Profile in the Gap: Marian Keiselbach

Profiles in the Gap

Marian Keiselbach

Image

Marian Keiselbach is a nurse in the Northern Virginia area.

Did I expect this time of singleness? I don’t know. Depends on when you asked me. When I was eight, I thought that the end of the world would come well before I was 21. When I was 16, I thought I had my whole entire life completely figured out and therefore how could there possibly be gap time. And when I was 21, and my life plan of 16 had fallen through and thrown me flat on my face, I thought the rest of my life would be an unending limbo of fog and unfulfilled desires. I’m 27 now and this “time of singleness” is well upon me, so there is nothing to expect or not expect, there is only the day behind me to be reflected upon and the day ahead of me to be embraced and lived. 

Married, celibately consecrated, or in the grey in between, I seek and hope that l will continue to seek to find my fulfillment in my relationship with… you guessed it…. God. I also can’t help but wonder if I really will feel more fulfilled once I’ve “minded the gap” and entered the train. I know that I’m crazy restless right now, and some of it is from the evil one driving me to despair and some of it is from the Lord urging me toward the Father, but I can’t really imagine that getting married or joining a convent will all of a sudden provide the magic cure for my restlessness. Surely the only true fulfillment will be in heaven. Maybe I will feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled in a different manner or a little less, but I think until I’m face to face with God forever I’ll always be searching. And for me this is one of the greatest consolations of this between time. My angst (I think) is not because I’m in the  wrong place or doing the wrong thing or not doing enough, its because Eve ate that damn apple and Adam stood by and watched.  

That being said, I do love my job. I’m a nurse and I thank God daily for my work. (Although last week when my patient vomited all over my new sneakers,  I believe I may have been a little less appreciative.) My work challenges me, pushes me, makes me more generous, gives me structure and discipline, and provides an outlet for my desire to serve. I’m also fulfilled by my many relationships, and I rejoice that I have time to make new friends and to love and grow with my old ones.

Finally, the life of the mind is another truly satisfying aspect of the single life. If I was married with children or caught up in the responsibilities of communal life, would I have the same luxury of free time to study my Spanish, visit the many museums in the area and of course read, read, and read some more? Probably not. So, although I think it’s about time the Lord revealed His will for grown up me, and if He would move it along a little I would be very grateful, I nevertheless daily thank Him for the wonderful and satisfying things He has given me, and I strive to continue to have as much fun as I possibly can in the meantime.

 

 

Advertisements

When we see Him

It seems to be a season of next steps.

Over Christmas I watched my baby sister get married and thought how small she looked in yards of white tulle, and how brave. Spending time over glasses of wine with my new brother-in-law and another brother-in-law-to-be, I thought about how much things change, and how the changes can be so good, bringing new, unexpected people into our lives.

Image

Among my closest friends also there has been a rustling and stirring as many of us begin to move forward, after a long time of restlessness. We’d always heard it would happen suddenly, but I admit it’s leaving me a little dizzy.

There are so many good-byes. A few weeks ago I got together one last time with an old schoolmate who was preparing to move out west with her husband. My roommate of nearly three years will be taking her next step in another month, moving on to a new job and a new life in a new city far away. Several of my friends have completed applications for graduate programs and will be moving on as they figure out what schools will best meet their needs.

Then there are all the friends newly dating, others newly engaged, and the upcoming weddings. Every weekend seems to bring a new acquaintance, as an old friend says, “I want you to meet my girlfriend,” or “Let’s do dinner. You have to meet my boyfriend.”

It’s bittersweet, of course, but in many ways it’s such a joyful time. It’s almost audible as an undercurrent in so many of my conversations with friends and family members: “At last!”

The waiting can be so long, but as it finally draws to a close, you can see so much beauty in it. So often it’s only in looking back that you discover the face of Christ etched across your experiences. He’s there in the shadows, working in silence.

Does one grow to understand this better as life flows on, or will we always flail in the darkness?