Reflecting on the year that was, looking ahead to 2023

Whether it’s because of cultural expectations or something else, as one year moves to another, many of us are prone to get a bit introspective. We look back, reflecting on the year that was as we also look ahead to the future.

Obviously I’m no stranger to this. I tend to ask a few big questions every year around this time:

As I’ve been reflecting on 2022, I can see how they all intertwine. Ultimately I see it as a good thing, especially as I look toward 2023 and the opportunities it may hold.

Continuing to holistically pursue health

Emotionally, physically, relationally, and spiritually—I want to be healthy in all these aspects of who I am. I need to be healthy in them because they’re all connected. I struggle to feel feelings and prefer to eat them instead. This means my emotional health plays an important role in my physical health.

So a few months after I started my new job, I realized I needed to talk to a counselor to help me address a few of my experiences with my previous employer and to not allow certain patterns to continue. It took some time to get off the wait list, but I’ve been seeing a professional for the last two months to help me put some issues to bed. Still early days yet, but we’re building a plan and, Lord willing, we’ll make some good progress.1

Related to this and the diagnoses of my family,2 I am being tested to see if I am on the autism spectrum and/or have ADHD in late January 2023. A positive or negative diagnosis won’t change much about how I live, but it could help explain some past experiences.

This is all difficult work, as you can imagine. But I am excited to see the fruit it will inevitably bear, even if that is years down the road.

Separating who I am and what I do

For years, my identity and my work have been wrapped together. I know I’m not alone in experiencing this. I am also not alone in recognizing that it is unhealthy. When I think about my professional life, obviously my greatest desire is to do my work in a way that honors the Lord. Meaning, I want to do my job well and with integrity. But I don’t want my work to be my life. Best of all, no one expects it to be the case, either. That’s very different for me—very new. It is very healthy for me because I’ve spent most of my years as a believer in work directly connected to my faith.

That can do funny things to your sense of balance and appropriateness. And so if there’s anything that I see the Lord doing in this sense of leading, it’s helping me to regain that balance. Or maybe gain it for the first time. To recognize that work can be work and doesn’t have to be our life’s mission.3

Growing opportunities for ministry

And as I think about future opportunities, specifically what I’m most looking forward to, there is so much to be excited about:

First, my next book, I’m a Christian—Now What?, releases on March 1. That’s roughly nine weeks as of this writing. There’s a lot to do to get ready—including recording a brand-new podcast miniseries related to the concepts within the book—but I am pumped. I will be sharing a lot more about what’s coming in the weeks ahead, but for now, I would love it if you would preorder a copy from Amazon or direct from the publisher (where you’ll get your best price).

Second, I am taking on some new responsibilities at my church. Specifically, I’m assisting in developing and coordinating our community groups ministry. This includes working with our elders to identify new leaders, as well as maintaining ongoing communication with our existing ones. Given that two and a half years ago I wasn’t sure I felt capable of leading a group, this is a big—and positive—step.

Third, I’m continuing to work on a new project that I hope will be the follow-up to Now What?. I can’t share too much about it yet because I don’t know what’s going to come of it.

One last thing to look forward to

Speaking of new, while Table of (mal)Contents continues to be on its trial separation/indefinite hiatus, if you like book recommendations (and occasional conversations between me and a guest), something new is on the horizon. Stay tuned.

Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash

  1. I realize this is vague, but I need to leave it that way.[]
  2. Emily and two of the kids have ADHD and another of the children is on the autism spectrum.[]
  3. Sorry business book gurus.[]

Posted by Aaron Armstrong

Aaron is the author of several books for adults and children, as well as multiple documentaries and Bible studies. His latest book, I'm a Christian—Now What?: A Guide to Your New Life with Christ is available now.