Feb 26, 2013

it's not pity





i struggle sometimes with the focus of our blog, our book, our encouragement from others. sometimes the encouragement, unintentionally, makes ian into an object of pity. 

sometimes ian's value is sacrificed with a well-intended encouragement to me.

sometimes all i hear is that i've made a sacrifice. that i've made a hard choice. that i'm the focus.

sometimes we forget that the one who is disabled has made a sacrifice.

as we sat this weekend at a film festival, i looked at ian sitting next to me. i listened to the screen, to the documentary voices telling me about the gift of stepping into the darkness of loss and disability and grief.

i looked at ian who i came into this darkness with and who is a pure gift to me.

i didn't know how to love until ian. i didn't know how to love until God led us into darkness, together. 

ian has fought for seven years. ian has entered into marriage knowing that he would have infinite losses. he knew that he would be marrying someone who wouldn't always feel in love with him and who wouldn't always be kind. he knew that he would live an entire life of giving up his preferences and thinking of someone else first and making hard decisions for the sake of Christ, all with a disability. he could have given up or chosen despair or been afraid that God couldn't keep our love.

i asked ian last night why he married me.

laughing, "because I love you."

ian is not to be pitied. i am not to be pitied. God is to be rejoiced. 

the foundation of all that we are is love. love saved us. love moves us. love molds us. 

this, for us, was not learned in health.

23 comments:

Christine said...

Wonderful insight and kindly stated for all to absorb. I do not see either of you as individuals to be pitied, but as instruments of His grace, and examples of His grace. Love reading your blog and I'm so grateful to have found it!

mercygraceword said...

Spot on, thank you so much for this.
The LORD be magnified.

Jan said...

I think you just wrote a great intro to your book. :) I stand in amazement at what you do daily and in amazement with the accomplishments and strides that Ian continues to make. You two certainly have a love that is God orchestrated and a lived out testimony to His goodness. Praying for you both as God continues to guide you in your writing.

Kathia said...

Yes. Thank you for explaining to me what this darkness is for.

Maureen Hartnett said...

I think it is hard for those who have not experienced great trials to know the grace that is afforded to those who do. For instance, I have found that it is only when I had no money, that I could actually see that the Lord was my provider. And, I will always be thankful for that. So poverty can be a kind of gift. Of course the truth is He is your provider at all times but, you just can't see it very easily when you have a regular paycheck. The same with physical limitations. They bring us a greater dependence upon God and that is a good thing. No one should be pitied for that.

Jenny - PA said...

I agree with Jan! :)

Larissa, we adopted a boy with many, many problems - a result of abuse as a baby. Even now, at age 12 he suffers greatly emotionally. Friends often say to me... "I don't know HOW you do it... I wouldn't want your life for a million dollars." They pity us too. I too have learned the Love of Jesus and what it means to walk by faith and claim His peace daily. It has only come through sorrow and trials. Would I want my son to suffer this if given the choice? No. Do I know Jesus and LIFE in Him having walked this road? Absolutely! "Oh... I'm running to Your arms, - the riches of Your love will ALWAYS be enough. Nothing compares to Your embrace..."

Simocha said...

Well said. Quite frankly I think God is using your marriage as an example. When you share the sweet things Ian says to you and how he leads you; it is so encouraging for us in our own marriage.I know that God is still working the selfishness out of me and he uses my marriage to do that every single day. I love your honesty and the grace and leadership that Ian extends to you. Keep sharing for His Glory.

Leah E. said...

Amen. :)

Lucy Stone said...

I can't tell you how much encouragement I've found from reading your observations on marriage and life. God has used you (and Ian) so many times in the last several months to help redirect my thinking in regards to my marriage. I'm thankful for you both, for your marriage and for your willingness to share pieces of your lives with those of us whom you've never met.

May God be glorified in your marriage and may His Gospel be made known through your lives.

Anonymous said...

Amen. A powerful post. One of the best I have read on yor blog.

Im 26. My mum died on Monday of cancer.
I have found lamentations 3 a helpful chapter. No doubt you know it.
'Though he brings grief he also shows compassion, because of the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow'. v 31-33 x

Amy said...

wow. so, so beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Praise God for His glories! Yes!!

Grace G. said...

this is beautiful, larissa. glory to Him

Anonymous said...

Your honesty is good. I'm thankful for your transparency with your readers. I'm thankful you're my niece and Ian, my nephew (in law). I love you.
Aunt Lori

Marietta said...

You are both living proof that contentment and joy have nothing to do with our circumstances. Your contentment comes from abiding in the Lord. A lesson for all of us.

Cyn said...

God Bless you both! I enjoy your blog.

Allison said...

I love hearing the profundity and warmth that emits from Ian, and how you two display such love.... :)


LeslieD said...

Thank you Ian & Larissa. You two often change my perspective to positive, and humility. Love you both!!! (((HUGS)))

MelodyM said...

This is one of your most profound posts ever. I agree with Jan. This has to be in the book!

God's grace is sufficient. There are gifts in the dark we can never find in the light... my husband is disabled too... There are gifts in hard, not-obvious marriages that don't come with the lovely hand-in-a-glove romantic ones. I know this too Larissa, and I am your sister even though we don't know each other. I have cried your tears. These are my words, too. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

As one who has seen her own share of disability and questions of faith...I believe the love you both share dares anyone to pity you! It is more like envy you though we should not...you have developed a relationship in such a short amount of years that many do not find at all or find when it is too late! Bravo for you...pity? No Exemplify? Yes! You both Rock!

Wendy, NC

Irene Sun said...

Thank you for painting a picture of love for us. Though I can't quite articulate it, I learned some new insight reading your words.

Serena said...

I am amazed, you are a testimony of true and pure love, Claudia,PA

Christa said...

Needed to read this for my own spiritual walk. Thanks for sharing. So thankful for the grace of God that continues to draw us closer to Himself.