‘Counting On’: The Duggar Family Wrote About the ‘Joy and Sorrow’ of the Past Year on Instagram

With 2019 coming to a close, it’s only natural for all of our favorite reality TV stars to reflect on the wild year they had. And of course, we’re thinking about all that’s occurred for the Duggar family. While Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar first brought their 19 kids into the spotlight over a decade ago, we’re betting they never would’ve guessed how much attention they’d still be getting today.

Now, all eyes are on Jim Bob and Michelle’s older kids, like Jana, Jessa, Jill, and Jinger. A ton has occurred individually for every member of the Duggar family this year, but they’ve also gone through incredibly tough times both in the public eye and off-camera. Here’s what the Duggar Family Instagram subtly said about “joy and sorrow” in a “happy birthday” Instagram post to Joy-Anna’s husband, Austin Forsyth.

The Duggar family lost Grandma Duggar back in June 2019

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It didn’t matter who you were, she was “Grandma” to you. That’s most often how she would introduce herself. “Hi, I’m Grandma!” Everybody called her Grandma. She took a genuine interest in people. She would converse with you in a way that made you feel special and loved and cared about. She had a knack for remembering details, and the next time she saw you, she would inquire about things told to her in past conversations. She was so excited about the many new great-grandbabies due this coming fall and winter, and it never got old for her. She welcomed each new baby with joy and would hold them with such tenderness and delight. We will keep her stories and memories alive for these little ones, but we’re sad that they will not have the blessing of knowing her in person as we have. She was always available. When we kids were young, she would often babysit so Mom and Dad could go out on a date. If Mom needed something from the grocery store, she was happy to pick it up. She always had time for a conversation with the teenager and never passed over the toddlers either. Each one of us was made to feel valued and loved by Grandma. She was our biggest cheerleader, coming to every music recital, birthday party, and graduation celebration— and with 21 grandkids and 13 great-grandkids, that was quite a feat! She was an exhorter. If we ever doubted our gifts or abilities, Grandma was there to spur us on. She’d pull the classic “grandma move” and have us putting on impromptu talent shows for complete strangers. “Why don’t you get up here and perform that song you’ve been working on?” “Aww, Grandma, really? Do I have to?” We’d say, glancing at mom, but we knew Mom would back her every time. We’d reluctantly get up and do a number, and it didn’t matter how terrible we thought we sounded, Grandma would beam with pride and start the applause. She believed in our gifts and abilities more than we did at times, and she spurred us on to do our best and to give God the glory for all our talents and achievements. Click :LINK IN BIO: or swipe left to read the rest of the tribute to Grandma Duggar ❤️—

A post shared by Jessa Seewald (@jessaseewald) on

While Jinger may be across the country in Los Angeles and Jill may no longer be a permanent staple on Counting On, the Duggars are still a tightknit bunch. And no one expected Grandma Duggar to pass away in June 2019. People notes Mary Duggar was 78 when she accidentally drowned in a pool.

Since the sudden death, all of the Duggars who have a social media presence have come forward with their thoughts, prayers, and memories of Mary.

“Grandma made a deep impact on each of our lives—first and foremost through her relationship with Jesus Christ, and secondly through her example of sharing the good news of salvation through Jesus with others!” Jana captioned a post dedicated to her grandmother.

Jessa also had kind thoughts to share with her Instagram followers. “It didn’t matter who you were, she was ‘Grandma’ to you,” Jessa wrote. “Everybody called her Grandma. She took a genuine interest in people. She would converse with you in a way that made you feel special and loved and cared about.” 

They’ve also been dealing with rumors regarding a Homeland Security investigation

As if the loss of Grandma Duggar wasn’t enough of a blow for the Duggars in 2019, we can’t forget that the media caught wind of a rumored Homeland Security raid.

News stations in Arkansas confirmed at the end of November that Homeland Security investigators were on Duggar property. While the news report originally stated the investigation took place at the Duggar family home, that was later corrected. Instead, the media found out it was a business associated with Josh, the most infamous of Jim Bob and Michelle’s kids, that was under scrutiny.

“I can’t speak to the status of any ongoing investigation. But, I do not dispute that we were present at that specific address,” Homeland Security Investigation spokesperson Brian Cox said.

The Duggars released their own statement claiming investigators were not present at their Arkansas home. But there’s no doubt all the attention provided a ton of added stress on the family’s life.

The family mentioned the ‘joy and sorrow’ 2019 brought on Instagram

Mary Duggar’s death and the Homeland Security investigation serve as two notable sour points for the Duggars in 2019. But we can’t forget that Jessa, Anna, Joseph, Josiah, and Amy also brought new babies into the world. All in all, the year was full of incredible highs and lows. And the Duggars touched on this in an Instagram post dedicated to Joy-Anna’s husband’s birthday.

“Happy birthday, Austin!! You are one of the most diligent workers I have ever met, a hero to Gideon, and a role model to all our sons!” the post reads. “This year has been full of joy and sorrow and seeing your dependence on the Lord in all things has inspired all of us.”

We’re not sure exactly what “joy and sorrow” the Duggars are referencing here. But given what’s stated above, there’s a good chance this is what they’re subtly talking about. We hope the Duggars can focus on the joyful aspects of the year and head into 2020 with that on their minds!

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