May 11, 1999 – Tuesday – 1:15 p.m.

My four days in Banner Elk were wonderful.  Friday, after we picked up Kerstin in Johnson City, we ate at Applebees.  There we met our waitress Celina, whom we ended up praying with before we left.  We went hiking that afternoon with Jessica and Curtis’ new girlfriend Megan.  It was so beautiful out there on the back side of Grandfather Mountain.

Megan is so delightful.  We became instant friends just like how everyone became instant friends with Kerstin!

We saw Sunny that night in Boone with Abigail, Dan, Grayson, Josh, his dad, and I think that’s about it.

Sarah had a lead in the show and did so well; she looked absolutely beautiful.  I ran up to her after the show and embraced her so tightly.  I spent time with her on graduation Sunday as well.  Our relationship has been healed.  Love has intervened.  Time has surrounded us.  We are great now!

I took Kerstin back Saturday morning.  It was so lovely to see her outside of Regent.  She so beautiful and so much fun!

On Saturday I hung out with everybody I could.  That night I slept in Lindy’s room.  We just talked and talked until we drifted off to sleep.

Church seemed the same as always at Heaton.  It was great, but no longer for me.  All the kids have grown up.  It was weird being there.

And then graduation came.  What a wondrous day.  Tons of hugs.  Tons of pictures.  Tons of smiles.  I loved seeing Ashley, I forgot how much she makes me laugh.  A perfect day…and I had to drive away from it all at 4:30 p.m.

I don’t think any of us realized what truly took place on that day.  Dan, Vince, Jaime, Tracey, Lindy, Allen, and Curtis graduated.  Justin is transferring.  Abigail, Jessica, Anne-Marie, Ashley, and Josh remain.  What will become of our futures?

As I drove back seven hours toward the east coast, I found comfort in my home here.  Voicemail messages from Kimberly greeted me when I arrived.  David took me out to eat.  I was only gone four days, but I was missed.  Now summer classes have begun.  I have homework to do.

It’s already May 11th

Hmmm.

Must mean I’m having fun.

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May 7, 1999 – Friday – 8:02 a.m.

I am now at Sharon’s home in Newland, NC.

Wednesday night was the opening night of the Regent University Film Festival.  The films were actually pretty good, especially The Window, which I bought a copy of.

On Tuesday I took Kerstin to the airport.  She is going to Johnson City, TN, so we decided to meet up while I’m here in the mountains.

I’m going backwards now…on Monday night the Lord really ministered to me at my home group about my relationship with my dad.  Then Wednesday night after the film festival I left for Banner Elk.  I left at one in the morning, drove through the whole night, and arrived at 7:30 in the morning.  I woke everybody up and basically just visited with everyone the whole day.  Everybody is doing great!  I came over to Sharon’s after lunch.  When little Hannah arrived home from school, we just swing danced the whole afternoon together.  Then most of the gang came over here last night and we just hung out the whole time.

It’s so great to be here.  Sharon is the best.  Hannah and Laura are the greatest girls on the planet right now.  This feels more like home than any place I know.  This is where I am from.

Vince and Curtis are on their way over here right now.  They are going with me to pick up Kerstin.  Then tonight we are going to see Sunny at Blue Ridge Community Theater.  Sarah has one of the leads in that show.

Thank you God for these few days here.  I love you.

April 28, 1999 – Wednesday – 11:15 p.m.

I decided this afternoon to spend $65.50 and spontaneously go see The Phantom of the Opera in downtown Norfolk.  I had an excellent seat, and I saw the world’s most perfect musical three and a half years after I saw it for the first time in the exact same place.

During those days, my thoughts endlessly dwelt on Laura; a beautiful girl whom I’ll see again in another week.  But I hear her love rests on a young man named David now.

Last night I spent some quality conversation with a girl named Cindy.  I also chatted a bit with Chris.  It was really nice to talk to other students.

I’m afraid I’m losing my romantic soul.  I’m afraid I’m losing my childhood dreams and wishes.  I only wish…oh…look, it’s nearly the 30th of April.

