February 26, 2001 – Monday – 6:12 p.m.

The second month of the year is nearly over. I don’t know how it happened. Just a few days ago I was 16-years-old, and I thought it would be cool to keep a journal. Now I am 24, and I’m so busy with school, work, and wedding-planning that I often forget I have a journal.

So much is in transition at the moment. I’m finishing up my first short films, and, in so doing, I’m finishing up graduate school. From kindergarten until now, I’ve been in school just a few months shy of 20 years. I’m marrying a beautiful blonde-haired girl from Florida; the girl I’ve been dreaming about and praying for this entire time. Everything between this moment and the night I began writing feels like pure story.

I see I was never on my own. God’s been there the entire time. He’s the true author.

October 8, 2000 – Sunday – 1:00 p.m.

It is one o’clock on a Sunday afternoon.

I am alone.

Love Song for a Savior fills my ears. There is a chill in the air. I just ate a peanut butter and a banana sandwich, and I can tell I’m in one of those moods.

The Caedmon’s Call concert Friday night was wonderful. I was able to go backstage, and I learned that my favorite male artist, Derek Webb, is marrying one of my favorite female artists, Sandra McCracken! That blew me away and really made my whole year!

There is a girl that I’ve taken to noticing. I really don’t know anything about her except that she is 20, and I like the simple way she puts up her blonde hair, as well as the little glasses she wears. She has a beautiful high-pitched voice, and it blesses me when she says my name.

Why is it that I often feel like I go through life all alone? The first week of October has flown by, and I’ve reached one of those days where I feel so lost and out of place. Why do these days come?

Will I ever share this life with someone and spend our days living in harmony with God and each other?

My friends back in North Carolina never call. Why am I always the one to keep in touch? It would be nice for them to call me every once in a while.

There is really only one thing I desire right now, and that is that it’ll eventually hurt when I leave this little corner of the world. Is there anything more tragic than spending years in a place and then never missing it? Oh God, let me do some good while I’m here.

I give you the rest of this Sunday. Use me.

June 18, 2000 – Sunday – 4:07 p.m.

The week went by fast.  Work is fun.  Dan and I play chess a lot in the evenings.  Marie returns on Tuesday.

Trey, Kristen, and Mike took me down to North Carolina to pick up my new used car.  It’s a white 1992 Chevy Cavalier.  It drives nicely.

While there we visited Clay’s parents Barbara and Clyde, but Barbara wasn’t there, only Clyde and Eric.  Funny stuff happened, so funny that it can’t be translated and explained into these pages.

We walked along the railroad tracks near my old house.  Everything was so green and the fireflies were out.  I always thought I grew up in a flat land, but after living in Virginia Beach for two years, I now see how beautiful the rolling hills of my youth were.  Thank you God for letting me spend my childhood there.  It is such a perfect and precious gift.  No doubt you put those railroad tracks there just for me to have a clear path to wander down.

I am nearly 24-years-old now God.  I see now that you have never left me.  I am overwhelmed by your patience and beauty.

Trey, Kristen, Mike, and I stopped at a Starbucks in Chapel Hill on Franklin St. on the way back.  I’m so glad I didn’t go to a big state school like UNC.  Part of me is still trying to get over Lees-McRae.  Part of me is trying to succeed here.  And part of me just wants to relax and let all the days fade away.

I can’t believe it is June.  I miss Marie and just want to have a good conversation with her.  It has been difficult to have those over the phone recently.  She doesn’t seem comfortable talking with her parents there.

Time is passing.  But I will go on.  I work.  I write.  I read.  And I wait.

I also remember.  And I try to forget.

January 11, 2000 – Tuesday – 11:53 p.m.

My one and only full-blooded brother turns 25 in six days.  My how are lives are controlled by numbers.  But I feel they are important to God.  I want them to be important to me as well.

Marie and I have started a book together.  It is a journal, a collection, a piece of ourselves made with pen and paper.  No one is meant to read it but us.  Yet I wonder if it will be discovered one day.

Perhaps the truest art is the undiscovered art.  And I will know no other true art except my own.

I’ve learned that I’ve become very bored very quickly when I write about the unimportant things in my journal.  You know, just what I do and not who I am.  When I read back in my earlier books, all I see are my immaturities.  So Lord, help these times in my journal bring me closer to you and to myself.

Help me to spell out my soul.  Guide me in the discovery of what you have created inside me.  Lord, I fear I may not know who I am.  Erase the conceit.  Recreate me.  Join me to you first.  Then to Marie.

Recreate us together.

Everything good has its time and place.

Days with Dan, Allen, Vince, and Curtis in McAllister are no more.

Days with Marie are just beginning.

Spend time with me Lord.

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.

January 29, 1999 – Friday – 8:12 a.m.

I talked to Dan and Curtis over the phone.  I must make it back to Lees-McRae on May 9th to attend their graduation.  They both seem to be doing well.  Needless to say, I miss them.

