They met in college and fell in love. They talked about getting married, and he started looking for a ring. They dreamed about life together, a life of beauty and joy, raising babies and laughing with friends and growing old.
They did not imagine a car accident. They did not imagine his brain injury. They did not dream about the need for constant care and a wheelchair and fear that food might choke him. They did not plan for this.
Ian and Larissa Murphy tell their story in a short film produced by Citygate Films (whose director, Carolyn McCulley, has written for Her.meneutics) for John Piper's Desiring God website. Ian did not choose his injury, but together he and Larissa chose to get married after the initial years of his recuperation. They chose to bind themselves to one another in front of a host of witnesses and the presence of the Lord. They chose a hard road marked and guided by love.
In the film and in three accompanying blog posts, Larissa speaks and writes about their journey as a couple. She helped care for Ian for four years after his initial accident, and she says that once Ian was able to communicate again, they began discussing marriage. She doesn't offer all the details of their decision, but she makes it clear that she thought and prayed long and hard about this choice:
Marrying Ian meant that I was signing on to things that I don't think I ever would've chosen for myself—working my whole life, having a husband who can't 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 didn't even touch on the emotional and spiritual battles that I would face. But in light of all the practicals, ...1
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