The minute I met James, I knew he was the one. It is something we both cannot describe, but we felt being together was a real match made in heaven. We had been dating since a young age and pretty much grew up together.
As we entered our early twenties and had already been dating for several years, I was definitely preparing myself for a wedding proposal. Aside from the strong bond we shared, what has always been so special about our relationship is the love and support we both have from our families. Our families are oddly close with each other (our moms have become BFFs), and I can truly say that his parents love me like their own daughter. James’ mom is a super-woman and an angel, and I’m sure others who know her would say the same.
Although we weren’t married at the time, his family welcomed me wholeheartedly as one of their own. I was sure that James loved me unconditionally, and as you can imagine, everyone was eagerly waiting for him to pop the question, especially me!
I still remember the day our jeweler, who also happened to be a close friend, called me during our ski trip and asked me what I thought about the ring he had designed!
I was absolutely shocked! At that point, I didn’t even know James was going to propose. When I knew James really did have a ring, I was over the moon. I had already started planning our wedding and my dress in my head. I even called my wedding planner, Beth Helmstetter, and started discussing my ideas about the wedding with her. And, of course, I had to keep this all to myself and act as if I didn’t know.
However, during that period, James was going through a family emergency. One of his uncles was in a critical medical condition and had to be hospitalized. Because of this, James decided to postpone the proposal for a while. Days went by and thankfully his uncle miraculously recovered, which was a great relief.
The moment I heard the good news, I patiently waited for the day James would get down on one knee and propose. Every weekend and every date with him, I would think to myself, “this is the day!” and get myself dolled up, nails manicured, but in the end, nothing! James still hadn’t popped the question. I was beginning to get frustrated, especially since I knew he had the ring for almost two months! I was worried that he was getting cold feet and felt upset and confused.
James is someone who speaks through actions, more than words. This is a trait I greatly respect and admire about him, and is also one of the reasons why I love him so much. But when he does do something, it’s always tasteful and amazingly executed. Just when I had stopped caring and feeling frustrated, and pretty much given up on waiting….
It was Super Bowl Sunday.
We were hosting a Super Bowl Sunday gathering at home and had invited our cousins over. Since James and I go to the Oasis LA Christian church every Sunday, the morning of Super Bowl Sunday was especially busy for me, as I was busy cleaning and tidying up the house before our guests arrived. I didn’t have much time to get dressed up for church, so I threw on a cardigan, a pair of sneakers, jeans, and didn’t wear any make-up, except for some tinted moisturizer and mascara, definitely not what you’d call my Sunday best.
While we were seated, I noticed our cousins had also come to church. I did find it a bit unusual at the time, as they do not usually come to Oasis. But I just assumed they thought it would be convenient for us all to head back to our place after the service.
The sermon that day was about love, as Valentine’s Day was just around the corner. I really loved how the sermon was about being patient with your loved one, and how a strong relationship is created through God, as we are all imperfect.
Nearing the end of the sermon, our pastor mentioned this one particular couple and how he wanted to bring them up to the front and pray for them. I still remember that very moment like it was yesterday. He called out two names: Janet and James. My first thought was, “OMG, what a coincidence that there’s a couple with the exact same names as ours.” No movement from either one of us. The pastor repeats our names again, “Can Janet and James please come up?”
Oh, and by the way, our pastor is quite famous with a huge following and his sermons are streamed live around the world! So you can imagine how nervous I was. My heart still races thinking about it, even now as I type! James then took me by the hand and pulled me out of my chair. His hands had turned super cold, which was strange as he usually has the warmest hands in the world.
I was in complete shock, and as someone who has a fear of public speaking, you can imagine how my face looked at that point. I starred into James’ eyes with a look that said, “What the hell is going on!” It all happened so fast that I didn’t even have time to register that he was about to propose. I don’t even remember how I walked up those stairs to the stage that day. We were in front of a large congregation of about 300 people, with stage lights beaming right into my face. I was having a mini panic attack at this point, and as I turned to James, he was on one knee, holding the most beautiful ring in the world!
I couldn’t even hear the words he was even saying because of how shocked I was. Tears just automatically started streaming down my face. It was something I could never have expected; yet it was even better than anything I had ever dreamed about.
The fact that James was able to pull that off was just amazing. Big thanks to his cousins, Jina and Jee, who are active members of the church and arranged everything. The proposal was just so emotional and meaningful. And the fact that we began our engagement with good wishes from so many people and a beautiful blessing from Pastor Philipp Wagner himself just made it even more special.
While the congregation was cheering and clapping for us, I turned to face everyone and I saw his cousins standing there with a huge sign with a hand-written message that read, “Welcome to the Family”
Till today, I am so grateful for James and his family for giving me the chance to experience something that beautiful, which I will cherish for the rest of my life. This is why Super Bowl Sunday will always have a special place in my heart as I am forever reminded of the day James proposed. Besides, I’m an American and you know how much we love football and how the Super Bowl is like a national holiday over here!
I truly was the happiest girl in the world that day. Since many witnessed our proposal at the church, we even got congratulated several times after that day by kind strangers at restaurants, at the market, and other places in the area, which was really nice.
Thanks for reading about my special engagement and I wish you all a great Super Bowl Sunday!