She’s driven, loyal, and full of love. He’s intentional, grounded, and keeps us all laughing. Knit together by common pursuits of music, fashion, and faith, these two have a story that will keep you inspired.
Q: How did you two meet?
THEM: We met in Boston, Massachusetts while we were in college at Berklee College of Music. We met through friends and grew closer when we both lived on the same street for the summer. All of our friends had gone home so it gave us a chance to get to develop a friendship.
Q: Do you have a specific favorite memory or date with the other person?
HER: My favorite memory would have to be when Derek and I puppy-sat a chocolate lab named Woody a couple summers ago in Boston. This was before we were dating. We took the puppy down to the farmers market in Copley Square. It was a beautiful day and so many people were out and about. Naturally, when you have a puppy with you, you get a lot of attention so a lot of people approached us to talk and pet Woody. Most of them assumed that we were a couple and this was our dog… so we played along with it. This was before I had confessed my feelings…neither of us knew how the other felt at this point and its just funny to think that what we both were pretending that day, we both really wanted to be true
HIM: I had planned a day for us to pack a bag and go somewhere. To pack a bag full of junk food and candy (among other amenities) and water (because you gotta keep the health game up) and head to…THE MOVIES. Plural for a reason, I had planned to go early morning and stay all day having timed several movies to line up back to back and mapped out our quest on the blue prints of the movie theatre. She had never done this before. I had back when I was a depraved sinner who knew nothing of God, but now I have a relationship with him so its okay to do illegal things like pay for 1 movie and see 4 (I don’t actually believe that). But the reason I love this memory so much is because we drank more Icee that day than either of us had in our entire lives. We decided to get the biggest size and mix the blue raspberry and white cherry flavors, which she had also never done, and she loved it. I loved it. It seems like a weird memory to pick probably. I choose it because it represents a lifetime of experiencing new things with her and watching her love them and be excited about them. I love watching her do that….and her blue tongue. Now it’s a “must” in order for us to go to the movies.
Q: What is your favorite thing about the other person?
HER: My favorite thing about Derek has to be how much he cares about others. I don’t think I have met anyone in my entire lifetime that loves people so much and, more importantly, so well. Along with caring for others, comes listening and patience, and gosh is he the absolute best listener. He won’t interrupt your thoughts. He’s slow to speak and respond. He will not pass up any moment to sit and talk and get to know your heart, doesn’t’ matter who you are or how long it will take. He wants to listen and he won’t forget what you say. He’s caring, which means he listens, which means he’s patient, which means he’s Christ-like. And the best part is, it all stems from him pursuing God. He doesn’t do any of it for himself. He doesn’t care about how uncomfortable he might be. He does it because he knows it will make God happy. God loves people, so Derek wants to love people. (Gosh, I love him so much!) I meant to just mention one quality but it turned into four, but still, these four are just a few of the many, many qualities he possesses that I love!
HIM: For starters, this is not a fair question. I’ll choose one right now but if you ask me next week it could be different. It’s going to be her ability to teach me. She is smarter than me, for one, so obvious things like I don’t know this and she does so “voila” I’ve been taught. A sentence ago she let me know that I don’t need a comma so I took it out. So there’s one side of her teaching me. The other is far greater. My favorite is her ability to teach me things about myself without having to say anything. When you think of your best teacher you’ve ever had or maybe a mentor, someone who cares about helping you understand things so that it strengthens you or your mind and makes you better off down the road. She is very much so like a mentor to me, just in the subtlest ways possible. She’s like a taller and younger and sexier Mr. Miyagi. Everyday she teaches me. Everyday she pushes the envelope for me to be a better man, a more Christ-like man. Its really hard because I’m not good at it (still a young grasshopper) but I want that so bad so I fight for that. I didn’t mean to make it like a student-teacher relationship where I’m way too young and its illegal if it came out at all like that (ha). All I meant by my previous statements is that she helps prompt the cultivation of Christ within me that I seek out in my moment-by-moment life.
Q: From knowing you two, your passions, from music to fashion, align in many ways. How do you guys work together in those areas?
