The Love Story


Written by SP

Many of you may know us individually but maybe have never heard our love story before. When did we meet? How did we meet? What helped us know for sure we were "the one" for each other?

At the end of Summer 2012 I was transitioning to Dallas after calling Houston home for several years. There was an opportunity for me to move out to Dallas and after weeks of wrestling in prayer, I felt a peace and a calling to relocate. Surprisingly the distance didn't keep me from going back to Houston to visit.

Sarah and I met shortly before my move at an event called Worship Project. Let's just say that it definitely was NOT love at first sight. But it was then that I met the rest of the "Sibay-lings" (get it? Sibayan / Siblings ...) and became friends with Abby and Josh -- Rachel wasn't born yet, just kidding. Out of those friendships and our musician circle, we started fellowshipping and getting together more to worship. At this point I had no idea Sarah was "the one" but I had always secretly wanted a wife who I could worship with and if she played an instrument that was icing on the cake. I eventually found out that Sarah was a worship leader, Assistant Choir Director and pianist. Interesting.

Oddly enough, every time I saw Sarah it was either at a worship event or evangelizing at different places with Josh, Abby, Rachel and peeps at Grace Abounds. Honestly there was no attraction, and I thank God that he developed a friendship in us first before we began pursuing one another. We never really spoke much whenever we saw each other, just cracking jokes with Josh and small talk here and there. Until I found out she made macarons! #gamechanger. I would order a lot of them! "Fiddy" at a time. She was raising funds for a mission trip to the Philippines and I thought that was a really creative idea. Making macarons is not like making cookies or toast. It takes time, it takes diligence, it takes "flavors". Slowly I was taking notice of not only the kind of faith Sarah had but her character as well.

Grace Abounds Church hosted "Psalm 151", another worship event, and it turned out really great. It was my first time hearing Josh preach the good news at an event with Luke.  From a distance I admired the Sibayan's and their hearts to serve the Lord in different capacities. My heart too was for sharing the Gospel and serving the church. Again -- interesting.

One night we were having sushi at Hokkaido and it was there that Sarah and I held a conversation for more than 5 minutes. Finally. Sarah was sharing her passions with me and we talked about Sunday School and laughed a lot. I think it was then that Sarah really caught my eye and everyone else started waging bets -- casting lots. We had so much in common and it was really hard to walk away and say good night after that.

Ultimately God's choice is the best choice for all of us and that may not happen sooner than we would like and I can't say there is a magic formula but the wait was truly worth it.

Fast forward to our first "real phone date", we talked for hours until it was pretty much time to go to work! I remember literally rolling on my floor laughing (had not purchased a bed yet) from all the dumb jokes. I've spent hours on the phone before but there's something really special about Sarah. We were learning so much about each other and it was tons of fun. Side note: if you were awake late at night you may have caught our random Facebook posts, calling each other "Poopoo Head" and "Poopoo Face". Too late to apologize?

Inevitably there was a decision we knew we both needed to make. At this point the feelings were obviously mutual and we really wanted to keep this going. At the same time we didn't want to allow emotions to misguide us like the past. We prayed a ton and asked our close friends and family for accountability. We prayed for clarity, confirmation and peace. We weren't interested in rushing into a relationship. When you're on the "single boat" there's a tendency to foolishly rush into things without establishing healthy boundaries -- basing our pursuit on attraction only, often times on a whim because it "feels right". We wanted to be extra cautious. We wanted to guard our hearts. We both agreed that moving forward into a relationship must result in marriage. Otherwise we were trusting in ourselves more than depending on Christ. It certainly goes against today's culture to even think about marriage before years in a committed relationship but Sarah and I believe that having the goal of marriage as the focus, dictates how a relationship would develop. It wasn't just about finding our "bae" but securing our "forever bae". Relationships are not about compatibility but knowing you're with the person God chose for you. Compatibility is just a game of mixing and matching, chasing after a "type of person" instead of "the person" meant for you. Additionally relationships are not supplementary but complimentary. We do not fill one another's voids. Rather God is the one who fills all that we lack as He merges two into one. Ultimately God's choice is the best choice for all of us and that may not happen sooner than we would like and I can't say there is a magic formula but the wait was truly worth it. We both have struggled to fill this impossible image of our perfect spouse and it's humbling to discover God revealing to us that we are indeed "the one" for each other. We did what naturally came next. We made it Facebook official on my birthday weekend last year.

Since then, we've really enjoyed every minute we've spent together, continuing on this life-long journey of learning who we are as individuals and who we will become together. It's rare to spend more than a few hours with each other at a time and sometimes there are weeks in between those few hours. Long distance relationships are tough. You can't hold hands over the phone or steal each other's food. Time is something we both really cherish, especially time with the family, church family and friends. God has been teaching us patience, trust, and reminding us that His grace is absolutely sufficient. We don't want to waste the time we've been given but rather capitalize on that time by glorifying God together at all costs, even if it goes against our personal preferences.

This past July, we served together on missions in New York City. At the end of our trip I asked Sarah to be my wife on the Brooklyn Bridge and she said "Yes!". I cried like a baby but whatever, it was a joy to be surrounded by people we love, celebrating what God is doing in our lives. We're so excited for marriage and anticipating great things as this love story continues to unfold. Thank you all for your prayers and support! Please keep praying and sending us scripture, encouragements and godly advice!

Wedding day #comingsoon Yikes!