Perpetual Tug-of-War… My Messy Beautiful

Perpetual Tug-of-War… My Messy Beautiful

*I joined Glennon at Momastery in the Messy Beautiful Warriors project last week. Topic: My Messy Beautiful. 

I was in a relationship for half my life. And then one day I wasn’t.

I had never anticipated standing in this particular spot a day in my life before then, and it took me a long time to find the courage to remain there and feel any sense of comfort in the chaos.

As a single mother I spend time every day dissecting and understanding myself, beating myself up, forgiving myself, stealing proud moments, encouraging myself and building a future. A future uncertain can be both thrilling and crippling, depending on the day. And that’s ok.


My Messy Beautiful Life is perpetual tug-of-war.

A tug-of-war between the peace and freedom and independence and liberation that I have as a single woman unwrapping and rebuilding myself, bursting at the seams with self-discovery…and the waves of longing for the connectivity of a relationship, the grounding of partnership with another.

A tug-of-war between wishing back what is most likely a false sense of security, at least in the later days, of my ‘old life’…and the desire to never return to the state of uneasiness those days delivered ever again.

A tug-of-war between completely owning my real flawed self and fearlessly sharing that with others, after completely embracing it first myself…and the ingrained fear of the ways I may be perceived by others not walking similar steps.

A tug-of-war between pursuing my dreams, constructing the future I desperately long for, that I crave inside as an authentic extension of self… and taking the safe path – ducking back safely into the shadows, falling back on a career I once had and no longer fit in any sort of way.

A tug-of-war between the comfort and safety of going internal, diving deep into the maker and thinker in me; creating, working and writing my way through the days and nights when I’m without my babes…and the urge to connect with people, in person, in public – remaining open to relationships.

A tug-of-war between running with the big dogs – the dreamers and the thinkers, even if I perceive myself as just chasing them at the moment…and not ever entering the race, predetermining myself inadequate or unworthy of their world.

A tug-of-war between wanting to shed the memory of the searing pain, heartache and discomfort that I’ve often felt in this stage of life…and the desire to never lose touch of the powerful, raw feelings that awoke some of the most real parts of me I’ve ever known, never to forget the fight and desire within to LIVE.

A tug-of-war between offering grace in ways seen typically unconventional and undeserved, by many – the desire to see those I love thrive, despite wrongdoings or missteps toward me…and the urge to wash my hands of all that threatens to bear weight on my heart and my being, easing discomfort.

A tug-of-war between feeling like I’m on top of a mountain following the accomplishment of doing Big Scary Things, facing fears and diminishing their intimidation…and the recurrent feeling of treading air with no net to catch me and the uncertainty of what lies unseen beneath me.

Life is teaching me patience when I’m antsy, trust when I’m skeptical, faith when I’m fearful, and none of it comes easy. Nothing that changes you comes easy.

In the end, the game shifts back and forth. Some days I’m falling back on the pile in robust laughter with joy and accomplishment after gaining control of the rope. Others days I’m face down in the mud, left defeated and sent home for a shower, sleep, and the promise of a new day to follow.

My Messy Beautiful Life bears the kind of scars that tell stories – stories of the lessons learned only by the cracking of a façade, falling down. I view those scars standing up now and they display fight, strength, compassion, and imperfection.

I’m grateful for every ounce of this beautiful mess.


**It was an exciting opportunity to join Glennon of Momastery in the Messy Beautiful Warriors project. Many brave stories are being told in a space where we are invited to come as we are. Check it out here..



  1. This is truly beautiful, Jessa! You don’t just pin your heart on your sleeve, you break off pieces for others to wear as well.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I really relate to this idea of a tug of war. Sister on.

  3. Rich stories indeed, sista. Cannot wait to read more. Xo

  4. Isn’t life just a crazy thing sometimes? When I was little I used to think all the grown ups had it together, but then I became an adult and I realized we are all just as confused, hurt, and doing the best we can through life. I really enjoy following you on IG…I don’t know you personally of course, but I can say that your kids are damn lucky to have you for their mama. Your love for them oozes out of your photos and words…and I can’t think of a better gift to give another human being than that of being an amazing parent. I know it’s hard to find your new place and discovering how you fit, but it seems like you are well on your way. I also appreciate your honesty and vulnerable sharing…it is very much needed on the internet. :) -Andrea (@laughclan)

    • Oh, Andrea. Somehow I missed this comment (still learning how to drive WordPress). This means so much to me. Your kind and encouraging words are felt so, so deeply. Thank you. And I am in complete agreement with your comment about crazy life. I often find myself wondering…was it this messed up for our parents, too? Was I oblivious to the hardships they juggled? Yes. Yes, it was. I am grateful that they were able to show me how to endure and dream and believe. So glad we connected…cheers to you. J

  5. Really lovely and heartbreaking and inspiring and honest. keep at it. xo

  6. Jessa, this essay is beautiful. It resonates deeply with me and my own story. You’re not alone. Thank you for this.

  7. I have been sitting here reading your blog posts, one at a time . Each one I read I say to myself, I’m not alone. Your posts are so beautifully written and so full of emotion. It’s never easy being vulnerable, but I find that making myself vulnerable is my best medicine. Looking forward to reading more.

    • Holly, I am so glad you stopped by. This makes me happy. I’ve always intended this space to be less “me” more “we”. I agree with you completely. The connections I’ve made, knowing we are ‘not alone’ – gold. I’d love to hear more about your story. Contact me and we can chat! XO, J

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