Destiny's Child singer Michelle Williams is engaged: How pain brought her closer to fiancé Chad Johnson
Michelle Williams and Chad Johnson plan to marry in summer this year. She added that hope and faith got her this far.
What was Destiny's Child member Michelle Williams doing before her performance at Coachella? Reveling in the joy of her engagement to pastor Chad Johnson, of course. The 37-year-old singer has been secretly engaged to Chad since March this year and she finally spilled the details on how her love story came about.
Michelle and Chad met in March 2017 at a spiritual retreat in Arizona run by him. In the 'Say My Name' singer's words, she was in a dark place as she walked through the gates of the retreat, recently healing from a relationship in which she was cheated on. For the singer, love was the last thing on her mind but fate had a different plan. She met Chad and hit it off almost immediately, for he was in a similar place as well.
"When we met, both of us were in very similar places on a personal level. Michelle was coming off the heels of a really bad relationship, and I was just in a place of despair as well," he told People as the couple traced their relationship. Even as heartache provided the spark for chemistry, they remained focused on the Elevate International retreat and she kept her distance.
It was him who reached out to her on the insistence of a friend. Chad texted her and said, "I tried to roll in with some mac daddy game — and I tried to flirt a little bit and said something like, 'How about you and I connect sometime?" His usage of the word 'connect' however threw her off-balance. She responded with "Connect??????"
As is often with texting, a lot gets lost in translation. Chad thought his question was out of line and destroyed their friendship. He stopped sending her texts but they got in touch in a few months again when the pastor was on vacation with his 15 and 16-year-old nephews. His social media pictures drew her attention and a flurry of direct messages ensued. Their conversation transitioned from the interweb and they spent hours Facetiming and sending texts.
"We spent almost three months without even seeing each other, just building a strong foundation on the phone and through FaceTime; it was really built on friendship and communication," Chad said. Their first date took place in July at a wedding in the Dominican Republic. He told her that he'd found his lover and he wanted to stop looking for love.
Part of the reason why their relationship worked is due to the secrecy that shrouded it. Michelle said she didn't talk about Chad to her friends. In fact, he was introduced to her Destiny's Child bandmates, Beyonce and Kelly Rowland only recently.
"What kept drawing me and drawing me at first was I felt like I could be myself. My first name is Tenitra; my middle name is Michelle. I felt like I could be Tenitra: just ratchet, I didn’t have to have on any makeup, if I had to have on my hair bonnet — he just made me feel very safe in being myself," she told People.
Almost a year after they met, he decided to propose and traveled to her hometown, Rockford, Illinois to get her family's approval. Secretly, he had videotaped the entire journey and met her on March 21st to celebrate their first anniversary at Pebble Beach, California.
He recreated their first text message by asking if she wanted to reconnect. She answered rather playfully, "Let me check my availability."I signaled over to the waiter, and she brought out the iPad and played the video of me being on the proposal tour," Chad said.
Upon seeing the video, Michelle broke down in tears and finally said yes. They plan to marry in summer this year, and added that hope and faith got her this far. "Just don’t lose hope. But definitely, be doing what you can do to make yourself a better person for the person that possibly is on the way for the way for you," she said.