Show Notes:

Life is full of mishaps, reroutes, and disasters; they punctuate best-laid plans at every turn. But maybe the messiness of life is not something to shy away from but something to embrace. In THIS BEAUTIFUL MESS, Shelly Bartholomew lets you into her mess and teaches you how to embrace the unpretty parts of your story so you can transform your perspective and learn how to reject the expectations of perfection. Bartholomew says about her forthcoming book: “I wrote This Beautiful Mess to help us as we learn to embrace the messes our lives bring and see them as beautiful. My hope is that this book offers a breath of fresh air to those that are heavy and exhausted from trying to keep it all together perfectly.” 

About Shelly Bartholomew:

Shelly Moore Bartholomew, a small-town girl from Tennessee, won the 1997 Miss Teen USA title. In 1996, she won the Miss Northern Tennessee local title before competing for and winning the Miss Tennessee Teen USA 1997 contest. Bartholomew was the first delegate from Tennessee to win the Miss Teen USA or Miss USA titles. Bartholomew was born in Jacksonville, Florida and later moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. She graduated from South-Doyle High School in Knoxville in 1997 and studied education at the University of Tennessee. In 1999, she married former University of Tennessee football player Will Bartholomew, and the couple have three children. In 2001, they founded D1 Sports Training, a state-of-the-art training facility, which currently operates at some six dozen locations across the country. For more information on Shelly Moore Bartholomew, see here:


Podcast Transcript

Welcome to another episode of Remorselessly Biblical. As always, I am really glad that you’re here with me. I love spending this time with you. I love sharing space with you. And mostly, I love introducing you to people that are new to me as well, because you know that this is like the story of how God puts people in our lives at just the right time for just the right reason, so that we can see who we are becoming. 

How do we show up in our stories and become the people that God created us to be? For me, I think that answer is by going outside of our comfort zones, by spending time in the presence of people who perhaps at one point in the course of your journey, you wouldn’t have hung out with. Those whom you wouldn’t have spent time with back in the day, because you didn’t really want to see anything differently than what you knew and what made you comfortable. That has been my experience to date. 

And I will tell you guys growth and change and transformation and being uncomfortable is hard work. It is hard, hard work. So what does that mean for us? That becoming the people that God has always intended us to become is not easy, but with intentionality and with faith, it’s going to happen. 

It happens over time, over the course of our existence and over the course of our lives. We share things with vulnerability and we do it transparently, honestly, authentically. And the things that are on the other side of that are way more beautiful than any of us can ever have imagined.

Speaking of beautiful, you guys – this week, I have joining us on the show, Shelley Moore Bartholomew. So I know some of you didn’t know me back in the day, but for those of you that have been watching the show, you may have picked up on the fact that, um, I might not have been super nice growing up. It was my defense mechanism.

It was a blessing and a curse, we talked about this, right? My blessing, my giftings from God  are words and writing lots of words. Let’s go back to the words! Our greatest blessings and giftings can oftentimes, if we don’t wield them correctly, also be our greatest curses. So what I did showing up in the world, in a self-preservation mode when I felt like people didn’t see me for who I was, when I felt like people were attacking me or coming at me, I used the gifts of my words to tear people down. Not proud of it, but it’s what I did. Thankfully, after meeting Jesus, I have changed over the course of time and through His unwavering, reckless love for me, and for you, and for all of us.

So, I am really happy that Shelly Moore Bartholomew is here with me today, instead of like circa 1990. Because you guys in 1997, Shelley was crowned Miss Teen USA. I was an athlete in high school. I pretended not to like “those” girls. It’s embarrassing. I wish I could go back in time and say, why didn’t you, what was the actual issue? Not with them, but with me. 

I don’t know if you guys can actually kind of connect on that point that you just really started to, when you didn’t feel accepted and you didn’t feel seen, heard, and valued for the person that you truly are, you started to show up in a way that was not honoring to others, was not nice to others.

You felt maybe compared to others. Right? Comparison is a real thing in this society, in our world and our everyday – we know that, especially females. Shelly won the 1997 Miss Teen USA title. I want to go on with her biography before you guys meet her, because she’s just amazing. In 1996, Shelley won the Miss Northern Tennessee local title before competing for and winning in 1997 Teen USA title.

