It takes courage to follow God where we sense Him leading. Sometimes the path is clearly obvious – a well-worn trail blazed by the Saints that have gone before us. However, there are other times that we sense Him leading in a new direction, on a new path. In some ways, it’s not even a path; it’s an uncharted trail that has yet to be traversed.
Courage isn’t something that comes naturally to most.
But I will sing of thy might; I will sing aloud of thy steadfast love in the morning. For thou hast been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.
There are stories woven throughout Scripture of God’s great love for his people. We see him parting seas, crushing boulders, and quietening storms. He feeds the hungry and heals the sick. He cries with those who mourn, comforts the lonely, and stands with the forgotten. His character is consistent of a loving and faithful God who meets his people in their time of need.
Why then, do we so easily forget that the God we serve is the same Godthat has always been?
But rarely do I take the time to do so for pleasure anymore.
So rare are these occassions that I’ve actually made ‘read more for pleasure‘ an item on my Bucket List!
Yes, really. (#7)
I’ve not (ever) abandoned the love I have for reading nor the time I take to do so; however, the content (most times) falls into the following categories: faith, religious teachings, self-help, & cooking. Ultimately, these are categories which offer something to be learned, which I suppose helps me to rationalize the time still spent with my nose buried between the pages.
I’m not complaining about the categories because truthfully, I do enjoy the content immensely!
But, gone are the days when I’d climb a tree or curl up in a favorite chair to enthusiastically re-read a summer favorite…just because I found comfort in every page turned! Instead I find I must rationalize my time spent reading with the prospect of learning in mind, habitually tossing-aside the comfort ‘reading for pleasure’ provides.
But every once in awhile a book comes along which tugs at my heart so much it is enough to pull me away from being taught something (or so I think…) and reinvigorates my passion to ‘read more for pleasure!’
(Oh, Happy-Day! sigh, at last.)
I discovered this book several years ago via a video-clip.
I was initially drawn to read Ian & Larissa’s story as a result of our mutual life-experiences. My father also suffered a debilitating brain-injury when he was struck by an automobile while crossing the street in the early 1980’s. Sadly, he passed away not long-after from complications due to an infection. However, it was much more (than this) which compelled me to choose their book as a catalyst to work on my bucket list!
Ian & Larissa Murphy co-authored Eight Twenty Eight: When love didn’t give up and tenderly share with us their story of love. I quickly discovered, that it’s not just their love story they were telling. (As even the back book-jacket so eloquantly pointed out.)
Really, it’s all of ours as well!
Ian & Larissa seek to serve God together, all while dealing with the implications of life in a world marked by suffering. And in a world that so easily gives up on love when it becomes difficult to love, their love-story definitely brought great peace to this battle-worn heart!
Reading about their triumph helps one to gain a picture of a love that will challenge all you think you know about what is true and what persists. Quickly, within mere pages of their book I surrended & acknowledged that although I desired to read the book with the intention of ‘pleasurable reading’ in mind; I was about to be ‘taught’ (& remind of) very valuable lessons, as a result of the obvious deep-commitment which they share.
“With courage we write this, in hopes that we all move forward together in loving God more than loving comfort.”
Ian & Larissa Murphy, Dedication page.
There is so much wisdom & joy contained on the pages of this book! It indeed takes courage to move forward. It takes courage to love God. But it is in this courageous act of loving Him most, that we find the comfortwhich sustains us through all things.
Recently, I purchased a painting done by Ian through his personal Etsy site. Ian paints to help fund the physical therapy he must receive daily. It was a difficult choice; however, I chose this particular painting not only for the the incredible subject matter, but mainly because I was comforted & wooed by its title: misunderstood cat.
It also reminded me of an endearing compliment my brother-in-law paid me this past Christmas while playing a Christmas game, when his one-word-description of me was: misunderstood.
Which was a far better word-description than the one he chose for my sister, his wife, which was: “O.C.D.”
But more importantly, Ian’s cat reminded me of how often I misunderstood what it is my heart truly desires.
I entered into reading Ian & Larissa’s story with the comfort of knowing that I would be ‘reading for pleasure‘, at long last!
And yet, I discovered by the end, I misunderstoodALL the comfortI AM offered…even as God continues to ‘teach‘ me in multifaceted ways!
(Pleasurable or not…)
I am so very grateful my Godunderstands me!
hugs n’ blessings to all those purrrfectly ‘misunderstood!’
“He’s still accomplishing, still gaining, and God is still working in him. We can’t accept the “nots,” the assumption that Ian is unable to do things. Because nothing is ever accomplished by not trying.”
Larissa Murphy, Eight Twenty Eight: When love didn’t give up.