Guest Post: NFP is NOT for me. Or is it?

This is a heartfelt and honest testimony by Angela over at Leading Little Ones In Truth.  (This is a great blog... do check it out!) She and her husband are courageous, holy, and a solid example of how following God's plan always brings joy and satisfaction.  I love these two; they are a couple of my closest friends and such a blessing to me.  


In honor of the NFP theme this week, I think Angela's post hits on all three: pro-woman, pro-man, and pro-child.  Enjoy!


NFP is NOT for me. Or is it?

"NFP is just not for me." I have heard this so many times over the past few years. So many women have this line drawn in the sand and when I hear someone say this, I simply feel sad. Sad that they don't see what a gift NFP can be. This often gets me thinking "How could any woman not want to use NFP?" Seriously? Then of course God quickly steps in and gently reminds me that it was not very long ago that I thought NFP was not for me.

From our very first date, I was honest with Nate that I desired to get married in the Church and raise my kids Catholic. To be perfectly honest, neither of us had a clue what this really meant or would mean for either of us! Once we were engaged, Nate so lovingly continued to support me in this decision to get married in the church. We found out the Church required us to complete some pre-marital classes including NFP also known as Natural Family Planning. No problem, we'd take the class, check it off our list, and move on to wedding planning, to house hunting, to the life *we* were planning. We took a few group NFP classes and while we checked the requirement off our list, we didn't end up using the method we initially learned. For whatever reasons, it just didn't work for us. So I continued thinking NFP was just not for me. {I don't know when I'm going to learn that it isn't about *our* plan but His!

Fast forward a few years into our marriage and we agreed it was time to start talking about adding little ones to our brood. The doctor recommended getting off birth control and just trying. If after a year we weren't successful, we could come back and discuss our other options. What? That was all. Neither of us were exactly content with this answer.

Once Nate realized little ones might be on the horizon, he started asking tons of questions about what it meant when he agreed to willingly raise any future little ones Catholic. In order to simply learn, Nate started attending RCIA to find out what the Catholic Church really taught, I attended to support him. It just so happened that during one of the question and answer sessions, we saw a presentation on the Creighton Method of NFP. Insert God's answer and part of His plan for us here.

It was not until we learned and began to use the Creighton System of NFP that *we* began to WANT to use a natural system for planning our family. It allowed us to become truly confident in understanding my fertility through charting. I emphasize we here because Nate has stuck with me through this crazy yet amazing NFP journey. Once he learned the system, he was in full support of using it, even more so than me especially until I gained confidence and trust in it. He even still takes charge of filling out my chart on most nights, I think it gives him comfort knowing where I am at in my cycle and if it is a "baby" day or not. Talk about having to communicate and make decisions together, NFP made it {and continues to make it} necessary for us to continue learning how to communicate and discuss our marriage.

Some argue, "I don't believe in what the Church teaches so why would I try to understand or even use NFP?" Why not? So many people are trying to live more natural and healthy lives. From choosing healthy or organic foods to eat and cook with, avoiding unnecessary chemicals in foods we eat or the products we use, being active and exercising, monitoring the types of containers we use to drink out of, limiting the amount of medicines we ingest, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and I am sure this list could go on and on and on. For me, at the very basic level, NFP is one of these healthy choices. In the simplest of terms, NFP allows me to fully understand, accept, monitor, and love how my body naturally works without any unnecessary chemicals.

{Lucky for us, it is also approved by the Catholic Church because 'no drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy. NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of the child.' (Standards for Diocesan Natural Family Planning Ministry, p. 23)}

For those thinking, there are medical issues that might prevent me from using any sort of NFP, there is hope! NaPro Technology is an option for woman who use Creighton. It is basically when a NaPro trained doctor works with a women's Creighton charting efforts to help identify what is causing symptoms that a woman may be experiencing at some point during her cycle or that may be preventing her from achieving a pregnancy. NaPro works WITH a woman's system to care for the symptoms and correct the cause of any issues that she may be experiencing.

To anyone who says, "NFP is NOT for me", I would simply encourage you to first take the time to understand what it is, what it consists of, and THEN consider and decide if it would work for you. I get it. I was there not so long ago. I remember saying, "NFP is not for me". That was before I even knew what NFP was. Once I opened my heart to learn and understand instead of passing judgement, there was no question that NFP {Creighton in particular} was definitely for me. Personally, Creighton has become a reliable way for my husband and me to understand my womanhood. We have successfully been able to both avoid pregnancy as well as have successfully achieved a pregnancy, all without any guesswork about my cycle because charting is based on observable scientific facts with the option to work with a trained doctor as necessary. 

After years of thinking NFP was not for me, I have come to accept that NFP is a natural, healthy, reliable way to understand, appreciate, and love ourselves as the women God created us to be {and I personally think it helps encourage the men in our lives and in society to do the same}.

Thank you to our amazing Creighton practitioner, Joann, for being willing to be 'used' by God in order to open our hearts to NFP!


Angela and Nate's struggle to adopt NFP is relatable, no? Many couples write NFP off before understanding it; I hear this all the time, but I pray her story touches those couples who might be on the fence about NFP.  And to said couples, it's a risk worth taking! 

Happy Wednesday!

No comments:

Post a Comment