And there’s like 50 states in the United States, so she beat out 49. Just saying. I love talking about it. Let’s talk about this, people who show up and say, I can do this thing and I’m going to go on this trajectory, I’m not going to give up. So, you know, clearly when she won the title of Miss Northern Tennessee, before competing in this, that was her preparation. You know, oftentimes we see people that are, by worldly standards, “successful” and we either get jealous or we get mad or we’re like, oh, look at them. How did they do this? Well, hard work is typically the answer, not giving up, believing in yourself, believing in the person that God created you to be is oftentimes the answer.

Shelly was also the first delegate from Tennessee to win the Miss Teen USA or Miss USA titles. So, I mean, she really, you know, broke the proverbial glass ceiling. She was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She later moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. She graduated from high school in 1997 and and studied education at the University of Tennessee.

In 1999, she married her former University of Tennessee football player, Will Bartholomew. The couple have three children and they founded D1 Sports Training, which is a state of the art training facility. We actually have one here locally. I’ve been to it. It’s amazing. They currently operate it six dozen, so…72 locations across the country. 

She’s humble. She’s awesome. She is an author, a first-time author – her book releases very, very soon, I think like in two days, and it is called This Beautiful Mess. I love a good oxymoron when I hear it because Shelly is absolutely beautiful. She’s going to talk to you  about the mess that she came through to get to the point in her life where she is today. So please join me in welcoming Shelley Bartholomew to the show.

Hi, Shelly. Thank you so much for joining us today. I am really, really happy to meet you and happy that you are here. 

Oh, I’m so excited to be here! Thank you so much for having me!

Absolutely. You know, one of the things I always start out the show with for our listeners and viewers is just explain to them how we met. If in fact, there was a prior connection, I’ll let you tell the story, but in this case there wasn’t. So just a quick overview about how you and I came to be sitting here now. 

Yeah. So, my sweet PR person, Kathy, just sent me a text actually and said, Hey, there’s this great podcast that I think you’d be interested in because we were, we both agreed that we wouldn’t just do anything, but we would really focus on podcasts and any kind of media that really relates to my heart in the book, everything that I want to come alongside, walk alongside other people, which obviously ended up being you, of course. And she just said a really think you’re going to love it. Like here is a background of it. And I said, absolutely sign me up when can I get on? So I’m, I’m just, I’m thrilled to, to be on the show. 

Yeah. And thank you for sharing it because that is so true. You and I were talking a little bit about just this before, which is God’s Providence, how people show up in our lives at just the right time for just the right purpose. That really is outside of anything to do with us in a weird way.

It’s just sort of like when we show up in the world to help other people be inspired. So you can do this. This is the life lesson that I learned. I’m here to show up for you to see if maybe this is helpful, then you know, the rest just kind of works itself out. So that’s kind of where I’d like to start.

Will you share with our viewers and listeners, like a little bit about your backstory, you know, just where you’re from. If you grew up in the faith, just kind of like the high points before we dive into your book. 

Yeah, absolutely. I love that question. Um, so I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. I live in Nashville, Tennessee right now which is where my husband is from, but, um, grew up in Jacksonville and yes, I grew up going to church every Sunday with a Southern Baptist background,which was interesting meeting my husband because we kind of had to meet in the middle. He had a very evangelical background. And we balanced each other really well. I mean, we complimented each other really well and had really learned a lot from each other.

And so where we are today is sort of a non-denominational church and that has been kind of an interesting journey for us being, you know, growing up in the Bible belt. So anyway, my mom, dad, and my sister and I moved from Jacksonville, Florida to, Severeville Tennessee of all places. And then onto Knoxville. What a change! Like the jokes just never ended. Cause I was in, I was in eighth grade, it was like, oh, well you can leave all your shoes here, Shelly, because you don’t need them in Tennessee.

And those creeks where you’re going to go to school, you know? And so, you know, I was, I was the joke and um, But yeah, definitely my mom and my dad were big in just making sure that we had our life verses and we were in church on Sundays and just really, um, encouraged us in our faith all growing up and still do today.

Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. I like the part where you said your husband’s name is Will, right? Yes. Yes. And I love the part where you said you had to like find that middle ground, that compromise, because it took me a long time, like 30 years to figure out that denominations were different. You know, when you grow up and nobody really tells you, Hey, there are people in the world who, in my case, aren’t Catholic.

I’m like, wait, what, what do those people believe? You know! But when you come together and you, you say, talk to me about your upbringing, talk to me about your belief systems, and then you have a family together. It’s an interesting way to then sort of say, what do we actually stand for? What our values and where do they come from and all that stuff.

