I know, I know…it’s all the singles favorite time of the year…Valentine’s Day! Ha! I know this can be a time when you look around at everyone else in love and wonder, why am I still single!? I would like to encourage you to hear other people’s love stories and allow that to be what gives you hope during this month of love. Think of it this way…if they can have an amazing love story perfect for them, then why can’t you?
I asked my sister and brother in law, Chris and Alyssa, to guest write for this Valentine’s post. I hope you enjoy reading their story as much as I did and get all the nuggets of wisdom they left throughout it! And hey, if you’re single this could be your last Valentine’s Day that way, so why not make it a party! 😉
I’m sure a lot of people reading this know of and about you guys. But for those who don’t can you just share a little bit about yourselves, and what you do?
We are Chris and Alyssa Quilala 🙂 Chris is an awesome dad, lead singer for Jesus Culture, and worship Pastor of JC Sacramento Church! Alyssa is an awesome mom, book author, and fitness instructor!
How did you meet?
Chris: When I was 25 I was traveling and drumming for Bethel Music’s Brian and Jenn Johnson. We were ministering at Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, and I was sitting in the service after worship. The overhead screen was showing random scans of the crowd while the Pastor was preaching, and a beautiful blonde girl flashed on the screen. I immediately tried to find her in the crowd! After the service was over, I went to go talk to her…my pick-up line was, “Hey! So…I saw you on the big screen!” I had nothing else to say, I was so nervous, but thankfully Alyssa is so chatty she carried the conversation. I was completely in love at first sight, and I told God I wanted to marry her. Come to find out, she was only 17 years old, so I knew I needed to do some waiting. Alyssa wasn’t interested in me, she said she was focusing on her relationship with God, which was code for, NOT interested! About 4 months after we met, Alyssa moved to Redding to attend Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. She was 18 years old and I was intent on pursuing her. It took me all of 2 weeks to win her over with my sarcastic humor and curly hair 😉 We started dating and the rest is history!
Was it love at first sight?
Alyssa: Well, as you just read, it was love at first sight for Chris! Haha! He says I used God as an excuse, but I really was trying to figure myself out! I had just moved out of my parents’ house, I was fresh into ministry school, and had just gotten out of a “non-relationship” where I was emotionally attached and hurt by a guy. Chris consistently pursued me in such a respectful way, and though I had my heart shut down, he gave me space while still being there for me when I was ready. So no, it wasn’t love at first sight, but I definitely had interest at first sight! His purity, humble heart, and consistent behaviour melted me to the core! I fell in love quickly 🙂
When and how did you know this was the one?
Alyssa: I had always told God that when I found the man I was going to marry, I wanted to see a shooting star with him. The first time I ever saw a shooting star was when Chris and I were hanging out in my front yard. I already had stroooong feelings for him, and I had actually already known for a while that he was the one, but this little sign was a cute confirmation for me.
Chris: I just knew when I saw her on the big screen, then I went to talk to her. Her whole face lit up when she smiled, and her bubbly personality was captivating. When I met Alyssa I finally knew what people were talking about when they explained love at first sight. I just knew.
Had you dated and been in previous relationships before?
Alyssa: As I mentioned, I had a few non-serious relationships. The most recent had been an unhealthy soul tie where I was trying to constantly convince him that I was “enough”. Chris: I had just gotten out of a very serious 2 year relationship right before I met Alyssa. She was a great girl, but I never felt complete peace.
If so, what made this relationship different than the others?
Chris: Alyssa has this way of telling stories with her eyes… I was always completely captivated by her every word. She was blatantly truthful, exuberant, and she challenged me to go after my dreams, something that no one else had ever done before. I think that if I hadn’t met Alyssa I wouldn’t have pursued songwriting.
Alyssa: Chris was so intentional with his words. He never said something he didn’t mean, he didn’t place unrealistic standards in front of me… he accepted me and loved everything about me. Chris gave me a lot of my voice too. I had always been a pretty outspoken girl, but his integrity made me consider using wisdom before making decisions. He always encouraged me to find the heart of God in a situation.
Alyssa, at what point in your dating relationship did you really let your guard down and your heart open to Chris?
Alyssa: I’d say it was immediately following our first date. When I said “yes” to being his girlfriend, I knew without a second thought that I was going to be with him forever, and I trusted him completely. I never felt judged by Chris, he is the most understanding and non-judgemental person. You’ll never be in a conversation with Chris and hear him complain…his positive outlook on life inspired me!
Chris, what is your favorite thing about Alyssa?
Chris: She is so strong, there is nothing that fazes her. She sees a challenge, and she steps up to the plate. Alyssa takes everything with joy, even watching her most incredible heartache, I’ve seen her smile. She’s also top of the line at encouraging people… She always has something positive to say about her friends and family, and she calls out the gold in everyone around her.
Alyssa, did you feel there was anything you wanted to change about Chris?
Alyssa: Honestly…no. When we first met he was kind of a homebody, so I liked encouraging him to get out of the house more haha. Otherwise, his personality traits were like David…pure and full of love for God. No complaints here!
What were your views on purity before marriage, and how did you go about attaining them?
Chris: We had friends who kept us accountable, we gave them permission to ask the awkward questions. The hardest part was after we got engaged, thankfully we only had a 3 month engagement!
Alyssa: We had to remind ourselves not to flirt with the inevitable. Just because we knew we were getting married, it didn’t give us permission to explore what didn’t belong to us yet. Sometimes, it meant planning double dates with friends as much as possible so that we weren’t alone too much. It takes consistency and intentionality!
If you could give one piece of advice for those still waiting to find love what would you say?
Alyssa: Don’t make a list. Lists are lame. Chris was nothing on my “list”, but instead WAY more than I could have imagined. But if I had stuck to my list I probably wouldn’t have even given him a chance!
Did you have a list of things you wanted in a spouse? Did God answer all or add anything?
Chris: I had a list, it wasn’t shooting high enough. She became my list.