Jan 18, 2010

Counting the Cost

Marriage is a huge decision. Every couple pursuing marriage must count the costs of a lifetime commitment. For some couples the cost can be as big as giving up a career to move to a new place, or as "small" as giving up holiday traditions to make new ones with in-laws.

The cost of our marriage seems more extreme. And it's not a "picture perfect" wedding that it sometimes feels like the rest of the world has or will have. Ian has a brain injury. Steve died from cancer. We have very little financial means. It's a possibility we won't be able to have children. The list of the "costs" goes on for awhile.

But all of these costs could happen in every single marriage. It's just that we know them in advance. There are no guarantees that anyone will ever be spared of these hardships and "costs." What's guaranteed is that we will have troubles.

So, I guess that logically brings us to why would we get married? Well, as simple as it is, because we love each other. And we enjoy each other. And we believe that Ian was created to be my husband and me to be his helper. Our marriage will look way different than we imagined four years ago. But it must mean something that I can't look at Ian without smiling. And that he has struggled every day for three years to get better- for me.

I hope this doesn't sound preachy. (no offense to our pastors who read this:) ) This is just the truth that I have to come back to at the end of the day through our engagement, as we wrestle through all of the costs and blessings this marriage will bring. Our marriage could last one month, five years, fifty years, until one of us goes to be with God. The most wonderful thing I can think of doing while anxiously waiting for that to happen, is to go through this crazy lifetime, as long or short as it may be, as husband and wife.

Thank you for always praying. I can't believe people still read what I have to write after three years.......wow.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for your clear, honest, and godly writing. May the Lord bless you both.

Melinda said...

I've been following your blog for over a year now and regularly keep you, Ian and the rest of the family in my prayers.

I never knew how much encouragement and faith you would input into my life! And now, as a recently engaged young lady myself, i'm learning even more how to view marriage and how to walk through this time with a biblical view.

I wanted to thank you for keeping up this blog, for updating us as we pray, and for pouring out the wisdom you have learned through your circumstances so we can all learn and grow from them as well.

Even though I live hundreds of miles away and we have never meet face to face i love you guys and one day I know we will meet (even if that means in heaven) and i hope then I can even more adequately thank you for your faith and your lives!

God Bless,
Melinda p
*Miami, fl

ps this week our church is fasting and praying together and I will particularly be lifting you both up in my prayers as you plan this wedding and the rest of your lives together.

babydoc said...

As I said recently, I am so excited for you, would love to send you something if I can have a postal addy, my email is flospyflospy@gmail.com

Liz , UK

Jess and Krissy said...

I've been following your story for several months. I was so excited when you announced the engagement! I think that you're very brave, and I know that God gives you both strength through each other to endure.

My husband and I have been married a little over a year. I have Multiple Sclerosis, and while it's very different from a brain injury, there are some similarities. When I was diagnosed nearly two years ago, I was sure no one would "want me" because I was sick. Four months later I re-met my husband, and we were married three months after that. I firmly believe God created him specifically for me. He meets all of my needs with grace and dignity. I've seen the same grace and dignity in you, and I want to say thank you. You are both a blessing to me as I read your words.

Melinda said...

This week our church is having a time of prayer/fasting and I wanted to let you guys know that I will be particularly praying for you both as you plan a wedding and prepare for the rest of your lives together.

I began reading this blog over a year ago and have been praying for you all faithfully as I read the updates and the Lord put you on my heart. Little did I know how much of an impact it would have on MY life!! Your faith and strength amidst such great trials is a testimony to me and strengthens me!

I'm also recently engaged and I have so benefited from your exhortations on engagement/ relationships/ marriage as I also prepare myself, my heart, and my life to be united with another, till death parts us.

Even though we've never meet and our first conversation may end up being in heaven.... i love you guys, you are dear to my heart, brothers & sisters in Christ and I look forward to seeing you face to face to express my thankfulness for your lives!!

In Him,
Melinda p
*Miami, fl

lis said...

So well said. So encouraging and convicting.

I've been following your blog for a couple years, ever since Carolyn McCulley mentioned your story on her blog.

SO rejoicing with you!

Anonymous said...

~ You are the most committed person I know~ For many reasons -- You are a saint ...........Blessings to both of you ALWAYS !

Amber said...

Ian & Larissa,
Your marriage will be beautiful and perfect. When you are at the altar saying your vows to one another holding each other hands and God holding the other one, you make the perfect triangle that God created for us. What a wonderful blessing He gave to us. For us to be able to open our hearts and love someone so much, yet God loves us soooo much more. Even with all the "costs" that will occur, God will be there holding both your hands to form that perfect triangle. This was meant for both of you. :)
your praying sister in Christ,

Anonymous said...

...y'know...I should possibly stop reading this blog from work...cos many times it brings tears to my eyes!

I'm sure our Heavenly Father is so pleased with you, His daughter, and will bestow many wonderful (and surprising!) blessings on yours and Ian's marriage!

Still Praying!

Mary Ann K.

Anonymous said...

thank you, as always, for sharing.

I have found that with great "cost" often comes the greatest joy. The joy you have in each other is evident in every picture you post.

You will continue to be in our prayers!

Anonymous said...

Though we have never met I'm encouraged to read what you have to write. So thanks for sharing and know that the Lord is using you both in the lives of others you may never
meet on this earth.
Thanking my God for your Gospel-Christ centered example. It truly is a breath of fresh air to witness!
Wendy in MD

Anonymous said...