So, absolutely the other part about your story that really made me smile and we talked about this, is that a lot of folks that are on the show know my backstory, which is, um, I may or may not have been the girl growing up in the late eighties, early nineties, who would like throw cheerleaders into the locker.

Yeah, well, that’s the thing, right? Like this is the crazy thing about women. Now, when you figure out how to be the person that God made you to be and how to have self-acceptance and say I’m good. And after all of those things, women have never been the enemy, right? Like as you and I talked about, it’s kind of like, I don’t know if I liked any of my boyfriends growing up anyway.

I just did it really, because that’s what I thought you were supposed to do. But there’s a part of me that when I saw your bio and I’m like, wait a minute, she actually won Miss Teen USA. I need to know more about this because one, I owe someone an apology, and two, I was in a weird way, I watched all of that because I really respected it. But sort of like the street cred was like, oh no, there’d be no way anybody would care about that. I loved it ‘cause it’s hard work. And I loved it because it showed people who had passion and who were standing in front of people saying, um, this is probably not super comfortable, I might be a little afraid, I’m competing, but I still am this person with so much more depth than what these potential people are assuming about me. That’s really interesting to me. 

Can we just talk about that whole thing, that part of your life. 

Yeah. It’s um, you know, I talk about a lot in the book – about expectations and how often what we expect is actually just the story we’re telling ourselves.

So in my case, you know, and with the cheerleader or whatever, I had definitely those girls, I wasn’t super nice to, or just automatically without knowing them. We still do this today. And whether it was from the boys you know, um, pitting us against each other, you know, which totally happened and created this whole dynamic, which was very unhealthy and did not, you know, serve just women, supporting women.

Like we are today gratefully, but, you know, I, I was often confronted with what people expected me to be like, expected me to think like. And so definitely whenever, you know, I was competing, that that really played a role and I had to really dive, do, do a deep dive inside to say, okay, well, Who am I?

Can I do this? What does it mean when I stand up here on the stage? And unfortunately when, and you’ll see in my story as I go into this early on in the book, I’ve had so many people that have even read the preview go, I can’t believe you’ve felt that way. When you were walking across the stage, how could you have felt insecure?

How could you felt uncomfortable? Like I had no idea what was going on. Actually the editor that worked closely with me in the book watched the YouTube video and was like, I literally watched it three times. I could not believe it since you played it off so well. But what were we taught to do? When we were young, when the boys were pitting us against each other, we learn to just put on whatever costume we could, that felt like we were protected.

And we wore that costume out. Well, that’s the costume I was wearing. And it worked really well by then, because it was my defense mechanism, you know? And so when I was walking across that stage, I definitely wasn’t feeling like I was anything but competent. 

Yeah. Yeah. That thank you for sharing that because it’s hard to get to that point. And I’ve been on the other side of that too, as I know many women have in this life, it’s like people see what they want to see. They make immediate judgements. And they have these assumptions about how we are every single day, how she’s so lucky or she’s so pretty or she’s so fill in the blank with the adjectives, instead of saying, tell me your story. You know, tell me what you stand for. Tell me what you’ve gone through. Who are you? 

Yeah. And when you guys hear Shelley referring to her book, so the title is This Beautiful Mess which, lets us talk about that a second. Perfect title. Love it. I was immediately, as soon as I saw it, I went, yes, I need to read this book.

And so one of the quotes that I’m an early reader said about your book is this. It says Shelly Bartholomew’s vulnerable and hilarious storytelling empowers you to embrace the unpretty and unfinished parts of your story to find beauty in the in-between. And laugh at life’s messes along the way.

So how important do you think just laughing at some like humor, what does that get us through? Can you share some of that, your experiences about that?

Oh gosh. Yeah, absolutely. Um, you know, if you don’t know what laughing does to your soul, first thing I would say is find something that makes you laugh and try it.

Cause, um, you know, about the journey that we’re in or the in-between that we’re in. But we can look at it and, and pull ourselves out of it and look at it, try to look at it from the outside and try to find the beauty. And it’s still there cause there’s something in there to be learned to, or to learn from. There’s something in there that is ultimately making us into a stronger person specifically, if it is a struggle.

And that process, when I looked back on my life, I just thought. Gosh, I’m so tired of looking at as regrets because I did, I was like, I regret this or I regret, oh, if I could have just done this better as a parent, gosh, if I would’ve done this instead, you know, looking back and going, I don’t want my kids to feel like that.

