Eight Twenty Eight: When Love Didn't Give Up by Ian & Larissa Murphy ~ Biographical Memoir Review

Biographical Memoir 

What if that thing you really feared happened? 

Would the joy you hold pop? Or would you experience love and joy deeper than you can imagine?

They met in college and fell in love. They talked about getting married, and he started looking for a ring. They dreamed about life together, a life of beauty and joy, raising babies and laughing with friends and growing old.

They did not imagine a car accident. They did not imagine his brain injury. They did not dream about the need for constant care and a wheelchair and fear that food might choke him.

And they could not have imagined how persistent love would be. Theirs and God's.

Ian and Larissa Murphy tell their story of love in Eight Twenty Eight. Except, it's not just their love story. Really, it's yours as well. Read and gain a picture of love that will challenge all you think you know about what is true and what persists.

Ian and Larissa Murphy are husband and wife. They love one another. They laugh together. They seek to serve God together all while dealing with the implications of life in a world marked by suffering, yet compelled by love. They live in Pennsylvania where they watch as God works all things together for good.

My Thoughts

Like a lot of people I first became aware of Ian and Larissa's story when their video was posted on the Desiring God website. I was intrigued by the video and the couple that it portrayed. What I didn't know was that it was just the tip of the iceberg in this beautiful love story.

In their book Eight Twenty Eight Ian and Larissa tell the whole story behind the marriage that they are building together. The story begins in the spring of 2005 when Ian and Larissa first meet. They begin dating and eventually they start discussing marriage. Ian takes on some extra jobs and begins ring shopping with the intent of asking Larissa to be his wife. 

By all accounts September 30, 2006 was an ordinary day, but it would turn out to be a pivotal day in their lives. That would be the day of before and afters. It was the day of Ian's accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury. That would be the day that hopes and dreams would seemingly be crushed. But the very God that Ian and Larissa trusted in had other plans.

I was struck by the candor that Ian and Larissa's words contained. This is a beautiful story of love and friendship and faithfulness. But it is also a messy and raw tale full of emotional upheaval. One of the elements that I didn't really process from just viewing the video was the fact that they were not even formally engaged when the accident happened. Sure they had talked about it, but Ian had yet to propose. Throughout the book I kept thinking how easy it would have been to walk away and live a "normal" life. 

Ian's recovery process wasn't confined to a matter of days or even weeks. The book literally takes you through years of small progressive steps forward and devastating falls back. But woven throughout their trials and triumphs is the steadfastness of God's hand upon their lives. 

Eight Twenty Eight is a book that will benefit couples everywhere. It is a glimpse into a life that God expects of us. We're a flawed people that are too often ungrateful. But in His infinite mercy God continues to use even the most devastating circumstances to draw us closer to Him and to each other. 

Connect With The Authors

Photo Credit: Lydia Jane Photography

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