I always dreamt about this day. Who would be the man that would ask me in marriage? Would I cry? Would there be any doubt in my mind that I wanted to spend forever with him? Where would he do it? Would he get on his knee? What would he say? What would the ring look like? What would it feel like to know I found my future husband? It seems like it was just the other day that my future was filled with so many question marks. And now, I rest assured that I’m engaged to marry the one God set apart for me. This is what I’ve always prayed for.
On May 28th 2014, I woke up ready for another fun day at my home in Machava, Mozambique. The day before, my mom had told me that the Marcolinos, another missionary family, were taking family photos to send back to Brazil, and that we should take some photos of our family too just for fun. Since I’m usually away from my parents and we don’t get to take photos together often, I was totally down. My boyfriend Brycen and his sister Courtney were here in Mozambique visiting and doing missions for a couple of weeks. I told Brycen to pick out some nice clothes so that he could take some pictures with us as well and he was like, “Oh, I’m not gonna be in these. It’s just for your family. But alright then, if I were to be in any, what should I wear?” That sneaky Brycen. He knew very well that he was going to be greatly featured in this “photo shoot”.
Everyone had been talking about a cake they were making for children’s day in Mozambique, which was going to be in 2 days. At one point in the day I start walking towards the bakery and I see the door close and everyone start to walk away. By the time I reach the bakery and ask to look at the cake they said to me, “Oh the door is locked and the person with the key is already far away… Sorry.”
Courtney was gone most of the day supposedly decorating for children’s day. I knew where the party would be and I walk over to help with the decorating, but no one was there. I figured she was making decorations somewhere else and that they would be hung up later on. Then I see all of the kids from the orphanage super clean like they had just gotten out of the shower wearing their best Sunday clothes. I asked them why they were so clean at 3 in the afternoon since shower time is only at 5. “I don’t know. Mano Jessé told us to,” they answered. Mano Jessé is my dad. He was close by so I asked him and he paused for a while then said, “Oh, someone is filming the children for a video, so that’s why they’re dressed up.” Nice save, Dad.
At this point I realized Brycen had also been gone for a while but I didn’t have time to go look for him cause it was time for me to get ready for the photo shoot. I washed my dirty “African feet” and changed my clothes. While I was doing my makeup with my mom she started stressing out cause Isaac, our friend who was gonna be the photographer was late and we were gonna miss the sunset. Finally, Isaac arrives and we all go outside to take pictures. We took a few in our front yard by some bamboos until Courtney said, “Hey there are some really pretty trees back there and the sun looks really pretty.” So off we go walking towards the pretty fields behind our house when I realize that my Dad and Brycen aren’t with us. I start walking back to go find them and everyone is telling me to forget about it. “But Brycen brought clothes for this! And how are we gonna have a family photoshoot without my dad?!” I asked. Once someone said that they were already at the place ready for the pictures, I settled down and kept on walking. Little Ester came up to me to say hi and I picked her up. She is the cutest little girl and so as I was walking I was focused just on her. Finally, when we get closer to the designated photo shoot area, I look up and see two rows of kids all holding beautiful yellow flowers and I think to myself “Wow, the Marcolinos are gonna take some super cute pictures with all the kids to send to Brazil this time. They’re getting so creative; I love this!”
I walk through the kids and see them holding some paper signs all upside down. I didn’t even try to read what they said, but I assumed it said “OBRIGADO” which means “thank you” to show the missionary supporters in Brazil. Then I see a white antique cabinet with some cute décor and a beautiful cake. “Oh cute, we’re gonna give the kids some cake and have a mini party before the actual children’s day!” I naively thought to myself. I turn around back towards everyone and see Isaac taking photos directed at me and I start hugging and smiling with Ester for a picture. Everyone was kinda quiet but nothing was clicking in my head, until finally Courtney grabs my arm and says, “Hey come here I want to show you something.” I walk through the kids again and this time I’m able to read the letters that they’re holding, which are now in order and the right side up, spelling the four words that ask one of the most important questions I’ll ever have to answer: “WILL YOU MARRY ME?”
My heart started beating so fast and my hands started to shake. “This has got to be for me… No one else would be getting engaged right now, right? Is this really happening? IS THIS REAL LIFE?” A million thoughts ran through my mind. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that all I could do was laugh and cry at the same time. Everyone started cheering and someone shouted out “We need an answer!”
“What do I do? Where do I go? Where is he?!” I asked. That’s when Brycen, in his tan-golden denim pants and polka-dot chambray shirt, walks out from behind the cabinet holding a single red rose. All I could do was run to him and fall in his arms.
The next moments were a blur of bursts of joy and love. He gave me the rose to hold, and said the sweetest words with teary eyes that completely melted my heart. He got on his knee and opened that little black box revealing the most sparkly and most perfect ring as he asked me to marry him. “YES! YES!” I said without a doubt in my mind as I reached down to hug him and he got up and twirled me around. “Oh, I guess I should put this on your finger,” he said as he got down on his knee again and placed the diamond solitaire on my left ring finger, where it would stay forever.
It was more perfect than I could ever have dreamed. He waited to ask me at my home in Africa, out in the fields as the tall grassland swaying in the breeze was being outlined by the golden sunset. He made sure that my family and the kids from the orphanage were a part of such a special moment for us. He completely surprised and spoiled me.
It’s so much love; I don’t deserve it. I know it’s all because of God’s love for me. My Father in heaven knows the desires of my heart. “We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19. One of the most tangible ways I see that God loves me is through Brycen’s life. God chose him to be my husband and me to be his wife. We are in awe of God’s favor and blessings over our lives and all we can do is thank Him.
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” – Ephesians 3:20-21
P.S. Thank you so much to everyone who helped in making this day so unforgettable and perfect! Obrigada Mãe, por fazer um bolo lindo e delicioso pra gente e também por fazer as bandeirinhas lindas! Obrigada Pai por filmar tudo para que agente nunca esqueça esse momento tão especial. Obrigada Mano Didi por filmar também. Obrigada Mana Dri por comprar as flores e fingir que a padaria estava trancada pra eu não ver o bolo rsrs. Brigada Carol pelos cupcakes deliciosos! Obrigada Isaac e Ruthinha pelas fotos maravilhosas que capturaram os melhores momentos desse dia tão lindo. Thank you Courtney for writing the cute signs with your beautiful handwriting and taking the time to decorate and help make it all so cute and special! Eu amo vocês muito!
Photography by: Isaac Williams and Ruth Blazejuk