Remember the 30th of April?

Oh how life wants to live.  May my passion never grow dim.

Will a girl ever know me?

Can I ever tell her all these things I write in these books?

Someone must be looking for me.

I give all of this to you God.  Take care of her.

Hide your face so the world will never find you.

April 25, 1999 – Sunday – 11:05 p.m.

It feels much later into that night than it actually is.  Winter has definitely passed.  It is curious how the sun rises and sets and many do not seem to notice.  In eleven days I revisit Lees-McRae again.  It will be a blessing to lay my eyes on that land and its people again.  Thank you for this opportunity Lord.

In one week and one day my first year of graduate school will be no more.  Ice-skating was really wonderful last night.  We were there for about three hours until I took the time to soak in everything around me.  I am surrounded by treasures in these young people.  Each are so beautiful.  And it seems now as if a part of me is forever trapped in that ice rink.  God, for some reason, seems to be keeping me young.  Everyone tells me I look like a high-schooler and I hang around a bunch of high-schoolers.  Why is he doing this?  I know not.  And life should always be as such… not knowing.  What a beautiful thing.

My personal internal passion for cinema and theater and art is growing and expanding.  It feels as though I will die if I cannot do this.  I will starve.  It is how I worship, how I love, how I communicate.  It says in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God will complete the work he has begun in me.  He will finish my story.  He is the author and perfecto of my faith.  Do this sweet thing Jesus.  I give you my broken soul.  You are my life.

I pray you find pleasure in me.

I love you so.

It’s hard to stop writing.  I want nothing but to talk with you forever.

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!

 

February 13, 1999 – Saturday – 10:43 p.m.

I began writing in these books nearly six years ago for a reason of which I am not really sure.  I only remember beginning them.  When I search myself for the most honest answer, all I can say is that I did it for myself.  Not for the person I was then, but for the person I knew I would become after reading about the time and place which formed me….and to read about it in my own hand.

And thus far, it has all brought me to this day, this hour, this minute.

I have just returned from a True Love Waits rally in Williamsburg, VA, a town I’ve spent many hours in over the years, for it is where we would go when I visited my dad’s side of the family in my earlier days.  My brother Kevin was there.  He’s 24 and looks nothing like it.  He handed me Christmas presents from people I didn’t see since I went chasing after my long lost pen pal, my family of old, and the revival everyone’s been talking about.

I drove one of two Parkway Temple vans to our destination and back tonight.  I used to be one of the kids always riding in the van, but now I’m the one driving it.

Our team performed Masks tonight.  This short vignette is very dear to my heart and has been in existence for nearly as long as these journals.  And I see now what these writings have done for me.  They help me examine my thoughts and feelings and help me remove all the false masks that try to cling to me each day.

There is no doubt that these entries have tremendously aided in forming who I am today.

For today, I am a free man.

And yesterday, on the 12th day of the 2nd month of 1999, I think I met her.

I left youth group a little early last night to attend the swing dance at Regent University.  During one dance where all the girls lined up on one side and the guys on the other, I walked towards a girl and met her in the middle.  There, we found ourselves; my arm around her back, our hands in each other’s, her hand on my shoulder.

We moved to the music.

“What’s your name?”

“Amy, yours?”

“Jacob.  Nice to meet you.”

November 7, 1998 – Saturday – 11:59 p.m.

Today’s rehearsal was tough.  The kids aren’t listening to me.  They’re goofing off.

I bought Burlap to Cashmere’s CD after rehearsal.  God used it to bring my joy back.  It’s such a perfect CD.

I saw Regent Theater’s Mystery Plays tonight.  It was an original production and so perfect.  I was so proud of my fellow students.  Obviously, God is in this place and in these people.

After experiencing it’s top quality, I really missed the professional world of theater.  The kids at church don’t have a clue.

But God will take care of everything.

Thanksgiving is only 2 1/2 weeks away.

Time is not stopping.

Emily and I talked over the phone the other night.  Our visit should be interesting.  Our story is a mystery play in and of itself.

What a gift I’m living!

I am free!