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My Life After "19 Kids and Counting"—As Told by Jill Duggar and Her Husband Derick

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
November 16, 2023 3:00 am

My Life After "19 Kids and Counting"—As Told by Jill Duggar and Her Husband Derick

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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November 16, 2023 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Jill Duggar and her husband Derick are here to share their story—the unedited truth—behind TLC’s hit television show that captivated the nation, "19 Kids and Counting." Their story has become a NYT instant bestseller: A memoir called "Counting the Cost."

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See app for details. This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories, the show where America is the star and the American people. To search for the Our American Stories podcast, go to the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Jill Duggar and her husband Derek are here to share their story. The unedited truth behind TLC's hit television show that captivated the nation 19 kids and counting.

Their story has become a New York Times instant bestseller with a memoir called Counting the Cost. Let's take a listen. Hey, so I am Jill Dillard. I'm Derek Dillard. Jill and Derek Dillard here. I used to be Jill Ducker and I was part of a family with 19 kids and counting.

You may know about us from the reality show TLC had for a long time running. 17 kids and counting, 18 kids and counting, and then 19 kids and counting, and then counting on. They probably should have renamed it 19 kids and counting down once it started 18 because I think there's only three kids under 18 now. It could have been like counting, 18 kids and counting, 17 kids and counting.

Yeah, it could sound very violent. Anyway, I grew up in a family with lots of kids and so we recently wrote a book Counting the Cost that talks about our journey. So I really felt like growing up on reality TV, my story was always going to be continued to be told really for me. And so in writing the book, I felt like if the story is already going to be told, I would rather be the one telling it. So yeah, our story though goes back to I grew up. I'm the second daughter in the Ducker family, fourth born. And so growing up, we were different than a lot of families in that we, of course, were adding a new kid like every year to our family, but then we were also part of a group called IVLP. And you can't like rush past the fact that there's a kid being born every single year. Or two, there were two sets of twins.

Or two, yeah. But blows me away like early in our relationship. And even still now, we refer to different events. And I'll refer to like what grade I was in.

Jill will say, Hmm, who was the baby when that happened? So that's more the marker of time. It is well, because because I was also homeschooled. So I don't have, I don't Derek was public school all the way through. Yeah, I didn't have like a classroom that I could identify with with a new teacher every year. So literally, it was like, Who was the baby?

Okay, yeah. And so that's how I remember the year of something happening generally. But anyway, grew up in the Duggar family, we were part of this group that kind of really formed my family's views on a lot of things. So whether it was homeschooling, or just religious aspects, we were part of a group called IVLP, which stands for Institute and Basic Life Principles, led by Bill Gothard.

And he had all these conferences where he taught biblical principles that he kind of formed his own opinion about to the masses. When did it start? The 60s? Early 60s.

I don't think it was like 1961. So my parents were very influenced by that. And then he also started, Bill Gothard started this group called ATI, Advanced Training Institute for homeschooling for homeschool families.

And so it's that came later, that was like in the early to mid 80s, I believe. So my parents joined that group. And as a kid, I remember it being a happy memory, we would go to these conferences, these ATI conferences, and be taught everything from what the Bible says on how many kids you should have to not drinking alcohol to how many or where you could send your kids, and where you should not send your kids to school, and everything on like the way you should dress to the music you should listen to.

So that's kind of my thought process as a kid was, this is what the Bible says, this is what IVLP says, or ATI, this is the way I should be living. So growing up, we had a lot of rules and standards that we were supposed to keep to, of course, a lot of love as well, in my family. And then in the late 90s, early 2000s, my dad ran for political office, which then led to some notoriety in our local area. And of course, my parents still having a bunch of kids that caught the eye of some TV producers who then asked my parents about producing a one time documentary about my family. And that ended up being the hit show, I guess it was like number one show on Discovery Health at the time. It was kind of at the beginning of the reality series era of things, where somehow like Discovery and TLC merged around then and everything. So they asked if my parents would consider doing a few more documentaries and then ended up launching into a reality show about my family.

