The Duggars have their problems, everybody knows that, but sometimes, every once in a while, they can actually be pretty cute.
And this weekend, one of them was darn near precious.
On Friday, Ben Seewald celebrated his 22nd birthday. Yeah, you’d think he’d be a little older, what with being married with two children, but hey, it’s the Duggars.
What can you do?
So Ben had his birthday, and to celebrate, Jessa Duggar wrote just the sweetest little letter to him and slapped it up on the family’s website.
She begins the letter by telling Ben that she’s been reminiscing about how their relationship began, and “just thinking about how blessed I am to do life with you!”
“When first I laid eyes on you,” she writes, “a dapper seventeen-year-old young man, I never could’ve dreamt of what the future held for us.”
She explains that the first time she met Ben, they were at church on Sunday morning, and their eyes just happened to meet across the pews.
“Our first conversation was slightly awkward because we both wanted to say ‘Hey!’ but we were a bit nervous,” Jessa recalls.
“You tried to break the ice. ‘Is that an iPhone?’ you questioned, pointing at the device I was fumbling around in my hands. I held up my beat-up iPhone 3 in a lime green case.”
“‘Yeah, it’s an ancient one.’ You were an android user at that point (though I’ve since converted you), so I guess that was a genuine inquiry.”
After that, their families interrupted, and their first conversation was over.
Ah, young love.
Jessa says that after that first meeting, it took three weeks for Ben to show up at the Duggar’s church again, and after that service, her brothers invited him over to the compound.
They seemed to have a good time, so Ben made the trip back once a month, and after a while, he brought up the idea of transferring schools to be closer to Jessa.
This whole time, if you can believe it, she wasn’t sure about his age, and when she found out that he was over two years younger than her, she thought “Surely he wouldn’t be interested in an older gal.”
But he was!
“Over those next few months,” Jessa says, “we talked a lot during your visits. And the more we talked, the more I started to fall for you.”
“It was as if I couldn’t help myself. I didn’t know many guys in their 30’s with the passion for Christ that you had! I was amazed by the depth of the spiritual conversations we would have. You went deep with God.”
How could a girl resist that?
They continued meeting, and between meetings, they texted. Eventually he asked her on a date, and then shortly after that, they decided to “spend forever together.”
Jessa — sweet Jessa — says that she told Ben to “buy me a ring from Claire’s,” and that she “didn’t care if it turned my finger green if it meant we could save up quicker for our future together!”
But he saved up until he could buy her a diamond, and almost a year later, he proposed in a chapel decorated with candles and rose petals.
After that, of course, they had their gorgeous wedding, then began their life together.
She makes a long list of things she loves about Ben, including the way he supports her but still pushes her to try things out of her comfort soon, his corny sense of humor, and his tenderness.
“You are so tender with our children,” she gushes. “Spurgeon loves wrestling with you, and playing hide & seek. Henry loves ‘talking’ to you! His face lights up and he gets so excited when you’re around!”
“There is just so much more that I could say,” Jessa finishes, “but I shall close for now with this: I know that I married up. God has blessed me beyond measure in giving me you! I am so thankful for you!”
“Happy birthday, Lovey!”
Congrats on all the love, you crazy kids.