We know that Counting On stars Jana Duggar and Jessa Duggar had a contentious relationship growing up thanks to the stories they shared in their book Growing Up Duggar, and fans have continued to wonder about the nature of their relationship now that they are adults. Is there some serious sibling rivalry going on between the two women?
In a recent In Touch Weekly article, they looked at the relationship between the two Duggar sisters – Jana, who is 28 and single with no kids, and Jessa, who is 26 and married with two kids. The story goes that Jessa terrorized Jana when they were little, and now the oldest Duggar daughter can’t stand her bossy and arrogant little sis.
And, we can trace all this back to the jewelry box story. On page 60 of Growing Up Duggar, Jana writes about “A Memorable Lesson” that took place when she was eight and Jessa was six. Jana remembers that Jessa would kick her bunk bed during the night and ask while giggling, “That bother you up there, Jana?”
— seafrizzy (@seafrizzy) June 1, 2018
Even though their parents Jim Bob and Michelle constantly scolded Jessa for her aggravating behavior, she continued, so Jana turned to God. She prayed about the situation and then asked her mom for advice, and this is when Michelle gives her a Bible verse about turning the other cheek and tells her to give Jessa something nice.
So, Jana decided to give Jessa her most prized possession – a pink jewelry box – even though she didn’t feel like it. Jana also told this story during an episode of 19 Kids & Counting when the girls spoke at an ATI conference, and it was at this point that she started to show how much this story hurt her.
Jana talked about trying to figure out how to work things out with her sister because she didn’t want to go through life with this bad relationship. So, when she decided to give Jessa the jewelry box, it was her way of saying that she forgives her. But while she is trying to make her point, Jana starts to cry. However, she pushed through it and said that there are people who hurt us and do things to us, but it is our responsibility to forgive.
— Calvin Ken (@SerialTopNews) June 2, 2018
It is almost as if it was that moment that Jana realized her life would be all sacrifices and servitude.
As adults, fans have noticed moments when the married Jessa seems to treat Jana as her nanny and has her waiting on her hand and foot. After Jessa gave birth to her first son, Spurgeon, Jana was there to watch the baby while Jessa slept. During Jessa’s second baby shower, Jana appeared to be annoyed by having the responsibility of decorating. And let’s not forget Jana’s refusal to come out of the dressing room when Jessa had her trying on some pretty terrible bridesmaid’s dresses for her wedding.
— Isabella Books (@bellabookstore) June 5, 2018
Jana has taken the opportunity to throw a little shade by proclaiming that she wasn’t married yet because she wasn’t interested in saying yes to the first guy that came along. But, was that aimed at Jessa, and are the two really at odds?
Recently, Jessa shared a video and pics on Instagram of the garden oasis that Jana has created in her family’s backyard – complete with veggies, fruit, flowers, a duck wading pool, and a chicken coop.
Was it Jessa’s way of putting rivalry rumors to rest? Maybe. But it appears that the two sisters are now living their best lives in their own way and appreciate each other for who they are. One is happy being single, and the other is happy being a married mom of two, and fans have got to love that.
New episodes of Counting On will return to TLC later this summer.
Jana Duggar and Jessa Duggar have not commented publicly on their strained relationship.