“Are you a Christian?’
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
“Do you like cars?”
These two little brats came walking into my after school program, bugging me and asking too many questions. I shoved them away and told them to hurry and sit down and start their homework. Halfway through working on their math, they came back up to me asking…. “Do you sing?” “How old are you?” “Do you love Jesus?” All of these random questions were really aggravating me and I told them again to please go and sit down like all of the other children.
I was 19 years old and was in my first years of college. I had just started teaching the after school program at a nearby elementary school to make some extra money, and homework time during the after school program was valuable to me because it meant I could study a little bit for my own classes….but these two boys, 8 & 9 years old, were making things difficult for me today. They were brand new to the school and had just moved from Panama City Beach, FL to my quaint, little, country hometown of Dahlonega, GA. They were so adamant to chat with me, but I kept sending them away. As I sternly told them, once again, to go back to their seats, the last thing I heard them say was…
“SHE is Mr. Michael’s wife.”
Now, I was engaged in this conversation. “Who is Mr. Michael?”
For the remainder of the afternoon, I heard about this guy that used to take care of them in PCB before they moved here. I heard about how he led worship at their church and was a school teacher. He loved to drive fast cars and he rode jet skis in the ocean. Apparently Mr. Michael was the funniest guy they new and they were never bored with all the adventures he would take them on. He lived with their family, and since their parents worked a lot and traveled, they had Mr. Michael taking care of them and had hoped he would move to GA with them some months ago, but he had not come with them because he had no reason to move to Georgia….yet. 😉
Even from all of this simple minded conversation I had with little Timmy and Justin that afternoon, Michael Young seemed like a really neat Christian guy, but I honestly didn’t think anything of it, until the next day at after school.
The boys had went home and been so obnoxious to their parents about me and how they thought I was the one for their amazing “Mr. Michael”, that I think their mom & dad came in to the school that day to pick them up just to get them to stop talking about it and say they had met me for themselves. I really will never forget the looks on their faces when they introduced themselves to me. Twinkles in their eyes and grins on their faces….they asked me to start babysitting for them and I agreed.
After a few weeks of babysitting and loving working for the O’Brien family, I had finished helping the boys with their chores and taking care of the horses, we had cleaned up from supper, and they had showered and were starting to get in the bed. The phone rang and I answered. I heard this voice, and my heart skipped a beat…seriously. I felt like I knew him and I didn’t even know who it was on the other end.
“This is Michael. Are the boys home?”
“Oh! Mr. Michael,” I began to say.
“And you must be, Ami?”
Those little devils had been working us both…and had told Mr. Michael to call that night, knowing I would answer. We started talking and couldn’t stop. We talked about so much and found common ground in our beliefs and desires. It was a sweet time and now that I look back, it was a time that God had called us both to listen to HIS voice and trust Him. That’s what we were doing. Everything was new, but everything was good.
By the end of the phone call, and countless times that I heard little feet sneaking in to hear my conversation, Mr. Michael had decided to come visit his boys, their parents, and their new babysitter.
It was Friday night, February 7, 1997 and even though the O’Briens didn’t need a babysitter, I was on my way to their house to meet a visitor they had coming up for the weekend from PCB. As I started out the door, my dad stopped me and said, “Now, Ami, I know that it’s not supposed to be about how people look, but if you meet this guy and he’s not, you know, good-looking to you, just be nice and smile, and just come home and tell the O’ Briens you’re not interested.” I kissed Dad on the cheek and raced out the door. I had been listening to a tape of him singing that the boys had given me. With a voice like that, he had to be cute!!!!
When I got to the O’Briens, bad news awaited. As Michael had started to leave to come up to GA, he had been robbed and had not left to make the trip. We were all so sad and worried, but Mrs. O’Brien had a plan. She told Michael where to get some extra cash she had stashed in their beach home and told him to not let the enemy ruin this weekend. He agreed that the next morning he would make the trip…
Saturday, February 8th.
We did not know the significance of that day, but it would prove to be the most significant date of our relationship. Michael arrived at the O’Briens that Saturday and I drove up right as he was walking up the drive with the boys to open the gate. My first thought as I saw him through my car window, wearing his black leather jacket was…..I couldn’t wait to tell Dad not to worry…. and to tell Mom how cute he was!!!! (I later told her, he looked like Michael J. Fox!)
Michael grabbed my hand at one point that weekend and told me, “I’m not going to kiss you. I mean, I don’t plan on kissing anyone unless I think I will marry her.” I smiled and squeezed his hand tighter. It took 2 weeks of Mr. Michael driving up to visit on the weekends for us to start talking about marriage, and it didn’t take much for me to stare into his eyes one night as he leaned in…. and kissed me. Well, I kissed him too and it was electrifying!!!! We both smiled, he said “whoops?!” and then we both knew, he kissed me and we knew what that meant.
Michael later told me that one Sunday night when he left to drive home to PCB, he heard God whisper the words “spiritual womb”. While driving and praying, he began to think that what it meant was that our relationship was in a womb of sorts. A baby is in the womb for 9 months before it is born, and Michael knew what to do. He was going to check his calendar when he got home, and if it was 9 months from the day we met, February 8, to a date on a Saturday, (when most weddings occur), then he knew God was saying to get married.
After many weekends of drives back and forth from Panama City to Dahlonega, Michael and Ami Young were married on November 8, 1997….9 months from the day we met…. and so the 8th day of both February and November had become the happiest dates of our lives! Our new slogan became….Happy 8th!
There is so much more to our story. New chapters and editions have been added and there are plenty more to come. Eighteen years later, 5 children later, and countless kisses later and still Happy 8th comes around every year to remind us that God had a plan and nothing was going to stop it! God has a plan for each of us, for you and for those you love.
Enjoy each day, be nice and smile, and kiss the one you’re gonna marry! Anyone can have a Happy 8th….just listen to the voice of God and don’t despise the little ideas of young boys…sometimes they are right. I WAS Mr. Michael’s wife!
Tomorrow is February 8th, so Happy 8th! Mr. Michael…. I love you. – Ami
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11