Proposals That Pop

Justine and Shekinah - When The Time is Right

‘What I wanted to say wouldn’t come out. I just knelt down and told her I prayed for this for a long time’

Church played a major role in Justine Embile and Shekinah Borbe's love story, making it fitting that he leaned on their friends to execute his proposal. Justine noticed Shekinah when he was volunteering while she was responsible for gathering church volunteers. From there and thanks to a common friend, close friendship grew into love.

Justine confesses that though he wanted to ask for Shekinah's hand in marriage and prayed about it, he was still nervous to take the leap. Below, he shares what gave him the confidence to ask the love of his life for her hand in marriage and when he knew that the time was right.

What made you feel that it was the perfect time to pop the question?

Justine: I asked God first when is the right time to propose and I received this advice, "give space for God, He will work at it.”

How did you come up with your proposal plan? What was your inspiration for it?

Justine: I wanted a simple but one of the greatest moments ever in our life. I want it to be memorable and for our friends to be there. My friend suggested that I do it in a church setting as my alternative plan if there were sudden restrictions in our quarantine protocols because I also want our family’s safety.

I wanted to propose to her at our favorite place in Intramuros or their family’s place with few people there it but there are restrictions due to the pandemic. Her mom wanted for us to have it with our group of friends. So my alternative plan to propose was to do it at church right after Sunday Service. I asked for help from her workmates for the plan to work. I wanted to surprise her and make sure she would have no hint that I will propose on that day. And since we want our close friends and families to witness our special day, I invited them to be there online.

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What are your tips for planning a proposal?


  1. Give space for God to work on it and listen to Him.
  2. Seek help from your friends. Your community will really reach out to you as you allow them to journey with you.
  3. Set the right time to talk to her parents and to ask for their blessing to propose.

Please share with us your proposal story in your own words.

Before proposing to Kinah, I thought to myself, ‘What if I'm not ready?’, ‘Am I financially stable?’, ‘What if she says no?’ But God assured me when I read Psalm 66:20, "Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!". This reminded me how God loves and blesses me that no matter what happens, God is in us and He hears our prayers.

On the day of my proposal, I knew I would surprise her and believed that she would say yes to me. But before that I didn't know how to plan the surprise and I was nervous. Thankfully I had help to execute my proposal. What I wanted to say to Kinah wouldn’t come out. I just gave her flowers, knelt down, told her that I’ve prayed for this for a long time, and then asked her to marry me.

I shared in private what I wanted to say during my proposal. The best thing that has happened to me is not only to hear her “Yes” but listening to and obeying God's voice.

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Kinah, tell us what it was like from your point of view/perspective!

Months before he proposed, I’ve been asking and seeking God to ensure that this is where He is leading me. My mom once asked me and told me that it seems like Justine will propose. I was shocked. I did want it to be this year and even added this as part of my faith goals for the year. But at the same time, I worried and thought about the future. Are we ready? Are we mature enough? Is this really the right time? Lots of my friends are getting engaged or getting married, am I got carried away by them that’s why I wanted to also have that’. Those were my thoughts and questions that I wrestled with.

I know God wants me to trust and obey Him that everything will fall into His right timing. So I waited, but proactively waited. I prayed to God, I would go on with my life and not be burdened by my thoughts about it.

When Justine proposed, I didn't have any clue. And I was reminded to enjoy. “So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.” (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13) Enjoy! That is the reminder.

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