Not to cut you off, but I think a good way to kind of organize the fascination was starting a reality show, at least from what I can see coming in, because Jill kind of grew up on reality TV. But I think what was so fascinating, and what made it doubly fascinating for people on the outside, not only was the interest in the logistics it took to raise a family of 21, two parents and 19 children, but how unique the lifestyle was because of this undergirding organization woven throughout daily life and the Institute and basic life principles. All the girls wore dresses or were doing homeschooling.

It was obvious. It was a parent. Yeah, homeschooled. Some aspects of it are wonderful and some not so much.

Yeah. And you've been listening to Jill Duggar and her husband, Derek, and they're sharing their story of growing up in this large family that lent itself to being filmed by TLC, thus creating the massive hit show, 19 Kids and Counting. And so many of us have been curious, well, what happened to them? How are they doing?

How did that affect their lives? We're learning right now a little bit more about their lives when we come back. We're going to learn a lot more with Jill and Derek Dillard, telling the story of the story behind 19 Kids and Counting and the family behind the hit TV show here on Our American Stories. Lee Habib here, the host of Our American Stories. Every day on this show, we're bringing inspiring stories from across this great country, stories from our big cities and small towns.

But we truly can't do the show without you. Our stories are free to listen to, but they're not free to make. If you love what you hear, go to OurAmericanStories.com and click the donate button. Give a little, give a lot.

Go to OurAmericanStories.com and give. Following last year's amazing turnout, the Black Effect Podcast Network and Nissan are helping HBCU scholars jumpstart their futures by throwing another Thrill of Possibility Summit. The Thrill of Possibility Summit is an opportunity to network with peers and professionals and gain career knowledge from leaders in the industries of science, technology, engineering, art and math, also known as STEAM. To kick it off, Nissan is giving 50 HBCU scholars who major in STEAM disciplines the opportunity for an all-expenses-paid trip to Nashville, Tennessee, this year's summit location. This is a remarkable opportunity to be mentored by some of auto, tech and podcasting's brightest minds, bringing together notable voices of the Black Effect Podcast Network, featuring Charlamagne the God, John Hope Bryant and Debbie Brown, all brought to you by Nissan. Success is a journey.

You're in the driver's seat. To learn more about the Thrill of Possibility Summit, please visit www.blackeffect.com. Our fave holiday classics to life. World-class noise cancellation straps you in for a not-so-typical silent night and custom-tuned technology analyzes your ears' shape, adapting the audio performance so each whistle note hits higher and each sleigh bell rings even brighter than the last. It's everything music should make you feel, taken to new holiday highs. It's more than just a present and it gifts like a party. So turn your ordinary moments into epic memories with the gift of sound.

Visit bose.com forward slash iHeart to say big on holiday cheer and shop sound that's more than just a present. Hi, I'm Dr. John White, WebMD's chief medical officer and host of the Health Discovered Podcast, where we bring you fascinating stories and unique perspectives like our recent episode where we break down the myths to uncover the facts of type 1 diabetes. A lot of people, very well-meaning people who cared about me, just thought that it was caused by diet or can be cured by diet and exercise. Especially right after I was diagnosed, people saying what was it that you ate or are you going to have to change your diet to get rid of this. There's still a lot of, you know, people see me pick up some kind of dessert and they're like, oh, should you really be eating that? Or thinking, you know, if they give sugar-free things to people, if that's helpful.

Listen to Health Discovered on the iHeart Radio app or wherever you get your podcasts. And we continue with our American stories and the story of Jill Duggar and her husband, Derek. And they were a part of TLC's huge hit TV show that captivated this country, 19 Kids and Counting. Let's pick up with their story. Let's pick up where we last left off. Growing up, like, I really did have pretty much like a happy childhood, I would say. And then we started being part of this reality TV show. And I remember like the first time the camera crew came to our house and they, like, stuck a camera in my face and I'm grating cheese and they're like, just be normal. And I'm like, okay.

Easier said than done, I'm sure. But fast forward, we had been on the reality TV show for a long time and then in walks my Prince Charming, right? Yeah, right.

There you are. Derek was actually we were kind of like set up by my dad. My dad introduced us. So he and Derek didn't really you guys didn't really even know each other, though. Y'all were like prayer partners because Derek was from our area. But we had really met some friends knew of our family because of the TV show we were on. And they were Christmas caroling one time.

