"We fell in love very quickly. And it's been a wonderful journey thus far and taking the next step to move onto a courtship," says John David Duggar

By Natalie Stone
June 26, 2018 03:22 PM

John David Duggar is in love!

The 28-year-old son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar is courting Abbie Burnett, the family announced on the Duggar website Tuesday.

“We are so excited to announce the courtship of John David and Abbie! John David brings our hearts so much joy and we’ve watched him faithfully pray, wait, and trust God for the right girl to come along! Now, a beautiful relationship has blossomed between the two of them. We can’t wait to see what the Lord will do in the future,” the parents wrote in a joint statement.

TLC

In a TLC video shared on the family website, John David introduces his girlfriend, who works as a nurse, to Counting On fans.

“We have some exciting news!” John David says as Burnett, 26, adds, “We are in a courtship.”

“Abbie and I are just so excited. We’ve known of each other for several years, but we didn’t meet ’til …” says John David as Burnett chimes in, “John flew in for a church event here in Oklahoma where I’m from. We really got connected then.”

“Yeah, a couple months ago,” notes John David, who shares, “We fell in love very quickly. And it’s been a wonderful journey thus far and taking the next step to move onto a courtship.”

Says Burnett, “A lot of prayer, a lot of counsel, a lot of time together.”

In 2014, oldest brother Josh told PEOPLE that the Duggars don’t “date,” they “court.”

“A courtship is a path toward marriage,” he said. During the courtship period, possible mates spend time together with family members there to supervise, never alone.

As for the physical parameters, “Emotions get heated the closer you get,” mom Michelle Duggar told PEOPLE at the time. “You’re like two magnets being pulled together. You need boundaries.”

The courtship comes at an exciting time for the Duggar family, who will be soon be welcoming another family member. Next month, Jinger Duggar is due to welcome her first child, a baby girl, with husband Jeremy Vuolo.

Us Weekly first reported the news of the courtship.

Counting On returns July 30 at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.

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