Jun 14, 2012

Power of the Home - Part 2

Below is our second guest post on Power of the Home.

Kathie handed us the pre-marital counseling manual on our way out of the church building. This was big – I had seen other couples with this manual and wondered what that stage of life must have felt like. Scared? Excited? Anxious? It felt weird to be holding the white, three ring binder with the yellow card stock inserted into the clear plastic cover sleeve. “From the Ground Up,” the black, swirly ink looked me in the eye. I didnʼt know if we would ever get here, because Ian was sick, and because holding this binder meant being courageous.

But five minutes into the first message on the CD at Ianʼs momʼs house just about did me in. I sent our pastor a quick email and said that we just couldnʼt do it. His response, more than gracious, as expected, was that we could skip the binder and find another plan that would be more helpful for us.

I couldnʼt do it because the message and the chapter topics of that binder felt so, meaningless. At least to us. In that stage. It simply wasnʼt helpful for me to hear examples of the practical ways our lives would change or the specific examples of leadership and submission that we should be preparing to exhibit. We just needed our souls to be cared for. And we needed to have such a big view of God that would allow our marriage to feel possible. We knew that Ianʼs leadership would look different than the examples in that binder. We knew that my submission would be manifested differently too. The content in that binder has and will continue to help so many marriages, and is so important. But it wasnʼt for us.

But God still met us. Clinging to His word, particularly the illustration of Christʼs covenant keeping love to the church (Ephesians 5:22-33), we sought to understand what this would look like in our lives. We had regular counsel with our pastor and talked about what our lives specifically would look like, as much as we could anticipate. We prayed a lot. We teeter-tottered between fear and peace. We wondered if we would someday grow old and watch our grandkids play. We wondered if our marriage would be brief, being ended in youth by death. And we wondered how in the world we would enjoy each other every disabled day.

Now nearing our two year anniversary, as I sit and write this, Ian is holding my right foot on his lap. Heʼs watching me type as the fan hums, desperately trying to pull the cool air out of the vents on a humid night. I look up and heʼs looking right at me, “Are you uncomfortable, Larissa?” “No, Iʼm ok. Thank you for asking.” “You looked uncomfortable.”My smile sneaks up, because this is enjoyment, a husband that watches me, and sits with me, and loves. And because we have a God that is bigger than our marriage, we can rest.


Gloria said...

So inspired, and so filled with awe.

Thank you for being a reminder of what it is to truly love.

Larissa, you have my respect.

And Ian, I salute you. You exemplify what it is to be a man of God.

May God bless you both richly.

dejamos said...

I love the work of God in you, is beauty to know tha He is improving you in his love, his faith, and in his son Christ. I'm from Argentina, here we are some people knowing your testimony and praying for you. Love. Juan.

Joan Ruiz romeo said...

Peace, dear LArissa and Ian

Larissa, in your blog for new readers you say something I keep remembering every time I read your blogs,

We have been blessed with good biblical teaching and we know that God is sovereign

God is good! He gave you beforehand what He knew you would need later, good biblical teaching, namely about His soverignity...
Think of so many children of God who live a defeated life because their pastor or teacher has never taught them about God's attributes, namely this one...
Yes, Ian, God is awesome!

I pray for Ian
May the grace of Jesus be with you

Barcelona, Spain

Anne said...

Your writing and your life together are a beautiful reflection of Christ's love for us. We live with our grown son Dustin who has been brain injured since birth and is the soul of this family.
I appreciate this prayer /St. Augustine. As we are all comrades in the caregiving and care receiving .You are an encouragement. May you both be encouraged also today!

"God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down: When the road seems dreary and endless, the skies gray and threatening;  When our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, turn our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; Tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; And so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life   to Your honor and glory. Amen"

Kristy said...

Thank you for reminding us all that God is big - that with Him, we can love selflessly and be satisfied and even happy. Even for those of us who do not live with outward disabilities, many of us deal with other disabilities in marriage. Thank you for showing me, that even though those issues may not change, I can and am to love like Christ loves the church:)

Mrs.Rabe said...

There is so much beauty and tenderness in the relationship you have. Praise God for it and thank you for sharing your lives.

It is helping my young adult daughters to look for what is important in a mate -

Thank you


Leslie Dawn said...

Do they still consider Ian to be in a coma? He's as sharp as a arrow in the Master's hand. Full of Love for all to see♥