Speaking out. Counting On alum Jill Dillard (née Duggar) broke her silence following her appearance in Amazon Prime’s Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets documentary. 

“Life [is] a journey,” Jill, 32, shared via Instagram on Saturday, June 3, alongside a photo of herself at the beach. “Sometimes courage is built in the toughest storms.”

Fans quickly flooded the comments section with praise of the former reality star’s bravery for speaking out about how she was raised and the family’s religious affiliation

“You did a great job on the documentary! I don’t even see any ‘dishonoring’ of your parents; just facts about what happened and captivating on all the beautiful childhood memories,” one fan commented under Jill’s post. “Keep on doing what you’re doing … Never forget who you are, and who made you the way you are.”

The 19 Kids & Counting alum responded to the fan’s kind words saying, “Thanks. I love my parents.”

Despite her love and affection for her large family, Jill – who is the fourth child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar – has been “distancing” herself from the Arkansas-based clan in recent years. 

“We’re not on the best terms with some of my family,” the mother of three claimed during an October 2020 YouTube Q&A. “We’ve had some disagreements and stuff, but we’re working towards healing definitely and restoration. We’re having to kind of just take some time and heal and just doing what’s best for our family right now.”

She continued, “We are praying and trusting God that like the timeline is his and what that looks like and everything. So we definitely appreciate your prayers, and we don’t want to go into detail too much.”

In the four-part docuseries, which premiered on the streaming platform on Thursday, June 1, Jill went on to say that Jim Bob “controls a lot of things in the family.”

“Family relationships were already kinda rocky … Everything within the family dynamic has shifted, and not for the better,” she continued, as her husband, Derick Dillard, added, “We’re very much on the outside with the family.”

For their part, Jim Bob, 57, and Michelle, 56, spoke out just moments after the documentary about their family was released, saying, “We love every member of our family and will continue to do all we can to have a good relationship with each one.”

“The recent ‘documentary’ that talks about our family is sad because in it we see the media and those with ill intentions hurting people we love. Like other families, ours too has experienced the joys and heartbreaks of life, just in a very public format,” the couple shared via their family website on Thursday, June 1. “This ‘documentary’ paints so much and so many in a derogatory and sensationalized way because sadly that’s the direction of entertainment these days.”

They went on to say that they believe “the best chance to repair damaged relationships” is to do so privately. 

“Through both the triumphs and the trials we have clung to our faith all the more and discovered that through the love and grace of Jesus, we find strength, comfort, and purpose,” they concluded.

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at contact@intouchweekly.com.