And they're like, hey, we should go to the Duggar's house. And Chris was Carol because we want to meet them. And he was what were you like visiting from college or something? Yeah, I was probably early. He's nice.

Sure. Yeah. So he was just tagging along in this group of people. I vaguely remember that, but like we didn't actually meet the Christmas Carol that my family's house, which was not uncommon. I mean, it sounds weird, but like for complete strangers to show up at our door was not uncommon.

And just like want to say, hey, take a picture, whatever. We eventually got like a gate outside of our home. So just to protect the family, like the kids running around in the front yard. Probably got like a reverse zoo. Like kind of like a zoo animal should probably feel like slow down. Seriously though, sometimes. I mean, it's not super weird, but like, I guess it is weird. You don't ever come and tap on the window, just kind of look inside.

There was a guy one time who like jumped the fence and came up and thankfully, like, I think, I don't know what he would have done, but anyways. Yeah. Weird.

But okay. That's a side note. So Derek, he had stopped by our house one time just with that group, but like didn't really know us, but it was right.

That happened right before he was supposed to go to Nepal to do mission work for two years. So yeah, a couple of years after I finished my accounting degree, I went to- At Oklahoma State University. Shout out.

Go Pokes. Went to Oklahoma State University. A couple of years after college, went to Nepal for a two-year mission term. We were tasked during our training in Virginia to gather so many signatures of people who committed to pray for us while we were on the mission field for two years. And I went to a teeny tiny, like very small church. I was obviously going to need prayer support from from outside of our own church. So I reached out to Jim Bob and asked if he would be one of the people to pray for me while I was serving on the mission field in Nepal. And he said, sure. So I'd given him a prayer card.

Like I had everyone who had committed to pray for us. And my blog was on the bottom of it. I called it Himalayan cowboy at blogspot.com because I was and was actually- He wasn't, I was going to say.

Okay. He was actually the mascot. The mascot.

Yeah. I was the cowboy. Pistol Pete.

And I will say, I will add, he was the first legacy Pete. So his dad was also the mascot at Oklahoma State University. So- My dad did it.

It's like big, like big deal. Anyway. Anyway, that was my blog. So it was on the card. And Jill actually just told me today that like her dad was like reading my blog posts whenever he was not talking to me on the phone. So I guess in between he would keep up that way. He knew a lot about you enough to know that he wanted to introduce you to me and me to you. Yes.

So he eventually did that. After about 18 months of us kind of communicating monthly or so on updates on the mission field, he said, well, my daughter Jill shares a lot of common life goals as you. And I think y'all would really hit it off. Jill and I talked for the first time for like five and a half hours on Skype. We say it was love at first Skype. We had two five and a half hour long conversations.

And Jill- Because I told him, this is what I told him. I said- All I can do is like throw me up. I said, I said- Show and explain. I said, it's kind of like throwing up.

This was act effect. I said, because I hate confrontation. I hate like where I got to ask all these questions and grill him on everything. So I said, I just want to get it over with.

And it's kind of like throwing up because you feel much better afterwards. That's what I told him. We don't want to waste our time and realize five years later that she's actually Buddhist and I don't really want to marry someone. I mean, but that's- Whatever it is, we want it to align on our goals in life. Yeah, on our philosophies and things.

Religious views, goals, whatever. So we're going to find that out from the get go. So we had long conversations and basically I was like, okay, cool. I want to get to know this guy better. So then I convinced my dad to fly to Nepal with me, but we had to take the entire film crew with us. Anyway, we met over there in Nepal and we fell in love. Well, then fast forward, Derek comes back from Nepal.

He starts working as a tax accountant for Walmart in our area, corporate. Then we get engaged pretty quick, get married, find out we're expecting our first child. Well, and we wanted to serve on the mission field. That was kind of like the foundation for our relationship. So even before we got engaged, I enrolled in seminary. My mom got cancer that same semester, started a new job.

It was a lot. We got engaged all at the same time. Yeah. Just a lot happened in that first year of our marriage. We also had a lot of traumatic things happen in our life around that time where it was announced that the show ended up actually getting canceled in 2015. After our oldest was born.