I don’t want anybody else to feel like that. And so looking at teaching them, my kids to say, There’s there’s a lot of beauty in that. There’s a lot of gratefulness in that. And one of my reasons for writing this whole book was I was young when I had kids. We were young when we got married, I feel like I was the first of a lot of things, of doing a lot of big life decision making a lot of big life decisions.

And so I felt lonely so often. Like on that stage, when I explained in the beginning, all of these people staring at me. And I just, I just felt lonely. Like nobody understands. And that is what I wanted to, you know, convey the reason that it ended up being a book and not just a journal was, I just don’t want other women to feel lonely. And there’s gotta be a woman out there that needs this book.

And if it’s just one, oh my goodness. I mean, find her! Yes. That’s all. Yeah. Yeah. And then there’ll be a lot of other available for people that maybe don’t need it, but. 

Yeah, I think it’s going to be the total opposite because you’re exactly right. And the thing is, it’s just about saying me too, you know, I have this experience too. And when we come together, no matter what that me too experience is there’s something about showing up in comradery and saying, you know what. Thank you for being brave enough to share that because I’ve been afraid to share it, but I felt the exact same thing. 

And so back to the point about just being humorous. I had somebody on the show recently, Amberley Neese who is a great friend of mine, and she says, it’s holy humor. Yeah. She really finds there’s holiness in authenticity. And just laughter because if you take everything so seriously, like life’s hard enough, right? How are we gonna get through it? Unless we can like learn to laugh at ourselves a little bit along the way.

Yeah. It’s really funny because, um, just being a blocker. So to answer, I sorted, it needs your question before, but during, when I was writing this book, some of the hardest parts that I thought. We’re going to be, cause I go into my childhood. So I had to go back with my parents and I’m from a broken home.

And so I asked some really kind of uncomfortable questions and we just ended up laughing like, oh my goodness, like life is funny. Like, even when you look back at the what’s the unfunny, like if you just laugh at it and go, you know what it happened, it happened about it. We got through it. Yeah. That’s really the definition of a humor, right?

It’s like with enough time, you gotta put the time element because a lot of times when you’re going through, it’s not so funny in the moment it is that. Yeah. And you’ll just know that you can look back on it one day. That’s it? You can look forward. 

So, so tell us why you actually decided to write the book that is just so personal to talk about your childhood, it’s very raw at times is very vulnerable. Like what was maybe the impetus that got you to say, I’m going to write this book?

Yeah. You know, the honest truth to why is I just couldn’t not write it anymore. I just thought  I’ve had the words. I’ve had the journals. I’ve had the kids that at every specifically I talk about my daughter, I think just because I have a girl and two boys.

And I think specifically just, um, because I was a girl, simply female, female, I think that as she journeyed through her life and I raised her and she’s now an adult, I mean, she’s 18 turning 19. And I think. Going through those moments. I knew I can’t not write this anymore for her. Yeah. For the woman that she wants to be, and she’s becoming so for, to tell my story, to be vulnerable, uncomfortable is worth it all. If they know they’re not alone. Yes. Keep going out in the world. How can I be brave? How can I tell my kids to be brave if I’m not willing to be that’s right. And so I was, I hit rock bottom and I was like, Lord, you, you take this, you gotta do everything. I don’t know what to do.

Has your daughter read it?

She has, so we just got them last night. Okay. Well, we just got them. I have given her, she’s read some of the chapters, but she really wanted to, so she’s, she’s read like a lot of bits and pieces, but our whole family was like, we’re going to wait until we actually get it all and everybody will get their book and read it.

So, she’s reading it, I know that’s awesome. You know, I only have one child who’s 24 and she’s a, she’s a “she.” So I feel you with that because I was so nervous slash also unable to not do it. I thought for all of the things I wish I would’ve known for all the things I have learned. She’s my go-to person. She’s the person in this world that I want to as a mother, right? Say, how can I make your load a little less heavy? How can I sort of unburden you from, and it might not. The answer might be, I can’t, but yet I need to do everything I can to at least equip you to read about this, to say, this is what I learned.

Make your choices, you know, I’m going to love you unconditionally. Anyway, for me, it just really, nothing is more powerful in terms of how I see God, how much I know we’re unconditionally loved, than my love for her. Because He lets us do what we want to do here. He lets us have free choice and that’s how I mean, He’s there too, as an example to parenting. And so I love that because that is exactly how we parent as well. 

