April 10, 2001 – Tuesday – 4:00 p.m.

I just got off the phone with Lindy, easily one of the best friends I’ll ever have. I feel like my insides are going to explode. Everything is coming to the most amazing ending, and an entire universe is beginning.

The week of the wedding is going to be full of complete emotional ecstasy. There is much history and so many stories that will collide together for the moment Anna and I join our lives together. I will pick Vince up from the Miami airport, then we will drive up the coast for four hours after not seeing each other for over a year. Nearly all of Lees-McRae and Banner Elk, NC is dying to see him, and he will be there in when they all arrive on Thursday for the wedding on Saturday. Over 15 Lees-McRae friends are making the 11 hour trip south. Marcus is coming, as well as Danny and Peter, they are all bringing friends along.

Abigail is going to sing. Tracey is going to play piano. Vince, Lindy, and Dan will be standing next to me. I’ll share the weekend with all my friends, then drive away with Anna.

Anna just showed up. Gotta go!

April 21, 2000 – Friday – 8:05 a.m.

I’m in Metuchen, New Jersey again.  And my recent days have been a learning experience.  On the 15th Marie and I drove to Banner Elk.  We visited Tracey’s and Lindy’s first.  Everyone heard we were there and then almost suddenly their living room was full of nearly 20 dear friends wanting to see me.   That was a bit overwhelming for Marie since most of them were girls.  Sarah even showed up and hugged me tightly.

Saturday night we saw Hamlet on campus.  What a wonderful production!  It had one of the most ambitious sets I’ve ever seen on that stage.  On Sunday morning we went to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship, then to hike on Grandfather Mountain, then to visit Leslie and her family, and then to visit Heaton, then to visit Sharon and her girls, and it was just a huge day.  And when I say “we,” I don’t mean Marie and I, I mean everyone, all my dear friends.  Needless to say, Marie got placed aside a bit.  I tried to get her to join in on the fun, but she didn’t.

We talked that evening, and she cried.  She cried because she felt so lonely.  She felt there was this huge world that she had to compete with.  And the next three days passed in that same fashion.  One of those days we drove with Sharon down to Asheville, and we realized that this world of Lees-McRae had already been defined for me.  I knew this place without Marie.  It felt natural for me to cling to them while in this land, for I had no memory of ever clinging to Marie in these mountains.

Marie’s world is three family-members.

Mine is 25 friends.

I never realized how unique my college experience was until I saw it overwhelm another soul.

I still got to see everyone and get caught up.  Curtis and Megan came down.  It was so weird to see them married.  Dan was there for two days, then he left to go snorkeling in the Florida Keys.  Vince is leaving on the 8th of May for Bolivia.  Allen is marrying Jessica in June.  Abigail and Tracey’s band is doing wonderful in the area.  Ann-Marie is moving down to Florida after graduation to work in a repertory theater.  Charlie and Kate are getting married on June 24th.

It was the last time Dan, Allen, Vince, Curtis, and myself would be together for at least the next two years.  And who knows… maybe forever.

Marie and I learned much about ourselves during our five days in Banner Elk.  We left on Thursday to drive up here to New Jersey.  We took the Blue Ridge Parkway until Roanoke and looked at that city a bit.  Then we took the Skyline Drive to Front Royal.

The drive through Shenandoah was beautiful and misty.  Then we drove through parts of Pennsylvania that I’ve never seen before.  I came down with a horrible head cold during the drive, and so here I am super sick in New Jersey.  I think they want to take me to their family doctor.

February 26, 2000 – Saturday – 10:14 a.m.

Life has recently been spent in rehearsal, class, work, and with Marie.  We had our most favorite special “friend day” yesterday on a little peer out at Munden Point Park.  It is a perfect place of reflecting light, green trees, and blue sky.  We were barefoot little kids playing in life-giving water and spitting on mosquitoes.  A perfect day, an eternal instant, we wanted to spend our entire lives there.

Sarah emailed me this past week.  I emailed her back and let her know that I did not want to continue to keep in touch, that it was not fair to Marie.

I spoke with Tracey this morning.  Charlie was punched in the face and knocked out cold by a resident.  He felt the school didn’t support him, so he quit his Residence Life job and left Lees-McRae.  He’s staying with his parents, but they don’t want him there.  Kate moved down to Franklin, NC with her parents who recently moved there.

Dan is back in Colorado.

