September 3, 2000 – Sunday – 3:16 p.m.

Yesterday’s wedding was very beautiful and extremely centered on Christ. It was an absolutely perfect day that cannot be summarized in words.

I did get to see Jeni though. She is seven months pregnant.

So now I sit in Dan and Abigail’s new home as I listen to the Seven Stranger’s first CD, By Duck Tape and Faith. Seven Stranger’s is the band formed by Tracey, Abigail, Paul, and a few others.

My time in Banner Elk has come and gone. I grow more thankful of that fact every time I visit. I’m glad God moved me on beyond this place. If I lingered here too long, I’d just get stuck.

This place simply isn’t for me anymore. But it does bless my soul to come back. I pray the same thing happens to Virginia Beach.

I went to Heaton Christian Church this morning. It was wonderful, but I went on my own, without any friends. Curtis and Megan have already left for Atlanta.

Sarah and I never went for our second walk. Instead all the guys built a bonfire, but we got rained on.

Now my whole life is ahead of me. I don’t think I want to get married for quite a while. I often wonder if God designed me to go it alone.

So, send me out God. Thank you for a weekend of renewal.

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September 1, 2000 – Friday – 4:00 p.m.

I left after work last night and arrived here just before midnight.  So, ‘August and everything after’ actually begins here in Banner Elk.  Perfect.

Curtis and Megan and I stayed here in Dan’s new place.  I’m here now, just chillin’ and listening to Caedmon’s Call.

Mason and Marisa are back up here for school.  I went to visit Mason after Dan, Curtis, Allen and I went to Johnson City, TN to pick up our Tuxedos.  It was a fun little trip down the mountain.  I do love my friends.

While in Mason’s room I called Sarah, yes my old Sarah.  She came over and we found the time to go for a walk before she had to be in Highlanders.

The things we both said were beautiful.  She apologized.  I apologized.  We talked about rainbows.  I felt my heart beating loudly inside me.  I haven’t felt that in a very long time.  My eyes never left her as she performed during Highlanders.  Oh God, don’t let me get too weird while I’m here for this wedding.  You are changing Sarah, and I don’t want to get in the way.

The morning was spent with Dan’s family in a cottage near a place where I used to walk. I feel reborn.  I feel different.  I feel changed.  Thank you Jesus for this new beginning and may we do it again tomorrow.

Be with Sarah.  If it is your will, allow us to go for another walk again tonight.

Thank you for this weekend Jesus.  I love your forgiveness and salvation.

August 25, 2000 – Friday – 12:45 p.m.

Four months until Christmas!

I’m at a baseball field near the park that’s closest to my job.  I’m looking forward to the Counting Crows concert in Virginia Beach tonight.

I talked to both Curtis and Dan last night and I finally began writing out the plot for a feature screenplay I’m calling Winter Dreams.

In one week I’ll be in Banner Elk again.  Dan says I can stay at his new place, even while he and Abigail are on their honeymoon.

I often think about my friends being married.

Curtis, Allen, Charlie, Dan.  They all got married this year.  Vince and I remain, but he’s content in Bolivia.

I am… I don’t know how I am these days.

What is it that I do?

I’m supposed to be making movies, but am I doing that?

No.  I’m supposed to be worshipping God, but am I doing that?

I’m just sitting on bleachers feeling sorry for myself.  I haven’t sat on bleachers since Marie spoke the worst words over me I’ve ever heard.  I’m glad that relationship is over.  In retrospect it feels so unreal, fake, and empty.

Why does love die?  Does that mean it was never love?

I guess so.

So I’ve never really loved?  Is that it?

Then why does it feel like I have?  Perhaps it is just because God is in me.

I love my friends.  They are scattered all over the world now.

So, Everything after August is coming to be.  Another beautiful autumn.

Noisy bugs surround me now.  I guess I’m doing okay, for not everyone notices the music of crickets.  So, I’ll get up from here and walk on.  I deserve nothing I’m given, and I’ll do my best to breathe freely.

April 10, 2000 – Monday – 7:47 a.m.

I’m back in Virginia Beach now.  The weekend and the wedding was so great.  I’m getting to know Marie’s family better and I believe they really like me.  I can see future holidays being spent in their adorable home.  I’m seeing their strengths and their weaknesses, but overall the weekend brought Marie and I closer together.  I’m thankful for that.