Larissa and Ian
Picture perfect marriage – what is that?
As I was reading your post, and as I have been following the news of the devastation in Haiti, I was wondering about the reasons that God causes all this suffering to such innocent people. I wondered also about the reasons that God took such a special person (Steve) from us in this life - I am looking at the beautiful picture of Steve in my office. I could not find satisfactory answer to any of my questions, so I clapped my hands and put it into where it should rightly belong - into the hands of God.
Larissa, do you know how special you are. Do you know how profoundly you impacted the life of many through your faith. Yes, the challenges are mounting, the costs are potentially enormous and the odds for having a picture perfect marriage is limited (Please tell me of “picture perfect marriage” if you find one – I cannot find any). But you have something that is enormously valuable. You have something that no money can buy and no picture perfect marriage is able to create - You have your faith. Yes I share your concerns, but once again I clap my hands and put of these concerns into the hands of God.
I want to share a story that I watched over the satellite station. A man was paralyzed head down. He is unable to move any part of his body, except his lips. He got married lately, and with the grace of God, the same couple is managing a computer software company. This man talks to the computer through a device that reads the movement of his lips. Through this limited movement, he is able to write computer programs and also manage his company. This is the beauty of God represented in this man that created a computer company despite the mounting challenges that faced them. To me, this is better than any picture perfect marriage that I know.
May God bless every step you take as you leap into your future together. We love you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I have never met you and Ian, however, I am blessed by your presence through the blog. Your words carry such insight and inspiration. They help us to feel that we are all parts of the body of Christ and that we all work together. I pray for you and Ian everyday and I rejoice in your great love. I appreciate your outreach through the blog. You touch the lives of many with your love.

Sharon said...

Enjoying your thoughts, and sharing in your delights...

Two such as you with such a master speed
Cannot be parted nor be swept away
From one another once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar.
ROBERT FROST, The Master Speed

Anonymous said...

What an insightful post! You two are so strong, and such a good example for all of us. What ever time God gives to us, our job is to do our best to follow HIS word and be an example to others. You two sure fit that bill! My prayers are with you all each and every day. I will be off line for two weeks, but know that my prayes will continue - each and every day! Rene (Altoona)

Rochelle said...

I've only met you and Ian once (at a conference almost 4 years ago) but I knew then that God had made you for each other.

When my husband and I were getting married, the pastor who married us (also a friend and our boss), asked us why we wanted to get married. He said that as long as we believed that it was God's perfect plan for us to be married, that to ever not be married would be sin. It's clear that you and Ian know this more than any couple I've ever "known".

Please know that I am praying for you daily and that I'm celebrating God's best in your lives every day. I believe that God placed you in my life to remind me what it means to live in service to Him, and to be a loyal and respectful wife.

Rochelle Kennedy
Murfreesboro, TN

Anonymous said...

I pray for a long and healthy marriage for both you and Ian. You are absolutely right - you have no idea what will happen in your lifetime... Had you asked me a year ago what I thought my marriage would be like - it would be very different than my life now. I was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia 8 months into my marriage and then lost a baby due to the cancer. God is good though - he is seeing me through, guiding me, etc. You have been such a wonderful "helper" to Ian, and I think that you will make a fantastic wife to him. You inspire me to continue to do better - to continue to try even when I want to give up. Thank you for that. I look forward to seeing the updates of your wedding as it progresses.

Jacqui Buckley

Joy Z said...

I can't tell you how excited I am for you two! I have been thinking for months now, "I hope they just hurry up and get married"!
Blessings to you both!

Anonymous said...


I want to thank you for the example that you are to me. I will be married July 31, 2010 and hope to be more like you. What I see in you is something I desire in becoming a wife. You stand, support, encourage and most importantly, you lay yourself down for the person that you love. What qualities to have BEFORE you are married! Those things you do for Ian only reflect what you probably do for your Heavenly "Husband." Marriage is a vehicle to getting to know your God SO much more! I pray that your marriage is blessed...and this time of waiting is blessed too. "The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD." (Proverbs 18:22)What favor and blessing Ian has in store! May the Lord continue to build you up and put in you all that Ian would need as a helper. Thank you for being such an example to me.

Hannah Stultz

Anonymous said...

God bless you guys!

Anonymous said...

awed by Him and you both. i can hardly express words other to to shout 'only because of you jesus could this be writtten.' i wish i could say more..my heart 'kvels' which in yiddish means 'overflows with love with capital letters.'
yes l & i we/i and many many others read your posts cuz it seems clear that God has used you both to bless so many others.
jb and mj

luvnlife90 said...

I have been following this blog for some time now, but never felt compelled to post. I wanted to say congratulations on your engagement. Being married is the most incredible thing ever!!

I am a professional photographer, and if you haven't already hired a photographer, depending on the date, I will do it for free. Please email me at:
luvnlife90@hotmail.com if you are interested. I hope that I can be of some help.

Anonymous said...

larissa, i loved reading this post. thanks so much for writing it. i think of you and ian often as a fellow engaged couple...*high five*...we are so excited for you both!!! thanks so much for the save the date card. i LOVE them. we can't wait to be there. :)

<3 cori bitterman

Abbi S said...

Ian and Larissa, I've been praying for you guys for a long time and I continue to be blessed by God's work in your lives. I'm so excited for you to be getting married this year!! Congratulations, and praise to Jesus!

Desi said...

I just want to thank you both for loving God and each other the way you do, and for sharing your story. I first heard about your situation from the short video that came out some time ago, and my initial reaction was rather negative and judgemental. In my mind, Larissa was giving her life up and was only marrying Ian because she felt it was the "Godly" thing to do, rather than it being something she truly wanted/felt she should do. A year later, after reading through several of your blogs, I can see now how ignorant and insensitive I was. I was merely projecting my own issues with love and commitment and faith onto your situation. SO I want to apologize, and I also want to let you know that your story is inspirational. Thanks for changing my mind with your sincerity and devotion.