Anna Duggar made a rare public appearance at an event on the day after Valentine’s Day, and her troubled husband, Josh Duggar, was not with her. Instead, Anna was accompanied by her mother-in-law, Michelle Duggar, when she met War Room actress Priscilla Shirer.
Anna hasn’t shared anything on social media in weeks, but she couldn’t resist letting her fans know that she got to meet one of her personal heroes on Monday night. The photo below shows Anna Duggar posing with Michelle Duggar, Priscilla Shirer, and Anthony Evans, and it was taken at Cross Church in Springdale, Arkansas.
— Anna Duggar (@Anna_Duggar) February 16, 2016
Priscilla and Anthony’s appearance at Cross Church was one of the stops on their Fervent Tour, which is named after Priscilla’s book, Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer. In a video posted on Going Beyond, Priscilla and Anthony explain that the Fervent Tour was inspired by the movie War Room, a film that likely speaks to Anna Duggar because it aims to convince women that toxic marriages can be saved with the power of prayer.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Priscilla Shirer plays a woman married to an emotionally abusive man in War Room. The horrible husband almost cheats on his wife, neglects his daughter, and steals drug samples from the company that he works for. Shirer’s character eventually meets an old woman who tells her that the only solution to her marital woes is “fervent prayer,” and the old woman advises her to create a prayer closet, or “war room,” to shut herself off in whenever she prays for her husband to change.
The Guardian gave War Room one star and summed its message up thusly: “shut up and pray he quits.”
“Is your husband a self-centered jerk?” the review reads.
“Well, you should know that it’s all your fault. When you find his behavior upsetting and take him to task you are only protracting the struggle. What you need to do is surrender, go in the closet and pray.”
After Josh Duggar confessed to cheating on his wife of seven years, sources close to Anna Duggar told People that Anna would like to “absorb some of the blame” for her husband’s behavior. Anna has never confirmed that she blames herself for what Josh did, but, much like the wife in War Room, she thinks that she can use the power of prayer to save her marriage and change her husband. During an episode of Jill & Jessa: Counting On, Anna opened up about her decision to stay with Josh Duggar.
“I know there are those that feel I have every right to walk away from this marriage, and I respect other people’s views, but in my heart, when I got married, I vowed to God first and then to Joshua for better or for worse, till death do we part,” Anna said, according to Us Weekly.
“I pray through all this that I would be an extension of God’s love to Joshua and that I would love him and forgive him and that I would wait patiently and allow God to work in our hearts. My prayer and my heart’s desire is for our marriage to be restored.”
During the Jill & Jessa: Counting On special, Anna also said that Josh was her “first love.” Interestingly, Priscilla Shirer recently shared author Shanterra McBride’s thoughts about first loves on her Going Beyond blog, and McBride’s words could apply to Anna Duggar. However, McBride doesn’t say that women should stay with men who treat them badly, praying that they’ll eventually change. The post is aimed at people who know young women in unhealthy relationships.
“Inspire her to believe one simple truth: As she is, she is enough. Walk with her to empower her to walk away from someone or something that makes her feel less than amazing.”
There’s no word on how Anna Duggar feels about her hero sharing these words.
Anna is probably reaching out to women like Priscilla Shirer because Josh Duggar will soon be home. Right now he’s likely still holed up at Reformers Unanimous, a faith-based recovery program in Rockford, Illinois, that uses prayer and Bible study to address various forms of addiction (Josh has claimed that he’s addicted to internet pornography). According to Radar Online, the program usually last six months, so Josh will likely return to Arkansas later this month.
As the Hollywood Gossip points out, it’s possible that Josh decided to enroll in Reformers because he wanted to hide from the public until his sex scandal blew over. Unfortunately, his decision to flee from his problems left Anna Duggar to care for their four children on her own for almost half a year. She had to move in with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, likely because she was homeless and jobless and needed help with her kids.
Do you think Anna Duggar made a mistake when she decided to stay with Josh?
[Image via Duggar Family Official Facebook]