I mean, we can only give you what we can give you humanly. We are, you, you are ours to on loan. And so, you know, I love that. Did writing the book, um, sort of help you in retrospect, look at your life through maybe a different lens or how has it changed you?

Yeah. Oh my goodness. You could probably answer. You probably already know the answer to this in writing a book yourself. I mean, I honestly had no idea what I was going to put myself through, um, or my family, you know, originally reliving those stories, reevaluating them this side of life. It was funny because I thought I almost wrote this book, when I was in my twenties.

And I think there’s a lot, like, I think there’s a lot of, of girls that are writing books at 20, that will be wonderful for where they are right now. And I hope they write one at 40 as well, because it’s just so interesting the perspective that I have now versus then, and it’s also given me, I think, a gentleness and definitely a less…I don’t think I realized how judgmental I was until I wrote this book. I don’t think there’s any judgment left in me. 

Wow. Wow. Wow. 

Humbling experience, especially now that you write a book and it’s the Instagram and the social media and putting yourself out there and everything else, I’m like, oh dear. 

Yes. Yes. It, everything you said spot on and, and you know, the word is overused, I think when you say, when people write a book, but it is very cathartic, it’s very healing, but just like you said, it, it forces you to take a really introspective,  hard look at yourself to be like, okay, I’m writing about experiences that  made me feel a certain way, but what am I doing perhaps still to perpetuate other people feeling the same way. Like how am I guilty? 

Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s again, open wound that it’s like, I’m wondering actually I’m like, I’m out, I’m coming out of this. Like it’s it’s my, my paper baby is born actually here.

Like when’s that wound going to close? I think it’s going to stay open for a while. So yes, the vulnerability aspect, and I’m so grateful for it because then it’s created a conversation with my family that is very authentic. Like I don’t, I don’t have anything judgy or really helicopter parents. I don’t have anything else to say other than you just I am. I love you. 

That is awesome. Was your husband’s super supportive in the process? Like, did you have to write during crazy hours of the day or what was that like? 

Yeah, he really was. So we also own a business called D1 Sports Training. And so we, you know, he’s sort of been through this process when I was wrangling all the kids and popping out babies, you know, doing all of that. He kind of like, I feel like we, we did kind of like a flip. A little bit, but I mean, he’s still super busy with that, but I think having older kids helped, but he was super, super supportive, but it kind of scared him a little bit. I think it’ll be interesting to have him talk about it a little bit because a  lot of it was like, we didn’t need to do this. You know, he’s like, I think a part of him probably was like, why do you need to do this? Like, I don’t know why you don’t, I that’s why I got all those journals for cause, cause  it’s been a process for everybody and a sacrifice for everybody. But in the end I know he’s, he’s super proud.  I keep telling him he needs to write one. 

So yeah, we have a D1 sports complex, like fairly new here in Grand Rapids, Michigan, by the way. 

Yes you do. I love those owners too. Oh, they’re awesome. They were at our summit, like, yeah, that’s great. 

Yeah. They’re like two miles down the road.

So when I read that on your bio, I love these people. I have no idea, never met them for my life, but like I can, yeah, I can hang out. Well, you know, when I wrote my book, it was funny because there was obviously, it’s hard to write a book unless you’re writing straight up fiction. Yeah, which oftentimes it’s based on reality anyway, but like when people know you’re writing a nonfiction book and you’re taking some of your life experiences, people get very angsty. Like, what is she going to say about me? 

Girl! Yes, I got some of that from the, from the home front. It was so funny because some of this stories were taken out. Like I’d tell, I have a ton of funny stories about my boys when they were babies. I mean, I’m talking like tearing across tearing apart could be diapers like through the net in the, like in the, in the crib, like I’ve got crazy and some of them got cut.

I mean, I had so many stories that I didn’t want to make it, especially for my first book. It’s like, you know, the audio book is like, four and a half hours instead of like eight and a half, you know, I mean, I wanted to make it a certain size and, so some of them got cut, but yeah, it started to be like a competition a little bit in our house too.

And then on the flip side with like my parents and everything, I think my, my biological dad is, I think he’s, he’s, he’s probably a pretty, pretty nervous about, you know, cause I do go through some hard stories and he’s been married several times and you know, I just told him, I said, you know, I’m just, I’m very vulnerable and I need you to know I’m gonna tell my it’s my story, you know, and I’m sorry if it hurts you, I don’t want it too. My hope is that you’ll come and talk to me if it does. And that’s really all I can do with it. 