THEM: We think that having similar interests and passions such as music and fashion or personal style really helps us encourage each other. Having artistic minds in general, helps us understand each other better on emotional levels, spiritual levels and creative levels. It’s such a simple thing, but being able to understand even a small part of his/her mind gives access to an intimate relationship that we otherwise would not have. As it plays out directly in our lives, we have led worship together, and hope to do so more often. We encourage the writing process and give each other space to do that. We have yet to do that together, however, we do bounce ideas off of each other and let each other hear where our mind has gone. As far as fashion goes, we like to help pick out each others outfits, go shopping, and coordinate (shh…)
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do together?
THEM: Initially, we were thinking of a myriad of different memories or things that we love to do together. At the root of each thought about what we love to do together is conversation. First and foremost, that is our favorite thing to do together is to BE with one another and listen to one another and feel loved when he/she wants to listen to what the other has to say. For example, in the fall of 2013 when we first started talking/dating we sat and talked literally until 7am. Just talking. At one point Lynsea’s roommate said, “I don’t get it. How do y’all have so much to talk about?” But we did. And we still do.
Q: Funny quirks about the other person?
HIM: There’s this innate ability she has either when she is really excited about something or when she is trying to piece her thoughts together to start talking so fast. It is quite impressive actually. When I try to piece thoughts together I sound dumb and my sentences are so broken, but she can just keep talking. Sometimes it’s to her demise because if you repeat what she said back to her she’ll say, “Oh, I said that?” Another funny thing is when she does her hair she stands with one foot on her inner thigh of the opposite leg like a flamingo or some yoga position except she’s never been a bird or done yoga so I don’t know where she got it.
HER: He talks out of the side of his mouth, especially when he’s talking really seriously. It’s the cutest thing ever, not sure why, but I absolutely love it. For the sake of both of our answers being about each others weird talking habits, I’ll add another. When he listens to music he really loves or gets really into, he gets so happy about the smallest parts, like literally one drum hit, or one note, and he gets this goofy happy face on and will clap and dance and laugh after it happens because he loves that small moment so much. He’ll replay it over and over. That speaks for the rest of his life though too… Derek is all about the small moments, the in-betweens, the precious/special moments a lot of people look over or speed by.
Q: When did you first know you were in love?
HER: I think this is going to sound funny because the moment I think of when I read this question is before anything real between Derek and I had even started. I figure it’s because my love for Derek was so subconscious for so long… like I hadn’t actually been able to comprehend the love that he held and could offer me until my heart was ready for it. (Kind of like Jesus’s love for us). Furthermore, I think I realized I was in love with Derek the night that we were walking home in Boston with some friends. It was late at night and really cold. The streets were pretty barren until we passed a drunk homeless women who was yelling and upset because she spilled her purse and spare change went everywhere. The whole group saw what was happening but kept on going, actually picking up the speed to get away from this crazy screaming woman. We got to the end of the street before we all realized Derek wasn’t with us. We turned around. He was back with the homeless woman helping her pick up the change.
HIM: The first time we ever began to spend time with one another as friends on the search for common interest was about the same time I knew that I wanted to love her for the rest of my life on earth. I thought of myself as this man that was ready to show her what she deserved as her counterpart. I just wanted to show her something she didn’t know was possible in a man. Little did I know, I was far from ready for that. We were both far from ready for that. Believe it or not, there was a period of time where her and I didn’t talk very much. This period of time came after we already knew each other and grew to be friends and share feelings for one another (it’s a long story but its so crucial to what God had planned). It was most definitely a pruning process. God knew so well that I was not who I needed to be for this girl whom I wanted to love so badly. I would say that I had fallen in love with Lynsea before she had gotten to even consider the reciprocation in the forefront of her mind and/in her heart. I fell in love with her so fast. Some may say it was infatuation, but I knew 4 years ago (we’ve only been dating for a year) that I was going to be with this girl for the rest of my God-given life. That being said, I was not yet ready to love her. I would argue (and win) that I am still learning and will always strive to be in a learning process of loving her the way God, having called me into a loving relationship with Jesus, ultimately calls me to.
