First, Martin and I would like to thank our friends and loved ones who sent their kind congratulations and well wishes. Thank you for letting us share this joy of answered prayers with you. Yes, we are about to get married! Praise the Lord!
After I wrote “Why We Stopped Saying ‘I Love You’ To Each Other” years ago, Martin and I decided to honor God in the process of our waiting and praying by keeping things about our “love lives” private. It wasn’t because it was inappropriate but because we both felt it was unnecessary.
Before I share some stories behind our engagement day, I would like to share with you first some of the blogs I wrote that pretty much speak about my thoughts on marriage.
- Marriage is Not THE Goal
- The One Question You Should Ask Yourself To Know If You’re Really Ready For Courtship and Marriage – Part 1 and Part 2
- Confessions of a Single Woman Running Frustrated About Waiting
On July 8, 2020, my 30th birthday, in the presence of our loved ones, Martin dropped the question, “Will you marry me?”. But behind that day and that question were years of waiting and months of praying even more.
Before asking for my hand in marriage, Martin prayed, planned and prepared for a lot of things with the guidance and counsel of our physical and spiritual parents. And I am grateful that he asked out of answered prayers and God’s word, and not out of mere feelings and circumstances.
On February 20, 2020, Martin went to our house and asked me if he could court me. With the approval of our physical and spiritual parents, he opened up about his desire to pursue me for marriage. From then on, I was in a whirlwind of praying and depending on God even more. My Bible study leader and mother were with me in that whirlwind. Truth be told, it is easy to tell God about what you desire. It is easy to pray for guidance and wisdom. But it is challenging to respond based on His go signal and not based on what I feel or what I think is right.
I am grateful for a God-given wise counsel and an accountability partner. My Bible study leader was guiding me in prayers, corrections and support. During a one-on-one last June, my Bible study leader shared to me the story of Boaz and Ruth, and something stood out to me from what she shared.
“Pwede naman gawin ni Boaz and Ruth ang gusto nila. Pwedeng-pwede naman sila pumasok sa relationship pero hindi sila nagmadali. Dumaan sila sa proseso ng Panginoon.”
And from there, I also remembered what my ate Vivian told me years ago, “Wag kayong mag-short-cut, baka ma-short circuit.” The verses from 1 Corinthians 6 & 10 also popped in my head: “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.
From that whirlwind of prayers and dependence on God, on June 12, 2020, through A LOT OF God-ordained circumstances and confirmation (including an unexpected opportunity to have a quiet time together under a beautiful weather at a bay), and in the presence of God’s word in Isaiah 11:8, backed-up with God’s personal promises to me over the years, I personally told Martin that I am saying yes to a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with him.
It was on that day when we finally said ‘I love you’ to each other.
Of course, I went home telling everything to my mom and Bible study leader. We talked about how we should still keep things private, “Tsaka na kapag answered prayer sa answered prayers na.”
Nakaka-kilig kapag answered prayer. There is an unspeakable peace from knowing that God orchestrated your love story for His glory. I cried tears of gratitude that day, knowing that being in a relationship with Martin is a privilege — a blessing we should have not received but given not because of anything we can offer, but because GOD IS GOOD! It was already enough that though my sins were like scarlet, God made me white as snow. I have been made complete in Christ, so this? This is only a bonus!
It was then when I told God about my desire to be engaged soon. Yes, I had a specific date in mind! 😂 I asked God to touch Martin’s heart to propose to me on my 30th birthday. I know this sounds too specific but hey, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete”, right?
I told my mom and my Bible study leader about that desire and prayer. And indeed, moonshot prayers call for faith that move mountains.
The day before my 30th birthday, I texted my Bible study leader. I told her about my doubts that God would say yes to my prayers. I also told my mom how I felt. They still encouraged me to put my faith in God and not on my feelings. Although Martin invited me for a lunch date on my birthday, it felt like he had no plans of proposing. I could not sleep the night before my birthday so at 12:07 AM, God led me to find rest in His word. At 3:05 AM, I was writing this out of God’s word to me at John 3.
Little did I know, Martin (together with our Bible study leaders and parents) was already planning his proposal on my 30th birthday! (Yes, I know. What a disgrace on the unbelief I had). His mom and dad even helped him in the venue preparation. He also contacted Grace as the surprise accomplice! Martin’s siblings were also on a phone, watching the event through a video call.
Given the pandemic restrictions, only few of our closest loved ones were physically present that morning. But God’s blessings, along with the answered prayers and support of our closest loved ones, were not restricted that day.
Waiting for God’s will, process & timing hurts. It has to hurt. When I wrote, “When God Says, ‘Wait A Little More’” earlier this year, I was consumed by frustrations. But God is working in our waiting. He is growing us in our waiting, too.
“True love waits. If it can’t wait, it isn’t love.”
I cannot remember where I heard that or if someone said that to me. But that phrase still stings to me up to this day. It is now without wonder why 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 starts with “Love is patient”. It is easier to let go of what we are praying to God for than to trust in Him. But God isn’t leading us to what’s easy; He is leading us to faith.
Martin was the Isaac of my Genesis 22. God’s promise to me was so personal and real, but I was shaken by circumstances and emotions many times over. But the Lord is gracious and merciful. The whirlwind of prayers and dependence on God doesn’t stop today. In fact, it goes on — deeper and wider. But the Lord is good. He is faithful.