Yeah. After it was reported, I say loosely, by tabloids. There was a point in 2015 where working together with the city of Springdale and the police chief and Washington County and In Touch Magazine together, they illegally released juvenile sexual abuse records. My sisters and I were thrust into a very painful spotlight that we never wanted to be in.

Not to protect my brother at all who had perpetrated these horrendous acts, but just as victims in the system here, we felt like we were exploited and those records should have never been released. It was a very, very painful time for my sisters and I. The show got canceled and through a series of circumstances, which later we disagree with how it was all handled, but we were forced to help get the show back up and going. Derek and I are on the mission field and through all of this, the show comes alive again. It's very much portrayed to us like a family ministry.

I think it's important. No doubt it was impacting people's lives positively. We're not saying it didn't ever, but for us, that process was very grueling.

Then you add to the mix a TV show. Basically, it came down to the point where we were on the mission field trying to make decisions that were best for our family. Then we find out that there's this contract that I was tricked into signing by my own father. Regardless of whatever intentions he may have had, it was very, very hard for me going from this trusting relationship to try and figure out how do I sort this out?

How does somebody that I love and trust seemingly take advantage of me in this situation? You're listening to Jill Duggar and her husband, Derek, share their story. My goodness, we all anticipated it would be complicated. The idea of bringing TV cameras into a family, well, that's going to create problems of its own, but it's also going to reveal things to people that they see in their own families. There's a reason why that show was a hit.

It wasn't so much the prurient type of show like so many of the reality TV shows. It was showing a family, a big family, a big Christian family trying to navigate life. And we hear also about this just tumultuous year, a year in which there's an engagement, a year where things get released in this family to the public that but for the TV show may never have been released.

And then the discovery that her own father may have manipulated her into signing a contract that she really didn't want to sign or didn't know much about. When we continue more of the story of Jill Duggar and her husband, Derek, here on Our American Stories. Following last year's amazing turnout, the Black Effect Podcast Network and Nissan are helping HBCU scholars jumpstart their futures by throwing another Thrill of Possibility Summit. The Thrill of Possibility Summit is an opportunity to network with peers and professionals and gain career knowledge from leaders in the industries of science, technology, engineering, art, and math, also known as STEAM. To kick it off, Nissan is giving 50 HBCU scholars who major in STEAM disciplines the opportunity for an all-expenses-paid trip to Nashville, Tennessee, this year's summit location. This is a remarkable opportunity to be mentored by some of auto, tech, and podcasting's brightest minds, bringing together notable voices of the Black Effect Podcast Network, featuring Charlamagne the God, John Hope Bryant, and Debbie Brown, all brought to you by Nissan. Success is a journey.

You're in the driver's seat. To learn more about the Thrill of Possibility Summit, please visit www.blackeffect.com. Tis the season of making the perfect wishlist and the perfect playlist. Level up your listening and gift more than just a headphone this holiday with Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds and headphones. Breakthrough Bose immersive audio uses rich, spatialized sound to bring your fave holiday classics to life. World-class noise cancellation straps you in for a not-so-typical silent night, and custom-tuned technology analyzes your ear shape, adapting the audio performance so each whistle note hits higher and each sleigh bell rings even brighter than the last. It's everything music should make you feel, taken to new holiday highs. It's more than just a present, and it gifts like a party. So turn your ordinary moments into epic memories with the gift of sound.

Visit www.bose.com forward slash iHeart to say big on holiday cheer, and shop sound that's more than just a present. Hi, I'm Dr. John White, WebMD's Chief Medical Officer and host of the Health Discovered podcast, where we bring you fascinating stories and unique perspectives like our recent episode, where we break down the myths to uncover the facts of type 1 diabetes. A lot of people, very well-meaning people who cared about me, just thought that it was caused by diet or can be cured by diet and exercise. Especially right after I was diagnosed, people saying what what was it that you ate or are you going to have to change your diet to get rid of this. There's still a lot of, you know, people see me pick up some kind of dessert and they're like, oh, should you really be eating that?

Or thinking, you know, if they give sugar-free things to people that that's helpful. Listen to Health Discovered on the iHeart Radio app or wherever you get your podcasts. And we continue with our American Stories and the story of Jill Duggar and her husband Derek, who share their experience in the TLC hit TV show 19 Kids and Counting.

