January 8, 1999 – Friday – 8:20 a.m.

Tracey just left for home.  She stayed the night, along with Vince and Lindy, who are both still here.  They came in last night.  We visited Justin, who was a little sick, and also went to see Christin.

Oh, how I love my friends!  They are so good and so good to me.

I have to go to work soon, but it has been a while since I’ve written, so I just wanted to jot something down.  On Wednesday we had our first Drama meeting of the year.  To begin, I’m going to lead the kids through a six-week discipleship course.  Everything is wonderful!  Classes start soon!

I love you Jesus!

 

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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 1, 1998 – Tuesday – 8:18 a.m.

The final month of 1998 is here.  What a month this will be.  What a year this has been.  I have 21 days left of work, then I can rest.  I’ll relax here for about three days, then I’ll visit those I love.

Debbie’s little dream about Kimberly turned out to be a fluke.  I think she made the whole thing up and then lied to me when she said she wouldn’t tell Kimberly.  Kimberly acted really weird towards me on Sunday, so I talked with her about it.  Things are fine.  You’d think a woman in her 30s would be smarter than that.

This Thanksgiving weekend was such a perfect one with Allen, Vince, Tracey, Christin, and Sterling.  Christmas awaits, and I can’t wait to see Emily.  Nate will have grown so much I am sure.  I’m so happy that I won’t spend Christmas with any of the complaining folks on my dad’s side of the family.  Thanks God!

So, I begin this final month of the year.  It will hold Christmas shows, Christmas gatherings, final exams, research papers, plane rides, and new Crestview, FL memories.

I give it all to you Lord.

November 28, 1998 – Saturday – 11:38 p.m.

Never have I ever…well, that’s not true…I’ve experienced many perfect days, well more than I deserve, but today was uniquely perfect, insanely perfect, unfairly perfect.

Yesterday was spent with my two good friends; that afternoon we visit Drew, who lives about an hour away in the country.  We went squirrel hunting.  It was nice I guess, both only Drew was skilled enough to kill two squirrels.  Vince and Allen and I had no idea what we were doing.

I left the mountain town of Lynchburg this morning at 10:00.  The drive was peaceful and beautiful, filled with prayer and song for nearly four hours.  I took a shower when I arrived here to my apartment.  Then Tracey arrived, my beautiful friend whom I’ve known for over four years now.  We drove to Sandbridge and saw the sun set over the backwaters near the ocean.  The multitude of colors were absolutely stunning.  So pink, yet so blue, with such still water; I’m convinced God is in control.

Tracey and I drove back towards Norfolk and talked of life and love like old friends tend to do.  It was so good to have her near me.  She is the sight and the smell of my earliest days at Lees-McRae.  She was one of the faces that filled my days after I left home.  After pulling into downtown Norfolk, we ended up at a really expensive restaurant near the Scope.  We didn’t have much money, but we made the best of it, pretending like we were rich people.

Before the show started, we took the elevator to the highest level of the lobby and watched a display of fireworks erupting over the waterfront.  The city was celebrating the upcoming holidays.  Pleasure filled my eyes.  I was already moved by the sunset, but the sparkling fireworks over the Chesapeake Bay took me to a new level.

And then we watched Riverdance.

Every moment was perfect.  I was not alone.  During an instrumental piece it felt as though my life had come to another eternal instant.  I was perfectly content.  All that I had done in life to bring me to that moment felt like pure peace.

A friend, a sunset, a lovely dinner, fireworks, Riverdance, and a thankful heart–such good things.  And they can all be summed up with one word: Jesus.

 

November 9, 1998 – Monday – 5:30 p.m.

I don’t have much time to write, but I feel like talking to myself, and to God.

I love the weather this time of year.  I love the chill the tide brings in.  I’m enjoying this place.  It has become a home.  One like my old one on Foust Road.  One like my old one in McAlister Hall and even Tennessee Dorm.  One like my bed in Johannesburg, South Africa.

But God’s presence is where I will always be more comfortable.

I’m going over to Kimberly’s house tomorrow to study sign language for our show, and to also have dinner.  I pray it’s not too awkward.

I constantly miss Sharon’s home.

The Rebecca St. James concert is less than two weeks away.  Thanksgiving break with Allen, Vince, and Tracey is right after that.

And then the last month of this fantastic year!

October 21, 1998 – Wednesday – 9:00 a.m.

Much has happened since my last entry.  Tammie and Jose’s party was the most amazing event.  Justin came, all the girls had a burping contest, and I fell more in love with this whole world.  God has given me a heart of compassion for these people.  Each day, I find myself longing more and more for them.

Sunday’s church service was fantastic as well.  There was another party for Tammie and Jose that night.  My small group meeting is on Mondays at Connie and Christian’s, and on Tuesday nights I now have a men’s meeting at church.  I went last night and it was awesome.  No matter where I go, I find myself surrounded by good people.

I finished my “Eyebrows” script yesterday, but there are a few changes I need to make before I submit my first draft.

I’ve been emailing Angela and Dawn from my Africa trip.  Julie also sent me a letter.  I also found a new email buddy in a Canadian who went to Eastern Europe with Teen Mania.  Her name is Anna.  MovieMark and I have begun emailing each other again.

Time is moving forward.  The air is getting cooler, but the leaves are not changing.  I bought a plane ticket Monday to go down to Pensacola for Christmas.  I’ve never spent a Christmas in Florida before, and I’ve surely never spent one so close to Emily.  I will stay there until the Brownsville Revival starts back up at the beginning of 1999, then I will fly back.  I depart here on Christmas Eve.

November brings Tracey and Vince.  I used to think about going to visit my old home in the mountains, but to miss one tiny thing that happens here frightens me.

Thank you God for my homes!

November 21, 1997 – Friday – 3:40 p.m.

Wow!! The Misanthrope opened and I received tons of flowers!  I got some from Lindy, Ann-Marie, and Abigail.  The show went great and everyone said I did great.

Four more shows remain.  I’m finally enjoying this play.  My mom comes on Saturday.

I finally got my Regent application in the mail.  Life is exciting.  Five and a half months left.  I’m looking forward to the change.  This will actually be somewhat easy, since I know Jesus is already preparing a place for me.

A couple of nights ago, when the moon was nearly full and the ground was covered in snow, Allen, Justin, Ashley, Shannon, and myself drove up to the top of Beech Mountain and sang praises to our Lord.  The midnight silhouette of the mountains below took my breath away.

It was perfect.

As is all of life these days.

Whatever happened to those feelings I had for Jessica, or Sherlive, or even Abigail?  I still see them, I still talk to them, I still even touch Abigail’s face, but it truly feels as if my emotions have moved on.

I love all the girls here, but there is not one of them I have come across whom I truly feel I want to spend my entire life with in marriage.  Just last night I went to spend time with all the girls after the show: Lindy, Tracey, Jeni, Abigail, and Ann-Marie.  Lindy, I believe, is content with her singleness, but the other four dream of love and a Godly man.  I can see their pain and longing in their eyes as they wait for that moment to come.  They almost seem desperate and hopeless.

I wish I could make them all happy forever, but I can’t.

So my job is to simply love all my friends, both guys and girls, for the next five and a half months, and then give each of them an extended “see you tomorrow.”

I feel God sending me to Regent.  He’s sending me to the beach.  Where I will continue to rest in this peace, love, and strength.