t know why she did it, but, again, I’m glad she did.

Eventually we all tried to go to sleep.  I was sitting sideways in the seat and then Tenielle leaned her body on my back.  She put her right hand on my shoulder and together we both fell gently asleep.  Our hearts beating so close to each other.  

Our entire lives right there were pressed together for the peaceful expanse of an hour.

For that hour, the whole world was right.  And it was as though the whole world paused to take notice.  As though all of time, before and afterward, was for me to experience that one hour of perfect peace.

I know that if there is one constant in life, it is change.  But throughout my collection of eyes and smiles that builds and grows as I pass through time, those two flowers will never be replaced.  My heart will hold a special place for them and these eight months we will have spent together.

I will never let anything replace them.

Never.

I arrived home.  Tenielle gave me a hug and I went into my so called home and went to bed.  

When I awoke this morning, I discovered along with the rest of my family, that Nate had the chicken pox.  After I took a shower, Henry and I went to get the car out of the shop.  I drove it to McDonald’s to pick up my check, then, on my way home, the car cut off on me and I couldn’t get it started.  A mechanic stopped and helped me get it back to the shop where it still remains.

In the morning, Henry has some detective thing he has to do, so he’s not going to church.  Mom will have to stay home with Nate and I’m not insured on the other car.

In other words, I have no way to church!

I called Mike, but I can’t go with them.  I called Jonathan, but no one was home.

How am I going to get Jenna and Tenielle to bring them back for Marcus’s concert?

God, I beg of you, please provide a way.  Please.