Big news out of Northwest Arkansas this week.
In fact, this is the update that some Duggar fanas have been awaiting for over a decade.
Yes, rumor has it that Jana Duggar is being courted by Stephen Wissmann, an Arkansas-based pilot, and (of course) staunch evangelical Christian.
This is big news for the entire Counting On community, but there’s one person in particular who’s more overjoyed than anyone else.
We’re talking, of course, about Jim Bob Duggar.
Yes, as happy as Jana and Stephen might be, their glee is surely no match for Jim Bob’s.
That’s because the news that his eldest daughter has found love frees Jim Bob from worrying about two of his most persistent problems:
1. The ongoing single-ness of Jana which seemed to run counter to the Duggar theory that women are put on earth in order to breed.
2. The rumors about Jana’s relationship with Laura DeMasie.
If you’re a follower of Duggar drama then we probably don’t need to tell you who Laura is.
But for the uninitiated, here’s a quick recap of the situation:
Laura is Jana’s best friend, but a good number of Duggar fans believe the women are much more than friends.
We don’t claim to know the exact nature of their relationship, but we do know that the rumors about Jana and Laura seemed to irritate Jim Bob.
In fact when she took a job in Atlanta, it was widely reported that Laura had been sent away by Jana’s dad.
These days, however, Laura is back in Arkansas.
She was even invited to Jim Bob and Michelle’s house on Super Bowl Sunday.
So how has she been affected by Jana’s relationship with Stephen?
Well, for one thing, she’s been permitted to return from exile.
Yes, even though we just found out about this week, it seems that Jana and Stephen have been courting since at least December.
She even joined the Wissman family in Nebraska for their Christmas celebration.
The whole thing was very hush-hush, of course, but photos have emerged showing Jana enjoying the holiday with her possible future in-laws (below).
So Jana spent Christmas bonding with the Wissmans, and by early February, Laura was back in Arkansas.
Coincidence? Oh, it could be, of course.
But the amount of control that Jim Bob exercises over his kids’ lives doesn’t leave much room for coincidences.
So in all likelihood, the two events were related.
As for how Laura feels about the situation … well, that’s anyone’s guess, and we’ll probably never have a satisfactory answer.
If the Duggars and their allies are good at anything, it’s keeping secrets.
And if there’s a specific reason that Jana stayed single so much longer than her siblings, it will probably remain buried forever.
And if the eldest Duggar daughter defied her parents teachings by entering a same-sex relationship, that secret will almost certainly die with Jana and Laura.
But no matter what happens, you can rest assured that there’s far more going on here than Jim Bob would have you believe.