Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are reflecting on the end of an era for their family. On Thursday, July 16, TLC announced it would be canceling the Duggar family's reality series, 19 Kids and Counting, two months after Josh Duggar's very public molestation scandal came to light. The family, however, is choosing to see the cancellation as a blessing.
"With God's grace and help Josh, our daughters and our entire family overcame a terrible situation, found healing and a way forward. We are so pleased with the wonderful adults they have all become. It is our prayer that the painful situation our family went through many years ago can point people toward faith in God and help others who also have lived through similar dark situations to find help, hope and healing, as well," the family wrote on their website Thursday.
Expressing gratitude to the TLC film crew and fans who supported their series over 10 seasons, the Duggars say they're forever changed by their family’s time in the spotlight. "Years ago, when we were asked to film our first one hour documentary about the logistics of raising 14 children, we felt that it was an opportunity to share with the world that children are a blessing and a gift from God. . . .We appreciate the love, support, prayers and kindness extended to us by many of you," they added. "You have deeply touched our hearts and encouraged us, during this time."
In their statement, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar hinted that they’d be working with TLC for one last 19 Kids special. "We look forward to working with TLC on this upcoming special documentary and hope that it is an encouragement to many," they wrote, without going into detail. The Associated Press reported Thursday that TLC has plans to work with two child-protection organizations, including RAINN, to raise awareness about child sexual abuse. An hour-long documentary is in the works for next month.
"We know who holds the future and are confident that He will work all things together for good," the Duggars' statement concluded. “We love each of you and look forward to unfolding the future with peace and joy."
As previously documented, reports surfaced in late May that Josh, 27, had been accused of inappropriately touching four of his sisters, including Jessa, Jill, and a family babysitter, when he was 14.
19 Kids and Counting, documenting the large, unconventional brood of conservative Christians in Tontitown, Ark., aired its first episode in 2008. It finished its 10th season in May.