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Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's Children Open Up About Josh Duggar, Life After Cancellation of '19 Kids and Counting': 'The Devil took His Best Shot'

( [email protected] ) Mar 14, 2016 01:03 PM EDT
Ahead of the premiere of their new reality show, "Jill and Jessa: Counting On," the Duggar children opened up about the recent scandals that have surrounded their family and revealed how God has used the troubles for good.
Ben and Jessa Seewald appear in a promo for their upcoming TLC show, ''Counting On.'' Photo Credit: TLC

Ahead of the premiere of their new reality show, "Jill and Jessa: Counting On," the Duggar children opened up about the recent scandals that have surrounded their family and revealed how God has used the troubles for good.

In an interview with ABC News' Paula Faris, several "19 Kids and Counting" stars talked about how they coped after learning that their eldest brother, Josh Duggar, had cheated on his wife of seven years, Anna Duggar, and struggled with a pornography addiction.

Just a few months earlier, it was revealed that Josh had molested five girls, including sisters Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald, back in 2002, when he was 14 years old. The family's hit show was subsequently cancelled amid public outcry.

"The devil took his best shot. And he tried to take our whole family down, but God has really used this to -- instead of tearing us apart as a family, he's using it to draw us together ... We've forgiven, and we're moving on, and we're looking to the future," John-David Duggar said.

Less than a year after the cancellation of "19 Kids and Counting," TLC announced it would air a new mini-series focusing on the lives of Jill and Jessa and their families. The success of the three-part special prompted the network to turn it into a full-blown series, which premieres March 15.

When asked if her family had taken enough time off to heal before returning to the spotlight, Jessa said,  "I think in the midst of what we were walking through, there definitely have to be periods where you're like, 'I don't want cameras around'...[But] if we can encourage even one other person out there who's struggling, then that needs to be our goal ... we've had a lot of healing in our family these past few months and we're ready to move forward and share our lives."

She added that "a lot of surprises" are in store for the upcoming season: "There are lots of exciting things coming up. I mean, we're not going to say anything about the double wedding of the twins, but ..."

"You're just going to have to watch," added John-David. "You know ... we're moving on with our lives, and we're really looking forward to the future. And so we wanted to kind of share that with our fans, the folks that have followed us for years."

ABC News confirmed that Josh, who recently returned home after undergoing treatment at a faith-based rehab for six months, will not appear in the upcoming series.

In an earlier interview with People Magazine, the Duggar children revealed that they have forgiven their brother, but are still working to rebuild trust.

"I definitely have forgiven Josh. It is a process, though, that you have to work through in your heart," Jessa said. "And trust is not quickly rebuilt. It is something that takes a while. We love him very much, though, and we are very hopeful for the future."

Younger sister Joy added: "I have forgiven him and I feel that, but the trust is not there."

Anna, who has four children with Josh, also shared her uncertainty regarding the future of her marriage in a recent promo for "Counting On." "I don't know what I'm stepping into," she said. "I don't know how to handle each situation...It's not anything I ever would have thought I would walk through. [I tell myself,] 'Just do the next right thing, have the next right response for the next 15 minutes.'"