Written by Peppy and Tori Sisay
I am so lucky to be with Tori. She is a daughter of God who I am honored to be called her companion. She has unique gifts and passions that I get to help think through with her and push her to be the most impactful for God’s kingdom. She is also someone who gets a front row seat to my sin, who isn’t afraid to correct me while still being gracious and loving.
Pursuing Tori has and will continue to be the most impactful journey of my life.
Getting to love her has developed me in surprising ways.
I have never been more intentional, bolder, more prone to take initiative, and also more apologetic, sensitive and forgiving.
To me, a Godly romantic love is built on pursuing the Lord more then each other. It is super vital for us to have personal relationships with Jesus, so that we can be more like Him! That’s the only sustainable way for us to deny our natural selfishness and instead seek to love and serve one another above ourselves. It’s only through that we can joyfully do life together.
Peppy and I officially met for the first time at a Bible study while we were studying at USC. At the end of each Bible study everyone would write a prayer request and shuffle them and than draw each other’s request from a hat. As cheesy as it sounds, I got his prayer request and used it as an excuse to talk to him. I didn’t think he remembered me because for the next four times he saw me he would say, “Tori, oh like Tori Kelly” (probably so he could remember my name). At an event we both attended he walked up to me and said, “nice of you to show up” and walked away. Apparently, I had left a big impression. We slowly got to know each other and began to awkwardly flirt like we were in junior high. Then Peppy asked if we could talk one night alone.
He explained, as a man of God, he felt it was important to be intentional and upfront about his intentions.
I was preparing myself for an awkward “you’re great but I think God wants us to be friends” but instead, Peppy expressed he liked me and wanted to date to get to know each other more. I honestly didn’t know men could be intentional like this. Peppy continued to pursue me and make me feel respected and honored.
Peppy and I were blessed to spend most of our college years together. It taught us how to balance all the various areas of our lives including: friendships, church, ministry, schoolwork, and families. It was always challenging to steward all God had given us in that full, busy, stressful, and growing time. Additionally, we each came with our individual struggles and baggage. We learned how to communicate to each other with love, gentleness, and kindness. Our friends and church communities encouraged us to love each other well and bear each other’s burdens. God has always been the priority in our relationship.
We are two broken people that run hard towards Jesus and get to run the race by each other’s side.
The largest challenges in our relationships gave us opportunities to trust God more and grow in our relationships with him.
The past 5 months of marriage with Peppy have some of the best months of my life.
Marriage is the biggest blessing and opportunity for sanctification.
He sees all my selfishness, pride, and quick temper. Peppy shows me the character of God by being quick to apologize and showing kindness and grace even when I don’t deserve it. He loves me well by reminding me of my identity in God, gently calling out my sin, and affirming the gifts God has given me. I love being Peppy’s partner in all the areas of our lives. It is such a gift to be able to serve God together in our church, workplaces, and friendships. Peppy helps me become more of the woman God made me to be by always pointing me to the Lord and reminding me of his character and promises to me. I can’t wait to continue to watch God be faithful in our lives.