This is the second in a 4-part series on This Momentary Marriage – The Story of Ian and Larissa. You may want to start with the first one, The Story of Ian and Larissa by John Piper before continuing.
By Larissa Murphy
“You will never regret loving this much.”
John was there, watching our wedding, just a few months after his dear wife had passed. She lived with cancer for too many years, and for each day in each year, John was her lover and her caregiver. He knew what we were getting into that day. He knew the costs. I looked at him sitting on the old, wooden benches, without her next to him. The two little wooden birds that he whittled sat on our cake, on top of his love inscription. And his spoken words after meant so much, reminding me that love like this is unable to produce regret.
Unlike John, and many couples, we didnʼt face sickness when we were grandparents. We started there. And it was severe.
The Heart of Man
Ian and I had planned to get married as soon as we graduated from college in December of 2006. But instead, everything was halted with his brain injury, which he received on September 30 of that year in a car accident. And so instead of getting married when we were young and healthy and naive, we waited four years and got married when he was sick and disabled and we were still grieving.
The decision to get married was one of the hardest but simplest decisions weʼll face. Iʼve heard that choosing marriage for anyone can raise doubts and fears. I think a disability takes those normal fears, and multiplies them.
Marrying Ian meant that I was signing on to things that I donʼt think I ever wouldʼve chosen for myself — working my whole life, having a husband who canʼt be left alone, managing his caregivers, remembering to get the oil changed, advocating for medical care, balancing checkbooks, and on. The practical costs felt huge, and those didnʼt even touch on the emotional and spiritual battles that I would face.
But in light of all the practicals, and emotionals, it was so very simple: we love each other. And we love God. And we believe He is a sovereign and loving God who rules all things.
Our pastor who married us, Mark Altrogge, was with us on the day that our marriage was approved by a local judge. Because of Ian’s condition, the courts had to decide that it was in his best interest to be married. Mark said that he’ll never forget the words of the judge who approved our marriage license: “You two exemplify what love is all about. I believe that marriage will not only benefit you both but our community, and hope that everyone in this city could see your love for one another.”
We don’t know if that judge loved Jesus, but I think that he saw Jesus’ love that day in us. It was a glimpse to us of the glory that God would bring forth in our marriage. Along with us, Mark’s confidence in our marriage was faith in the One who promised to never leave us or forsake us.
Read the rest at Desiring God