Dec 7, 2013

a spark

we were talking about the acronym the pastor gave us, reminding us about the ways of love, how they look and feel and act.

we were sitting in a small room, circled together, thinking on how we distribute love and who we know that does it so well.

"ian, how are we to love our spouses?", our group leader asked.

"thinking of them before yourself."

we kept reflecting on love and what it looks like and then what i always fear happened, as i saw the effect of a catheter that decided to stop working. i saw on the floor what is always on my mind in public; i saw my own example of what joni eareckson tada has spoken of many times before, the fears that remain into adulthood when disability lives in your body.

i left the room quickly, discreetly, to find what i needed to hide it, remove it, fix it.

when i came back into the room, she stood up and moved closely to us, gently reminding us that we were family. gently reminding us that we need not be embarrassed, that they loved and would help us.

and there it happened, the love that we were speaking of, the acting out of Jesus death and what it did for us. they helped us to the car. they cleaned up after us when we left. they joyfully loved.

in the safety of our car,

"ian, i'm so sorry. i'm so sorry that those embarrassing things happen."

then tears because it was a hard week and because lies were making a home in my heart.

"ian, i don't understand this. i hate this."

"joy is closer than you think."

"how can you handle this? i'm so sick of this brain injury."

"God gives me joy in the stupid things, like caths breaking."

i asked him how, because i didn't get how he could be laughing, while he sat in wet sweat pants, and while i cried.

"because this is all so fleeting."

then quietly, in our little white car, his truth knocked out the lies in my head. his Psalm 73 truth cut through the lies that i was believing.

and there, in the midst of the week that was holding anything other than hope, i experienced the little miracles that i had read about earlier that morning. the little miracles of hope.

in the midst of a week of crying and longing and heaviness, the miracle of Jesus, living out in my husband, living out in our small group, who entered into our lives and put on Jesus love instead of selfishness or judgement.

and deep inside, a little spark grew, just a fraction, but enough to remind us.

"God is in this."

21 comments:

SapphireVL said...

Wow... I can add no words to this... Ian & Marissa, so powerful... beautifully articulated.

stephanie joy said...

your posts make me cry.
in a good way.

Christine said...

Beautifully written, and praise God for your small group. Praying strength for you right now. Sometimes brokenness can feel like just that...broken. He is in our brokenness, as you say, and I am so glad He touched you in the car that day.

Glimpse of crags and clay said...

Ian and Larissa,
Thank you for sharing a word of Hope. Thank you Ian for joy in the midst of adversity.

Hope-

5 Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.Romans 5:5
Amplified Bible

Anonymous said...

All Glory be unto God in Jesus Christ .. Amen.. Keep going Ian.. Keep going Larissa know God is not embarrassed by all this but He rejoices in your love. Be still and know he is God.. Hallelujah

amandadunn9 said...

I think about you guys often and pray for you. Your story inspires and amazes me.

Easy Picard said...

Its so comforting to have those moments after the tears. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed, my Zach and I with our Autistic son, we have to look at eachother and just smile.
Love you two. Keep going!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful message, Larissa and Ian! Thank you for sharing God's love with us!

Bekah @ re•solve said...

You're both so fortunate to have the Joy of the Lord. It's so evident in moments like this one.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Larissa for sharing how God continually breaks your hearts open. Thank you Ian for reminding us how fleeting all of this is. I too feel humiliated or discouraged through those little daily thorns in the side that remind me of my husband's lack of healing. It is truly a miracle that God gives me joy through it. You are kindred souls to so many of us who persevere through the tears.

Anonymous said...

Oh L, your week sounded like mine! But like you, the truth of God's love comes through when we allow it in and remember the words of love we hear each and every day. With continued love and prayers, dear friends. Rene

Jenny - PA said...

What a perfect object lesson God gave your class. But, I get it that you hate to be the "messenger".
Thank you Jesus for that little spark for Larissa.
~Praying for more, to take over your heart and mine.

Anonymous said...

On Monday night I was at a Catholic healing Mass. I heard of a parishioner, Bob, who had two years ago been afflicted with stage 4 liver cancer. This was discovered during surgery on his liver. He went and saw various doctors & oncologists. He was put on chemotherapy and went blind in one eye. The oncologist thought that this blindness wasn't as a result of the chemo drugs. Eventually he became blind in both eyes. He was thus forced off the chemo drugs. All the while continuing to praying to the Lord. His sight started to come back since being of the chemo drugs. Eventually he goes into see the oncologist again & the do more tests. Three weeks later he gets a call from the oncologist. The tests came back completely negative. The oncologist could find no cancer in his body. Bob this cancer survivor gave this testimony from the pulpit. He told us all that he's a survivor because of his intense prayer. He continues to pray for better sight.

Since reading the story of Ian & Larissa, I pray intentions for a better life for them both most nights of the week.

God bless you both..

JM

Cyn said...

its so amazing the way you write. I love visiting here. My tears are tears of hope. :)

Alyson said...

I have read your blog posts from time to time. Beautiful. Yes, our Father is in all things. I stand amazed at how He reveals Himself in spite of the condition of my heart. We have adopted two older special needs children and I frequently lose sight of Him, but am fully aware of the depravity in my heart. He loves us so. With a perfect, everlasting, strong, and did I say, PERFECT love. Keep your eyes on the goal of Eternity. Christ's power is a tremendous testimony to the lost world. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

..you are blessed. -Leslie Dawn

tt said...

how profound . . . "joy is closer than you think" . . .
"These little troubles (which are really so transitory)are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain. for we are looking all the time not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible things are transitory: it is the invisible things that are really permanent." 2 cor 4:17-18 jb phillips

Anonymous said...

Praying for you guys! You are beyond inspiring. The Lord's love and grace will keep you in every season! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow...just p.o.w.e.r.f.u.l.

thecommonqueen said...

Thank you for sharing this story & your life with us. This was another powerful story. Almost all of your posts just leave me speechless. My heart being nudged by Jesus-- as He points out an area of my heart that He'd like your words (His words) to touch.

Andi said...

Thank you for sharing your story and for being so honest and open and glorifying God in the nasty stuff! I'm 25 and my fiancé is suffering from a spinal cord injury and I am just so thankful for your joyful, grateful spirit in the suffering. You two are a blessing and an encouragement--thank you for living the love that Christ has for us!!!