Jill Duggar's cousin Amy Duggar has praised her relative's new memoir, Counting the Cost, which was released on Tuesday, September 12. She shared an Instagram photo of the pair along with an inspirational message to Jill.
"May God bless the people who read your heart! You are going to help so many hurting people and that’s what it’s all about," Amy, 36, began in the caption of a post shared the same day the book dropped.
"I understand being cautious to trust, we’ve talked about it and it’s still so difficult given what all we’ve been through, but through it all I’m so glad God has given us strength. I’ve said it so many times and it’s still so true, I love how you and @derickdillard stand for truth! God goes before you both! Cheering you on all the way!" she added, referring to Jill, 32, and husband Derick Dillard, 34, ending the post with, "Love, Ames."
Amy's mom, Deanna Duggar, wrote in the comments, "I love who you are Amy! My precious daughter! God is moving!!! and I do believe your time is coming to share your story and everything that makes you who you are!!!" One fan said, "Jill is so brave for sharing her truth. I hope she sells tons of copies," while another wrote, "Yes! Her strength to stand for her truth, her strong faith, and her love for her family is inspiring. I'm so happy y’all have each other ... rooting for you both always."
In her memoir, Jill touched on a number of sensitive topics involving her famous family, although she has mainly focused on her parents, Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar, and older brother Josh Duggar.
In one chapter, she described how difficult it was to understand why her dad and mom tried so hard to protect Josh, 35, after they discovered he had been molesting Jill and sister Jessa Duggar as well as two other siblings when he was a teen.
"Though I love my parents and it made a lot of sense that they would want to protect and care for their child, I couldn’t help but think about the lengths that Pops had gone to in order to guard Josh’s privacy and keep him from being publicly humiliated,” she explained, adding, "I mentioned this to Derick, and he said that he had noticed the same thing. The feelings grew stronger within me, and by the time I went to bed I felt sick to my core."
Jill also revealed that Josh was “sent away” to a treatment center run by the family's church -- the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) -- for a second time after he was caught looking at pornography.
“The IBLP ‘encouraged parents to clip their children’ wings’ and keep them in the ‘role of dependent children’ as long as possible,” Jill wrote, adding that Josh was the one child Jim Bob, 58, "couldn’t prevent from making mistakes.”
The former Counting On star also detailed a near physical altercation with her dad. She wrote that he told her, “You sent me a text message, Jill. You said I was verbally abusing you. I was so offended by that, too. You know in your heart that’s not right. Are you going to apologize for that?”
When Jill remained silent, her father reportedly got “loud,” explaining, “There was an edge to it that I’d rarely heard.”
“Pops took a step toward me, closing the gap. It wasn’t a gesture of reconciliation. It was an act of aggression. He towered over me, his whole body fueled with anger. My face flushed red. My eyes filled with tears. Then there was a long, awful silence that I wanted to fill but just couldn’t yet,” she continued. “Pops’ voice was so loud in my ears. His words were like blows. I instinctively tried to protect myself and block him out. I curled up on my seat, trying to find safety in some kind of fetal position.”
Jim Bob and Michelle, 56, released a statement responding to Jill's book and her claims. “We love all of our children very much. As with any family, few things are more painful than conflicts or problems among those you love,” the couple told People. “We do not believe the best way to resolve conflicts, facilitate forgiveness and reconciliation, or to communicate through difficulties is through the media or in a public forum so we will not comment.”