Ten Year Adventure of Defying Conventional Wisdom

“You are getting engaged too quickly. You’re going to get a divorce.”

I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. A fellow student at Taylor University, who I didn’t know very well, asked if he could have lunch with me. Though I thought it a little strange that he would want to have lunch with me, I consented. While eating he explained how he was very concerned that Hillary and I were getting engaged after only four months of dating. He stated it like biblical fact that we needed to date for at least a year before getting engaged. I patiently explained our thought process and how we felt like God was leading us this way even though it went against the wisdom of some. I wanted to just light him up. He didn’t even know us well yet he had pronounced a judgment on us. 

Now ten years to the day after marrying Hillary on August 10, 2002 we are thriving in our marriage.

Hillary and I started dating in December of 2001 and knew something special was happening. Things moved quicker than either of us expected and before long we were talking about marriage. I knew I wanted to marry Hillary and do it quickly but Hillary was harder to convince. In her mind there was a rule from James Dobson that you have to be dating a year before getting married. I literally had to convince her to marry me before she would say yes.

The journey over the last ten years has definitely been an adventure. God has taken us places we never would have expected. It’s been an adventure of trust.

A number of decisions we have felt God leading us toward have defied conventional wisdom.

  • Getting engaged and married within 8 months of starting to date
  • Moving to Denver after the wedding without a job
  • Deciding to live on just one income when the kids started coming
  • Leaving a dream youth ministry job
  • Considering becoming missionaries in Poland
  • Working Apple Retail with a Master’s Degree
  • Leaving the Promised Land of Colorado for the humid Midwest
  • Moving to Denver after Illinois without a job waiting for us
  • Taking a job that pays just enough at a church that could close it’s doors in the next three years

Over the last ten years Hillary and I have learned a lot about each other and about how God works in this world. God has taught Hillary and I a lot about trust and faith. For two first borns this is a hard thing to learn.

But as we look back over the past ten years it is amazing to see how God has provided and guided us exactly where he wants us. The thread that runs through these moves and different adventures is amazing. God truly knows what he is doing even if it doesn’t make sense with conventional wisdom. I’m thankful to serve a God who knows the future and who cares deeply for us.

And I am thankful for a wife who is along for this adventure of life and who deals with change with grace, honesty and perseverance.

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” Proverbs 31:10

Thank you Hillary Mae Newton!


About joelnewton

I am a husband to Hillary, a father to Anna and Norah

Posted on August 10, 2012, in Marriage, Personal and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. chrisryanwrites

    Sometimes you just have to go with your heart. A friend gave me the same talk when he heard I’d proposed. He was at our recent 25th anniversary party, and blessed our faith, love, and commitment. Best to you both.

  2. Two things:
    1) This is a great post about faithfulness and commitment. Both your faithfulness and commitment to each other and your faithfulness and commitment to God as a couple. You have stepped out in faith repeatedly and seen God show up in the midst of it.
    2) What a picture! You look like you’re 17! So young and beardless.

  3. Congrats, very happy for both of you!


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