I spent the day today after-Christmas shopping with my mom and sister. I don’t see my family very often since they almost all still live in Maryland, so I try to make myself available to them as much as I can when we’re together. It seems appropriate for a season like the Christmas season, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus into his human family and the Holy Family as a group (this year, on Dec. 30). Being around family and friends makes me acutely aware of my in-between state in life, though. I’m not married or even dating anyone, and my youngest sibling is 15, so it’s extra awkward when my mom gets excited by evidence of Santa’s arrival on Christmas morning. She’ll have a great time when grandchildren come, but I don’t know when that will be.
If you’re anything like me, a Catholic 20-something struggling to navigate the gap between your childhood family and the family you may one day build, you can appreciate the lonely, out-of-place feeling that often surfaces this time of year. As Catholics, we are called to practice chastity, grow in holiness, and seek godly spouses, but the specifics can be difficult to understand. How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul: 21 Secrets for Women is the latest offering from Jason and Crystalina Evert, noted chastity speakers associated with Catholic Answers. Jason’s first book, If You Really Loved Me, changed my life when I read it in college. I’ve reread it since then, but that book is aimed toward a younger audience. Thankfully, as Jason has grown in age and wisdom with his wife (whom he met because they were both chastity advocates!) and four young children, his writing has grown as well. He is now reaching out toward people like me, those who know that there must be something better than the hook-up culture. There is, and this book begins to unpack the alternative.