This blog turned three yesterday.
What started in December 2010 as a combination of venting, catharsis, and some vague hopes of maybe writing a book someday has gradually become something more important, at least to me. It’s become an opportunity to journey with so many other people living the same state in life and trying to figure out why they’re here — “stuck,” as we so often feel, in the gap and not sure what God wants out of our lives.
I’ve been gratified, humbled, and often inspired over the years by hundreds of conversations with friends and acquaintances, both in person and online, about this life in the gap and what we’re called to do with it. Even if this silly little blog serves no other purpose in the vast scheme of things, it has been an invaluable aid to me in my own journey, and a source of real consolation in the darker times, when the road ahead rolls on with no apparent direction.
Someone recently told me that “life in the gap” isn’t something Christians should celebrate. The argument went, basically, that those of us who are still single well into our twenties and even thirties are products of a culture that prolongs adolescence, elevates career, and encourages us to push off our vocation as long as possible. It was odd to hear this argument against the very concept of my blog (and, actually, the very relevance of my day-to-day life, if you think too hard about it) expressed so directly. For it was exactly this unspoken attitude I started the blog to fight back against.
Here’s a little quiz for my readers:
Raise your hand if you’re a Catholic (or Christian) single adult who has decided, “Vocation will be nice…in about ten years. For now I’m going to go at it alone and work my job and go to parties and just enjoy being single.”
Okay, so a few of you probably did raise your hands. Most people who feel this way also probably don’t get a whole lot of consolation or help from my blog (but maybe I’m wrong?), though I do hope you’ll continue to read it and draw something from it anyway.
Now raise your hand if you’re a Catholic (or Christian) young adult who has been waiting for a year — or two, three, four, five, ten, fifteen years — to meet someone you feel called to marry, or for a vocational call, or for anything at all to remind you that God hasn’t retired into the heavens and forgotten all about you and your life. Raise your hand if you’ve ever cried yourself to sleep trying to figure out what the hell you’re doing wrong, because the years drag wearily on and you’re not sure that your life isn’t a complete waste of space.
If that rings true for you, know that I started this blog in December 2010 for you.
We’re not called to live a prolonged adolescence, and the point of Life in the Gap has never been to encourage the selfish, undisciplined, live-for-the-moment lifestyles touted in sitcoms and tabloids and held up as the model for our generation. Instead, the blog was meant to start a dialogue about the ways in which we can be fully active, faithful, mature, and generous adults even as we work and pray to discern the “big-‘V’ Vocation” God has in store for us. How do I turn my career into a prayer, since this seems to be where God wants me right now? How do I love my neighbors, build community, and die to myself as a single young adult? How do I take possession of my own life and turn it into a song of praise, even while I feel so often stuck in a sort of limbo?
Those are the questions Life in the Gap continues to explore.
Reading the December profiles that have come in so far, I’ve been moved and touched by people’s stories about using this time to the fullest, to grow closer to God, and to wait with patience. I can’t wait to see more of them. And I look forward to diving deeper into these issues in 2014, confident that God does have a role for each of us in His plan, and that he always gives us the present moment to begin to listen to His voice and do as He asks, even in the smallest things.