We are a deeply committed couple in our 30's, and the parents of five precious children on a radical journey to get out of debt, build our faith, our family and our home on 11 1/2 acres of land in the hills of beautiful, Southwest Virginia. Our desire is to use our lives and our resources to encourage others. Sometimes the journey is incredible, sometimes it seems impossible. Here you can read about both because such is life...
A Real Life Love Story ~ Michael and Lauren Bailey
Michael and Lauren on their wedding day. December 9, 2006
Written by my sister, Lauren Bailey:
The Lord brought my husband Michael into my life when I was eighteen years old. I remember wondering before we met, how in the world am I going to meet Mr. Right? I was extremely shy, home-schooled, we attended a very small church and I had very little interaction with guys my age. In spite of all the odds against me, I did believe that God would bring the right man along. I knew that if I trusted Him with the desire of my heart to get married one day, He would be faithful to see it through!
It was Spring 2004, I was in my senior year of homeschool, my sister had gotten married a year earlier and my brother felt a call from the Lord to go to the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry. I knew I was about to graduate high school and I had no idea what my future was going to hold. I thought to myself, that's great that my siblings have this wonderful direction from the Lord for their lives but.. what about me? I have no idea what my future holds! Little did I know, the Lord already had everything planned out in advance and my love story was just about to unfold...
My brother Josh left home for ministry school in Pensacola Florida in January 2004, with his bed and chest in the back of his truck not even having a place to live yet. He was believing that God would open a door for him once he got there. My parents traveled along with Josh to help him move and get settled once they found a place for him to stay. My mom called the school where Josh was to attend and found out that there were a couple of brothers that were interviewing for a room mate. They called and sat up the interview for the day they arrived in Pensacola . The brothers interviewed Josh along with their 3rd room mate living in the house at the time. The brothers were a little unsure about Josh being their new roommate because they thought he was kind of quiet and already had one roommate that did not work out so well, but the third room mate really liked Josh a lot and convinced the guys that they should give him a chance. The 3 guys decided that they would let Josh move in, so my parents proceeded to help Josh move his things in the house and noticed that the third room mate was especially kind, generous and helpful to them as they were moving. He even offered to buy them pizza and show them around the city! I remember calling my parents that day to see how things were going and they told me about the move and how they had met this really nice young man named Michael. My parents stressed how nice Michael had been to buy the pizza and show them around.
Fast forward to a few weeks later. I received an invitation to my senior home-school prom. I called Josh and chatted a bit and told him about the prom and his comment was " well let me see, who could I pay to take you to the prom?" In true brotherly form, he proceeded "well Michael would take you for free!" I laughed knowing Josh's sense of humor and thought that since I had heard such positive things about Michael from Josh and my parents, it sounded like a good idea if he really wanted to make the drive up with Josh from Florida to go with me.
A few days later, I received an email from Michael stating that he would be honored to take me to this prom. I was glad to hear that he really wanted to do it and looked forward to meeting him in person. I didn't respond to Michael's e-mail right away because my dad had said he wanted to talk with Michael first and give him the permission to take me. I listened nervously as dad's voice on the phone sounded a little deeper and straight forward than normal. At the end of the conversation, he told Michael that he would allow him to take me to the prom, then he asked "do you want to speak to Lauren?". This was our first conversation. I was normally very shy and awkward in conversations with guys that I barely knew, but Michael and I hit it off really well. From that very first conversation, we quickly became good friends and looked forward to meeting in person.
The day for Michael to arrive at my house came and I waited anxiously to hear something from him. I received news that his car had broken down off the interstate and that it was going to be at least the next day before he would arrive because his car was in need of a new transmission... my heart sank. I was so excited about seeing Michael in person, but I would wait one more day.
I had a ballet recital that weekend so I ended up having to go to dress rehearsal on the day Michael was to arrive at our house. I came home from rehearsal and went directly where Josh and Michael were to meet Michael for the first time. I would be lying if I said that our first visit was not awkward or that it was love at first sight. In fact, it wasn't just awkward, it was VERY awkward! We went to the prom the next day and had a good time, but we were still unsure of one another's feelings. Talking on the phone had been so much easier than talking in person. We said our goodbye's the following Sunday and resumed talking on the phone to one another pretty much daily. A few weeks later, I invited Michael to come to my graduation party and family reunion, he said yes he would come. This visit we opened up a little more to one another about our feelings. By this time we knew that we really liked each other beyond just a normal friendship. At my graduation party, Michael presented me with his very first gift, a heart bracelet. The next day, he came along with me and my family to our family reunion in Cave Springs, Ga. I will never forget our short little walk in Cave Springs park that day, it was so special to have a little time to talk and laugh together in person! That evening, Michael packed his car for the long trip home to Pensacola. We said our goodbyes and he got in the car and left. I was so sad to see him go. I was very surprised a few minutes later when the phone rang. Michael had talked to his mom and they decided that it was too late for him to make such a long drive at night and that he was coming back to spend one more night with my family! I was so excited that I did a little joy dance in the kitchen before he walked in the door. He came back into the house and I ran and to greet him with a hug out of sheer excitement to have just a little more time with him. We walked into the living room together and sat down with the family to watch a movie. I can honestly say that neither one of us to this day can recall what that movie was about that night other than the fact that it was a hockey movie. As we sat there, all we could think about was each other and for the first time we held hands. From that moment on, it was all history. We were in love and there was no turning back! I had never felt such deep wonderful feelings for someone and I was pretty sure this was the man God had for me to marry. Throughout our courtship, we had our ups and downs and even moments of doubt, wondering if this relationship was really meant to be. I will never forget a time that I was struggling with doubt, sharing with my mom about it and her telling me that what matters most in a man is how he treats you. Michael treated me and my whole family so amazing, he was and still is my very best friend! I would say I found a treasure in Michael but I know that the Lord found this treasure for me and HE did it without my help!
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understandings, in ALL your ways acknowledge him and he WILL direct your path. Prov. 3:5,6.
God is so faithful if we trust him with every area of our lives. He will bring about his planS for us in his perfect timing whether it's relationships, finances, or whatever... He is ALWAYS faithful!!