Jessa Duggar Ditched Speaking Gig To Attend Marriage Retreat With Ben Seewald And Her Parents

Jessa Duggar backed out of her appearance at this weekend's Southern Women's Show in Jacksonville, Florida, just days before she was set to speak there, and it looks like she decided to pull the ol' event switcheroo by attending a marriage retreat instead.

Jessa Duggar and her husband, Ben Seewald, were supposed to speak at the Southern Women's Show on Saturday, October 17. However, a few days before the event, the show's list of guest speakers was updated to let attendees know that Jessa's younger siblings, Josiah and Jinger Duggar, would be appearing at the event instead.

"Due to unforseen (sic) circumstances, Jessa Duggar Seewald is unable to attend the Southern Women's Show on Saturday, October 17," the notice on the show's website read. "Appearing in her absence will be siblings Jinger and Josiah Duggar."

Jessa Duggar Switches Events
Jessa Duggar abruptly decided to pull out of the Southern Women's Show in Florida (Image credit: Southern Women's Show website)

Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald were supposed to take part in a meet and greet after appearing onstage for a Q&A session, and they had copies of one of their wedding photos ready to autograph for their fans. Unfortunately, Jessa and Ben pulled out of the event on such short notice that the Duggars weren't able to create new photos for Jinger and Josiah to sign at the event. The Cancel the Duggars Facebook page shared the photo below that shows Josiah and Jinger ready to autograph Jessa and Ben's wedding pictures.

Josiah And Jinger Duggar
Josiah and Jinger sign Jessa and Ben's wedding photos at the Southern Women's Show (Image credit: Cancel the Duggars Facebook)

As the Inquisitr previously reported, it's possible that Jessa Duggar decided not to fly to Jacksonville because she's going to give birth very soon. Jessa is almost 38 weeks pregnant, and BBC News reports that "the safest time to fly during pregnancy is before 37 weeks." Some airlines have strict policies when it comes to flying while pregnant. For example, Virgin Atlantic won't carry passengers who are more than 36 weeks pregnant unless it's for "urgent medical or compassionate reasons."

However, Jessa Duggar's pregnancy can hardly be considered "unforeseen circumstances." Perhaps she backed out of the Southern Women's Show at the last minute because she was simply unaware of the restrictions airlines place on pregnant women until she started trying to book a flight. However, you'd think her mother would have informed her about these restrictions after birthing 19 kids and flying all across America. There's also a good chance that the Duggars weren't going to fly commercial, anyway -- they do own their on plane, after all. Perhaps the real reason Jessa decided to cancel her Jacksonville gig is not because she was concerned about flying, but because she found a more exciting event to attend that was much closer to home.

The photo below was recently posted on the Duggar Family Official Facebook page, and it shows Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald attending the Fort Rock Family Camp Marriage Retreat with Jessa's parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. The event took place over the weekend.

Jessa Duggar Attends Marriage Retreat With Parents
Jessa Duggar with her parents at the Fort Rock Family Camp Marriage Retreat (Image credit: Duggar Family Official Facebook)

The Fort Rock Family Camp Facebook page also posted a photo of Jim Bob and Michelle speaking at the event.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar At Marriage Retreat
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar speak at marriage retreat (Image credit: Fort Rock Family Camp Facebook)

Fort Rock Family Camp is located in Combs, Arkansas, which is about 50 minutes away from Jessa Duggar's home in Springdale. There's no word on whether she and Ben spoke at the marriage retreat or if they were simply there to have a good time. According to the Fort Rock Family Camp website, the three-night event includes activities like zip-lining, horseback riding, archery, rifle shooting, and "humorous games." The grounds where the retreats take place look like a Wild West town with rustic store facades.

Fort Rock Family Camp Old West
Jim Bob and Michelle pose in front of Fort Rock Family Camp site (Image credit: Duggar Family Official Facebook)

The marriage retreat also includes speeches by Pastor S.M. Davis, a courtship advocate who penned a book titled Seeds of Disintegration Planted By the Boyfriend/Girlfriend Philosophy. According to the Scarlet Letters Blog, Davis is also the author of a lecture titled Why Satan Wants Your Firstborn. If Jim Bob and Michelle already subscribe to Davis' belief that "firstborns have trouble dedicating their lives to God and dedicating their lives to serving others because they reject their firstbornness," Josh Duggars' recent woes probably just reinforced the way they feel about it.

Fort Rock Family Camp is run by the Forsyth family. They're good friends of the Duggars, and their camp was featured in an 18 Kids and Counting episode titled "Duggars and Daughters." According to the A Quiver Full of Information, the Forsyths also appeared in an episode of World's Strictest Parents, a CMT reality series that focused on misbehaving kids who were sent to live with another family for a short period of time. The Forsyths were the strict host family in their episode.

Do you think Jessa Duggar suddenly backed out of her Southern Women's Show appearance because she didn't think about the dangers of flying while pregnant until the last minute, or is it possible that she simply changed her mind because she wanted to attend the marriage retreat instead?

[Featured image credit: Ben Seewald/Instagram]