Last night premiered the first of three episodes of the Jill and Jessa show “Counting On”. The show spread out across numerous topics that revolved around the entire Duggar family, Jessa and Ben, Jill and Derick and baby Israel. As the show progressed Jessa and Ben revealed some interesting focal points that hadn’t been shared before regarding the birth of their baby. At the time the show was taped Jessa was still expecting.
The show was laid out quite nicely. It traveled from Jessa’s house to Jill’s house a few times with short cameo appearances with the four main reality star celebrities. Jessa, Jill, Ben and Derick opened up about all the scandals that have affected the family as a whole as well as individually. Jessa told the audience that she and her family had endured a lot, it was difficult for them, and she and her family took steps and attended counseling when they were young because Josh did molest her at a young age.
After, going through a healing process and time that passed, she was able to forgive her brother and move on in life. She couldn’t believe that the media was digging up old bones. Jessa explained that it was a journey that she had to go through to restore her relationship with her brother. At first it was hard to trust him, she realized that trust wasn’t something that isn’t instantly rebuilt by so easily, she and Josh had to work hard to rebuild that trust and it took years to do. By the time the second scandal was revealed it was shocking, she didn’t have a clue that Josh was unfaithful to his wife Anna or that he had become addicted to pornography.
Jill expressed some of her own feelings regarding her brother as well. She was really upset that the police report was released for it felt like she and everyone else involved was once again thrown under a bus again. She was glad that a judge ruled in favor that they report should never have been released, but by the time the ruling was delivered it was much too late for everyone. It was awful and heartbreaking to have to relive those moments of the past and was totally shocked about the latest scandal and felt hurt to have this and the past rubbed in her face over and over again.
Both Jessa and Jill believe that Josh didn’t seem to see how his actions could and would affect those around him. They both worked hard to repair their trust in their brother for he was someone they looked up to. Now with everything that has happened in his life once they heard the specifics they thought it to be a bad dream, wondering how this could happen and felt it couldn’t be true. They now understand and believe that Josh’s current situation is true and may have a hard time ever trusting him again. They feel everyone needs to set boundaries, be accountable for their actions, focus on their relationship, not be a hypocrite, learn to live life to the fullest, even when it is full of challenges and struggles, stick together, cry together and heal together as a family while keeping their faith.
Jessa tells us that they all need to live their lives day by day, learn from the challenges they face even when some situations seem impossible, move on and be true to your own self. She made a great point stating that she and her family never claimed that they were perfect. There have been many who believe they were the perfect family but all in all they are exactly like any other family with trials and tribulations, tests, good and bad times as they walk down difficult roads and blockades that fall in front of the road down life’s path.
Derick surprised many people watching when he revealed that a month after he and Jill went to South America on their first mission trip as a trial he required mouth surgery. He had just had braces fitted for his teeth when only weeks later the dentist sent him to an oral surgeon to have his pallet expanded. His speech is affected by the surgery, some of his words now have a lisp sound to them, which may disappear as soon as the extent of his dentistry work is completed and his mouth fully heals.
Derick also explained that the mission work is their true calling. It is emotional, inspiring and a learning experience for them and those they plan on helping. The area is a bit dangerous since there is a lot of violence there and drug cartels are present. He feels that this is something they must do and even though it can be a bit of a hazard it wouldn’t be right now to have his whole family together because the length of time they would be apart would be too great for them to think about enduring.
Ben and Derick talked about Israel, how he has grown, some of the duties and things that can be expected once Ben’s child is born. Ben got the chance to hold Israel and feel a little of what he may be looking forward to in the weeks to come. Both men declared that what has happened in the past months has changed things among family members, and they are all working together to see their spouses feel safe, healthy, happy and know they are there to support them under these stressful times.
It seemed quite a surprise for many when Jinger, Jana, Joy, Anna, Joseph, John David and Josiah came on the screen and expressed the emotions they felt during this time in their lives. They were all surprised, in disbelief, shocked and had no idea that Josh Duggar was leading a double life. They all felt heartbroken as the events of his life were revealed and were kept secret from all of them. John David always looked up to his brother and wanted to be like him from an early age and it broke his heart when he said he no longer wants to be anything like him now. The scandalous events once revealed affected them all. At one point they were afraid to leave the house not knowing what others would say if anything to them. After time they were able to leave the security of their homes, go shopping without people giving them strange looks, point fingers or talk about them behind their backs. Instead they found many residents praying for them as they deal with the crisis their family is currently facing.
It wasn’t a surprise that Anna Duggar didn’t have more of a part in the first episode of “Counting On” and fans were glad and sad to see her appear anyway. She was somber as she briefly mentioned that life went from happy and secure to a mess that turned into a disaster. It is said that she and her children will eventually go back to their family home and that it will be hard for all of them. Her story may be revealed in the second episode in more detail. There are a lot of fans who are praying for Anna and curious at the same time to hear how she coped with everything, what her plans are for the future and what her relationship with her husband will be once now and after Josh is released from his rehabilitation therapy.
The entire family has been through a lot in the past four to eight months. Many things have changed, attitudes, trust and in the end they are all working together to rebuild their trust, concentrate on their own relationships and live life one day at a time to overcome everything that is thrown in their path. They all feel that every step will bring them closer together and make them as individuals stronger as well as their own marriages.
Sunday, December 21 at 7:00 CST the second episode of “Jill and Jessa: Counting On” will air on TLC. Be sure to mark your calendars so not to miss a minute of all the exciting news about Jessa’s birth to her son, hear more about Jill’s mission and see Anna once again, who has up till now kept herself out of the limelight with hopes that she and the children are doing well and can move forward with their lives and to hear what path she’ll be taking for a better future for her own family.