Tracey and Abigail’s Seven Strangers band is making a demo tape.  Everything is supposedly going really well for that little band.

Vince and Natalie have spent the past two weeks in New York with Vince’s dad.

And Lindy is trying to get certified in aerobics.

The Regent community, or rather our small group of Communication School acquaintances, are beginning to put two and two together when it comes to Marie and I.  Many guys have asked Marie if she is seeing someone because she has this “certain glow.”

She tells them yes.

I think it is funny.

I applied for an office manager job for a children’s theater company in Norfolk.  I pray God blesses me with it.

Children are playing outside my window now.  It’s very clear that March begins in four days.  The sounds are in the air.

I apologized to Marie last night for kissing Jeni and Sarah.  I told her I wished I had waited for her alone.  I regret the words and phrases I have written in past journals about other girls, thinking and believing I wanted to spend my life with them, thinking and believing I loved them so deeply.

Forgive me God.  I wish I could erase those pages from my journal.

I love you Jesus.  Thank you for this redemption.  I place my past and my sin before you.  You are holy and beautiful.

November 27, 1999 – Saturday – 5:38 p.m.

Sometimes I wait for my life to begin

Sometimes our hearts should begin in the end

Sometimes my life is just paper and pen

But then sometimes I think of you

. . .

Tracey and I watched old Lees-McRae dance videos last night.  They were from four or five years ago.  I have forgotten that I am 23.  Those two numbers next to each other look very old to me.  But it is all relative.  I’m sure to others I’m a little punk who doesn’t know anything about life yet.  And they are probably right.

This month is ending and I have two screenplays and a huge paper to finish.

But this is not about me.

I am beginning to see that I will never do really huge things in my career.  Sure, I may make some movies, and I may have a few good roles on the stage and screen, but these things will never be greater than making a girl smile.  What am I if I do not love?

I am nothing.

. . .

Vince is coming, but I have so much work and a show to do.  I know not what Christmas brings, but I hope to see Marie and meet her family.  I know not what will happen for New Year’s either, but I do know that the following week I will be directing Dang!.

Oh God, you have much to do through me.

Hold the clock.  Stop the sun.

Speed me up.  Slow me down.

 

November 26, 1999 – Friday – 9:00 p.m.

I was in Lynchburg, VA most of the day and Thanksgiving day.  Tracey and family had to change their plans for Thanksgiving, so I went up to Vince’s and his parents got us Hotel room within walking distance of their house.  Natalie was there as well.

On Tuesday night Marie and I drove down to Currituck.  Once there, we really talked about what we are supposed to be.  She told me that her parents know about me and that when she talks to her sister, her sister always asks how I am.  That was nice to hear.  We both agreed we would let the relationship define itself, so we’ll see how that goes.

So, on Thanksgiving Day Vince and Natalie and I walked on an island in the middle of the James River in Lynchburg.  It looked so dead and barren, but also peaceful.  I did get to see Tracey and her family earlier tonight in Moyock.  They seem to be doing well and she is making a living teaching dance in Avery and Watagua Counties.  What a wonderful friend I have in her.  They live not too far from where Marie and I go to watch the moon.

Goodnight Lord.

 

November 21, 1999 – Sunday – 8:35 a.m.

It has been so long since I’ve written.  I guess I’ve been occupied.

Marie and I have been affirming each other more and more.  She is coming to church with me this morning.

Sarah sent me an email saying she was in love with me and that she is sorry for all she did.  I wrote her back forgiving her and telling her that I met the woman I wanted to marry.

I also wrote Mary, and she said for me not to go off and find a girl when there is one in Oklahoma who is still in love with me.

Mary and Sarah once meant so much to me, but now they only offer words on a screen. Marie is right in front of me.

I acted in two different directing scenes on Friday and I even directed my own.  All went well.

Vince is coming to spend about three weeks with me.  The bookstore needs some extra help, so he is going to live with me and take the temporary job.

These days are just full of unbelievable grace.  Marie is turning into my best friend.  I’m creating the Lord’s art.  My soul is completely free.  I’m finding beauty in this land, and it is mostly in Marie’s eyes.  What did I ever do to deserve such beauty?

The days ahead hold so much change.

It is a full moon on Tuesday, so Marie and I will return to that field in North Carolina to celebrate a full passing of the moon over our great friendship.  She will travel home for Thanksgiving the next morning and I will stay here and try to write a short screenplay.  I’ll visit with Tracey, Vince, and Justin, and I’ll work in the bookstore.