Their New York Times instant bestseller Counting the Cost chronicles some of those stories. Let's pick up where we last left off. Here's Jill and Derek Dillard. It came to a point where we had to break away from filming, so we left the show. We decided to leave the show. We felt like that that was what we needed us to do for our family. And so we stepped away from the reality TV show, which continued to carry on for a few more years and started to like make a life for ourselves and kind of think for ourselves and just trying to figure out who we were in the world and who Christ wanted us to be and what we were called, how we were called to live our lives as a family and what was okay, what was not okay and sorting through that. And to kind of set up a little bit, going back to what I was saying earlier, I think the IBLP created its own set of issues and having a culture of taking the Bible, which is true and using it out of context to control and manipulate for in a specific agenda.

And I feel like the show, this reality show just kind of poured gasoline on the fire and allowed those issues to just be amplified that much more. And when we got married in a Christian wedding, you leave and cleave, you become your own family. And we realized like in hindsight, was that just a ploy because it seemed like this umbrella of authority, meaning, and I keep referring to the umbrella of authority. This was a specific teaching that they had to teaching in the IBLP where the father is over everyone in the family.

But in the IBLP, they took it even further. And even for your kids who were married, you were still supposed to be under this umbrella of authority. And that to me was completely contradictory to scripture, which says you leave and cleave and become your own family. Like if you moved outside the, the umbrella of authority and you started making decisions that your parents did not approve of, or that you did not get their blessing on, even as an adult, then you were opening yourself up to potential harm. Like you might get in a car accident. And then that was the reason why, like if you got in this car accident, it might've been this retribution theology type thing with this authority principle where you caused it by getting out from under their authority type thing. So that's like the extreme example.

Other things that might just be like, Oh, you're facing problems in your life because of not getting your parents blessing or whatever. So many of these things were used for control and, and then, um, Jim Bob was committing a financial fraud and it very strongly impacted our lives. And we had to basically draw some hard boundaries and say, this is not okay.

You know, this is wrong. And we, we need to like take some action to protect our own family. And the show at this point was called Jill and Jess accounting on, and we had made a commitment on the mission field to remain for a number of months. And we had already shared that this was our commitment, uh, whenever nobody seemed to have a problem with it. It wasn't even something that like we took the niche, the initiative to do our supervisor at the time said, I need you to commit to being here for this long and really establish rapport with the people who live here.

And if they see you going back and forth to the States, those years having one foot in one foot out, not being very serious about your care for their lives, spiritually, physically, otherwise. And so we said, well, sure. Yes, we can make that commitment.

We'll remain here and not go back to the States. Jim Bob knew that we had committed to remain on the mission field. And it was almost like not to be super sarcastic, but the way it just came across was like, oh, well, that's cute. Like that's great that you all are making a commitment, but this is the true ministry. Reality TV is what is truly the ministry. He really did view it as the ministry.

Yeah. And like what you all are doing in El Salvador is cute, but it's almost like just to provide content for the greater ministry. I think he appreciated it. I'm not saying he didn't appreciate it, but he almost saw it as a subset of the true ministry because it wasn't as great numbers based as the filming ministry, which again, personally, I would disagree with just because the gospel itself was not presented. It was not tagged as like a Christian show. It was a show about Christians, but that's a side note. But they asked us to come back to Houston to this filming shoot. It was in Houston. Yeah.

You can talk about it. They asked us to come back for this promotional shoot. The network wanted us to film this promotional shoot, which happened once or twice a year generally. And so we were asked to come back to the States for this from Central America, where we were serving as missionaries. And we said, no, it just got very, very heated to the point where they present us with this contract and they say, well, actually it's almost like, no more of this Mr. Nice Guy.

Here you go. Here's this contract. You actually are obligated to come back.

You have to. And we were shocked. We look at this and we're like, what?

Where did this come from? We ended up finding out that this is the piece of paper that my dad had set before me the day before we got married with no understanding of what it was, no papers to even read about what this was that I was signing. And I was made to believe when I had asked about it at the time that this was just about how I was going to get paid. Which was a lie in one aspect of the financial fraud. And it's even more clear now as an attorney and more specifically as a prosecutor, it was very much financial fraud. Jill was told that this was about how you're going to get paid, but that was materially wrong.

