Melissa and John

How We Met

I was 17 years old when I ran into a photo of John. I immediately knew he was the man I was going to marry! Mind you that I did not know that he lived in California and he certainly did not know I lived in Chicago… He didn’t even know of my existence yet. Nor did I know who he was or his story but I began to pray for him every single night. I asked God to remove anyone that was in his life that did not belong in it and if I was the one for him that he would eventually see a spark in me that he wouldn’t be able to see it in anyone else…and those were the exact words he told me years later. He was always for me! God has always come through for us. We officially met November 24, 2013, in Longbeach, California. After one whole year of texting daily, talking on the phone, FaceTiming and writing many letters.

We became the greatest of friends! John then traveled to Chicago in December that winter and met my family and my church and they all immediately loved him. It was his first time seeing a lot of snow! (He even got to experience a snowstorm, haha) That next day we had a snowball fight, built a snowman, went sledding and my youth never failed in being present! A few days before he had to leave John was very nervous and I finally understood why. That day he had planned to talk to my parents personally and tell them his intentions and that he loved me so much! I was so shocked. He said the “L” word!!! He was the first one!! Haha, such blissful moments…We spent two summers together and they were filled with endless of adventures. He even surprised me on a Tuesday at around 8:30 in the morning on July 21st. My mom had wakened me up to go outside because there was a surprise for me!

Surely enough, there was! Outside there were many flower petals with a table filled with even more! A cake with my name, balloons and a huge heart poster that John had made that said, “Will you be my Girlfriend?” Our friendship and bond were so special and it went beyond just sharing time together, it was long-lasting. We then entered many different kinds of seasons together! Many ups but also many downs that today we thank God so very much for. It’s true that ALL things work together for good for those that love him. We wouldn’t be who we are now if we never went through those hard experiences we had to overcome He taught us so much through them all and made our love so unconditional. Our ways of thinking had changed, we had matured more and we grew a whole lot together. God has always given us the strength and grace.

I love the protection God has over us and the close bond and playful relationship that John and I have. Throughout the years we have traveled many air miles for love. I traveled to Palm Springs, California for my first time on May 27, 2016, and met his beautiful family and church. John’s mom and I already had such a close bond throughout the years but we had officially met! They are one of the loveliest, fun, chill and amazing families I have ever met. We have created such beautiful memories together. Every encounter John and I had and continue to have is fresh, new and exciting. We have had a long journey and we couldn’t be any more excited for this lifelong bond. A gift from God, and sacred institution. All with the favor of God! In Jesus Name. Thank you to everyone that has been part of our story. Thank you for being happy for us and loving us. The best is yet to come! “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

How He Asked

Palos Verdes Cliff was where my beloved proposed to me on November 25th, 2017. (On the 25th because he wants to remember that he was 25 years old when he proposed. Haha!) Here’s a little side note: That spot carried a special place in our hearts even before that lovely day. Little do people know that after a hard season in our lives, we went our separate ways. It was for our own good, we were so young and the distance did not help. I look back and marvel at how great my God is. That hard season ended up being one of the best seasons of my life. I grew up. I had so much time to be myself and so did he. Time had passed and in November a friend and I were going to fly down to California for National Youth Convention in Longbeach, California. We first arrived in Los Angeles and guess who ended picking us up? *drumroll* yes you guessed right- John! We hadn’t seen each other in a long time and we hadn’t talked much throughout that time but we always had a healthy friendship.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in California

We knew we were always going to cherish each other no matter what God had in store for our lives. So here we were all headed to Longbeach when we randomly ran into Palos Verdes Cliffs! We look back today and we both swear that day was magical. We had so much fun! We laughed like never before and gosh was the scenery amazing. It was like a beautiful reunion! “Yesterday” wasn’t in mind, and “tomorrow” wasn’t either. Honestly, we didn’t even know we were going to see each other or spend any time together. It all just happened! There’s without a doubt that what we had was true. We were present and it was glorious. A glow was in our faces and everything felt restored, new and liberated. We spoke of nothing but simply enjoy each other’s company! We have always had a silly, fun, and friendly relationship. We fell in love all over again. The rest is history. Our life together only got sweeter and better. We hadn’t returned back since then!

After two years later though– John, his brother and I were headed to National Youth Convention again that year in November. So I thought… because guess where we ended up arriving to?! Palos Verdes Cliffs!! I was stoked!!! The day was sunny and lovely. Michael had gone his separate way to take some pictures of the beautiful scenery and gave us some time to ourselves. I was so excited because I was remembering our adventures and how magical that day was two years ago. John and I walked to that exact spot we went to two years back and we marveled at the scenery and how far God had taken us!

He then told me he wanted to take a picture of me facing the scenery (I attached that exact picture up above.) and when I had turned around John was down in one knee asking my hand in marriage. I was shaking with joy!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t stop smiling, it was by far one of the happiest days of my life. His friend even popped out of nowhere and took the most gorgeous pictures ever. God has been so creative in our love story and we know this is only the beginning. <3 We’re walking boldly and confidently, knowing no matter what the adventure holds, God is with us! #jmhappilyeverafter

Melissa's Proposal in California

Special Thanks

Michael Rojas
Photographer