Faith and Dedication: Perseverance Leads to Lasting Love
As part of a week-long series alongside Valentine’s Day, we’re featuring stories about UF couples, past and present, called “Findlay Faithfuls.” Did you meet the love of your life on campus? We want to hear about it! Share your story via Facebook or Twitter using #IHeartUFindlay #FindlayFaithfuls.
Many love stories start out with a “Love at First Sight” scenario; a magical, dream-like situation where the love was clearly and abundantly evident from the get-go. This, however, was not the case for Jeremy ’09 and Sarah (Arnold) Sickmiller ’10.
Jeremy and Sarah met at UF band camp in 2006 during one of those hot and humid late northwest Ohio summers that might not make the best atmosphere for immediate love. “Jeremy asked me on a couple of initial dates and I turned him down to begin with,” said Sarah. “Mr. (Jack) Taylor told me during my interview to join band that a lot of band marriages take place. I laughed and said, ‘I am not marrying a band geek.’” So, it’s safe to say, the cards were stacked against Jeremy before he ever laid eyes on Sarah.
But the heart wants what it wants, and Jeremy continued to pursue Sarah. As he tells it, it was only after a consistent and dedicated seven-month bird-dogging that she finally agreed to a date with him. It took the coaxing of a friend of hers to get Sarah to come around, and, alas, Jeremy had finally gotten what he’d desired for the better part of a year. They went for ice cream, and before the last drip fell from their cones, they realized that they were likely a good fit and wanted to get to know each other better.
While continuing to date for two years, both juggled the rigors of work, band and school before Jeremy realized that it was time to make it official. Fittingly, he decided to ask for Sarah’s hand in marriage on a UF band trip to New York City. He proposed in Central Park, she said yes, and the entire band, aware of the plan, was waiting for them outside of their hotel when they returned. Hugs and handshakes commenced and the two enjoyed the rest of the trip as fiancés.
And nearly three years later, on June 4, 2011, after both had earned their undergraduate degrees, the two were married at a small church with friends and family in attendance. Now, after almost eight years, two graduate degrees and, most importantly, one precocious three year-old boy have been added to their lives, the couple is busy, yet still very much in love. Jeremy is a full-time project quality engineer and is pursuing another master’s degree from Purdue University, and Sarah is a full-time stay-at-home mom to Levi and a children’s leader for Bible Study Fellowship. They’re both active in their church, each teaching Sunday school and greeting, and Jeremy working in the café and for security. Through the busyness, Jeremy acknowledges Sarah for her caring heart, her kindness, and her willingness to speak the truth. Sarah says that it’s Jeremy’s devotion to family, his ability to make her smile no matter the circumstances, and his sweetness that gets her through her day.
From music to matrimony, being “band geeks” was certainly a catalyst for their relationship, but the credit for their success in life and as a couple they give completely to Jesus. “There have been trials and tribulations in our relationship,” Jeremy says. “However, we were able to find the comfort and peace of our Lord knowing that in all things he will provide and His love will endure.”