The Story of Ian & Larissa (Start Marriage Right)

by Emily McFarlan Miller

If you popped over from Start Marriage Right, welcome! You might be interested in this post, about how and why I got involved with Start Marriage Right. Or this series on planning my wedding, which will continue all month.

Earlier this month, when Desiring God posted its now-viral video “The Story of Ian & Larissa,” I posted it here and asked what it meant. It took me a few days to gather my thoughts, “trembling with the glad responsibility” of writing about the video for Start Marriage Right. What could I possibly add?

One of the thoughts tumbling around in my brain appeared on Her.meneutics yesterday, better than I possibly could have expressed it; another, finally, in my post on Start Marriage right today.

By now, you’ve probably seen the video, the story of Ian & Larissa, of their “momentary marriage.”

The video was watched about 86,000 times Tuesday, May 8, when it was posted online by Desiring God, which shares resources from John Piper’s ministry. By the end of that week, it had been watched more than 442,000.

It starts no different than any other couple’s wedding highlights reel, except maybe for the bride’s exquisite taste: A sun-dappled outdoor ceremony, bridesmaids in flower-print dresses, finally, the bride herself in cowboy boots, nearly running down the aisle.

Then you see the groom, and you know this is no ordinary couple or wedding or marriage.

Ian Murphy suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident in September 2006 on his way to work outside Philadelphia. He and his then-girlfriend had planned to marry after they graduated college that December. Instead, Larissa wrote in a post on the Desiring God blog, they “waited four years and got married when he was sick and disabled and we were still grieving.”

Days after seeing the video, I still was trying to collect my thoughts. I watched it again. I posted it on Facebook. I “trembled with the glad responsibility” of sharing the story of Ian & Larissa with others, as Piper did. I asked them what it meant.

For the rest of the story, read The Story of Ian & Larissa (Start Marriage Right).

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