Grown men with wobbly knees aim for the perfect proposal to that one who is the object of their pursuit. Much time is invested as the cranium churns out possibilities of epochal proportions. Think of the classic Iliad, but even grander (well, maybe not literally but a man whose fiery heart is bursting with love knows no boundaries).
I was such a man.
It had to be perfect. And perfect was simply this—uniquely us, within the narratives of God’s story for our lives. There’s a perfect proposal for every couple. One size certainly doesn’t fit all. And for those willing to seek the Lord for His narrative, it is feasible to create a moment that’s celebrated for a lifetime.
One shot. Once chance. One proposal. One lasting moment, forever etched.
Once Aneta and I started courting on December 31, 2000, I determined in my heart—under the leading of the Holy Spirit—to pursue this godly, beautiful girl to marriage. With that in mind, I mulled over potential proposals.
“What would be the perfect proposal for us?” I ruminated, “What would be her language of love?”
An inspiration struck: Propose to her in her native tongue, Polish, after preaching a prophetic message to her regarding God’s future for us.
Aneta was a scholarship student from Poland studying at the same bible school I attended. Since I knew not a word of Polish, I enlisted a Polish friend of Aneta’s to help me. She heartily agreed to assist.
Meanwhile I continued to pray for the message which came together somewhat flawlessly—it seemed to pour forth from a deep place in my heart. Furthermore I secured permission to utilize the sanctuary on Valentine’s Day so that I could preach the prophetic message that the Lord had put on my heart. It was all coming together smoothly except for one thing—the Polish proposal.
Weeks went by. And no proposal.
On the morning of February 14th, I finally had the proposal. But very little time to practice. Nervously I spoke in my best Polish to pronounce the words as instructed. After about ten minutes my Polish friend gave me a vote of confidence as she exclaimed, “Perfect!”
I was elated. And a bit nervous too, I may add. Only a few hours stood between me and a moment that I’d remember the rest of my life.
I picked up Aneta mid-afternoon. As we made our way to the church facility we engaged in small talk. Finally the moment was upon us as I pulled into the parking lot. This was it. Unsure of what was going on, Aneta—being her usual jovial self—smiled at me. My heart erupted.
As I led her into the sanctuary, I nodded to the worship leader. Immediately—without a word spoken between us—he left the room with his assistants. Bewildered, Aneta glanced at me as she sat on the front row.
I explained that the Lord put a prophetic message on my heart to share with her concerning our future together.
Excitement and nervousness pervaded me all at once. As this glowing, blue-eyed Polish beauty sat on the front row, I took a deep breath as I prayed aloud. Then came the message. I preached as if a million eyes were fastened upon me; yet I was transfixed by one set of beautiful blue eyes. I preached my heart out concerning our future together. I shared a simple message: God wants our influence to bring transformation to our generation to reach the nations.
As Aneta dabbed her eyes with a tissue, I asked her to close her eyes and reflect upon what I had just preached. As she bowed her head, I slowly moved from the pulpit towards her. I knelt besides her with my written Polish proposal.
This was it.
I read to her my heart-felt proposal in my most perfect, fluent Polish. With every fiber of my being aching to communicate fully what resided in my heart, I read every word as instructed earlier. When I finished, I looked up at her in full anticipation of a moment to behold.
However, there was none.
No expression. No sound. No movement.
There was nothing, no response whatsoever—no visible sign elucidating her response to my monumental question. Aneta sat with her eyes closed. I observed carefully to determine why she wasn’t giving me a sign or indicator that she was accepting my proposal. Was it a delay tactic to avoid my proposal? A smothering silence hung in the air. Finally—after what seemed like eternity (probably 30 seconds)—I decided to propose to her again. This time in English.
In my most perfect English I asked, “Aneta, will you marry me?”
Immediately I got the response that I was looking for: Yes!
It was a glorious moment to behold. As we were leaving the sanctuary to drive to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate, I turned to ask her, “Why didn’t you respond to me when I first proposed to you in Polish?”
“What?” she exclaimed, puzzled, “I thought you were praying in tongues!”
Well it turned out that my Polish wasn’t so perfect after all. Plus Aneta’s friend wrote this proposal in an old form of fancy Polish! Not the ideal scenario for a first-timer! What was intended to be my heartfelt, fluent Polish simply sounded like someone praying in other tongues, an unknown language!
Fourteen years later we still laugh about our perfect proposal story.