Aug 19, 2007

Dating Ian

1 Corinthians 13, verses four through eight are highlighted in Ian's Bible. "Love is patient and kind, love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not made irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends."

I sometimes wonder what Ian and I look like from the outside. What do people think when we are out on dates? Do they know that we're dating or do they just think that I'm a sister or a friend? For people that do know us, does it seem strange to them that I'm pushing my boyfriend in a wheelchair and talking to him even though he can't talk back to me? People often tell me that any other girl would leave in a situation like this. From the outside, it probably looks as though this relationship is all one-sided right now. Our relationship doesn't look or seem normal because we can't do things that "normal" couples do. I would've thought the same thing before the accident and still do in times of doubt.

But so far I haven't found anything in the Bible that says that our relationship is abnormal or that tells me that I should've walked away. What the Bible does say is that love bears and endures all things. God has given Ian and I love and I am so thankful for it. This is what a relationship looks like to Ian and to me- we are simply God's instruments and He chose to use us in each other's lives in this way. This is the story that God has given us, complete with wheelchairs and therapists. If His will includes it, Ian and I will continue to endure all things together with the love that God has given us. Maybe someday Ian can plan special dates again but either way, I'm just happy to have him in my life.
We love because He first loved us.



hamster said...

Dear Larissa,

I have been reading this blog in silence for a while, and do pray now and then for strength for all of you and recovery for Ian. I don't dare to say I even know half of the pain and struggles that you and Ian's family are going through at this point.

But what strikes me is the obvious reliance on God that all of you have to go through, and trying to stand fast despite the buffeting of words and doubts that Satan throws at all of you. Praise God! You guys are coming through with flying colours and God's name is being honoured with the strength that He gives you and the wisdom He gives you.

Why I chose to comment is not because I know something you don't - or anything like that. In fact, I suspect your strength in this trial is already greater than I can ever achieve. However, I hope what I have to say encourages you - particularly you - to carry on loving Ian.

As a sister in Christ, I believe you know you are already doing the right thing - but where dating is concerned that involves BGR (Boy-Girl relationships) and even marriage. I know that may be too far into the future to even contemplate but the Bible doesn't have much to say about dating - except that where men and women are concerned in full lasting relationships, it's always about marriage. And the Bible has some things to say about marriage in Eph 5:31 - 33.

In context, Paul is explaining how and why husbands and wives should act in their marriages. But he goes on to raise the point that marriages reflect the very marriage of Christ and the church itself - and it's not a huge step to take to realise that marriages on earth should reflect that same one-ness between Christ and the church. And your sacrificial love in action for the man that you love emotionally is simply part of that one-ness.

When others tell you that you should walk away, they are looking at you caring for Ian not just as a sister, but as a potential wife, as someone who wants to spend whatever life that God gives with him. For your interest, they tell you to leave, to move on - but to your great credit, you have seen through to the reality that we should not live to serve ourselves first. And that you have a healthy understanding of relationships - that it's not about fairy tale weddings and happy ever afters, but serving the one God, the true God our Lord who saved us in Christ. I salute you!

I hope that it encourages you that with what you are doing, you are already reflecting that one-ness in Christ - that you serve your loved one when he needs you, and that you're not going to walk away because he can no longer provide you with those "fairytale" or even practical stuff of life. We forget too easily that it's really God who provides everything!

Another titbit about marriage - one of the best known marriage vows include "For better for worse, through sickness and through health" etc. I think you're already living that out despite not being married - and it's really really a great testimony to God that you're willing to do so. Your relationship isn't abnormal.

It's the world that's abnormal (sounds very selfish, but really it's true). Our sinful natures tell us what we want to believe. The Bible tells us who we should believe.

To the family, greetings from Singapore. My prayers are with you, and may God continue to bless you with strength, joy and hope as Ian struggles to recover.

Anonymous said...

As someone who doesn't know you very well, but has seen you and Ian out together, this was my impression:
I remember Ian holding onto your fingers. I think you were behind him at the time, he couldn't see you, but he just held onto your hand, like he cherished it. And I remember thinking "Wow, he loves her so much."

I remember you being very attentive to Ian, very kind and loving.

