Oksana and Anatoliy
How We Met: Being from completely different parts of America, it was pretty impossible for us to cross paths. I’m from Chicago, IL and He is from Anchorage, ALASKA. As I look back, there were so many opportunities where it could have happened, where our paths could have crossed but God had His way & His plan. He was going to write my love story.
I was at a bible study where a friend shared a testimony of how she put a request on the wailing wall of Israel for Gods perfect match for her life( & it happened to her!). I understood that there is great power in prayer and committed to pray everyday to meet my future husband. I prayed for God to bring the right man into my life from His very own hand.
I found a website that sends prayer requests to the wailing wall, where every submitted prayer is printed out and then placed in between the bricks of the wall. Thousands of people visit this wall daily to pray for their nation and the prayer requests. A week prior to all this, a random guy who I thought was familiar started commenting on my Instagram pictures and liking them.
I mentioned it to my friend, sent her pictures of him and she jokingly responded, ” it’s your future husband”. I took time and prayed for this prayer request and truly asked God for His will to be done. And then a week later it was a month before my birthday he commented again on my picture and I became very interested to know who he was and how he knew me and why he was commenting on my stuff.
I asked him how he knew me and he said he didn’t( I thought it would end at that) but he persisted and said “Let’s get to know one another”. That was the start to our conversation. He appeared to be a very strict guy especially from his pictures but when we began talking he had such a great sense of humor and sarcasm and our conversations continued.
I didn’t want to put too much thought into it but just thought that it was a simple nice guy talking to me. I knew he was doing missionary work in Mexico at the time and didn’t expect anything of him, but God had his plan apart from my thinking.
We shared a passion for God and the missionary field which brought us even closer together. Then we both felt a spark and we began to really enjoy talking to each other. As we grew closer, we agreed to keep our relationship exclusive between us two, close family and friends until we became engaged. I can truly say I am engaged to my best friend, Anatoliy.
How He Asked: Although I had a feeling of what was coming I did not know the answers to all of my questions. I would ask my fiancé so many questions hoping to get something out of him, to give me a hint of when the proposal would happen. This is how the story begins, my close girlfriends decided to record a video for our church- which is a usual matter. Of course I was going to go.
Since I knew I would be on video I dressed up a bit. We made our way to downtown Chicago meanwhile, my fiancé Anatoliy was patiently waiting. Completely unaware of what was going on, I was delaying them even more. I suggested random spots for us to record videos while Anatoliy was getting nervous waiting for my arrival.
We finally made our way over to Navy Pier. Playing it over and over in his head Anatoliy anxiously spent two hours waiting as we stalled. There is a beautiful garden inside Navy Pier called Crystal Garden with Palm Trees; a green house type setting with high ceiling made of glass.
When you look out you can get a glimpse of the Ferris wheel that is set on Navy Pier. There are unique fountains found throughout this garden as well, it’s basically paradise! I truly love this place and have made many memories during my childhood here. This place holds a special meaning to me so whenever I’m at Navy Pier I always make time to take a moment to walk through it.
Again we were at Navy Pier so I suggested we walk through the garden and little did I know that there, my love, was patiently waiting for me all along. We walked in the garden with the girls. I was stunned by the garden and admired the beautiful atmosphere and smooth jazz music in the background.
I was walking through the garden towards the other side and I glanced forward and saw my fiancé sitting on the bench in front of me. Our eyes met and suddenly time had slowed down and I felt as if I was in a dream. He came with a little bouquet of the lily of the valley flowers which have so much depth and meaning and are one of my favorite flowers.
It was so fitting (my grandmothers favorite flowers)! He took my hands and led me to the center of the garden where the palm trees surrounded us and a little crowd had gathered. I noticed my friend Victoria taking pictures off the camera we were to record our video on. I was shocked at her being involved and creating such an illusion to a regular day.
Back to us, as he held my hands, we gazed into one another’s eyes. I had so many thoughts running through my head and all I knew that it felt like a dream and it was so surreal.
He got down on one knee and asked the million dollar question “Will you marry me?”, without hesitation I said “Yes!”
We hugged and people cheered! I had some of my closet friends there with me along with my mom and they all hugged me and congratulated me.
After the pictures were taken we were off to another surprise- a dinner at the Signature Room (on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building) in downtown Chicago, also an absolute favorite spot of mine!
After dinner we headed home for some family time.
I was stunned at how every moment was planned out so perfectly and truly felt blessed. My fiancé was so detailed that he even matched his shirt to my nails- so thoughtful and caring!
He truly created a moment I dreamed of having and did it in such a unique and symbolic way incorporating my favorite things and bringing up our memories together along with the memories I had throughout my life! I love you Toliy! (@nutoliy) and YES I love the ring, it’s perfect ;)
Photography: Victoria Login Williams