31 BIG final Dear Jamie in 2002,

You are so hurt and you feel so left out.  It doesn’t get any easier to feel left out of something and now you are grown woman who was left out and it hurts.  You don’t want it to hurt, and you really want to not care, but you can’t help it.  You do care.  Who wants to be left out?  Who wants to feel different?  No one, not even a grown woman.

You are a pastor’s wife, which is something you never thought you would say, and you are struggling so much with trying to fit in, be good enough, and look the part.  It’s exhausting and you aren’t even 100% sure how it’s effecting you, but looking back now I can tell you that it was so hard on you.  At the time you think you are doing it well and just doing your role, but looking back I want to tell you that it shouldn’t be this hard.  You shouldn’t have to fit in to anything.  There’s no club or group.  You feel as though you don’t fit in, and everyone is better than you, but know that this is a lie and from the devil.

A lady at your church took all the pastor’s wives out shopping except for you.  You happened to find out from another lady, and it hurt.  You see you are young, you guys don’t have a lot of money and a free outfit would have been nice.  It’s more than that though.  It’s not about the clothes, it’s about the fact that you were left out.  It hurt.  It also hurt that no one said anything to you.  No other wife stood up for you.

Here’s what I want to tell you.  It’s not a big deal.  For real.  Do your thing.  Love those teenage girls in your group well.  Love Aaron well.  Love Jesus well.  You will grow so much in your faith and view of the church in the next few years.  This will mean nothing in a few years.  In fact, you will get over it and look back and giggle at the way it all went down.  It’s okay.

Also don’t hold a grudge.  You have hurt people before as well, and will again.  Be gracious with your words and your life.  What this should do for you is to remind you that you will get hurt in life, but it’s okay to show grace and move on.  For real.  We will all do things in life that will hurt people.  Show grace and pray others do the same to you.

You don’t need those new clothes anyway.

Love,

Jamie in 2013 who is pastor’s wife, even though she never wanted to be one again.