April 11, 1999 – Sunday – 10:03 a.m.

I saw three bald eagles yesterday at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.  I went with Sterling’s family, Christin, and Jeremy.  We had a great time despite the fact that Jeremy talked about himself the whole time.  He seems so desperate for attention; help me give him what he needs Lord.

Friday morning was the Lunchbox theater performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream where I had a small role.  It went really well.

We had drama practice yesterday and God really moved on me during the youth service.

Something is happening though.  Something I cannot explain or put a finger on.  I pray I do not take this life for granted.  None of this seems to be lasting, yet it is all so distracting.  Please don’t tell me what is happening God.  I’m afraid I might run away!

 

April 4, 1999 – Sunday – 11:14 p.m.

It’s been a wonderful Easter Sunday!  I went to Sterling’s after church, then over to Christian’s and Connie’s, where we played frisbee.  We celebrated Easter as well as a group member’s birthday.

A southern gospel group called the Tully Trio put on a concert at church tonight.  It was surprisingly good.  Afterwards, myself and eight of the teens from youth went out to eat at Applebee’s.

Kimberly’s cousin was with us, and he kept laughing so hard at all my jokes that he began choking and snot bolted out of his nose.  It was a fun evening.  I do not believe I have yet grasped the realization of the true treasure that is in each of the teens here.  Please God, teach me that before it’s too late.

March 5, 1999 – Friday – 1:05 p.m.

See, I hardly have the time to write, it’s already March 5th!

It’s been a hard week.  Thursday night was nice.  I went over to Kimberly’s and Marion, Michelle, and Rebekah came to watch Sense & Sensibility with us.

But yesterday was horrible.  Outside of beautiful girls who are much younger than me, I have no one to hang out with.  No guy my age seems to care around here.  No one seems to know how to love and I fear it is happening to me.  I fear the busyness of this place is causing me to forget how to make time for people.  No one knows me well enough to trust their life and heart in my hands.  I try to give my time, but no one wants it.  No one wants my heart either.  I have beautiful girls to laugh with, but I have no truly close friend my age to cry with.

What I need now is someone to cry with.  I need Vince, Curtis, Dan, Allen, Charlie, Jeni, Tracey, Josh, Abigail, and Lindy.

Could the season of truly close friendships be over?  Does it only happen in the college dorm lifestyle when you share a bathroom and share a cafeteria?  Is it true that it can never happen again?

I’ve been sitting here for a minute.  I think I’m just angry because Amy rejected me and my roommate Matt and I don’t really get along.  I tried to befriend him, but he no longer talks to me.  I don’t even think he’s attending class anymore.

I need a friend God.

A true close friend.

Will all my friends remain in the mountains?  I hope they come see me soon.  There is talk of a few coming to visit over their spring break.

I hope, I hope.

February 25, 1999 – Thursday – 8:27 a.m.

I know I haven’t written in a while.  I guess I’ve been sad.  Last week I saw Amy at a missions informational meeting.  We had an okay time, but we both seemed tired.  I called her a day or two later to ask her out again, but she seemed to be blowing me off, always saying she was busy.  I called again on another night, but I eventually got the message that she didn’t want to pursue us.  I told Sterling and Christin about her and they said I shouldn’t have taken her to the ocean front when I asked her out for hot chocolate.  They said taking girls to the strip means you only want to sleep with them.

What?  How was I supposed to know that?  I’m from the mountains!  I took her there because I think the waves sound nice as you are walking along the boardwalk.

Oh well.

I was an actor in a short film called TR.  It was so much fun!  It lasted two days and I had a lot of scenes with two little kids named Jessica and Frank, ages 9 and 11.  We had a great time.  Mark a fellow student who also acted along side me.  I picked him up everyday and we had nice talks as we drove back and forth to the location.  He’s from Minnesota, married, and in his 30s.

On Sunday I went on a location scout for my short film Forever.  We may be having trouble locking it down.

I had a midterm exam yesterday that went okay.  Last night I led the discipleship class and we sort of evaluated where everyone was.  I was disappointed with how some participated.  Hardly any of the kids have been working through the books.  They seem to be stuck in a rut, but I’ve been there many times.

I prayed Matthew 18:3 over all of us, “unless we become like little children, we will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”  Little children love to learn and they love to let their fathers take care of them.

Change me oh God!

January 31, 1999 – Sunday – 11:38 p.m.

What an amazing weekend!  Friday, after youth group, Kimberly, Sterling, Christin, new friend Tessa, and a few others went to eat at IHOP.  These girls are the joy of my life these days.  I took Kimberly home afterwards.

Saturday, after going to Northwest River Park to measure a pier I found there for a short film I hope to make, I went to Kim’s birthday party, and everyone just had a fantastic time.  There was so much laughter!

Afterwards, some of us went to the movies and saw She’s All That.  It was definitely a movie for 16-year-old girls, but that’s who I surrounded by, so it was fun.  I took Kimberly home then as well.  I sat next to her in church this morning and felt like a helpless high schooler again.  She’s unbelievable, and I wanted so badly to reach over and hold her hand, but I didn’t.  Sometimes it feels like I like every girl I ever meet.

I went over to Sterling’s this afternoon and we played in her room all afternoon.  At the Super Bowl party tonight at church, the teenagers started talking about potential guy/girl relationships, so I walked away and stayed out of it.  Later Rebekah came and talked to me and asked me if I knew how women wanted to be treated.  I shared my answer and her mouth hung open in disbelief.  She said I was spot on.  My feelings then were bittersweet.  Many women tell me I have them all figured out, yet I don’t have anyone to give share my life with.

