A Momentary Marriage: An Interview with Ian and Larissa Murphy

By Trillia Newbell

larissa and ian murphyWedding days are filled with nervous jitters, giggling, rushing around, and thoughts of the future. It’s busy and wild and fun. There’s a celebration of the union of two people becoming one before the Lord. On August 28, 2010, Ian and Larissa Murphy were experiencing similar feelings. It was their wedding day but in addition to the fun and chaos of a wedding, they were being filmed to document the day that would eventually be shared  for the world to see.

Many of us met Ian (27) and Larissa (27) for this first time when Desiring God featured the Citygate Films documentary of The Story of Ian and Larissa. Along with the film came a series of articles featured on DG.

Ian suffered a brain injury in a tragic accident. After several years of praying and seeking the advice of friends and family, Larissa and Ian decided to continue with the plans of marriage that had been set in place prior to the accident.

Today I’m honored to have Ian and Larissa here. Get to know more about the couple and their life through this Q &A:

Q:  When were you married; any significance to that day?

Ian & Larissa:  8.28.10. Our father in law’s birthday who passed away in 2009.

Q:  What was Ian like prior to the accident?

Ian & Larissa:  Ian says he was happy go lucky. I say he was fun and hilarious. His interests were and still are, film and writing. He and his best friend have been making movies since they were just little guys. He was sarcastic and witty. He was blunt and couldn’t be accused of lying – the truth came out too easily, even if it wasn’t “sweet” 🙂 He was super fun to talk to and observed human behavior like a pro. So much of what he observed in real life made its way into his writings.

Q:  Do you see similarities now? 

Ian & Larissa:  Absolutely. He’s still really funny. Always. It’s hard to get a real answer out of him unless he’s totally focused. So right now, in Starbucks with the music on, these answers will be really interesting. 🙂 Ian says he hasn’t changed.

Q:  What are doctors saying about his recovery- will he continue to progress or will there be a point that he will plateau? (Apart from God’s miraculous work that is.)

Ian & Larissa: The doctors have always said that he will get back what he gets back – no guarantees. Most brain injuries see the most improvement 3-5 years from their accident. Ian is in his sixth year.

Q:  What are some of your general needs? Prayer- what specifically?

Ian & Larissa:  Ian said he wants to be able to keep my, Larissa, prayer needs in mind. We also just pray for God to keep showing us how to love and enjoy each other despite a disability.

Q:  What are some of your favorite verses?

Ian & Larissa: Romans 8.28 (another tie to our wedding date!).  Psalm 73:23-26

Q: What are some of your favorite things about of Ian?ian murphy

Ian & Larissa: He always points me to truth – even when he’s not feeling well. Life is very simple to him – love God, eat food, hang out with your spouse. He always makes me laugh, especially when I’m sad. He’s very patient and so kind. His brain injury has made him nicer.

Q:  Ian, what is your favorite characteristic of Larissa?

Ian & Larissa: Ian says that I’m always ready to pray for him and reading the Bible to him. She’s my best friend.

Q: You began a series on the Proverbs 31 woman.  Your first post was “Why I go to Work.” What do you hope people will learn from that series and how you are walking out your faith as a wife?

Larissa: Ha, I wish that I could call this a series!!! My mind hasn’t gotten back into it, mainly because I want to study that scripture more before I take too much of a public stance. Really, my heart in that post (and hopefully future ones) is just to provide Biblical evidence that it’s not wrong to have a career as a godly woman. Even though I have a desire to be home raising babies and teaching kids and managing our home, I can’t be, at least not now. I just want to encourage other women in my situation who may get really sad when they have to leave their kids with a sitter or put on a suit in the morning, even though that’s not their number one desire. And to encourage other women to be thankful that God has given us minds to work and create and provide, when called to.

Q:  What encourages you most about her example and your current circumstance?

Larissa: The Proverbs 31 woman clearly works her tail off! I shouldn’t be looking for constant rest – I should be completely exhausted by the time I meet my Savior. Not that rest is bad and it is so necessary, but I shouldn’t be seeking ease.

Q:  On difficult days, where do you turn?

Larissa: God. Ian. And sleep. 🙂

Q:  How has all the media attention affected you?

Larissa: It’s really been fine. It’s just hard to stay on top of everything with work and taking care of Ian.

Q:  What do your days and nights generally look like?

Larissa: I think they’re normal, well, normal to us. I get home from work just before dinner. I try to make a nice meal, but considering that I hate cooking in the summer and would rather be at the pool, we resort a lot to sandwiches!  Although today I actually put meat in the Crockpot before work so I’m feeling really good about myself. 🙂 After dinner we usually hang out with our brother because he works for us or our roommate. Listen to a message.  Lay in the grass. Read the Bible. Watch a movie. Try to do some therapy things.  Pay bills. All the normal stuff.

Thank you Larissa for taking time to share your life with us.

You can learn more about Ian and Larissa and follow their journey through their website http://www.prayforian.com/.


Here are beautiful wedding highlights:


Ian + Larissa from Vinegar Hill on Vimeo.

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