It snowed up there yesterday.

After the wedding we had dinner at a Bob Evans in West Chester, PA with Marie’s friends Aimee and Simon.  Simon is from England.  We really hit it off.

It was so nice to make two new friends in a brand new town in a state I’ve only passed through before.

This Saturday on the 15th, Marie and I are going to Banner Elk.  I can’t wait for her to meet my friends!  How exciting!

God is blessing me like crazy through this beautiful woman.

Thank you sweet Jesus.

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!

March 16, 2000 – Thursday – 9:06 p.m.

The Ides of March are over, and something happened over the past couple of days.

In the Flesh began to change from the ministry I first thought it would be to something entirely different.  It is an original script about a character with a pornography addiction.  The director told me that my role and the lead female would never be intimate on stage, that my character had issues with intimacy, but he soon realized that wasn’t working.  He had the actress, who is about 15 years older than me, unbuttoning my shirt and kissing my chest, while I was on my back.  Now I’ve kissed girls on stage before, and I’ve been in my underwear on stage before, but I wasn’t with Marie then.  And I got involved with this production because I thought it would help those with a pornography addiction, like my father, but now I’m not so sure.

Marie and I have talked and prayed about it.  She is clearly uncomfortable with it.  If I wasn’t with Marie, I’d probably work through it, for that is the professional thing to do, but I need to put her first in this situation.  I spent two hours talking with James, the director, last night.  He finally said that it would be wrong for both of us if I continued to be a part of the production.

I’m not sure how to feel.  I used to love acting, but now I have a bad taste in my mouth towards it.  I just didn’t have any artistic control in that situation and felt I should quit, which I didn’t like doing.  I currently have so much artistic control through directing Dang! and being there for post-production.  I can minister more through directing and not just entertain.

I have applied for a Resident Director position at Virginia Wesleyan College for the next year.  I pray God gives it to me.

Marie is doing really well.  She says school isn’t great for her, but that I am.  We both see that God brought both of us here for each other.  I’m learning much in my field, but she says she is not.  She says I’m her only teacher and her only friend.

Since I’m not in the show anymore, I’ll be able to go with her to a wedding in Pennsylvania in April.  April is going to be a great month.  March is half over.  Only five weeks of classes remain.

Marie’s mom has given Marie her approval of me.  We are contemplating a summer or fall wedding in the year 2001.  I would like to ask her in September of this year and then get married in June.

Life is beautiful with Marie.  Jesus is good to me.  I now know that on the day Marie and I wed, these Books of Days will end.  We’ll begin a new one together.

These journals have always been about me and me alone.  When my life is joined with hers, I won’t be alone anymore.  I won’t be single, so these books should stop.

Curtis is getting married on Saturday.  Unbelievable!  He’s the first of us in fact.  I think I’m going to give him a call.

 

December 18, 1999 – Saturday – 1:20 p.m.

David just gave me a present from the youth group.  It is a journal with an bald eagle on it.  Yet Marie and I have talked about looking for a church to attend together.  She said she doesn’t feel right about co-teaching with me at Parkway now.  Guide us Lord.

It is a week until Christmas.  Last year our show at Parkway opened.  This year I’m looking forward to giving Marie her Christmas present.

Vince leaves on Wednesday, Marie’s parents pass through on Thursday, I head to Maryland on Friday, and I will return here on Sunday.

I talked with Allen yesterday.  I believe he and Jessica will get married on June 10th at sunrise.  He wants me to be in the wedding.  What an amazing thing!  I pray Marie is there with me.

Curtis will marry Megan in April.

Marie said she would like to go with me.

 

May 17, 1998 – Sunday – 6:00 p.m.

A very wonderful weekend.  I spent Friday with Sarah and friends.  We had a picnic in Reynolds Gardens.  It was so beautiful!  I swung on a swing so high that I kept hitting my head on tree branch.  Sarah and KT showed me the Stevens Center, a beautiful theater in downtown Winston-Salem where she ushered.