Q: Tell me a story…
HER: After my graduation in May of 2014, I planned to move back to Dallas. I had asked Derek many times if he would want to fly back down with me and spend some time there but he told me he wouldn’t be able to because the band he was playing with at the time was having rehearsals for their next tour. All along I was hoping in the back of my mind, that he was planning a surprise. The day of my flight came around and I went to say goodbye to him, hoping he would jump out and say “Surprise! I’m going with you!” I hugged him goodbye, lingered for my surprise, but nothing happened. My heart sank and I left for the airport. I moped all the way through security and became even sick with sadness because I wouldn’t see him for a month or more. I wasn’t prepared for this. My sister and I found a seat at our flight’s gate and I just leaned on her shoulder and closed my eyes. I awoke to a random woman shoving flowers in my face saying, “Hey I think these are for you. They’re from a secret admirer,” and she ran off before I could ask anything. My heart immediately found it’s beat again as I scanned the entire airport for Derek. My excitement was about to be through the roof, he was coming after all! After a few seconds of searching and not finding him, I asked my sister to tell me what was going on, but she said she had no idea. I found a note in the flowers from Derek and read it. It was filled with the sweetest words on earth, but no confession to a surprise. I didn’t ask any more questions, I didn’t want to get let down even more. I settled on the fact he wasn’t coming. We boarded the plane and I got comfortable. The people next to me were the most talkative people in the world so for the next 30 minutes from the ground to the air I was in conversation. I’m not sure what happened but for some reason I turned my head towards the front of the plane and caught a glance of a yellow shirt on a handsome man wearing the hat I got Derek for Valentines Day. He was on his way to the bathroom. I yelled for my sister two rows back. Everyone in between started getting fidgety and uncomfortable. The people next to me I was just talking to looked afraid thinking I had seen a terrorist in action. My sister played dumb. I waited until the man I saw walked out of the bathroom. I caught eyes with him immediately and hurled myself over through the aisle and into his arms. Yes, it was Derek. He was surprising me. It just didn’t go quite as planned. Little did I know this had been orchestrated for months. If it wasn’t for this short unplanned bathroom break, he would have been hiding in the backseat of the car when I got to Dallas. (Happy that plan failed.) Apparently the whole time I was sitting at the airport, he was just a few yards away. He had approached many a children to bring me the flowers and say that short phrase but the parents didn’t oblige haha so he found a random woman to do so. I’m so happy I got to spend my flight home wrapped in his arms.
Q: I’ve seen sacrifice in y’alls relationship, which is admirable. From shelling out hundreds of dollars to catch Derek on tour for the night, to uprooting and moving to Texas. What has been the hardest thing and the most rewarding thing about sacrificing for love?
THEM: The hardest thing is learning about all of the crappy parts of yourself in the process. We’ve learned so much about ourselves and it was/is so hard. We would both feel unworthy to be a recipient of Derek’s love or even God’s love and have discovered simple things such as needing to listen better, pride, poor understanding, impatience, selfishness, insecurity and greed that our relationship brought to the surface and it hurt. Even more so, it hurts to know that the other could see those things too… we strongly believe that’s a big part of God’s purpose for relationships though, seeing the sin and still loving that person. (That’s how God loves us). We have to learn to sacrifice these human qualities that have been instilled in us to focus on what might be best for him/her or be best for both of us from the view of the Kingdom. The most rewarding part of it all is the Kingdom. Learning to sacrifice is learning to put ourselves aside, to humble ourselves before God and live the way he intended for us. The reward is the sacrifice, the result of sacrifice, the joy in knowing and discovering closeness to God that you didn’t have before. We promise it is all worth it.
Q: What does love mean to you?
HER: Being aware of all the bad stuff, all of the sin and all of the gross parts in each other and choosing to love and allowing yourself to be loved anyway.
HIM: This may be a bold statement, bolder than I may actually feel, but in the midst of hatred, animosity, being hurt, let down, run dry, or just heartache, it’s knowing that I am to put her before myself every time. Every Time. And actually doing it. It’s what always points me back to my own relationship with God. Anything that I feel in a negative way, could be anything from the first sentence or anything you can think of, should always make me think about how I have done something similar (most likely worse) to God. I am not to depend on her or live in expectation of what she needs to or should bring me. My joy is to come from God first, and to sacrifice exceedingly, persistently, ruthlessly and relentlessly (just so I can hammer it home as much as possible) for the woman that I choose to REALLY put before me. Every Moment. Every Day.