Call it Destiny. Singer Michelle Williams revealed her engagement to Pastor Chad Johnson on Thursday, April 19, but their sweet love story is making even bigger waves than his romantic proposal itself.
Johnson proposed to the Destiny’s Child singer during a vacation in California. For the special moment, he presented Williams with a 5-carat sparkler designed by L.A.-based jeweler Denis Mahgerefteh. According to People, Williams saved up for the ring for 11 long years—though he and Williams have technically only been together for a year. The backstory, which Johnson explained this week to the mag, is incredibly moving.
“On my 30th birthday, everybody came and celebrated me,” Johnson said. “The next day, I woke up alone. I was so lonely. I had a little pity party. My personal life was lacking so much, and I was living so single.”
The chaplain says it was in that moment that he decided to take matters into his own hands. “As a response to that moment, I opened up a ring account, and for 11 years, I put $150 into a ring account,” he shared. “Every month I’d put money into that account; I would just say, ‘My wife’s coming; this is for my wife.’ I did that for 11 years.”
There were obvious moments of temptation—Johnson says at times, he wanted to withdraw the sum to put it towards a nice car—but he held out. Last July, Johnson turned 41, several months after meeting Williams at a church retreat. The couple officially started dating last summer, and for Johnson, there was no doubt she was it.
“I was so excited to get that money and go buy that ring,” he recalled. “There’s so much in that ring. That’s 11 years of my belief in my wife coming for me.”
The piece includes a large, 5-carat center stone surrounded by a halo of smaller diamonds. Williams didn’t give him much direction—“How do you tell your man to make sure he gets the right ring?” she mused to People—but the pastor somehow nailed it.
“It’s kind of like God was showing me, this is what’s to come,” she concluded. “It was really, really crazy.”