It wasn't even just a small mistake, materially different than what it actually was. In reality, if you were to be explicit about what the answer should have been, it should have been, this is about how you're not going to get paid and your payment will come when we die as part of your inheritance. And you're also obligated, and this was completely left out of what the single page with one line on it that she was asked to sign, when I wasn't even aware of it. I wasn't even in the room, which is a different story, but that you're also committing all these, like basically your whole life for the next five years.

The first five years of our marriage without ever telling Jill or having her ask me if this is something that we want to start our lives on and tomorrow. So we didn't know what it was until that point. Yeah, we didn't know what it was. The other aspect of the financial fraud was the more we dug into it, as we uncovered things, it was, oh, we're sorry, like we should have X, Y, Z. We just wanted transparency.

Exactly. We very much wanted transparency. And the hope would have been, okay, now that we realize the error of our ways, like you should also know that this is the situation too. But it was almost like Jill's dad, Jim Bob, dug his heels in and then just like, oh, well, you figure that out, but I'm sorry, but I'm not going to reveal anything else that I've got you locked down into. And then we get to tell you discover later on.

And then we uncovered some more stuff that was basically him on his taxes and the taxes of the other children reporting income as for other people to lessen his tax liability. He was going to be 100% the one to be paid. And I will choose how I want to help you all.

Like if I want to basically, if you're my good graces, I'll help you. And that'll be my way of like, quote unquote, paying you, but that's not going to be reported as payment. I'm showing on paper that I'm paying all of you all, but I'm controlling 100% of the finances. If you want to get paid, then I'm disinheriting you because I count that as your inheritance. So if you want, if you're going to threaten me with a lawsuit, then you can just count on not, you've already gotten your inheritance. So you can just be counted out because that was supposed to be your inheritance.

Even though it should have been, yeah, earned income. But so in the end, we had some pretty understandably, some pretty crazy conversations. And you've been listening to Jill Duggar and her husband, Derek share their story, the story behind the story of TLC's hit television show that captivated a nation, 19 kids and counting. And so much had been written about it at the time documentaries, the whole nine yards, but hearing from Jill and her husband directly about their family, what happened to them after the reality show, as they both said how to create a life for themselves and think for themselves outside of that ecosystem, one created by a dad and a reality television show and fame, the overlay of fame, having such a dramatic impact on anybody who it counters. And anyone will tell you the stories of what fame can do to almost anybody.

When we come back, more of this story, the story of Jill Duggar and her husband, Derek here on Our American Stories. Following last year's amazing turnout, the Black Effect Podcast Network and Nissan are helping HBCU scholars jumpstart their futures by throwing another thrill of possibility summit. The thrill of possibility summit is an opportunity to network with peers and professionals and gain career knowledge from leaders in the industries of science, technology, engineering, art and math, also known as STEAM. To kick it off, Nissan is giving 50 HBCU scholars who major in STEAM disciplines, the opportunity for an all expenses paid trip to Nashville, Tennessee, this year's summit location. This is a remarkable opportunity to be mentored by some of auto, tech and podcasting's brightest minds, bringing together notable voices of the Black Effect Podcast Network featuring Charlamagne the God, John Hope Bryant and Debbie Brown, all brought to you by Nissan. Success is a journey. You're in the driver's seat.

To learn more about the thrill of possibility summit, please visit www.blackeffect.com slash Nissan. Tis the season of making the perfect wish list and the perfect playlist. Level up your listening and gift more than just a headphone this holiday with Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds and headphones. Breakthrough Bose immersive audio uses rich, spatialized sound to bring your fave holiday classics to life. World class noise cancellation straps you in for a not so typical silent night and custom tune technology analyzes your ear shape, adapting the audio performance so each whistle note hits higher and each sleigh bell rings even brighter than the last. It's everything music should make you feel taken to new holiday highs. It's more than just a present and it gifts like a party. So turn your ordinary moments into epic memories with the gift of sound.

