June 8, 1997 – Sunday – 5:23 p.m.

Yeah baby!  The weekend was so great!  I am a Promise Keeper!!  A stadium of 60,000 Christian men singing praises to one God!  A night spent in a beautiful Victorian Bed & Breakfast!  Charlie, Vince, and Allen right next to me, plus new friends I made from the trip!  Whew, walls were torn down.

Redemption!  I am free at last!

I will live in purity.  I will read, pray, and fellowship!  I am alive in Christ!!

When I returned home I read chapter 17 from Max Lucado’s God Came NearEternal Instants.  You know, the moments so perfect that the whole universe stands still to notice.  I can think of many right now, and I’ve only been alive for a little over 20 years.

Sitting in the treehouse on Hemlock Hill on a snowy night listening to Braveheart.

Crystal rubbing my neck at the drive-in in Tennessee.

Talking to Emily under the boardwalk in Ft. Walton Beach.

Touching Abigail’s face in McAlister room 206 on Lees-McRae’s campus.

Kissing Jeni in Cincinnati, Ohio while listening to The Wedding Song by Kenny G.

Playing underneath the full moon with Dan and Allen on the back side of Grandfather Mountain.

Holding a curled up Tenielle on her bathroom floor.

Performing “The Mask Skit” at Abundant Life Christian Center.

Eating Wheat Thins and slowly falling asleep next to Jessica under God’s open starry sky.

Playing water guns with Jonathan, Mike, Marcus, and Kevin.

Tubing down Deep Creek with Danny and Peter.

Holding Syndi under the waterfall.

Passing a car in the turning lane with Jonathan.

Helping a lost boy find his mother at Fishnet.

Playing Myst with Vince in New York.

Helping Ryan in and out of the corner tree.

Standing next to the Grand Canyon with Brandon.

Graduating high school and seeing Renee smile at me.

Signing my way through Children of A Lesser God.

Singing with 60,000 men in Knoxville.

And that eternal instant right before I fall asleep each night, when I reflect on the beauty of each amazing day!

Oh wait, and how could I forget, perhaps the most perfect moment of all, riding back from Tennessee with Sharon as Hannah fell asleep in my lap.

February 27, 1997 – Thursday – 10:00 a.m.

Today is Curtis’ 21st birthday!

On Tuesday, Jessica and I went for a long hike to the top of a nearby mountain.  We had a good time.  She’s so delightful to spend time with and has such a bright future ahead of her.

Last night, or rather all of yesterday, Abigail…well she…she has become a very dear friend.  We continue to grow closer.  Last night Jeni and she and I prayed again together.  Abigail rested her head on my knee and ran her thumb up and down my fingers as she held my hand.

She has me.

I wonder if she knows it.

Four years ago, I was questioning love.  Veronica was on my mind.  And in reality, I had no idea.

Four years.

Veronica, Ryan, Christi, Jenna, Tenielle, Jeni, Emily, Syndi, Laura, Abigail…

These are the girls who have taught me the most.

Not only have I touched her face, but she tells me that I have touched her heart.  She is not another Ryan or Christi, she is simply my Abigail.  This list will continue to grow and no name will ever disappear.  I want our goodbye to be painful.  I want this to hurt.  I need this to hurt.

I need to share my heart.

February 7, 1997 – Friday – 10:30 a.m.

How different things are here at Lees-McRae than when I first arrived.  Charlie was over at Canon Cottage and I went to visit him after rehearsal last night.  I’ve known him for two and a half years now.  I think for Spring Break we’ll just go to Kate’s house in Florida again.

This place is so important to me.  Some have come and gone: Jason, Jeff, Michael, Syndi.  And others are going: Curtis and Jeni.

Life is so funny, but absolutely enjoyable.

Children of a Lesser God has become so close to me.  Dawn has become so important to me.  Or perhaps it is her character, Sarah Norman, whom I’ve grown to love.  When I am on the stage, I am in love with her.  She is so amazing.  She has this smell and I look forward to smelling it every evening.