It was really amazing to see this strong and tender love that God has fashioned between the two of you.

Anyway, I just thought you should know.

Alicia Joy LeBlanc

Anonymous said...

You truly are a Hero of the faith!
Thank you
In Him
Lolly DiMaio
Covenant Fellowship Church

Anonymous said...

You keep "DATING IAN"! He needs you as much as you need him. You two will make it THROUGH. Remember what it says in Psalm 23; He guides us THROUGH the valley. We don't stay in the valley, we get through and go on, as all of you are doing. You give US hope for our "valleys". Prayers are going out each and every day, from my church and from me. Rene and the Latrobe U.P. Church

Anonymous said...

so good to see you both at church yesterday! praying for you!
-mike hartnett

Anonymous said...

God knows His purpose even when we do not. Ian is a very lucky man to have such an amazing woman in his life. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my larissa, thank you for so poignantly answering a question that some have even asked me. Well said........and it is God in your answer. You have found something that some people will look for their whole lifetimes.....and it may seem trite to say it..........but I hope the times without doubt increase.

Anonymous said...

Larissa, When I see you pushing Ian around in his wheelchair and talking to him, I do not think that it is strange. I think that it is an amazing example of Christ's sacrifical love for us. It is a wonderful thing, how much you care for him, in such a selfless way. You are honoring God in the way you care for Ian. And those of us who love God also, see the way you care for Ian and only hope that we can show the same love to our loved ones. Take heart Larissa. The one who sees and knows all, sees your good deeds and is pleased.

Love, Lee Ann Cramer

Anonymous said...

I am praying that the Lord builds in me that faith that I see in you. :) You are truly a hero as you wait so patiently on Him. Know that "no purpose of His can be thwarted." (Job 42:2) God is never late.
Emily Farmer
Covenant Fellowship Church

Anonymous said...

Larissa, dear, you are one in a million!
I know our Heavenly Father looks upon you, His daughter, with love!

Still praying!

Mary Ann K.

Jocelyn said...

Larissa, You understand commitment more than I did after 5 years of marriage. Your example is such a blessing and is honoring to God. I continue to pray that you will not become discourged.

Moriah said...

I love you so much and I am so glad that you are in our family. Your love for Ian is amazing and incredible. God's love is amazing and incredible. I miss you guys all so much!! Tell everyone I said hi!!
Love love love

linda anne said...

i only WISH i could observe you guys on a date. i bet it is so beautiful; absolutely blinding others with an accurate illustration of "in sickness and in health" ... im praying for you. especially for the emotions aspect of this trial in your life. I am so glad however that ian is still alive for you to serve... i know he loves ever minute spent with you..
in christ linda
ps- thanks for being so honest! i love hearing stuff like this, since im across the state

mandy said...

amazing.... inspiring.

Heather said...

Hi Larissa,

I'd heard about your blog through another, and have been blessed to see you continuing in love and perseverence. What an incredible testimony that is writing for you both!

Blessings to you!

JoyinJesus said...

Dear Larissa,

I stumbled upon your blog today. I have tears in my eyes for I see such great evidences of God's grace in your life! Thank you for persevering! I will pray for Ian.

Anonymous said...

I have read this blog and heard much about your faith through Em and Reb... i go to their church in New Orleans. You are choosing to live for the gospel. You display John Piper's 3rd chapter of "Don't Waste Your life"... it's all about living a life with a passion for the cross... you are exceedingly doing that. You are walking by faith. The thing that strikes me the most is that your faith is not in Ian being healed... but your faith is in the goodness of God. That is what Hebrews 11 is all about. You are not living by the standards of this world. And through your doubts, struggles, and sin God is proving Himself faithful in your life.... and you are choosing His grace. Thank you for living with convictions about the gospel. I pray the LORD will make me a woman like that.

Joe.Karen said...

Dear Larissa,

I was introduced to Ian's blog by Alivia's gigi many months ago. Since then, the two of you and the rest of Ian's family have been in our prayers. You are all such amazingly beautiful people. What a testimony you are to so many. Thank you so much for sharing from the heart. I'm so very touched by you. God bless you.