The Five Year Jumps

A moose rode shotgun as I drove the moving truck back to Denver

Ever wish you could travel back in time and tell give your younger self some advice?

This summer marks fifteen years of marriage for Hillary and me and so this has caused us to reflect on the last fifteen years. Anna is also entering junior high in the fall which causes us to think back over the last few years as well.

Each morning when I open up Facebook, it displays pictures from years past as part of their “On This Day” feature. Yesterday it popped up this picture above which is my view from the driver’s seat of our moving van as we packed up and moved back to Denver from Champaign, Illinois.

This move back to Denver was a stressful one for our family but we knew it was the right one. Because of a changing role at a church I had been working at, we decided to move back to Denver where we had been eight years prior to Champaign. But we packed up our moving van and started to drive back to Denver without a job or a place to live. You can read about this leap of faith here.

As I look back over the last fifteen years, what’s ironic is that every five years we have made a pretty big jump into the unknown.

In 2002, Hillary and I married and moved to Englewood, Colorado without jobs. Like many folks in their 20’s, Colorado felt like it was a really fun place to live. As I look back at our honeymoon I just remember being anxious about what we were going to do for work when we got back.  I worked as a telemarketer, barista and tutor before I finally started my Masters at Denver Seminary. Hillary worked as a bank teller.

It was in 2007, that I decided to leave a stable junior high youth ministry job at Foothills Bible Church in Littleton. I left that job not knowing what would come next though at the time we felt like it was the wise move. That decision led me into a desert time of trying to figure out my calling that would last three years. I thought about the mission field, working at Apple Retail, applied to become a professor and had a short stint as a youth pastor again. Then finally in the summer of 2010, we moved to Champaign.

We can’t go back and change the past. But we can learn from the past. Would I go back and make different decisions about what we would have done at those five year jump points? I don’t know. If I could go back and talk to my younger self in 2002, 2007 and 2012, I would tell myself to:

  • Take one day at a time and not try to plan too much into the future
  • Be present with people around me instead of letting anxious thoughts rule the day and keep me from truly being with people in the moment
  • Trust that God will provide and that I don’t have to handle everything on my own

And now we come to another five year stage, we are learning from our past experiences and not jumping again. Though we could make a lot of money from selling our house, we love where we are in Edgewater and what we are up to as a family. Hillary loves her job as a preschool teacher at Lumberg Elementary and is working toward her Preschool Director License. I love my role with Edgewater Collective investing in our local schools. This summer, I’m moving my office into the Jefferson Community Center at Jefferson Junior/Senior High School and am a part of building an exciting partnership for connecting resources to families and the community. Anna is going to Jefferson Junior High in the fall and Norah will be starting 5th grade. And we are still praying and dreaming of a neighborhood Vineyard church here in Edgewater.

We have learned from our past fifteen years of marriage and the transitions that we went through. Now we are rooted and established in a neighborhood. We are staying! No jump this year!

The Five Year Jumps

2002: Married and moved to Englewood, Colorado without jobs

2007: Left youth ministry job at Foothills Bible Church

2012: Left family ministry job at First Presbyterian Church

2017: Resting and staying in Edgewater!


About joelnewton

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

Posted on May 27, 2017, in Personal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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