Joy-Anna Duggar Confesses: My Parents' Religion Is Too Strict!

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Back in May of 2017, Joy-Anna Duggar married Austin Forsyth.

Just nine months later, Joy welcomed her first child.


Needless to say, at just 20 years old, Joy is already eagerly following in the footsteps of her mother and older sisters by devoting her life to marriage and motherhood in accordance with her family's religious views.

But it seems she wasn't always thrilled with the prospect of keeping the faith.

In a newly released preview of tonight's episode of Counting On, Joy is seen giving a heartfelt speech the rehearsal dinner for Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell's wedding.

It seems Joy and Joe share a special bond, and he apparently helped through an extraordinarily difficult period in her youth.

Joy-Anna and Austin for TLC

As she reveals in her speech, Joy had some serious doubts about the religious beliefs that shaped her upbringing, and Joe was both a guiding light and a source of love and support during this uncertain time.

"I can’t speak and cry. It’s terrible. First of all I want to say that Joe, I’m so thankful for you,” Joy says in her speech.

“You really did change my life."

Joy goes on to reveal that her crisis of faith made her feel like an outsider at times, and Joe was always quick to remind her that she still belongs:

Joy-Anna, Austin, Gideon

“Just through my teen years, I think I was having a hard time taking my parents’ faith as my own and you really befriended me as an older brother, and [were] the first in the morning to say ‘I love you’ and ‘What are you going to do today?’ and stuff like that," she says.

"It just really meant a lot to me.”

It doesn't sound like Joy ever fully abandoned her parents' belief system or explored other faiths, but this is the first time that one of Michelle and Jim Bob's children has admitted to harboring doubts about the beliefs that dominate all aspects of life in the Duggar home.

It's a reminder that Joy was once the Duggar deemed most likely to "break away" and pursue a life far from her parents' home that looked very different from the environment she was raised in.

Joy and Austin Forsyth

A tomboy who seemed more interested in sports and the outdoors than marriage and family, Joy seemed to have little interest in pursuing the life that had been assigned to her at birth according to her gender.

Needless to say, these days she's given up the struggle and seems happy in her pious, domestic life she's built for herself.

Her parents are likely thrilled - but it's a disappointing turn of events for many Duggar fans.

Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV's most controversial family.

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