We hung out with her friend Madelene for a while, then Sarah went to train for her summer job at the YMCA.  I ate dinner with KT and her family, took a nap, then picked Sarah up and went to her father’s house to watch Conspiracy Theory.  I spent the night at KT’s house, ate breakfast there, then drove to Banner Elk where I met up with Allen.  We drove up Beech Mountain to the house where the girls were staying.  Lindy, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Tracey, and Abigail’s parents were there.

Allen stayed up there the whole week and I later found out through Lindy that they would stay up late every night and make out together.  Wow!  Lindy feels great about it, but Allen doesn’t.

It was nice to see everyone.  We went to Jeni’s wedding.  She was absolutely beautiful.  I was very thankful that our relationship ended when it did, that we never went too far physically, and that I wasn’t the one marrying her.  I hugged her and said congratulations.  Then, surprisingly, she kissed me on my mouth.  It was just a little tap, but it was a nice moment, a nice goodbye, and I greatly enjoyed seeing her getting married.

Thank you God!

I drove to Winston-Salem that night and met up with Sarah at Madelene’s house.  Sarah and I went for a late night walk on those city streets.  The sky was purple, and it felt more like summer than any moment thus far; a very peaceful walk.

This past week I have been working on a book for Sarah that is basically just a collection of poems for her.  I let her read the thirteen poems I’ve written for her so far.  She has been doing a similar thing for me.  I love her so much.  It scares me, because I know I would do anything for her.

I came back that night, slept, then went to church this morning.  Cheryl was there.  She seems to be doing really well.  We talked a little and plan on doing something later.

And I just now returned from visiting Wynne, a guy a graduated high school with.  He caught me up on how all the old high school folks were doing.  Apparently, many are totally messed up.  One guy died, others are already divorced, but a few did finish college on time just like me.

It’s time to go to church again.

May 14, 1998 – Thursday – 7:00 p.m.

There are “final episode of Seinfeld” parties happening all over the country tonight, but I won’t be at one.  I never watched the show.  College was too much fun to spend it watching TV.

But I will talk to Sarah instead, for she is supposed to call tonight.  And I will leave tomorrow to go and see her in Winston-Salem.  After spending the day with Sarah, I will drive on to Banner Elk to attend Jeni’s wedding.

Weird, Jeni was the first girl I kissed and now I’m attending her wedding.  I remember when Tracey said our friendship after our breakup was better than most people’s marriages.  Jeni’s a good friend, and I’m happy she found someone.

 

June 18, 1995 – Sunday – 10:59 p.m.

Sam (Ryan and Amy’s brother) and Anne (Cheryl sister and Jason’s ex-girlfriend, Jason is also Christi’s brother and Christi and Ryan use to be best friends) bot married on the 17th of June.

Ryan and Amy were there.  Ryan was beautiful.  That evening we saw Batman Forever.  It was cool visually, but that was all.  They made that movie knowing it would make money, but it is no where as good as the first two.

In church this morning I sat between Jenna and Tenielle.  We are all great.  All three of us are here.  This afternoon I watched a movie called The Inn of the Sixth Happiness on video.  Pretty amazing.

And then tonight, Jonathan and I went to High Falls.  The youth group was fun.  Kenny was there and he brought me home so Jonathan could see Mandy.  We talked for an hour.  He is different.

Then, I went for a walk on the railroad tracks.  As before, the threes were all lit up with fireflies.  This is what I realized…

Ryan, Amy, Jonathan, Scott, Tenielle, Cheryl, Christi, Marcus, Kevin, Jenna…

They are all still here.  And they are just one step away.  Ryan and Amy and I got along so easily today.  If I needed them to be, they would be there for me in a heartbeat.  And they know that if they needed me, I would be there for them.

Everything has changed, but absolutely nothing has.

The reason they aren’t closer now, is because I don’t want them to be.  I don’t want it bad enough.  I still love them and care about them, but they aren’t on my mind as much as some other names…

Emily, Michelle, Charlie, James, Caroline, Molly, Crystal, Clifton, Sharon, Laura, Dan, Lisa, and many others.

My heart is with them.  That is where my life should be.

While at High Falls tonight, I realized that my old church was still continuing.  And then I realized that Banner Elk is still continuing.  The whole world turns and it is not noticing me.  But everyday I look up and know that the One who matters most is always watching.