Profiles in the Gap
Casey Bustamante is an officer in the U.S. Air Force.
Did you expect this time of singleness?
Yes! I have this magical age I think is the absolute latest age I can get married: 32 years old. I’m 27 now, so I am still on track for my goal. Hah!
Okay, honestly and truly, it is an expectation I’ve set myself since my sister got married at that age. Being raised in an immigrant Mexican-American household, I want to feel guilty about being single. I want to blame my singleness on the push for me to be financially independent from my parents. My parents had to work hard to be where they are now, allowing my sister and me the opportunity to focus on our studies and graduate from college. My parents never wanted me to struggle. And as I moved through my twenties, I not only started to feel pressure to work hard at my career but also to have a family. I was totally wrong. I have gone and confronted that with my parents only to find out that it is an expectation I have set against myself. My family has never wanted anything more for me than to be happy and living in service to God.
Do you seek or find fulfillment in your career?
My career started on my first day of college. I was graciously accepted to the US Air Force Academy and commissioned as a Cyber Operations officer (IT girl). It has been everything I’ve needed: discipline, schedule, routine, but most of all an invitation to grower closer to Jesus. I was the type of cradle Catholic growing up who walked the line of not committing any serious sin, but I was honestly living a selfish life. I was searching for my identity, which landed me in a self-serving relationship and in a pool of lies I fed to those that loved me. God gave me an incredible moment of grace and led me to confession my freshmen year in college. The weight of sin was lifted! From that point on, I always wanted to say “yes” to God. Am I always successful at it? No, but the desire only grows stronger every day. We had an incredible young adult ministry program at the Academy that really started to impress on my heart the desire to share the love of Christ with others. And this is what brings me fulfillment in my career. I not only have a unique opportunity to share His love with my Christian brothers and sisters in arms, but my job is to serve others. As an officer in the military, regardless of your career field, you are commissioned first and foremost to serve those around you with a great selfless love.
How does faith play a role in your actions and your outlook on your life as a single young adult?
Everything I do should be for His greater glory. Through discerning any decision in my career or personal life, I must seek consolation in actions that will glorify our Lord.
Since you have this time of singleness, what are some challenges you set for yourself?
As a single young adult, the challenge to not live only for myself is tough. I have a good paying job right now that allows me to travel, buy nice things, eat out, and have an overall comfortable life. It is easy for life to continue to be about me. One of the best decisions I have made since moving to the DC area was to live in a house with four other women. The reason I moved into this house was because I knew it was best for me to not live alone, so I was going to move wherever my original housemate went. The experience has been incredible. I live in community with these women, and I am challenged in many of the simple day-to-day nuances to not live for myself. Whether the next chapter in my life brings religious or married life, God has provided many opportunities for me to live for others with the lovely ladies of the Grant House. (And yes, we have named our home.)