July 5, 1999 – Monday – 10:40 a.m.

This has been the greatest of all mornings.

I sit now in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport in Texas.  I was here nearly a year ago.  I sure didn’t know then that I’d be back.  The rest of the team is in the air right now, on their way to L.A.  I, because I’m an adult, was forced to take a later flight since the other one was over booked.

So, I’m alone now, and that is a good thing.  I need this time to write.

We had an outreach in Chesapeake on Saturday and afterwards the team went to see Tarzan at the movies.  I sat next to Mary.  Our elbows rested on the same arm rest and touched.  And around the middle of the movie, we discovered that we could touch each other’s fingers through the cup holder without any of the team seeing.

It was awesome.

After the show everyone went to my apartment and some of the girls and Corey cooked for everyone.  Mary and I got a chance to talk again.  We wanted to make sure that we weren’t just using each other for a little summer fling.  We hold each other in the highest respect.  The night ended in a crazy conversation about our most embarrassing moments.  Everyone was laughing so hard. A dozen or more teens were in my apartment having the time of their life and not even realizing it.  It was priceless.

July 4th was the next morning and we ministered at a small church in Toano, which is the same town my grandparents live in.  I went to visit both sets.  I even saw my dad, who didn’t look well at all.  He’s gotten insanely fat.  He also told me that Kevin got in another accident last night.

I hurriedly returned to my Master’s Commission gang, fully aware that I’d rather spend time with them than my own father.  We decided to take the super long and scenic route back to Chesapeake, which involved a ferry ride.  That evening, Meagan and Mary and I went to Meagan’s beautiful country home out in Pungo.  The three of us drove to Sandbridge and spend the final hours of the last 4th of July of the 1900s playing in the deep dark waves of the Altantic Ocean.  An airplane made amazing glow-in-the-dark smoke trails in the star-filled sky above.  The night was perfect, but soon midnight came and the day that I am now breathing in began.

We left Sandbridge around one in the morning.  Meagan drove, Mary sat in front of me, and she would reach back and we would hold and touch each other’s hands.  We got to the house and showered all the salt and sand off of us.  Meagan went to bed and then, for about two hours, I held and touched the most amazing girl alive.

Mary and I spent the early hours of this morning realizing this would be the only chance we had to touch each other.  So, we cautiously spoke into each other’s hearts while guarding them at the same time.  We did not sleep.  It was the most precious few hours of my history.  How beautiful was its purity!  Her soft skin.  Her eyebrows.  Her neck.  Her back.  Her ears.  Her hair.  Oh, and she wanted to shave my face, so I let her.  And then I shaved her legs.  How weird and crazy we are!

I want her so bad, but I’ll only be around her for another week, and in the busy town of L.A. at that.  Our conversation this morning was so precious.  We were no longer two team leaders, but we were man and woman, stopping the world for a few brief hours, so we could acknowledge the value in each other.  Thank you for this morning God.  Use it for your glory!

Now she flies over New Mexico, while I sit in Texas.  Why do goodbyes take place?  Why do I have to part from this girl?  If coming to Virginia Beach did anything for me, it introduced me to Mary, and that makes everything worth it!

Above that though, God has used her to do a healing in me.  My faith in Christian women has grown strong again.  She and I are no accident.  We are no mishap.  This is divine.  I’m not saying she is the one, I’m just saying she has been divinely appointed to me for this brief time, as I have been to her.

Sweet Jesus, you never let me go.  You are my desire.  You bring such good things into my life.  Thank you!

 

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July 2, 1999 – Friday – 8:30 a.m.

A beautiful and precious thing happened last night.  After a crazy and peaceful afternoon full of tubing behind a boat, swimming, laying out in the sun, little miniature sandstorms and a yummy seafood buffet, Mary and I ended up alone together on the walkway of the Cape Henry Memorial in Northern Virginia Beach.  A tall lighthouse was off to our right, and a beautiful huge house was on our left with all the windows lit up.  The ocean was out in front, yet we were high above it, and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to the Eastern Shore was sparkling over the horizon.

And there in that perfect spot we were able to spend fifteen minutes away from the group.  We heard nothing but the waves, the wind, and each other’s voice.

The wind blew some of her hair into her eye, so I moved it back behind her ear.  It felt so good to touch her face.

