June 19, 1996 – Wednesday – 6:45 a.m.

Monday night Sherry and Shannon and I went hiking around the parkway.  It was kind of cloudy, but very pretty.  I took some pictures.

There is a guy in my dorm named Mike.  Last night I talked to him about the Lord and basically told him that I thought he was pretty cool and I wanted him to hang out with me in heaven.  We talked for a while.  Then, later on, Sherry called and we talked about the Lord as well.

I constantly call Sharon up and tell her about the people I’m witnessing to and how everything is coming along.  I adore that woman.

Please Father, give me a wife like Sharon, only just a little taller.

June 17, 1996 – Monday – 5:45 p.m.

Two months until my 20th birthday.  It’s hard to believe this year is already half over.

A few minutes ago, as Allen and I were walking back from the Cafeteria, a pair of blonde girls passed by us.  One looked at me and said “hey” as she smiled.  I didn’t know them, but that will stick with me for a while.

Last night was distressing after Sherry and Shannon got back.  They told me all about their adventurous weekend and about how drunk they got.  They used a lot of bad language and acted really immature.  I thought Sherry was turning around.  Perhaps she is, but it takes time.

I don’t want to grow up.

But I’m afraid I am.

A little over 42 years until Emily and I travel the world.

Winter Dreams.

June 16, 1996 – Sunday – 1:10 p.m.

Today is Father’s Day.  I called my dad this morning.

This past Wednesday night, Sherry and Shannon came to church with me.  Sherry enjoyed herself.  I introduced her to Sharon.  Sherry was amazed by her love and kindness toward her.

After the service, Sherry and Shannon and I went to Boone to get a bite to eat and then we went to the park.  They are so much fun to be around.  I am noticing changes in Sherry.  Perhaps she longs to grow closer to the Lord.

They left around noon on Thursday to go and spend the weekend at Sherry’s home in Florida.

Allen came into town on Thursday night.  He is the summer studies RA in McAlister.  Good to see him.  He is excited about the Lord as always.

Vince has started working at the local Presbyterian camp, and he got in touch with me and said that he was coming over on Friday night.  He did show up, but with four other friends including Ellen.  It turns out they had planned a camping trip and wanted me to come along.  Craig offered to take duty, so I went.  So a total of six of us went:  Vince, Ellen, Wilks, Erin, and Marjorie.  They are all working at the camp this summer.  Wilks is from Nashville.  Erin is from Tampa.  And Marjorie is an insanely pretty girl from California, but she moved to Boone about a year ago.

We drove a very long distance up a steep gravel road to Table Rock.  It had been dark for over an hour before we got there, then we hike for another hour up to the top.  I got to know everyone a little better.  Such delightful people.

We got to the top and saw beautiful distant clouds far away.  Bolts of lightning illuminated the sky as the storm inched closer.  City lights hovered in the valley below.  Everything was so big and so wide.  God is so beautiful.

The three girls were getting scared, so we walked back down.  Vince and I talked about Sharon and Laura.  We talked about their beauty and their endless love and caring towards us and others.  Erin listened earnestly.  I believe she likes Vince, just like every other girl who has ever met him.  She better get in line.

We reached the car and, with our own flashlights, tried to find a place to put up a tent.  We had three tents, but one was too big for us to try and put up in the dark.  The other two that they had borrowed from the camp didn’t have the right poles packed with them.  So, we did our best and constructed the weirdest looking shelter known to man.  It was only a two-man tent though, but we weren’t going to dare and try to put up the other one.

So, three guys and three girls ventured into this temporary home and all six of us squeezed into this small space very uncomfortably.

I slept next to Marjorie.  Her skin was so cool and soft.  She made the perfect pillow.  Needless to say, we all got very little sleep, but we simply talked a whole lot and laughed even more.

It was so nice to feel a girl’s body next to me as I slowly fell asleep.

The storm we saw brought no rain and we woke up to a beautiful, sunny day.  We found the tent much easier to tear down than it was to put up, and we set off down the mountain to stop at Wiseman’s View over the Linville Gorge.

Vince took a shower here that morning.  Then we went shopping that afternoon.  We met up with Ellen, Erin, and Marjorie, and even went to see The Cable Guy.  It had a plot and a meaning, which is pretty unusual for a Jim Carrey movie.  I liked it.

After the movie, we got a pizza and walked to the mall.  The sunset was beautiful.

My bed felt nice compared to the rocky surface of the night before, but I awoke this morning with only my teddy bear next to me.  How I longed to be able to open my eyes and see the sunlight grace along the curves of a beautiful woman, but that will come in time.  I am content with where I am now.

The worship service at Heaton really touched me.  Jim spoke on holy families and how parents need to say the words “I love you” more than “wash the dishes, I’m tired.”