Visit Bose.com forward slash I heart to say big on holiday cheer and shop sound that's more than just a present. Hi, I'm Dr. John White, WebMD's chief medical officer and host of the Health Discovered podcast where we bring you fascinating stories and unique perspectives like our recent episode where we break down the myths to uncover the facts of type 1 diabetes. A lot of people, very well-meaning people who cared about me just thought that it was caused by diet or can be cured by diet and exercise. Especially right after I was diagnosed, people saying what was it that you ate or are you going to have to change your diet to get rid of this.

There's still a lot of you know people see me pick up some kind of dessert and they're like oh should you really be eating that or thinking you know if they give sugar-free things to people that that's helpful. Listen to Health Discovered on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. And we continue with Our American Stories and Jill Duggar and her husband Derek sharing their story of life during and after TLC's hit television show 19 Kids and Counting.

Their memoir Counting and the Cost is available on Amazon and the usual suspects. Let's pick up where we last left off. For us, finding a Christian licensed therapist was very important, aligned with where we wanted to be. Well not even aligned with where we wanted to be, aligned with scripture. I think it's important to note that you don't want to look for yes people. People who are just going to affirm whatever you're seeking out because I think that's dangerous too. Yes there's wisdom and counsel.

But finding people who are outside the situation they don't stand anything to gain or lose but who recognize the Bible as the authority that it is and who can you know challenge you, who can affirm you, who can make you realize sometimes that you're not crazy and help you realize give you tools basically to work through a lot of problems and maintain a strong faith. Yeah so as we sorted through some of that and um over time then we thought about writing a book and it was something that I was kind of scared to do because I still love my family and it intertwines a lot with my family and growing up in reality tv and all of those dynamics. So right now I feel like it's kind of the aftermath of the book right now where we just have to give some space, allow other people some space because I understand like there's a lot of difficult content in the book and my relationship with my parents now is very complicated.

