These are tumultuous times in the Duggar family.
Whatever happens in the months to come, it seems unlikely that the Counting On clan will ever be able to return to business as usual.
Even if he somehow manages to avoid prosecution, Josh’s life will forever be divided into before and after being arrested on child pornography charges.
And the rest of the family’s fate will likely be tied to his.
Despite some deep divisions within the Duggar family, the children of Jim Bob and Michelle have been presenting a united front in the wake of Josh’s arrest.
Of course, it’s been easy to maintain the illusion that all is well behind closed doors, as the Duggars are posting much less frequently these days.
But they are posting; they’re not hiding out entirely.
And as the weeks since Josh’s arrest turn into months, we’re beginning to see some interesting social media interactions between the Duggars.
Earlier this week, Jill Duggar posed in swimsuits in her backyard and posted the pics to Instagram.
She gets paid for these posts, but we’re sure she also enjoys the positive feedback she receives in the comments, especially when they come from someone who is probably not supposed to be praising her publicly:
“You’re beautiful, Jill,” Joy-Anna Duggar wrote on her sister’s post.
Obviously, the comment itself is unremarkable, but it’s atrracted a lot of attention, as it’s a rare case fo a Duggar actually acknowledging Jill’s existence in public.
Jill has cut ties with most of her family and she’s been boldly disregarding many of the strict rules that she was forced to follow growing up.
Her relationship with her parents was already not great thanks to the feud between Jim Bob and Derick Dillard.
Now that Jill is drinking alcohol and posing in swimsuits, her notoriously strict father might never talk to her again.
So it took guts for Joy to reach out, and many fans believe that the timing is no accident.
After all, Josh’s first victims were his sisters, and we’re sure that with every new scandal some old wounds are re-opened.
So this might be a difficult time for Jill and Joy-Anna in ways that we’ll never know about.
Whatever the case, both Jill and Joy — along with their husbands — have issued statements about the situation with Josh:
“The recent accusation brought against Josh sadden [sic] us to our core,” Joy and Austin Forsyth wrote.
“We have not wanted to be hasty in making any statements while still trying to process the news ourselves. We are especially heartbroken by the reality that there are children in the world being harmed and exploited,” the couple continued.
“We ask for prayer for all those involved, and it is our continued prayer that the truth comes to light,” they concluded.
“We’re very sad about the whole thing, it’s horrible. It’s all very sad,” said Jill and Derick in an interview with UK tabloid The Sun.
“Josh’s wife Anna is pregnant with their seventh child, I cannot imagine how she is feeling.”
Obviously, we hope that Josh is finally brought to justice and made to serve time for the horrific crimes he appears to have committed.
But it’s important to bear in mind the suffering that his family is undergoing on his behalf.
It’s not easy to feel sympathy for Jim Bob and Michelle, who allowed this monster to operate, but Josh’s siblings deserve our support.
After all, he hasn’t made life easy for them, and we’re sure they’ll be facing many more challenges — right along with him — in the months ahead.