I cried.  Tears rolled down my face.  My mom loves me I know, but there were times when she wasn’t very affectionate towards me.  I noticed and it hurt.  However, every time Sharon sees me, she hugs me, looks deep into my soul, compliments me, and affirms who I am.  I surely notice and I love it.

I told Bob happy Father’s Day today.  A special grin filled his face.  He’s never had a son to say that to him, until now.

June 11, 1996 – Tuesday – 10:30 p.m.

I talked to Derek today.  He was honest with me and he told me that he did make a huge mistake and sleep with Sherry.  But he also said that Tracey knew about it.  I believe him.  I even talked to Tracey myself.  And she has forgiven both Derek and Sherry.  Now Sherry is completely amazed at how loving, forgiving, and nice Tracey is.  She looks up to her and, in fact, wants to be like her.  She wants to come to church tomorrow.  She is changing.

We went swimming together at the pool this evening.  I spent some time in her room afterwards.  She even called me up a little while ago.

This thing with Derek has taught her a lot.  She told me that she talked to her boyfriend back home.  She told him about how she had been talking to me and that she doesn’t want to have a sexual relationship with him like she always has had with her boyfriends in the past.  She wants to love him for who he is and not just for his body.  He agreed and told her to go to church with me.

Satan tried to destroy these people, but God has turned it around to bring healing and restoration.  I claim Sherry for the Kingdom of God in Jesus’ name!

June 10, 1996 – Monday – 11:58 p.m.

Why me?

Something has come up.  Something unbelievable.

Dinner was nice.  I had to work on a paper for costuming, so Sherry offered to let me use her computer.  I got to her room about 5:45 p.m. and began my paper.    She cleans her room.  We begin to talk.

Before I get into our conversation, let me mention this:

Friday night, when Sherry and I plus two others saw Sense and Sensibility, we ran into Tracey, Derek, Jeni, and another girl.  We all said “Hi.”  Tracey stopped and talked to Sherry and I.  Derek walked on.

After they were gone, Sherry said, “I can’t believe Derek doesn’t even look at me anymore.”  And Sherry said something along those lines at least half a dozen times that night.

I invited her to church on Saturday.  She said, “If Derek is going to be there, I’m not going.”

So, something has occurred between Derek and Sherry, and I don’t think anybody else knows about it.

I asked her tonight.  She told me.  And then let me listen to voice mail recordings to back it up.

To be brief, Derek and Sherry were friends the first semester.  But from the end of January until the middle of April, they had sex 11 times, including a spring break trip to Florida, where it happened five times.  During all of this, Tracey, Derek’s steady girlfriend, went to sleep on her pure bed probably saying her prayers to the Lord.

Sherry and I continued to talk.  She doesn’t believe that Tracey knows what happened.  Sherry regrets all of it and feels Tracey has a right to know that her boyfriend cheated on her.

I began to talk to Sherry about the Lord and about how much he loves her.  We talked about the goodness of God for so long and she actually listened.  She wants to go to church with me, but she feels she needs to be forgiven by Tracey first, after Tracey finds out that is.  She wants me to help her make all this right.

I called Sharon for wisdom.

Now, I’m going to pray.

June 10, 1996 – Monday – 1:00 p.m.

Church was really nice yesterday; Jim spoke on holiness.

The cafeteria was empty during lunch.  I ate in my solitude and enjoyed myself.  Right now, it seems as if I am enjoying being alone.  I did some homework yesterday and then went for a run.  We had skit practice that night.  Everyone showed up except for Laura.  I called her up and she felt terrible that she forgot.  We talked some more, but we’ll pick it up on next Sunday.

That evening some of the youth group members and Charlie and I went to the park and then went to the movies.  I suggested Sense and Sensibility, and Charlie said, “Is that like Dumb and Dumber?”  He was serious.  I just smiled and he took that as a yes.  Needless to say, those kids were not expecting a costume drama, a couple of the boys fell asleep, but the girls loved it.  And I loved it!  It’s now one of my favorite films of all time!

Sherry has begun to flirt with me regularly.  She is 5’10” and (if wearing makeup) very pretty.  I called her up today and she just kept acting stupid.  She wouldn’t be serious for anything.  I just pulled the phone away from my ear and wished I was talking to Laura instead.

I wonder how this summer will end?

Will I find the love that lasts a lifetime?

Or will it find me much later in life?

June 8, 1996 – Saturday – 12:45 a.m.

I spent the morning with Vince and Curtis until I went to work.  I finished early and came back.  Al was waiting for me so he could play Nintendo.  Today is his birthday (Friday).

There is a girl here at named Sherry.  She was a freshman last year.  I’ve gotten to know her a little better this week.  She is not a Christian, but really nice and lots of fun.  She and I, plus Al and another girl named Shannon went to see Sense and Sensibility at the dollar theater.  An absolutely adorable movie!

I pray Sherry finds the Lord.  I pray she sees Him in me.