David and I talked a bit after everyone left.  He is interested in a 20-year old girl at church.  He’s 26.  It should happen.

February is around the corner, so it feels like talk of love and relationships is in the air.

But no matter how much I dream of Kimberly or Christin, these girls are simply too young for me at this stage of life.  They are Winter Dreams.  I will have moved on from here by the time they are of the right age for a serious relationship to truly go anywhere.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t lose sleep thinking about them now.

January 18, 1999 – Monday – 9:00 a.m.

What an awesome weekend in the Lord!  I attended a youth convention all day Friday and Saturday.  Jesus is my center.  He is my hope.  He allows me to utter “I am safe.  I am secure.  I will forever be okay.”  Jewel has a song out now that opens with the line, “If I could tell the whole world just one thing, it would be that we’re all okay.”  It’s a beautiful song, but I fear it isn’t true.  How can anyone be okay without Jesus?

My brother turned 24 yesterday.  Crazy!  I called him last night.  He is trying to get involved in a new church in Richmond.  He didn’t go back to school.  He isn’t allowed anymore financial aid.  So much time and money and he never got his degree.  Sad.

I went over to Sterling’s yesterday and we just hung out.  We worked on a puzzle and I played basketball with Cohen.  This whole place, Sterling’s house, Christin’s smile, it all feels like home.  I belong here.  God is moving here.  There is no greater peace than to know you are where you belong.

 

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.

December 29, 1998 – Tuesday – 9:30 a.m.

It is nearing the end of the year.  I rest in Milton, Florida, USA, and these days force me to look back.

Nineteen Hundred Ninety-Eight.

Thoughts of Sarah, as well as saying goodbye to Lees-McRae, took up the first six months. I still long for that place, but I’m secretly and silently afraid to go back to visit, for I fear I might ruin it’s impact on my life and my heart.

There was a month of transition in the middle of this year through which I visited Texas and South Africa, with brief stops in New York and Miami.  Those were such perfect days.  I wish I could go back and stay in them a little longer, for they were simply too short.

Virginia Beach, Regent University, and Parkway Temple all immediately fell into my lap and my heart.  It seemed as though my collection grew overnight, and now it is the only home I long for.

I am enjoying my time off here, but my parents’ marriage, my stepfather’s need to explain everything, and my mother’s non-displays-of-affection towards her husband and myself still shock and hurt me.  I simply do not understand.  I stay silent.

Emily said she would call yesterday.  She did not.  She reminds me of Sarah.

I just want to do it right.  I want a true and simple love.

The tiny smile of Christin is all I need.

Since my first semester of graduate school is over, it is time to pick the most cherished moments of that time.  There are only two, and I was fully aware they were perfect moments while they were happening.

The first was on November 28, 1998, the Saturday evening I spent with Tracey.  It was the moment during Riverdance in which a gentlemen played a beautiful bagpipe sort of instrument and the entire world stopped.  The music brought peace to the entirety of my days and perfect love to my heart.  I had an old friend by my side and even older memories in my mind.  I had just seen Vince and Allen, a beautiful sunset, and fantastic fireworks.

Perfection.

The next one took place during the early morning hours of December 13, 1998.  My Heart Will Go On played over the credits of Titanic.  Sterling was asleep on one side of me, and Christin was asleep on the other.  Her beautiful face was on my chest and my fingers were in her hair.

Perfection.

And so, a few days of this year remain.

Can 1999 be so close?

What is happening to this world?

Jesus, you are my shelter.

You are all I seek.

Please guide me.

 

December 22, 1998 – Tuesday – 11:24 p.m.

On Monday nights I attend a “Home Church” that meets at Christian’s house, right across the yard from me.  This morning I played racquet ball with Erin (a guy) from the group.  We had a good time.

The Christmas carriage ride tonight with Sterling and Christin was so delightful.  We rode with some rather boring people, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time.  They gave me the coolest presents; I adore those two so much.

Sterling had to leave, but Christin and I drove back to her house so I could pick up a copy of our Christmas show.  Her dad had videotaped it.

While there, we sat at the piano and played Canon in D together.

Canon in D.

She is such a sweet and beautiful girl.  She gave me a letter tonight that blessed me so much.  I read it in awe and amazement.  She is so good to me.

We are going to the movies tomorrow after church and then she is taking me to the airport.

Please God, please help me know what is going on.

December 21, 1998 – Monday – 7:14 a.m.

After church yesterday, David and I went to Sterling’s house for lunch.  Sterling is such a blessing in my life.  She is my joy!  I praise God for her eyes, her voice, her smile.  The show went perfectly last night.  Matt and Kelly showed up, and Sara, Channing’s daughter was there.  Everything was perfect.  About half a dozen or so people got saved!

Many cast members gave me Christmas presents, fantastic ones!  It is unbelievable how good these people are to me.

Christin and I talked over the phone last night.  We are getting closer, but I only want a deep, deep friendship.  Something like Lindy and I, something truly special.

It’s early Monday morning and I have five essays to finish by 5:00 p.m.  I have to work at one, so I’m going to go to the computer lab super early.

On Tuesday night, Christin and Sterling and I are having a little Christmas celebration.  Wednesday night is the candlelight communion service at church where I will say goodbye to Aaron.

On Thursday I fly away.