February 12, 2001 – Monday – 7:00 p.m.

I’m sitting in my new home. I do not live here fully yet, but my heart is here. Ann and I will live in this studio apartment in early June after we return from our honeymoon. I wonder how long we’ll stay.

My brother Nate turns 16 today. How crazy! I was only 8-years-old when he was born.

My family has gone through a lot recently. I don’t think I’ve written about it at all. Henry went through some sort of mental illness spell, but he is beginning to come around. Mom called me on her new cell phone tonight. Nate got on the call and said that she got so into reading the instructions about it that she forgot she was running a bath and ended up flooding the bathroom.

My small group had a fantastic time swing dancing the other night. I enjoy them so much. I’m glad Anna and I go there together; our love has become worship to God. All we seem to do is praise Him for what he placed in the other that we’ll benefit from. I am amazed every day.

I’ve never known a love like this. All this time, through all these journals, from Veronica to Marie, it was Anna all along.

I feel stupid.

I feel human.

But I am forgiven, and I am loved.

So much time has passed since I began these journals. I tried to seek after God, I tried to find a good woman, and I tried to become a filmmaker. I also tried to be a good friend and neighbor to all those around me. Overall, I think I did okay. I just showed up and let God do His thing. I’ve traveled everywhere from California to South Africa, and this whole time my future wife was in Florida.

In the end, all these journals told the story of how God brought me to Anna.

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.

July 29, 2000 – Saturday – 10:36 p.m.

This evening I went with my Saturday night small group to the beach, where we sang worship songs and studied the Bible.  It was a nice time.  So many people were out.  I’ve been here two full years, but I’ve never gotten into the beach culture that’s here.  I would always visit the ocean by going to Sandbridge, the non-touristy beach.  I’ve rarely hung out on the strip.

But tonight, I did take notice of the perfect way that light attached to a girl.

And it blessed me.

I’m not fully dead yet.

January 1, 1999 – Friday – 4:30 p.m.

For the final night of 1998, I attended a prayer service at Brownsville Assembly of God and afterwards I was at a nearby Methodist church until 1:30 a.m.  Several different praise bands were playing.  It was mainly a youth service.  I knew no one there but Jesus and had an amazing time.

And God reminded me then that life would be similar to that event.  I would always find myself worshipping with different groups of people.

I have been been waiting in line in front of Brownsville Assembly for most of this New Year’s Day.  God is good.

I miss home though.  I look forward to flying back.  This break has been nice, for it has caused me to appreciate my life in Virginia Beach so much better now.

Three days are left here.

I may return here, or I may never see this land again.

Yesterday I took a drive and ended up in a small country town by the name of Jay, Florida.  Many people call me Jay.  And that’s where I was during the final sunset of 1998.  The land was so flat, the color of sky took my breath away.

Solitude.

I enjoy mine greatly.

Thanks Lord.

November 22, 1998 – Sunday – 9:30 p.m.

Whew, it has been one heck of a week.  So much has happened, there’s no way I’ll be able to write it all down, but I’ll try.

On Friday the 13th, two girls got saved at church.  Saturday’s drama practice was amazing, and then I filmed a short film for class.  After church on the 15th, I went to Sterling’s house for lunch, and then over to Connie and Christian’s house for supper.  On Tuesday I had dinner at Christin’s house and her mom Sherry dyed my hair super blonde for the play.  Everyone loves it.  On Wednesday, I did homework and had another TV studio shoot for class.  I worked nine hours on Thursday, and then on Friday I worked and then watched four straight hours of Anne of Green Gables; I cried the whole time.

I saw Rebecca St. James in concert yesterday, and, while waiting in line, I ran into Sara, who went to South Africa with me.  The concert was great, but the church was super conservative.  I was the only one standing up, singing along, and dancing.  Rebecca made eye contact with me and then invited everyone to stand and praise the Lord with her.  She then looked directly at me again and smiled.  The crowd sat back down, and I moved over to the side aisle to dance and sing and clap.  She kept glancing over there at me, as if to say, “what’s wrong with these people, why did they show up if they are just going to sit there?”  It felt like it was just her and I praising the Lord together.

It was priceless.

January 18, 1998 – Sunday – 10:30 a.m.

My brother turned 23 yesterday.  Only seven months until I’m 22.

It seems all I think about these days is Sarah, but most of my thoughts are thankful praises to God for teaching me about his love.  I’m happy about it all, I just miss her near me.  But even when we pretended we were together, she wasn’t near me.

