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Tony Rossi

Radio Host/Producer

Finding Love in Life’s Broken Chapters

St. Valentine's Day tends to be filled with hearts and flowers, emphasizing the fun, romantic side of love. Hopefully, those gestures also reflect a deeper commitment, the kind that grounds relationships through good times and bad, in sickness and in health. Award-winning singer-songwriter Laura Story and her husband Martin know about all those relationship aspects because their life as a couple has run the gamut from heavenly to heartbreaking.

                During an interview on “Christopher Closeup” about her book “When God Doesn’t Fix It,” Story explained, “About two years into our marriage, Martin was diagnosed with a brain tumor. We went from picking out our china patterns to sitting with a neurosurgeon hearing about the surgery that Martin needed—and that it was possible he would wake up and not remember anything about his life before.”

Story recalled sitting with Martin after his operation. Initially, he knew who she was, but had forgotten they were married. He soon came to remember more about their relationship, but then other medical complications arose and he lost much of his short-term memory while also needing physical and speech therapy. As Story noted, Martin was a 28-year-old man whose condition was like that of a 70-year-old stroke victim.

Since Story makes a living performing Christian music, this experience caused her to take a serious look at what she believes. And what conclusion did she come to? “We have to choose whether or not we’re going to evaluate our God based on our circumstances—or choose to evaluate our circumstances based on what we’ve always held to be true about our God. It’s saying, ‘God, I’m going to trust You in the midst of the valleys, I’m going to trust You in the midst of the chaos, in the midst of the unknown.’”

There was a time when the only prayer Story could muster up was, “Help me, God.” In retrospect, she realized this: “Even in those moments when we don’t have the capacity to seek after God, He never stops seeking after us. Even though there were days when I [didn’t] hold onto my faith that tight, I found that my faith was holding onto me. That makes all the difference in the world.”

Martin’s troubles also expanded Story’s concept of church. She said, “Growing up, church was a place that we would go. With Martin in the hospital, we couldn’t go to church—but the church came to us. We had people that did everything from bringing us meals, to helping sit with Martin through the night, to people that would go to our home and literally clean our toilet. It was amazing to see the hands and feet of Jesus coming around and serving us. I think the lesson to be learned is that God never created us to live as Lone Ranger Christians. It’s experiencing the love of Christ through each other. I can’t tell you how many [non-Christian people we know] commented on how well our church family loved us—and that’s what made the Gospel and the love of God attractive to them.”

                In the ensuing years, Martin has improved a great deal physically. He still has memory struggles, but he and Story are making their relationship work as a team. In fact, their team has added a few members: they’re now the parents of three children. All of them together are a testament to the idea that love can survive in the broken chapters of our lives so long as we make God a partner in the process.

 

 

For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, CHOOSE HOPE, SHARE HOPE, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: mail@christophers.org