All of the other roles I’ve played were supporting characters.  Now I am playing the leading man.  Other characters are supporting me and I’m growing dependent on them.  It will be very sad when this ends on the 16th.  It will be like losing a lover.

Mark, my director, has meant a lot to me these past few days.  He sees my growth and says people will never look at me the same after they see me in this show.

Thank you so much for this Lord.  Thank you for everything here at Lees-McRae.  I’ve never felt like I truly belonged some place until you brought me here.

My dad might come, as well as Kevin, Mom, Henry, and Nate.

I don’t deserve this love.

Fifteen months remain until the new storm blows me away.

Please don’t let it come too quickly Lord.

If I am to move to Virginia Beach, then please prepare that place for me.

I give you my life Lord.

I give you everything.

December 13, 1996 – Friday – 5:00 p.m.

Now that the Fall semester of my Junior year has been over for a couple of days, I shall reflect upon it and write down my most favorite moments from it.

First, the moment on August 25th when Laura stood near the edge of the pew, waiting for me to slide down so she could sit next to me.

Second, September 2nd, Labor Day, as little Hannah was falling asleep in my lap and Sharon was driving “our” pickup truck towards home.

Third, when Newsboys began playing on September 21st at Carowinds and Ann-Marie, Sharon, Tracey, Laura, Hannah, and Bob were all around me.

Fourth, October 13th, when we rode wave-runners in the Gulf of Mexico.  I was flying just a few feet above the water.

Fifth, that same night when I took a walk with the Lord after seeing That Thing You Do with Syndi.

Sixth, the 4th of November, when Abigail, my beautiful spirit-filled friend, laid her head on my chest to keep warm.

And finally, the moments when Vince and I played Myst all evening and then talked in the hot tub over Thanksgiving break.

 

 

October 13, 1996 – Sunday – 9:45 a.m.

We are on the road right now, somewhere around Jacksonville, FL.

Yesterday was so awesome.  We rented wave-runners and went out in the Gulf of Mexico.  It was so much fun; it felt like I was flying just inches above the water.

That evening Syndi and her boyfriend Eric came to pick me up.  We went to this really huge multiplex with 20 screens and saw Tom Hanks’ That Thing You Do.  It was so funny.  A really great movie.  Syndi looked good; she grew her hair back and colored it blonde.  She is happy down here and it was great that I simply got to see her, the girl I held under the waterfall at the end of my Freshman year.

The other thing happened yesterday is that we heard on the radio that Tommy Moe was going to be at a Ski and Sports Shop.  Tommy Moe was a gold medalist in the 1994 Olympics.  Dan has posters of him in his room.  So we all went and got free T-shirts, he autographed them all and we got our picture taken with him.  Dan was really excited.  “I can’t wait to tell my parents that I went to Flordia to meet Tommy Moe!” he said.

That evening, whenever Syndi and Eric brought me back, I went for a walk around Kate’s neighborhood.  I prayed and sang to the Lord.

He is so great to me.

The air was so warm.

The midnight clouds so pretty.

My dreams are coming true.

I’m doing that thing that only I can do.

October 12, 1996 – Saturday – 7:30 a.m.

We went to Busch Gardens yesterday.  It was a lot different from the one in Williamsburg, VA.  I had a nice time.  I saw a cool dolphin show and went on the Montu, easily the best roller coaster I’ve ever been on.

They have a spa here.  I’ve spent some time just relaxing in it.  We are going to the beach today and then I’m going to try to meet up with Syndi tonight.  I called her last night.  She was surprised.  She sounded great.  I miss her.

One more day here and then we’ll head back.  This has been a much-needed little break, but I’m looking forward to going back.  I need my space.  I’ve gotten along with everyone and the weather has been nice, but I’ve come down with a cold and just long to be alone.

Thank you for these days in Tampa Father; may they always be precious.