A Church Camp Story

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I got an email this morning from one of my favorite people, JJ Heller, with a new song and the lyrics.  It’s called “An Unbreakable Heart.”  It’s beautiful.

JJ Heller has a habit of singing my heart.  So many of her songs just go straight to my heart and I feel as if she is singing my words, my life, my heart.

This song immediately brought back memories of one particular summer at church camp at Lake Bridgeport.  We had just moved… again… My daddy was a pastor and he was appointed to a new church, in a new district, in a new town.  Did I mention that I hated moving?  Still do.

It was the summer after my freshman year in high school.  My freshman year had been a good one for the most part.  I had finally found my place.  I was finally beginning to fit in and dang it!  I had tried out for the “Pep Squad” and I made it!  I was ready for my sophomore year to be amazing but… instead, we moved… no pep squad… and now I had to find my place all over again…

Church camp for this district started the week after we made the move and so my mom and dad thought it would be a perfect way for me to make some friends… insert eye roll here…  The only way they got me to stay was that my cousin was going to be my counselor for most of the week. (She left me there a few days early… it was awful.  I still feel sorry for her and she still talks about it.)

One afternoon in our small group, we were having a discussion.  I have no idea what about but I remember them trying to get me to talk (I was incredibly shy) and I finally blurted out, “What’s the point?  Why bother making friends?  I’m just going to move away again.”

Needless to say, everyone was shocked.  I was shocked.  Everyone immediately said they were my friends and they would be my friends when school started.  They would be my friends when we got back home away from camp… well, that lasted the rest of the day… maybe.

I remember seeing some of them when we got back to town and they all seemed to have forgotten who I was.  Not a one of them ever said hello to me.

Oh, I eventually made some friends and life went on.  I actually didn’t leave there until I got married.  I always said I would never marry a pastor because I didn’t want to move… and then my boyfriend joined the Army.  Dang him!  We’ve moved all over and nope, I never learned to like it.  Oh, I learned to like/love each place we lived but I never learned to like moving.  Never failed, as soon as I’d make a good friend, we’d move… just like when I was a kid.

Anyway, I was never very good a protecting my heart.  I was never good at hiding it away.  See I was always the person there to be a friend to whoever needed a friend at the time.  Whatever you needed from me I was there to give it.  Still am… eventually, though people don’t need me as their friend anymore, they move on and that’s okay.  People come in and out of our lives all the time.  As they leave, for whatever reason, they take a little piece of my heart with them… That’s what life is all about… loving… no matter what… loving the best we can.  Sometimes it feels so good and sometimes it hurts so bad… but without the hurt, we wouldn’t know how good the good really is.

Anyway, I shared all this so that I could really just share this beautiful song by JJ Heller.  I hope you enjoy it as much as me.

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