September 17, 1997 – Wednesday – 11:10 a.m.

Life is good.  I’m directing now and I feel so much like me.  Vince and I had an awesome talk a couple of nights ago.  We stayed up until two in the morning.  What a dear friend!

I read Charlie my journal entry from September 14th.  When I got to the part about “missing Charlie and Kate together,” he told me he loved me.  I asked him why?  He said because he realized someone else felt his pain.

Sarah is a little under the weather.  I gave her a hug and said thanks for the card and she blew me a kiss.

I don’t know what to say.  I love God.  He loves me.  And he shows me how much he loves me everyday through other people.

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September 15, 1997 – Monday – 12:10 a.m.

An interesting Sunday evening.  I went over to Tate Hall after church to try and shoot my T.A.G. target.  I stopped to visit Sarah, who came to church this morning, but while I was in her room Lesley came in and shot me.  Oh well, I’m out of this year’s game.

Sarah and I had an amazing talk.  She has such a big heart.  We talked for a while and she told me her story.  She said that God has given me a gift and that people feel comfortable, safe, and loved around me.  She said she felt so good after talking to me.

We talked for nearly an hour and a half.

I believe Vince and Laura have finally called it quits.  The two of them sure have gone through it.

I know I say this a lot, but September is already half over.

September 4, 1997 – Thursday – 10:00 a.m.

It’s been a year now since that wonderful moment when I rode in Sharon’s truck with Hannah asleep in my lap.  Vince and Laura were beginning a relationship that is nearly ruined now.

Fall auditions are over and I got the lead role in The Misanthrope.  Pretty exciting I guess.  Thanks God!

The Misanthrope may be the last show I do here at Lees-McRae.  I’m directing a one-act next semester and I’m not sure if I’ll have the time to be in the next show in the spring, but we’ll see.

While here, I’ve played a singing knight in Once Upon A Mattress, a nervous messenger in Antigone, a gay orderly in Bearclaw, a grumpy old man in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and a lovesick speech therapist in Children of a Lesser God.

The only experience I had prior to Lees-McRae was church drama.  It’s safe to say that college has taught me much.

August 27, 1997 – Wednesday – 2:00 p.m.

I finally bought my new Book of Days, but it’s kinda flimsy.  I hope it doesn’t fall apart on me.

Classes started today!

Things are good.  I was duty Monday night and I already wrote up some people for alcohol.  Sherlive and I rode to the parkway last night and did some star gazing.  We had fun.  We acted like kids and played little games, like dodging the car headlight beams.

This morning Vince and I ate breakfast with Amber and Monica, plus two new transfer students named Amanda and Shay.  Vince is amazed at me for some reason.  He calls me at the J-Dog because of how easily I get along with so many different beautiful girls.

He and Laura are having problems again.

I got a letter from Jeanine today.  She told me that she misses us all and she believes she is in love with Allen.  I think I’ll call her tonight.

Jessica is back.  She is overwhelmed with school work and her new RA job.  It’s great to have her back!

I’m excited about this new year, about the new Christians, and the new soon-to-be Christians.

I give my senior year to you God!

August 16 – 1997 – Saturday – 1:27 a.m.

The RD staff plus Allen and Vince went to Carowinds today.  I had fun.  It was great to be outside all day.  When I got home there was a letter under my door from Maresa.  It just said that she wanted me to call her when I got back cause she wanted to talk with me and pray with me about something.  I called her and she came over.  We laid in my bed and talked about God for a long time.  And tonight, or this morning rather, she rededicated her life back to God and eagerly asked many questions about heaven and Jesus.  We had a great talk.  I praise God for that beautiful 15-year-old red-head!  She made this summer twice as fun.

Wednesday night after church, Allen, Vince and I had our small group and prayed.  We talked about the Holy Spirit and Allen said he wanted to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  I prayed for him briefly.  Then he started praying in the spirit.  He fell to the ground, cried, then jumped around and everything.

God is amazing.

It’s great to be alive.

July 29, 1997 – Tuesday – 10:30 p.m.

Tuesday.  Two days without Sherlive, but my thoughts have been filled with her.