The first person I talked to about the whole thing was Abigail of all people.  Emily came up to me and hugged me yesterday, I guess the word has spread.  And last night, I spent nearly two hours with Lindy and told her the whole story.  She was so sweet to me, we were just really good friends to each other last night.

I’m on duty, so that’s why I’m not in church at the moment.

Oh, and guess what?!  Vince and Laura are back together.

Three months, three weeks, and counting.

January 1, 1998 – Thursday – 2:30 p.m.

Man cannot walk on water.  That is impossible; at least in man’s eye.  But Jesus did it, and not only Jesus, but Peter too.

If Peter had enough faith to walk on water, then why can’t I fly?

The people of this world, of these cities, these town, they are only content with walking, with standing, with sitting.

But I know I have wings inside me.  I can feel them every day.  Do I only have to believe? But I do believe!  I believe I can fly higher, higher in love, higher in worship, higher in health.

Yet the people who like to sit around want to shoot me down, but I can’t and won’t let them ruin me.

I have to fly.

I have to use my wings or I will die!

November 26, 1997 – Wednesday – 10:50 p.m.

I am amazingly happy right now.  It is the day before Thanksgiving.  Sarah and I, plus Sherlive, Vince, and Curtis went to see George of the Jungle.  It was so funny.

Sarah and I seem to say more in our silent glances than we do through spoken words.  She is from God.  I know it because all good things come from the Lord.

Marisa came up today!  She hugged me so tight.  I took Vince to the airport in his car, then went to see The Rainmaker.  I love going to the movies alone.  I get there early, sit on the front row, stare up at the blank screen, and just dream.

It was an awesome, awesome movie!  I just praised the Lord the whole way home.  I love good movies and can’t wait to make my own.

I drove through the darkness of the mountains that make up my beautiful home and just felt completely wonderful.  I still feel wonderful.

I have friends, mountains, movies, a church that feels like family, and now there is a girl who looks at me in a way that melts me to the core.

I know nothing about the world.

I just know I am loved.

And I love my God who freely gives all this to me.

November 6, 1997 – Thursday – 11:00 p.m.

Yesterday I had a nice talk with Abigail in her room.  We talked about each other and she let me into her heart and told me what she longs for deeply.  And I’m afraid I’m not the one who can give it to her.  But even that realization makes me smile.

I went to a voice-over workshop today, which I enjoyed greatly.  It was a bit further south and I drove down with Mr. Taylor.  The fall colors were so amazing and we sang praise songs the whole way down.  He’s such a great man.

We returned in time for rehearsal and the finished right before Bible Study.  There were so many people there.  Our group has doubled in two weeks.  God is blessing this school.  Things seem almost perfect.  I guess that’s why it’s time to leave.  God is nearly through with me here.

I have to wake up at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.  I have an interview in Asheville and Jessica has let me borrow her truck for the weekend.  I’m not sure when I’ll come back or what will happen.  I think I may just drive around and have some awesome God time.

I love the Lord and everything he has created.  Words fail me.

Oh, and I got a message from Tenielle tonight.  That’s an old name.

October 18, 1997 – Saturday – 9:00 a.m.

Oh man, last night was amazing.

After lunch yesterday we all went kayaking.  Tracey and I were in the same kayak together.  Dolphins came to join us as we drifted over the water.  Pretty dang cool.

Then we had a polaroid scavenger hunt last night.  Our team got second place so we are now tied for first overall.

But during our worship service last night, Charlie preached to us on raising a standard and a banner on campus.  One person has to lead the way, but all must work together.  And for the longest time, while Charlie talked and others talked, I curled up in a fetal position and felt like I was going to throw up.  My heart pounded.  I could hear it.  It was so loud.  Forever passed and I finally spoke up and said something along the lines of:

“Um, I feel like I need to apologize to everyone.  I just now realized that I am the problem.  I only know how to a Christian by my self.  I love the big groups, but it’s hard for me and I need help.  It’s hard for me to trust you all.  It’s difficult for me to believe that you guys worship the same God I do, mainly because I think he’s all mine.  I need you guys to help me.  I can’t even look at you.  I’m sorry.”

Tears rolled down my face.  Rachel came and held me and Abigail put her hand on my knee.  After several tears, I held Abigail’s hand.  She leaned closer and I hugged her.

God did a healing inside me.

Something hard to explain.