December will bring the final weeks of school, as well as all the final preparations for DANG!.  We had a rehearsal for it last night and it was just perfect.  God’s hands are all over this!

Marie and I are making plans to see each other over Christmas.  I can’t wait to meet her family.  Thank you Jesus for handling this relationship.  You are all that is perfect and pure and beautiful.  I love you Lord!

 

June 12, 1999 – Saturday – 4:51 p.m.

I feel like crying…crying because I don’t have best friend here.  At the moment, I feel so very much alone, very misunderstood, and I never feel like I can fully relax into the friendships I have here.

I talked to Justin, Abigail, Tracey, and Sarah the other night.  They sounded so good.  Sarah and I are all healed and that completely amazes me.  But these dear people are all far away.  Justin is in town, but at camp.  I leave in a week, so I won’t get to see him.

I’ll soon be around a new group of people.  Before I even depart, I guy I don’t know from Richmond is staying with me for a week while he helps out on a film shoot.

Oh Jesus…what is going on?

How am I doing?

I feel life has become so different and I don’t want it to be.  Is it my perspective or are things really changing?  Am I still young?  What do you want me to do?  Where have all my simple joys gone?  I am missing them so.  Why all this stress?  Life didn’t use to be this way.

Mom called me the other night.  She and Henry are having problems in their marriage.  They say they’re spiritual attacks because of their involvement with the Brownsville Revival and they are going to counseling.  I hope they’re still good.

There is a family reunion happening at Deep Creek, but I can’t go due to the film shoot.

Change.  I both love and hate it.

March 20, 1999 – Saturday – 5:52 p.m.

Vince, Lindy, and Tracey just left.  They are stopping by Vince’s house on the way back to LMC.  We had a wonderful time together.  We met up with Justin for lunch on Friday and then went to the Norfolk Zoo, which holds the world’s funniest ostrich.  That night the youth group kids really got a kick out of Vince and I doing our funny duck walks.  We visited Justin at his house afterwards and watched movies.

I had an audition for a short film this morning.  He had me read with four different people and it took over an hour and a half.  I hope I get something.  That afternoon we all went to a birthday party for a little guy at church.

It was so wonderful having Vince, Lindy, and Tracey here.  Even now, I miss them so much.  I pray our friendships never die.

I plan on going to a show at Regent tonight.  I’ve invited Kimberly to come with me.

Many things are on my mind right now, but I just want to lay before the Lord in silence.  It is, as you know, the first day of spring.

 

March 19, 1999 – Friday – 9:14 a.m.

I cooked breakfast for everyone yesterday morning, then we all took Vince to get his hair cut.  He had grown it out super long, but now it’s super short.  From there we drove to downtown Norfolk to go to the huge new mall that opened, and we randomly ran into Justin from Lees McRae.  We hung out with him for a bit while he was on his lunch break.  He went back to work and the four of us ate out on the Waterside.  Afterwards we crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to explore the Eastern Shore and ended up in a place called Oyster.

Justin met us back at my apartment and we ate a crazy mixed up dinner of all the food I could find: pasta, fish sticks, chili, etc.  It was so random and fun.

We chilled for a while and then ran out to get some Krispy Kreme Donuts; the HOT sign was on!  It was an amazing day.  I took so many pictures that can tell the story much better than I can.

Jesus is the giver of all good things.

 

March 18, 1999 – Thursday – 8:02 a.m.

Vince, Lindy, and Tracey are here.  Charlie did not come.  They arrived late last night from Myrtle Beach.  It doesn’t sound like things are going too well spiritually at Lees-McRae.  They say the fire has dwindled.  I will be praying.  God, if you want me to go, I’ll go.  I am yours.

Well, welcome to my 15th Book of Days.  This book may take me all the way to 2000.

Our youth church is really booming.  We are applying the Circle of 12 principle.  We are even beginning a leadership school.  What a blessing this church has been.  Christin hasn’t been a part of the youth church though.  I hear she has an Internet boyfriend, and she only comes to church on Sunday morning.

The apartment lifestyle doesn’t bring as many visitors as the dorm life brought by.  Vince, Lindy, and Tracey are making me miss the old life more and more, but I’m sure a time when come when Regent University and Virginia Beach will be the places I long for.

But the days of LMC can no longer be, but they did bring me some very good friends.  Three of them are asleep here, and I need to go wake them up so we can explore this 18th day of March, 1999.