I washed clothes this morning.  Worked, or rather laughed, with Lindy in the box office and then came back and washed dishes.  I read my Bible and a Max Lucado story this evening, then Dan, Vince, Charlie and I went to a nearby pastor’s house.  Dan had brought some chemical or something back from West Virginia and he wanted to make something called a potato gun.  He said the chemical was illegal in all the other states except for West Virginia.  But we didn’t have any potatoes, so the idea was to borrow some from this pastor with a nice garden.  Once we entered his house, his wife asked us if we wanted some dinner.  We said, “No, but we would like some vegetables from your garden.”  And they were more than happy to give us some.

They didn’t have any potatoes, but they had tons of zucchini they wanted to part with.  So, with our hands full of more zucchini than we could ever eat, we drove to the football field on campus and Dan got out this pipe and I don’t really understand what happened, but they stuffed one end with a zucchini, and the other end was full of this chemical, a bit of water and then Dan was holding a flame at the bottom.  Nothing was happening and we were all saying he was full of crap, but all of a sudden…BOOM!!!

We had just shot a zucchini halfway across Banner Elk!  It was a super loud explosion.  Dogs started barking all over town, lights were coming on in all the houses, and I’ve never been so scared in my life so I just immediately started running across the field to hide somewhere; I was sure the cops were coming to take us away for life.

But I had totally forgot that Dan had given me his keys for some reason and I had stranded them there since I ran off.  Luckily Dan had a spare key under his car in a magnet box, but it took them forever to retrieve it.

We finally met up and they kept making fun of how fast I ran away.  I guess it was pretty funny, but I was seriously terrified at the time.  I’ve already been arrested once in this town for trespassing.

. . .

I talked to Rachel tonight and I leave for Chrysalis Thursday morning.

While in the box office today, I called the church and asked for the number of a family that lives in TN, hoping they would have a phone book for that region.  They did and I asked them to look up Denny, Sherlive’s dad’s name.  They found it and I now have her phone number.  I haven’t called her yet, but I might if she doesn’t show up for church tomorrow night.

I see Sherlive and I getting close, but this is her freshman year and my senior year.  I’m kinda scared.

Truth:

This is not my home.

Sherlive is not mine.

She is God’s, as am I.

God comes first.

Otherwise, nothing else will work.

Heaven is in the end.

Heaven is a secret.

A secret allowed to be told.

I must tell that secret.

Secrets are secrets because they are true.

. . .

July is ending.

The month of change awaits.

Change is hiding under my bed.

Awaiting to take me in the night.

I will change rooms, age, and class.

Voices, eyes, smiles, they are killing me.

I fight, live, and die for them all.

They come and haunt me.

I feel Sherlive understands this loving pain.

And that is what burns inside of me.

I no longer know what to write.  I can’t write all of my thoughts for some of them are secrets.  Secrets like heaven and they too don’t have words.

July 26, 1997 – Saturday – 10:00 a.m.

Today is Rebecca St. James’ birthday.  She is 20-years-old.

Orientation is not quite over.  How exciting this age is.  How exciting these days are.  To join together with four hundred people your own age, and to live in such a small, personal space with those individuals and their eyes who are striving and longing for that same goal.

My Lees-McRae College story has only one year left.  I can only tell my story as I experienced it.  I can tell no one else’s.  And after this year, that story will be complete; well, at least the story of my official time as a student will be complete.  Then, I will begin a new story in a new place and there I will join with other eyes who are seeking the same goal.

And after that, I do not believe this type of life will ever happen again.  Well, maybe in an old folks home.  Wouldn’t it be great if Dan, Allen, Vince, and Curtis and I all ended up in the same old folks home several decades from now!

But as for today, I feel as though Lees-McRae is mine.  I feel as though Banner Elk is mine.    I feel is it my job to love and care for the people here.

Jeanine went home for the weekend, so Kristina, the little 11-year-old girl Jeanine is here to look after, was alone.  After Forever Plaid last night, which I watched with Sherlive, Kristina, plus tons of other people like Marisa, her brother Mason, Ann-Marie, Tracey, etc., all just played around in the lobby.  Around one o’clock in the morning, everyone left except for Kristina.  I don’t think she wanted to be alone.  So, I told her I’d stay with her.  I slept in her room on Jeanine’s bed.  We fell asleep while watching The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

I awoke this morning to see Kristina sound asleep.  Another set of eyes.  Another name.  Another soul.  Just a little girl, like Veronica, like Jenna, like Tenielle, and like Hannah.  Perhaps God has brought so many young girls into my life to teach me that every woman I will ever meet…well, part of her will always be that little girl; that little girl that just wants to be loved and protected and reminded that she isn’t alone.