This post is a part of the Catholic Wife, Catholic Life’s NFP-week series. It was originally published Aug. 26, 2014 here.
Everyone who practices Natural Family Planning has such a unique story to tell — and yet I find that there are some threads of truth that sort of wind themselves in and out of everyone’s stories.
“Just a few years (and one baby) later, we are no longer using NFP, but our experience with this method continues to shape how I approach sex and reproduction. NFP brought an increased awareness that having sex could lead to children. It forced me to wrestle with this reality more on a regular basis, rather than opt out of that consequence more easily.
“NFP also taught me to relinquish control (or better said, recognize I didn’t have it to begin with) through honoring the mystery of the human body. Based on the Theology of the Body teachings by Pope John Paul II, NFP advocates a profound respect for the human body as the outward manifestation of the human person… I agree with the core premise that there is something sacred about our bodies’ design and function, not to be meddled with lightly.”
“One day shortly before our one-year anniversary, I searched my heart and realized that a child no longer seemed like an intrusion to my life plans, but a welcome addition. I think leaving that crack in the door open for God through practicing NFP had something to do with this change of heart.”
For some couples, NFP can be very difficult – their fertility markers may not be so obvious. For others, it can be incredibly easy — their chart may look the same every month. But I think for all couples, whether trying to get pregnant or trying to delay pregnancy, it’s a challenge & learning experience to let go of control & let God in a little more. And it’s so beautiful.
photo credit: Kenny Marek Møller