May 6, 2000 – Saturday – 1:00 p.m.

I’m at my grandparents’.  I was headed out yesterday to visit Vince and say goodbye before he flew off to Bolivia, but my car broke down near Bottom’s Bridge in New Kent County.  I think I blew the engine.  I’m not sure what is going to happen, but it is nice being here.  I’ve had some time to reflect and think.

Soon I will be 24-years-old.  I am not married, but I’ve found a potential girl.  I’ll soon have a Master’s Degree, and I need to start working.  I have an interview Monday at a place called Acoustic Works.

I’ve watched some old home videos since I arrived here yesterday.  My grandpa always had the latest video camera in his hands while I was growing up.  How amazing to see me as a little boy back in 1987!  God is teaching me something.  I long for the life of pure love and innocence.  Oh, to be a child again.

I’ve come a long way.  High school, college, graduate school, all all the different churches that came with those places.  All the different friends.  Some now lost forever.

And all the different girls.

Cincinatti, Winston-Salem, Metuchen.

All the places I’ve walked.

I’m no longer a student, and that is all my memory has known.

So fix me God.  Prepare me for the next wave.  Send to the place you have prepared for me.

May 3, 2000 – Wednesday – 12:05 p.m.

I’m not in my room, I’m under a pine tree on Lake James Drive near Regent University.  I rode my bike here.  It is nice to get away from my room.

I’ve been reading Henderson The Rain King and have enjoyed it immensely.

Vince leaves the country in five days.  I’ve tried to call him, but he wasn’t home.  I’m now at the point of my life where I am no longer a full-time student, and, to be honest, I don’t know what to do with myself.  I’m trying to be patient.  I’m trying to wait on God.  I’m trying to get a job, but I don’t think I’m doing it very well.  I feel like I’m losing my identity.

Marie and I, well, it is obvious that our relationship is changing form.  God please have your way with us and melt all my insecurities away.  I have grown to not like who I am these days.  I have this opportunity to spend three weeks on the road with Dan and Theresa, and I think that would be good for me, but I feel like I should be trying to find a job though.  That pressure is mainly coming from Marie and her family.

For the first time in my life, I’ve met a mother who doesn’t like me.  After Marie’s mom spent more time with me, she thinks I’m the wrong one for Marie and she has told her as much.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with that.  I’ve left my church to attend church with Marie, and Marie’s church just doesn’t believe the same things, spiritually speaking, that I do.

I feel as though I’m losing myself who I am.

I want to be with Marie.  I love her so much.  I guess all the differences and the road blocks scare me.  I’m just waiting to see what God is going to do.

I want to start working on more films, but I have this huge debt hanging over my head, so I feel I must put my focus on that.

An old married couple just rode by on their bikes.  Will I ever become that?

This is a nice little grove in the trees; similar to Emily’s crying place in Crestview, but that  has since been torn down to make way for suburban sprawl.

Perhaps I should put all my efforts toward doing video work on the mission field.  That way I can travel the world.

I want to drive out west and spend many days thinking and writing in my journal.

I miss writing in my journal.

I’m going to ride my bike around some more.

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.

March 25, 2000 – Saturday – 10:00 a.m.

Spring has begun.  Curtis is married.  I didn’t get to go.  Pilate is over.

Last Friday Marie and I went to the Virginia Marine Science Museum, and yesterday we went to Yorktown.  I just adore our Friday trips together.

I talked with Dan and Vince over the weekend, as well as Lindy.  Evidently, the wedding was great.  A single month of classes remain.  I’ve got a great deal of work to do.

And I love Marie!

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.

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.

December 23, 1999 – Thursday – 11:57 a.m.

Vince just left.  What a lovely three weeks we spent together between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We saw the winter solstice moon last night.  We made pancakes this morning. He is my truly great friend, and he is moving in Bolivia in May.

I wrote Marie a letter this morning.  I so much look forward to seeing her tonight.  I feel I’m letting go of life more and more.  I want so much to let everything that is in me be nothing but Jesus.  I want all my remaining days to me Jesus, Marie, and storytelling….in that order.

Take all of me Lord.  I see that every good thing comes from you.  I alone am full of sin.  You are my redeemer.  I only exist because of your love and grace.

This beautiful life is full of you Jesus.  It is because of your resurrection.  I love you so.