Another one…written days ago…but still a piece of my heart laid bare for the world to see and hopefully appreciate, if not my words than at least this little girls heart.

This is one of those times when I’m at a loss for words to say, but I ache inside to put words to my thoughts, to speak it all so that my mind can slow down and I’ll have space for new things. The past four days have been so hard on me, but I did my best to put my big girl pants on and suck it up. I can only be responsible for my own actions, and one day they will have be responsible for theirs.

When your heart has been shattered into pieces it is oh so hard to learn to trust again. But slowly, so slowly, you take little steps. Tell a little secret to a friend here, share a tiny problem with another friend there. You take the necessary steps to heal, because living with a shattered heart is too painful.

All along your biggest fear is that the one or two that you’re learning to trust in will turn and betray you. Break promises, be proven untrustworthy, lie to your face. That’s the moment when you realize it’s just been a big scam, and they want what you can give them…and they aren’t interested in giving anything in return. The concept of a two-way street is foreign to them.

These are the thoughts, among many others, that I’ve had running through my mind this past trip. I’ve smiled, I’ve laughed hard, I’ve dealt (or maybe not dealt) with broken promises, and someone has lied to my face. I’ve been ignored, and I’ve seen people treat everyone but their close circle with barely any respect (and I’m not just talking about me…I’m talking about everyone in the near vicinity).

I’ve listened to 5th graders share their struggles. I’ve heard their stories and I’ve listened to their pain as my own heart is facing its own hurt. But last night my heart broke in a whole new way. So quietly and timidly, yet with a strength I myself do not possess, I was there to hear the cry of a little girls heart as she said, “My dad passed away just a little while ago.”

Here she is at camp, smiling and laughing and seeming to be having the time of her life. She’s making friends and everyone is loving on her…and all the while her heart must just be exploding with the grief of just losing her father.

I’m 18 and I’ve been through some terribly hard and scary times. But I can guarantee you this: If my dad died I would be A WRECK. I can’t fathom the strength this little one has, and as she spoke this secret pain the tears just began to fall from my eyes. I couldn’t control them. My own heart hurt became a little less as I let her story into the corners of my heart. I wanted to hold her, rock her, love on her, and promise her everything would be okay eventually. And if it wasn’t okay, then it would at least be bearable. But I barely knew her and so all I could do was pray and cry and love on her from afar while my own heart broke for her heartbreak.

I will be at the beach for the next few days, and I intend to spend some time working out all my thoughts, dealing with the pain of lies and broken promises, convincing myself that just because I’ve spent the last four days feeling hate from so many and loneliness at basically all times…I’m still okay and someone will love me, and I will attempt to glue yet another broken piece back together.

But I will also scream at the sky for the little girl that is now going through life without a daddy to hold her hand, teach her how to dance, and walk her down the isle. It’s the least I can do.