June 1, 1995 – Thursday – 7:05 p.m.

May is gone.

June is here.

Tuesday, we all went to see Tenielle play trumpet at her school’s band concert.  I had a good time.  Afterwards, Jonathan and I went to Wal-Mart and I bought the Pocahontas soundtrack.  It’s really neat.  I like it!

Church went well last night.  Jenna and Tenielle wanted me to sign their yearbooks.  Recently they have been complaining, saying that I have an attitude.  So, I basically wrote saying that even though they are seeing me in a negative light, I am accepting them for who their are and cherishing them.  We are simply in different worlds and they can’t understand the place I’m at right now, but I still care about them greatly.

Kevin told me today that what I wrote upset them.  So that’s another thing I’ll have to deal with.

Teach me something this summer Lord.  Something that will help me in the future.

Please!

I got a letter from Mr. Gambill today.  He said that he took the job of a Director of Residence Life at another college.  So that means someone else will be my boss in 74 days.

June 16, 1994 – Thursday – 8:28 p.m.

Dad hasn’t said anything.  I’m pretending like nothing has happened.

For Deep Creek this summer it doesn’t look like many people are going.  Everyone is busy and working.  We’ll see.

Tomorrow Dad and I are going to King’s Dominion.  I’m disgusted with him, but life goes on.  It is his problem, not mine.

I miss home.  I miss church.  I wonder if Jenna and Tenielle have continued on without even noticing that I’m not there to hug them.  I know Tenielle probably has; she has Kevin.

I hope Jenna is missing me and thinking of me.

Since I’ve been up here, I’ve realized that I can make it away from home.  It’ve got everything settled for college, I believe.

When I signed Jenna’s yearbook last Thursday I wrote something along these lines:

“As you know…in the past I had strong feelings for you, but through it all I’m glad we remained friends.  Although I wanted more, I knew it could never be more wonderful than each time I saw you smile.  abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.  U and I were both happy with the alphabet just like this.  Elephant Shoe!”

She didn’t read it until after I left.  When I hugged her Friday night after graduation, I could tell that she had read it.  She seemed to appreciate it.

Then Renee smiled at me.  It’s so true.  Another girl always comes along.

Up in Banner Elk, I can assure you that another girl will catch my eye and perhaps even my heart.  It will happen.  I am human.  I desire to love and be loved.

But that story hasn’t begun yet.  It’ll begin in a few months.

November 2, 1993 – Tuesday – 9:35 p.m.

Retrospect is sort of happening right now.  My mom found my fourth grade yearbook.

Fourth grade!  Nate is in third grade right now.  And I’m a senior.  What happened?  

Everyone goes through this.  Everyone goes through grade school and middle school and high school.  Some even go through college.  They are surrounded by all those people.  All those different dreams.  Each individual with their own past and perception.  And each one shapes the other into who they will be.

Youth.  The shaping of one’s existence.

When I hear adults talk, the one thing that stands out in their conversations is their youth.  Why?

Whatever the reason, it is all happening to me right now.  In fact, half of it has already flown by.

In my life, there are two separate areas of my youth: school and church.

So many people are shaping me during these days.  Their words, their actions, their existence.  The way they smile, the way they make me laugh.  The way they hate me.  The way they love me.

Would I be the same person if Wynne didn’t always give me a hard time at school?  Would I be the same person if I didn’t see Lisa’s beautiful eyes every day?  Would I be the same person if Ryan went to another church?

Obviously, I would be a very different person.  And it works in reverse, too.  I’m affecting the lives of people I encounter every day.  Either positively or negatively.  I wonder which it is?  It’s up to me.  I see that now.  I matter.  Everything I do and say matters.  I can change the entire world simply because I was around some people on this planet during their youth.

Jesus, please help me change it for the better.