I don't just hang out like we used to. My parents I'm not going to speak for them but I don't think they were super happy about the book. I mean we did get a text message after the announcement of the book but before it came out just not yeah expressing they were expressing or my dad specifically was like expressing his opinion on it and he was telling my other siblings like if you say anything negative you're going to be cut out of the inheritance and like saying like we owe our lives to Bill Gothard so I think there's still negativity and and harming the image is is sinful because it's not honoring to your family of origin or something but I think what is honoring is telling the truth and not doing it out of the wrong spirit not doing it with a motive to just hurt or expose but really just telling my story telling our story the journey that we've been on with the intention of helping other people who have probably faced the same things that we have whether it's because of religious upbringing, legalism, family dynamics. Actually I would like to read this first part of the book it is very and again in this culture like it's the isolation that a lot of times is used to perpetuate abuse and this idea that people are made to feel like they're on an island and don't talk to others they don't they wouldn't understand we want to be able to like pass that along for other people by sharing our story too. So in the prologue um well I guess it's not the prologue actually it's just the intro there's the portion that I would like to read so it says to those who have been harmed in the name of religion to those who have suffered behind closed doors and have yet to find their voice to those who have begun to find their voice but may still be living in a season of isolation to those who like Esther in the old testament bible story have courageously answered the call for such a time as this and despite the backlash have now found their voice from victims and survivors to strangers family and friends this book is dedicated to you may you all know that you are not alone that your story your voice and your mental health matter the lord is a stronghold for the oppressed a stronghold in times of trouble psalm 9 9. So that's why we wrote the book is for these people mentioned here and then in the back of the book in the author's note I want to read another portion says what this book is not this book is not a letter to my family as part of the reconciliation process I also didn't write this book to shame my family or just to try and get their attention we will continue to work through matters with family independent of this book with the desired ultimate goal of healthy relationships lord willing we understand that no family is perfect and that you can recognize the beauty in your story while still acknowledging the difficult parts and even setting boundaries it shouldn't make you unloving it's like roses and thorns the two can coexist and I do love my family the highs aren't invalidated by the lows and vice versa everyone's story will look different just because some problems weren't intentional or one story isn't as bad as the next person's shouldn't invalidate the real problems or minimize the story and the degree to which we felt this book needed to be written was the degree to which we felt like voices were still being silenced and real harm was continuing to be done by not telling it yeah it's it's been a journey but well and I think it's important to like there's a lot of things um crossroads at different points that kind of affected our direction in life and we're already trying to establish our own family identity the day we got married and realized that we weren't able to like we were just being tied down for the next five years but then especially whenever the injustice was um with the jill and her sisters information being released like I wanted to punch someone and you know down at Washington county or the city of Springdale but realized it's probably not very christian that would not be christlike of me but I can we can invest in me getting legal education and trying to make sure that that doesn't happen to other people or at least we can affect some positive change to make sure that kids don't you know remain silent whenever they're trying to expose their abuser because they don't know looking at Jill if this is a safe place because well what if I'm one day exposed you know and everyone's gonna know these horrible details about me so Derek's able to advocate now every day for people um in the justice system and his job that he has um advocating for people and being a voice for the voiceless so he's been my advocate and now he's an advocate for so many other people and I'm so proud of him so yeah we're just trying to be a positive light through some tough stuff yeah and also for people to realize that you know whenever you face difficulty a lot of people don't have a safe place to land and they end up going off the deep end and leaving their faith and like you know it's so hard to just maintain the straight and narrow not go off to the right not to the left but down the straight and narrow and we really feel like that's kind of one of the themes of our journey is just trying to maintain that like we want them to see our voice coming through this that you can be strong you can hold to your faith but relying on Christ to get you through these hard times because we can't do it alone and as Christians like we cannot do it in our own strength true freedom is found in Christ outside from the law seeking the Lord seeking who he's called us to be the church is a diverse group I think a lot of times in the church we we think it's very cookie cutter like if you don't pass the plate at 10 o'clock at the beginning versus the end of the service that you're doing something wrong is this wrong because it's just different to me or is it actually wrong you go to some cultures and it's like well they're beating their wives no that's not just part of their culture that's wrong in whatever culture it is but if you go and you're like well this music is weird and I don't agree with it it's like it doesn't matter whether you agree with it like it's just different to you and you've got to recognize that there's nothing wrong about it and this is the beauty of the church it's that you know I think we've got to reclaim the term diversity and diversity is a wonderful thing the beauty of the church is we all have giftings we all have different cultures and one day in heaven it's you know there's what no I'm just I like you're going on this oh I'm just sorry sorry but I'm just like it just gets me preaching now sorry it just gets me whenever like people think I I don't like my personality again going to that is like people are just so black and white they think you know here's what no I'm just saying they're right they're right like I don't remember what I was going to say now sorry I shouldn't laugh anyway sometimes I'll just talk in the shower and I'll be talking and I'll realize that you left the bathroom like five minutes ago I'm talking to myself but anyway I don't intentionally walk away from no no I I know it's not intentional I might have I might have started after she left and then exactly clarify that's probably it but anyway we just want to be able to point people toward the bible and what who Jesus is and and know that he can be trusted even when people around you can't be trusted and you've been listening to Jill Duggar and her husband Derek share their story being a part of TLC's huge hit tv show that captivated the nation 19 kids and counting they share their story on the new york times bestseller counting the cost my goodness you're hearing about the cost one thing it didn't do was challenge their faith in the end it brought them closer to their faith it had them discover their faith walk in some ways or rediscovered and their own their own and so often in life no matter what our walk is there are challenges boy when you have that fame element when you add the reality tv element it changes everything and my goodness what Jill and Derek had to go through what they had to do and the levity they have is they exhibit towards the end of that their joy not stolen the possibility for redeeming the relationships with their family members still there and their faith walk intact the story of Jill Duggar and her husband Derek as told here on our american stories small business saturday is november 25th so let's go shop small with american express because when the sign lights up the doors open to be a home for your hobbies to make progress on your projects open to grab that last second present for you know who or for a whole new look the neighborhood is open so go make it bright small business saturday is november 25th let's go shop small with the powerful backing of american express tis the season of making the perfect wish list and the perfect playlist with bows quiet comfort ultra earbuds and headphones breakthrough immersive audio uses specialized sound to bring your fave holiday classics to life and world-class noise cancellation ensures a not so typical silent night and an 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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-16 04:08:57 / 2023-11-16 04:27:45 / 19

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