I love that. Yeah, I get it. Olivia’s Dad, we met in college and once I got married, I was 21, 22. And so I had to have like legal releases from most of the folks that I referenced, all of them, actually, some of them declined. But at any rate he read it, he was super supportive and he goes, hold up, I got one question – I’ve known you for 30 years and all I get is one paragraph!

You’re like, and that tells me so much, that confirms so much. 

I was like, you should be thanking me that I left a whole lot of chapters out, but there’s always a, well, you know, I’ve heard a book, right. But to your point earlier, like we are not the same women today that we were in our younger years. And thank God for that because I mean, we’re not supposed to be.

I, I would hate feeling stuck if I said, oh yeah, I’m exactly what I was all those years ago, because I didn’t have all of those experiences to pull from. And it’s just, this is the whole point of life. And sometimes people are so hard on themselves. And that’s my last question for you. It leads to this: 

What’s the message, the one message that you hope people will take away after reading This Beautiful Mess?

You know, I think, I think the message is a little bit of what we were talking about before is you’re not alone, everyone has messes. We are, we all live in some sort of a mess and more than often, more often than not, we are trying to hide that mess and the person next to you, the expectation, the person that you look, look at and go she doesn’t have any, like, how could she feel like I do? That is the story you’re telling yourself. And they’re probably trying to hide it just like you are. And so the biggest thing I could Really just translate is you’re not alone. None of us are perfect. Let’s just embrace our messes and say no to perfection.

That is my prayer and my heart’s beat. For the women that get their hands on this book. 

So thank you so much for writing it. We can find it on Amazon, is that right? Amazon? 

So you can go to my website, which I’m sure is on the show notes, You can actually just download the free preview, see if it’s for you.

You know, I mean, every book is not for every person, but I hope it’s for you and yeah, you can download it. Preview. And then right below that reorder on Amazon and you should be getting it. I think their Amazon shipping amount in about a week, I am so excited for you out of doing it. Thank you. You as well, you as well.

I have not been able to read your book yet, but I, I ordered it just before, so I’m excited. I can’t wait. I can’t wait. And like, we should just reconvene at some later date and say, this is, this is what happened on the book 10 we’re like, this is, these are the lessons that we learned the quickest over.

I know. But I can’t wait to follow your story. And now the podcast, I even started listening to a few today. So, um, I will definitely be sharing that and just really enjoyed meeting you. And thank you for having me on the show. 

Yes, you got it. You got it. All right. Readers, viewers, listeners, you will be readers and plenty of readers now in advance of ordering Shelly’s book.

All of all of her information will be in the show notes. And you guys thank you for being here this week and thank you again Shelly. Thank you for joining me. Thank you. 

Thanks for joining me this week you guys on another episode of Remorselessly Biblical. I hope you really enjoyed our time spent with Shelly.

One of the things I thought was really interesting is when she was talking about her experience as Teen Miss teen USA, and when she competed in that competition, how she said that she sort of put on this imposter version almost, right? She said that she just had this self-defense mechanism she showed up with.

She definitely put the preparation in. She was there. She competed, she felt lonely. Did you guys pick up on that? A Miss Teen USA winner felt lonely. How many of us as women and when we’re comparing ourselves to what we see from the external, like externally with somebody, do we see them before we know them and we think, wow, she’s beautiful.

Yeah, she is. But we also equate that to, she must be happy. She must have it all. She must not feel like I feel. And that is why she wrote this book. You guys, that’s why she decided to write This Beautiful Mess. Yes. The woman is beautiful. There are many beautiful women in the world. I don’t think she cares necessarily about that.

I think she cares about the facts. That she felt messy on the inside and she wants to say it is okay for you to feel lonely and messy on the inside. It’s okay to go through messy times in life. We’re all in it together. God loves us unconditionally anyway. You guys have mattering and value and worth.

This is my reminder to you to show up in your own journeys and your own stories remorselessly – which means without guilt in spite of wrongdoing, without guilt, in spite of messiness without guilt, always because guilt gets us stuck, keeps us stuck. Don’t be stuck, be you exactly who God created you to be.

And I will see you guys here in two weeks. Thanks again for being here. And until then, next time, I wish you all kinds of peace and joy on your journeys and especially peace.

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