In keeping with my unintentional annual tradition, Status Quo Questions’ year 4 review is later than planned this year. At this rate, we can plan for year 5’s review around March of next year. 😂
In a nutshell, 2022 brought some unexpected surprises and opportunities to connect with other writers. Status Quo Questions saw 8 published articles: 4 in print, 3 published as guest blogs on other sites, and one of the print articles was translated into Japanese! I was unfamiliar with most of the publications before last year—If you’re interested in new Christian publications and blogs to follow, you can find the list on this page. The blog also saw visitors from 20 different countries.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a well-rounded recap without mentioning the parts that didn’t go as well: There were at least 5 rejected article submissions and less time put into articles on this blog than in previous years. Those of you who follow Status Quo Questions on social media know that’s been pretty light, too.
All in all, though, 2022 and year 4 of Status Quo Questions felt like the beginning of starting to see the fruit of small beginnings. This blog may never be much, but it’s special to see the impact just the little we have to offer can make if we are faithful to share what we’ve been given.
Lessons From Transition
I’ve been slowly adjusting to life in a new city, and that in itself has been a testament to how much it’s worth it to wait on God’s timing for the next steps in our lives. The unexpected move here has turned out to be better than any of the other options that I was considering would’ve been for this season.
That’s part of why it’s been quiet here. There’ve been so many lessons and changes I hope to be able to write about in the coming months, but I’ve been wanting to let them sit while they develop. For now, I’ll end with two lessons I was wrapping my mind around toward the end of last year, the first being trusting God and learning to be faithful even when you aren’t at your best, when you still feel weak or unsure of what the steps ahead will look like.
Trusting God in Our Weakness
For some reason I usually pictured serving God faithfully to also mean serving Him with outward displays of strength and confidence—and there’s something to that.
Sometimes, though, where we start may look nothing like that. Instead, it may look like very weak and awkward steps as God leads us forward, trusting that it’s worth it to be faithful even if it looks and feels foolish. Maybe that looks like being more open about where we are, finally confronting something within ourselves that’s sat long enough. Maybe it looks like doing something new that we’re nervous about. Or, maybe it even looks like letting go of something we’ve done well for awhile and are comfortable with even though God has been putting it on our hearts to prepare for transition.
God can do more than we expect even in seasons of learning and weakness, and knowing this, we can learn to rejoice in the opportunity to take steps of obedience in every season of our journey.
When God Makes You New
I’ve also been thinking a lot about what it means for God to make something new. When God makes something new, His new isn’t our old with a fresh coat of paint. When He makes us new, we’re just that: new. Not the same as or following the path of the old anymore. Allowing God to change us calls for a willingness to lay down the old that we’ve known to allow Him to teach us the new that we haven’t yet seen. (Within the context of Scripture, of course.)
This change isn’t done through us working really hard to overcome our old brokenness ourselves. Instead, our being transformed is something God does as we choose to humbly lay ourselves down and seek after Him. There is no “microwave maturity”, but that’s a good thing. It’s better to have a promised outcome delayed and have it be real than to manufacture a forced outcome that misses the heart of what Christianity really is. It’s incredible how God will meet us where we are as we choose to trust Him, too.
Inward Change Leads to Sustainable Outward Change
As we experience God making us new, we can have that different kind of compassion and patience with others. Those verses in Scripture about people being like “sheep without a shepherd” get to me more these days—we see so much of it. There is a longing for truth, but there is also far too much confusion and distraction for most to know where to find it.
This is perhaps where the path of small beginnings is sweetest: small steps forward teach us to rely on God in ways we will need for the journey ahead. All along the way, we get to find joy in a maturing faith and growing confidence that God is who He says He is, He does what He says He will do, and He really can change what to us seems impossible. And it’s out of the change He does in us that we are better equipped to help those around us.
So, here’s to the new year, friends. Or the next 10 months at this point I suppose. 😉 May we spend it well!
Here’s to the journey.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” – Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)