I have been to that spot twice now.  Both during the summer; once in 1998 and now once in 1999.  It will remain a special corner of this world in my heart.

The group had some discussion time this morning.  Many little petty things were taken care of.  I’m so thankful that God gave me this adventure for the summer.  It is a blessing.

I’ve been reading over the beatitudes in Matthew.  Our Lord is so simple and wise.  How I love him who made me.

Lord I want to bless and protect Mary’s heart, not hinder or destroy it.  Let me know what to do and how to act.

Thank you so much for your protection over my life.  I want to bring you as much joy as you bring me.  You are perfect in all your ways!

June 20, 1999 – Sunday – 9:30 a.m.

We woke up two hours ago and went running before having our quiet time.  I went for a walk in the rain and saw three deer.  We are surrounded by a national forest, it’s really beautiful here.

I have to leave pretty soon to drive back down to Newport News and bring some kids back up to camp.  It’s three hours away.  That’s the same distance Lees-McRae was from Siler City.  Well, I guess it still is.

It’s great to be away.  My mind is free to reflect on more important matters.

Mary has such an amazing spirit.  The girls she mentors are Amber, Megan, Missy, T-Sha, Briana, Dina, Erica, Kristen, and maybe another one, but I forgot her name.

The summer already feels like it is passing so quickly.  All of this will be over before I want it to be.

Oh God, you are the giver of such good things.  I want to be closer to you and hear your voice more clearly.  You are so beautiful in my sight.

I give you all that you have created me to be.

May 26, 1999 – Wednesday – 7:38 a.m.

I slept with the window open last night and this bird that sounded like Scuttle woke me up.

The past few days have been pleasant.  Matt has been gone for the past three weeks, but he finally returned last night.  My summer classes have been nice and I’ve been able to act in one of them.

It is nearing June, which is the month in which I first came here.

God is good to me.  I’m thankful everyday.

I’ll finish school on the 14th of June and then I’ll work as the Key Grip on Josh’s film until the 20th.  That’s when I’ll leave for Northern Virginia.  I’ll spend two weeks all over Virginia and then one week in L.A.  And it looks like I’ll get to see Brandon while I’m over in L.A.  He’s my good buddy who moved out to Arizona when I was in high school.

I love you Jesus.

May 20, 1999 – Thursday – 9:54 p.m.

A hint of the setting sun still remains now, even around nine o’clock in the evening.  Summer is nearly here.  In one month I will begin the journey that will eventually take me to Los Angeles.  Speaking of the city that makes dreams, Episode I kinda let me down.

Much work is ahead of me this summer.  There’s all my course work, two short films, and then the drama trip shindig.  I’ll take the time almost every day to stop and realize where I am and how amazing it is to know that my same self existed in earlier times, in different places, and with different people.  Every part of me now is slightly different than who I was then.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that concept.

 

August 29, 1998 – Saturday – 9:00 a.m.

The storm hit hard.  Orientation was cancelled.  Emily never called.  But Friday night’s youth was amazing.  I feel so comfortable there.  Yesterday I drove around downtown Norfolk.  That’s such a big city to me.

I’ve been watching a lot of VeggieTales videos and have simply been have the best time in the world.  The summer of ’98 is coming to a close.

School begins again.

August 10, 1998 – Monday – 5:45 p.m.

I only have one week left to be 21.

Today was great!  I had some training at the bookstore and then all the employees there went to the beach for a cookout.  I had the best time.  It was myself, Matt, David, and new people I met today: Steven, Dawn, Sarah, Jenny, Channing, Donna, Katy, Aaron, and Amy.

Great people; not all of them go to Regent, but they all love the Lord!

David and I played in the waves and talked about South Africa and it made me miss the place even more.  Matt had really dug deep in to community while I was away.  He has been going to prayer meetings and such.  I’ve been invited to one tonight.

I found out my mom and family are not in Florida yet.  They are in Atlanta.  The RV broke down.  I haven’t talked to them yet.  I haven’t talked to anyone from my old world yet.  I’m afraid to I think.  I’m afraid it will seem like they are all in slow motion and that I’m moving forward so quickly that we’ll be out of reach of each other.

Thank you God for this job.  Thank you for this place.  You are so good to me.  I love living with you and for you.  You have always placed me in a family of believers, no matter where you have called me.  Please speak to me tonight at this meeting.