Jinger Duggar and Husband Jeremy Vuolo Detail Why Their Romance Almost Didn't Happen in New Book

Jinger Vuolo Instagram
Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo and Jeremy Vuolo reflect on their lives, relationships and the trials they face as a family.
(Most recently, following the arrest of their older brother Josh Duggar last week, the couple said in a joint statement: "We are concerned to hear about the charges against Josh. While this case has to go through the legal system, we want him "It is clear that we absolutely condemn all child abuse and fully support the authorities and the judicial process in their pursuit of justice." Josh has pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him.)
In their new book, The Hope We Hold: Finding Peace in the Promises of God, the Counting On stars revealed details about their love story on Tuesday, including the fact that their marriage almost failed to materialize.
In June 2016, PEOPLE exclusively announced that Jinger, one of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's 19 children, was courting the former professional footballer. That July, the couple were engaged - good news, saying "I do" to nearly 1,000 guests on television just months before a wedding officiated by Jeremy's father Chuck's television in November.
Of course, TLC viewers have followed the couple's love story, including their honeymoon in Australia and their time in Laredo, Texas as newlyweds.
And now the two, who currently live in Los Angeles with daughters Felicity, 2, and 5-month-old Evangeline Jo, are giving fans an even bigger behind-the-scenes look at their backgrounds and life stories - including momentary 27-year-old Jinger lost feelings for 33-year-old Jeremy before they finally advertised - in their new book.
RELATED: A Guide for Everyone in the Duggar Family
Worthy Books, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. The hope we hold
Below PEOPLE has an exclusive excerpt detailing why Jinger initially felt she could "not relate to Jeremy" and how he picked up the "damning" news.
Jinger
I was deaf sitting in the empty dormitory. I sat on the bed, leaned against the dark wooden headboard and closed my eyes. I wanted to feel something, anything. But I could not.
That's crazy! I thought. What's wrong with me
None of that made sense. I thought back to Sunday evening, the butterflies I had felt when I saw Jeremy's car pull into the conference campsite on the edge of campus. The conversation went smoothly and I was attracted to him as always. We spent most of Monday together and mom and dad even took us out for chicken tacos at a Mexican-Italian fusion restaurant called Stinky Fat Boys. It wasn't a romantic name for a restaurant, but we had the best time. I practically floated on a cloud to my dorm after saying good night to him.
Then something shifted for reasons I couldn't understand. When I was talking to mom and dad that evening, I suddenly knew I couldn't do it. I couldn't start a relationship with Jeremy. Something was bothering me. There were so many conflicting opinions and I felt like I would separate my family and friends if I moved forward. If I said yes to Jeremy, I would open the floodgates for other people's opinions and criticism. My heart was hardened. It felt like I wasn't myself and something beyond my control was happening.
Jinger Vuolo Instagram Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar with Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo, Jinger's daughter Felicity and Jeremy Vuolo
Now that I knew Dad was telling Jeremy the bad news, I couldn't even bring myself to feel empathy for him. The room seemed dark even though it was morning.
Why can't I like him now? I thought. I've wanted this for so long. The whole time I've been looking forward to this moment. Why can't I go through this?
"Jinge, what's wrong?" Mama and Jessa asked me. They knew how much I cared for Jeremy, how excited I had been to see him at the conference. It was no secret in our home that I fell in love with him and everyone expected us to start our relationship this week. "What exactly has changed?" I could only shake my head. "I don't know," I said without emotion. "I don't know why. It doesn't make any sense. I have no reason for it, I just can't do it."
Jeremy
I practically stepped on the accelerator as I drove down the Texas Highway. I didn't know where I was going. All I knew was that I had to get out of there, away from the dormitory where Mr. Duggar had delivered the damning news, away from the campus where I thought my relationship with Jinger would begin.
Anger and confusion overwhelmed me. I fell victim to the ultimate bait and switched. If Jinger wasn't interested, the past five months had all been a wild goose hunt. Lord what's the matter? I prayed. I've wasted half a year of my life! I'm a pastor of a church, I'm persecuting Christ and now I'm being torn around. I have no time for that! I was ticked.
My thoughts were interrupted when my phone vibrated in my pocket. It was ben.
"Dude what's wrong?" he asked. "Jinger said no?"
He convinced me to go back to campus and pick him up. I sat dejected when he got into the car.
"Let me talk to her," said Jessa. "There has to be a way we can fix this." I shrugged. "Sure. But I have to get out of here."
Ben and I picked up the phone, leaving Jessa to meet with Jinger. We drove to a cemetery, of all places, for an hour and a half. I had heard that several heroes of the faith were buried in Garden Valley Cemetery, including Keith Green, a Christian musician, and Leonard Ravenhill, an evangelist and author. I had already planned to visit at some point, but it probably wasn't the best place for someone in the middle of a heartbreak. On the way home, we stopped for coffee in a shop ironically called The Journey.
"Ben, take a picture of me sitting in front of this coffee place," I said, "because I was on a trip."
We returned and found Jessa completely confused.
"I can't find out," she said, shaking her head. "She said she was confused and she doesn't understand why, but she doesn't want to move forward."
Jinger Vuolo Instagram Jeremy Vuolo and Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo
I made up my mind right away that I wasn't going to leave. If she said, "He's an idiot and I don't like him," I'd be hurt, but I would understand. But hearing that she was confused and couldn't tell me that there was hope. If there was a misunderstanding, it was nothing that couldn't be overcome.
Excerpt from The Hope We Hold by Jinger and Jeremy Vuolo. (Copyright 2021) Used with permission from Worthy Books, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
The hope we have of finding peace in the promises of God is now over.
In this article:
Jeremy Vuolo
Josh Duggar
Jinger Duggar Vuolo
Jim Bob Duggar

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