1. Eight Twenty-eight: When Love Didn't Give Up
    Eight Twenty-eight: When Love Didn't Give Up
    Ian Murphy, Larissa Murphy
    B&H Books / 2014 / Trade Paperback
    $14.39 Retail: $15.99 Save 10% ($1.60)
    5 Stars Out Of 5 4 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    Stock No: WW681820
4.8 Stars Out Of 5
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Meets Expectations:
4.3 out Of 5
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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    THIS is Love
    April 29, 2016
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I had heard of Ian and Larissa Murphy and their Christ-centered love story. I was excited to find out in 2014 that they released a book about their story, but because my free time was so limited then, I wasn't able to read it when it came out. But I purchased it recently, eager to read more of their story. And the book did not disappoint.

    If you're looking for a sappy love story, this isn't it. If you're looking for a place where grit and grace collide and bubble over in the truest form of love, read this book. Ian and Larissa Murphy were young, in love, and dreaming about becoming engaged, planning a wedding, and living happily ever after. Their dreams and hopes and life looked much like anyone else's. And then came September 30, 2006, when Ian's car crashed with an SUV, leaving him with a traumatic brain injury and both of them with a future 100% unlike anything they envisioned.

    Their book, titled Eight Twenty Eight, is a nod Roman's 8:28 {as well as Ian's dad's birthday on 8/28 and their anniversary on 8/28} and is filled with the truth of how two imperfect people push forward in the most unimaginable circumstance and choose love. Larissa shares honestly about her fears, her anger, and her confusion as to why God would allow her beloved Ian to be trapped inside a coma, trapped inside his own brain, and unable to walk beside her to make her dreams come true.

    She also shares honestly about how she began to see that despite his disability, he was still very much her Ian. He was still funny and tender and caring. He still had a deep, unwavering faith in the Lord, and he still loved her and wanted to marry her.

    And they did marry. They married, and their life is full of nothing any girl would ever dream of for her future. She's a full time care-giver and wrestles with fears and worries about the reality of their forever. They live in a suite with Ian's family and every day, a village helps her care for her husband. But they married, and their life is full of everything any girl would ever dream of for her future. She's loved unconditionally, championed daily by her biggest encourager, and her faith is strengthened as she watches Ian love her as Christ loves the church.

    I love a good love story. I love my own love story and I love the stories of those around me. But this one - this one challenged me to the truth of love. The choice, day in and day out to rise above the temptations, rise above the challenges, rise above the unfairness that pervades, and just love. Larissa says, "The simple beauty of this marriage is the truth he speaks and the God he loves. We live as two empty vessels, vessels that we know not how to fill on our own, but are completed and perfected through what we receive down, what trickles down, from perfect love in him."

    THAT is the love story we should desire.
  2. Toronto
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    When Love didn't give up...
    December 31, 2014
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This is a difficult book to review. It is very compelling to read and a fascinating story, even though it is not always written in a flowing way. At times the time sequence had me confused. But it is an encouraging and challenging story of how God can encourage and give us faith to keep trusting Him even when we have absolutely no idea of what He is trying to accomplish in our lives. Although they were not yet engaged when Ian had his accident, Larissa was convinced that it was God's will that they marry once they were able to communicate. Her love and commitment in spite of all the challenges is an inspiring example for us. I think what I got from reading this book is there is nothing God will not help us through if we are willing to let him guide us.
  3. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Review from Rambles of a SAHM
    November 8, 2014
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    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.

    I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
  4. Jonesboro, Georgia
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Compelling, touching, life changing
    October 3, 2014
    Carole Jarvis
    Jonesboro, Georgia
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    I don't read as much non-fiction as I should, but I am so glad I read Eight Twenty Eight by Ian and Larissa Murphy. This is a moving story, one that can't help but touch anyone who reads it. In fact, I don't believe anyone could read Eight Twenty Eight and not be changed for the better.

    Eight Twenty Eight is the story of Ian and Larissa's meeting and courtship, followed by Ian's almost fatal traffic accident and long journey back. After the accident and resulting TBI, "the organization of his brain had been tossed around like the inside of a snow globe, but his language skills were still intact." Larissa's account is raw, emotional, and honest - a story of deep faith and commitment lived out daily when the unimaginable happens.

    There's nothing fake about this story; the struggles, doubts, questioning are all very real - but so is the hand of God in Ian and Larissa's journey. The writing doesn't come across as professionally polished, but that's what makes it all the more authentic and appealing. Ian and Larissa's story is very well written, but it's the message that takes top honors. From my perspective as a woman, there's no way to explain Larissa's love, commitment and endurance other than complete surrender to God.

    I think the best way to convey a sense of Eight Twenty Eight's impact is through a few quotes that really spoke to me, words that clearly show God's presence, healing, purpose and guidance . . .

    "Maybe when each of us, after death, is ultimately swallowed up by life, we will watch the scenes from when God reached down inside Ian's station wagon, how God sat with him in the life flight helicopter, how he and God talked inside his coma."

    "If I stopped believing that God could heal Ian, then I was forgetting an aspect of God's character clearly revealed in the Bible."

    "Somehow, living right next door to the fear that Ian wouldn't remember me, was also the very real excitement that God hadn't finished with Ian, that He was still listening to us. Even in my most desperate times, He kept me from sinking into total despair."

    "A best friend who . . . could show me more about God in a few words than a pastor could do in an entire sermon, simply because Ian was living it. I didn't know how I was still in love with a man who lacked as much as Ian did, but I also didn't know how God still loved me, someone who had nothing to offer Him."

    "I was walking in step with a God who was bigger than me and whose purposes could not be turned awry, and whose enjoyment of me had nothing to do with my works."

    Eight Twenty Eight is a compelling and moving read, one that I can easily recommend. I'll end with what has become the significance of "eight twenty eight" for Ian & Larissa . . .

    "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

    Steves birthday is eight twenty eight. Their wedding day is eight twenty eight, made official four years after the accident. That sums up the story of Ian & Larissa better than I ever could.

    Thank you to B&H Publishing Group for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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