Is Anna Duggar the real star of Jill & Jessa: Counting On? Judging from the way Duggar fans reacted to the premiere of the new TLC series, this appears to be the case. They seem to care more about what Anna has to say about her unfaithful husband than they do about Jessa Duggar’s philosophy about butter (“the more the better”).
The Duggars asked fans to share their thoughts about the Jill & Jessa: Counting On premiere on their family’s Facebook page, and there were far more comments about Anna Duggar than there were about her in-laws, whose names are in the title of the show. A large majority of the Duggars’ Facebook followers praised Anna for deciding to stay with Josh Duggar after he admitted to cheating on her.
“What a blessing for us Christians,” LauraLee Robbins wrote. “Anna is an example to all women.”
“Anna has touch [sic] me in a way with her struggle,” Deana Stoecklein commented. “I will now fight for my marriage and to keep encouraging my husband to come to church with us and hopfully [sic] one day to know God. I wish she would write a book!”
“Thank God for Anna and her faith in God, she’s a true example of a godly woman,” Sabrina Martinez Monney wrote.
Other commenters called Anna inspiring, brave, and strong. Some even compared her to Jesus and labeled her a saint. However, while Anna has become the fan-favorite star of Jill & Jessa: Counting On, she’s not featured in most promos for the show.
During the Jill & Jessa: Counting On premiere, Anna was shown preparing to visit Josh at the faith-based recovery facility that he spent six months holed up in (he’s back home in Arkansas now). As Fox News reports, Anna Duggar informed the TLC cameras that she hadn’t seen Josh for three months. She claimed that she and her husband both thought that it would be best for him to go away for a while, but she admitted that she struggled with the idea of Josh Duggar leaving his baby daughter, Meredith, fatherless for half a year. Meredith was just a few weeks old when Josh checked himself into the treatment center.
“It’s been good for our hearts for this time for each of us to get help separately, but it’s also been hard,” Anna Duggar said, according to Us Weekly. “Meredith was a month old when Joshua left — now she’s almost four months old.”
Anna Duggar revealed that she was excited about getting to visit her husband after being away from him for so long, but she also confessed that she feared “coming face to face with a lot of painful memories.” Anna returned from her trip just in time to enjoy her in-law’s “fall feast,” and she delivered a message from Josh to his family members.
“I just got back from visiting Joshua, and he loves each one of you guys very much and is just really grateful for a family that’s willing to talk straight and to grieve when you’ve fallen, but also to love and forgive and have hope. So I look forward to seeing what God has in the future.”
Anna Duggar also talked to the TLC cameras about how the visit with Josh affected her. She revealed that it gave her “a lot of hope,” and she continued to try to put a positive spin on her husband’s cheating by saying that his behavior made her cling more tightly to her faith as she struggled to forgive Josh. Anna also revealed that she’s relying on God to help her love her husband.
“It definitely drives me deeper to my faith,” Anna said, according to People. “God’s grace can give me the strength to love Josh when others would say he doesn’t deserve it.”
The Jill & Jessa: Counting On storylines that were cooked up for Anna Duggar’s in-laws, convenience food fan Jessa and missionary Jill, just couldn’t compete with Anna’s marriage troubles. During last night’s premiere, Jill Duggar Dillard gave viewers a tour of her new digs in Central America, and Jessa Duggar Seewald enlisted her sisters to help her cook a meal for the family. Few fans mentioned these topics on the Duggar family’s Facebook page, and this could be an indication that there wouldn’t be as much interest in Jill & Jessa: Counting On if Anna wasn’t appearing on the show to talk about her marital woes.
The interest in Anna and Josh might eventually tempt TLC to put Josh back on TV. People recently confirmed that Josh Duggar won’t appear on Jill & Jessa: Counting On “any time soon,” but the magazine did not report that he’s been banned from ever appearing on the show. Josh could end up being the trump card that the Duggars use to score another season of Counting On.
Hardcore fans of the Duggar family have seemingly forgiven Josh for sexually molesting four of his sisters and another young girl, and most of the commenters on the Duggar Family Official Facebook page are praising Anna for not divorcing Josh after he cheated on her. Because these fans agree with Anna’s actions, they’re presumably ready to forgive Josh for being unfaithful. In other words, the most fervent fans of the Duggar family probably wouldn’t see anything wrong with Josh returning to TV.
Do you think Josh and Anna Duggar will appear together on a future episode of Jill & Jessa: Counting On?
[Image via TLC]