Things are good here.  I have many assignments and papers ahead of me, so I’m headed to the library today.

February is almost here.  That only means a little over three months remain the in the semester.

Not long at all.

Then, I’ll only have a year left.

Time is moving faster than it ever has before.

Hmm.

I’ve just been sitting here for a while.  It’s funny how, during some moments, the world makes sense, and, in others, it doesn’t.

Money hardly exists anymore.  It used to be numbers on paper, but now it is only numbers on a screen, numbers on computers, numbers in cyberspace that seem to have no value whatsoever.  We drive around in our cars like robots, and all we are buying with these useless numbers are lies.

When I was in Africa playing underneath the Milky Way, I was away from all the lies.

When I would sit in the treehouse on Hemlock Hill during a midnight snowfall, I was away from it all.

I hope the Lord comes back this year.  I don’t want to live in a world after the year 2000.  I fear things are going to get ugly, and that humans might only become more robotic.

It pains me to know that I’m a part of it all.

July 25, 1998 – Saturday – 8:10 p.m.

I have so little time left here.  So little time left in Africa.  So little time around these people.  So little time left on this planet.

I read a quote today by Frank Lawbach, “I have this minute in my control.  It is all I really do have to work with.  It is as magnificent or drab or vile as the thoughts which fill it.  I fear our most common sin is empty minutes.”

Ephesians 5:15-16 tells us to redeem the time, to set our time free from evil, to fill our life with good.  My life is full of empty minutes.  But I don’t want to live through another one ever again.  The other teams that went to Swaziland and Escourt came back today.  It was so great to see everyone.  I had been missing them and didn’t even know it.  I spent time talking with Jessica.  She has such a sweet spirit in her.  And then I talked with a girl named Emily here.  She is 15 and so smart.  She has such a Godly heart.  And while talking with her and hearing her passions, I realized that so many of the minutes I spent with Sarah were empty.  Many were filled with life, but many were not.  I was hurt by her.  Why do the ungodly ones always want me, but the Godly ones never do?

Well, last night, we went to a youth service, and I went up for prayer for God to help me give my past up to him.  I ended up on the floor and God definitely did some work in me.

And so, I am moving forward.  I will still keep in touch with Sarah, but I need to let her know that I need to be away from her to grow.

I think she already knows that though.

 

February 18, 1998 – Wednesday – 9:30 a.m.

Oh man, I can’t believe this is happening.  Sarah and I are growing together so well.  I’m so in love with her.  And yet, this ship we are sailing on is sinking.

I’m beginning to notice so many little things about this beautiful world. The way the pink lemonade in the cafeteria pours out into my glass, the shape of the branches on the walk to back campus, the fog that settles in the valley.

I’m becoming more and more like Sarah every day and she is becoming more and more like me.  We both even have the same hair color now.  Guys on the hall thought I did it to look like her, but I told them it was for the show.

Oh, my Sarah is so beautiful and so soft.

The show opens tonight.  It’s great being in a show with her; to always have her around.

Last night I walked alone to the waterfall after midnight.  It was roaring so loudly.  It was so big and happy.  So happy to love, but it was also a bit afraid for those thousands of drops of water did not know where they were going.  But there was peace there as well.  God is leading the way.

Time is slipping away beneath me.  But I hardly even notice it.  For my eyes are filled with only three things these days:

My terrific friends.

My beautiful Sarah.

And the God who gave them both to me.

January 1, 1998 – Thursday – 1:30 a.m.

Another year, but nothing to fear (expect everything).

1998 will bring great change.

There is so much to write, but words can’t express what my mind is dwelling on and all the questions in my head.

I spent half of the day with Sarah.  We went shopping with her friends and then we spent some time alone.  How wonderful she is!  How much I love her.  I want to explore our love though.  I want its roots to grow deep, but that takes time and I fear we don’t have much of that.

Four months and ten days until graduation.

I’ll make the time though.  I want to tell her so much, yet the things I want to share with her, well, I can’t even find the words for myself.

So, goodbye 1997.  See you in my memories.  You did wonders for me.

Thank you Lord for such an amazing year.

June 28, 1997 – Saturday – 4:30 p.m.

I have a short break from the box office.

Abigail came to visit her circle of friends today:  Ann-Marie, Jeni, and Tracey.  They all came by the box office.  I hugged her.  I have gotten taller I suppose, for I had to reach down further than before.

It is cloudy outside now.  I walked to Allen’s room this morning.  It seems as though Lees-McRae College and Banner Elk do not really exist.  It seems as if this place will vanish after I leave.  As if all of this came into existence just so I would have a place to live for four years.  I know it’s not true and I know it’s strange, but still, I feel as though this place is mine.  But perhaps that is what the world needs, more people like me, who truly feel at home.

But yesterday I met so many new freshman.  It saddens me that I will not be here for their entire four years.  It doesn’t matter that I am remembered after I leave.  It only matters that I will remember this time and this place.