Love was in the air for John-David Duggar on the season premiere of ‘Counting On’! During the episode, he surprised Abbie Burnett with a romantic proposal. Here’s how it went down!
John-David Duggar got engaged to Abbie Burnett after just weeks of courting last summer, and during the season 9 premiere of Counting On on Feb. 11, we finally got to see how the proposal went down. “Abbie and I have been courting for a couple of months now,” John explained in the episode. “We met on a Sunday morning at a church my parents were speaking at. Within the first week, it was almost like we already knew each other forever. Within two weeks of Abbie and I feeling like God was directing us toward a future together, we told my family, and they were just blown away.”
Throughout the episode, John planned his proposal with help from a photographer in Texas named Lori. “My plan is, I’m going to take Jana [Duggar] and fly to Oklahoma,” John explained. “I’ve spoken to Abbie’s sister, Maggie, and Maggie is helping my orchestrate some stuff on that end. I’m going to pick Abbie up, surprise her, fly her to Texas, and I’m going to get down on one knee and ask the love of my life if she would love, hopefully, to spend the rest of her life with me.”
Abbie was cooking in the kitchen with her sisters when John showed up unexpectedly, and she was visibly stunned. “I was shocked to see John walk into the room,” she admitted. “I didn’t think I was going to see him again until tomorrow night!”
Before we saw the proposal, John and Abbie updated viewers on their standards for courtship. “[Our] courtship standards have been slightly different than some of my siblings,” John explained. “We all get to make our decisions on what our standards are. We chose to be able to have some contact, versus no contact. So I’ll put my arm around her, give her a hug. We felt that was appropriate in where we are at this stage of life. We are about ten years older than most of my siblings when they started courtship, so it feels like we’re a little further down the road in terms of maturity in some areas.”
Abbie went on to explain that she and John sat down at the very beginning of their relationship and made their specific guidelines for touching. “Our main goal was to honor God and have no regrets,” she revealed, with John adding, “We’re not going to kiss [before marriage]. We set very strict standards of what is okay and what’s not okay.”
Once John, Abbie, Jana and Maggie arrived in Texas, they had dinner at the airport diner, and then John led his love to another room where Lori had set up a heart made of rose petals. “Life’s been wonderful since May 6,” John David told Abbie. “We started flying — that was the first thing we really did together. So anyway, I wanted to know if you wanted to keep flying with me? The journey of our relationship has been so amazing thus far, but I feel like the time has come for me to ask you about taking the next step. So, I’m kind of wanting to know…do you have anything going on for the rest of your life? Because if you don’t really have any big plans, I’d love for you to spend the rest of your life with me. Will you marry me?”
Of course, Abbie said yes, and it was a super romantic moment. The proposal concluded with a photoshoot. “I think the whole world must’ve stopped at that moment…because I don’t remember much except John being there,” Abbie gushed. Meanwhile, John’s big sister, Jana, couldn’t have been more proud. “John did incredible,” she raved. “It was a success and it was a surprise. Abbie didn’t realize it was here and this was the moment until she actually looked at the room. It was good!”
For John, everything went “perfect” and turned out even “better” than he “hoped it would.” We’ll see this relationship progress as the season continues, and as we know, their wedding already happened in real time back in November. So exciting!