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Jennifer Y. Caspe's Website

Engaged!

 

I have formed a new habit: checking out the glittering ring on my left ring finger—a half-caratsolitaireset on white and yellow gold that isencrusted with 27 tiny diamonds.Growing up, I’d never taken to wearing rings. But now, short of four months of being engaged, it feels like second skin. I seldom take it off, even when I’m sleeping or in the shower.

I’m endlessly fascinated by this ring that I find myself subconsciously checking it out wherever I am—at the breakfast table, in church, while walking at the mall. Sometimes I get embarrassed when I realize people are staring. Yes, the ring is too extravagant for everyday use, but I wear it nonetheless because it reminds me of extravagant love.

At twelve, I was already praying for my future mate. I am a hopeless romantic and didn’t want to waste my time on pointless relationships.

In college, as I held a high position in the NBSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth) club, I told God that I only want to date the person that He has for me, so I told Him to shield me from the wrong guys. And He did. It sure wasn’t fun not having a steady date throughout my teens and my early adult years, but the career and the wonderful sets offriends made up for the void.

And then it happened. . . It was a beautiful spring day when I met him. I was at achurch retreat when I first laid my eyes on him. It must be true what they say that love comes when you’re not looking. At that point in my life, I was so happy reveling in my singleness that I wasn’t even thinking about meeting anyone. I was content that I was living a purposeful life with God at the center of it. But there I got the shock of my life, after seeing this person for the first time, I blurted to God in prayer that this is the guy I wanted to marry. I didn’t even believe at love at first sight . . . until that point.

 

And God did set us up. Arriving late at the last session of the retreat, my friend and I sat at the last row of the function room. Before the session commenced, the speaker asked those at the back to transfer to a couple of vacant seats in front. My friend and I hurried to the front. The guy and I landed on the same table, at the same time. Our friend introduced us. Seated next to him and hearing his convictions about God and relationships, I got all the more convinced that he was the one.

Months after that first encounter, I still couldn’t take him off my mind. But then, he was from a far-flung place and we were both still strangers to each other. God did assure me though that He will make a way and so I had peace.

Three years later, I saw him again. Two weeks before my birthday,I woke up and told God that I wish He’d let me meet my future mate before I turn a year older.That night that same friend who I was with at the retreat dragged me to a birthday party of someone I didn’t even know.That was where I saw him again.He didn’t even remember me, but I sure recognized him. Before I left, he caught up with me and said, “It was nice meeting you.” That started a solid friendship that lasted for three years.

Last October, as we were wading in the ocean at sunset, Michael asked if we could take the friendship to another level. It wasn’t much of a surprise, as I already had an inkling on our first meeting that this day would come. It was worth the wait.

This New Year he called me a little worried that he couldn’t get a seat on the plane. We had talked about meeting in Manila 3 days after his birthday.I didn’t know he was worried because he was set to propose and had in fact had the ring engraved before Christmas. He wanted to propose on January 6, 2008—an auspicious date in Chinese calendar. Actually, we don’t believe in that stuff, but he wanted a date that was easy to memorize. But then he couldn’t get a ticket for January 5!

After much prayer, I told him that I know God will somehow send him to me by January 5. We even prayed for a seat in first class. Two days before his flight, he still didn’t have a ticket. He was worried sick, while I, on the other hand, because I didn’t know he was proposing, was just calm and happy. But then, that night a cousin invited him to a party and there he met a lady who wanted to have her ticket re-booked. He stashed the ticket in his bag and left.

The next morning, his staff saw the ticket and reminded him to have it rebooked right away because the ticket was for January 5! “Wait, hold that ticket,” he exclaimed.

Somehow, he got himself in the plane by using this lady’s ticket and showing the ring to the airline officers who got convinced that he wasn’t interested in bombing the plane, he just needed to get to Manila on time to propose on January 6.

And so, he did arrive on Manila on January 5, seated comfortably in the front row of the plane! (We prayed for a seat in first class after all!).The next day he took me to Island Cove and in the room where we first sat beside each other serenaded me with a guitar, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

The ring came in a box containing his insignia.I must admit that when I saw the ring for the first time, it scared me. I’dwanted asimple and understated engagement ring. (I didn’t care if it’s one of those plastic ring that came with candy, as long as it came from him!)But as it dawned on me how much love was behind the ring, I grew to love it and now I cannot spend an hour without admiring it, especially when I remember how much my fiancé sacrificed to buy it and get it on my finger on 1-6-8.

To me the ring is a reminder of the extravagance of God’s love. Like a doting parent, He wants us to have the best, even though we sometimes feel we don’t deserve it. When you see me nowadays walking down the street, looking contentedly at my ring as I amble along, do smile and thank God with me.–written April 4, 2008

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