Since we announced we were having a baby back in January I’ve been asked a number of times if we will still be able to teach NFP. Ummm, yes.
I guess it is going to come with the territory. If you use NFP many people will assume it failed each time you announce you are pregnant. But NFP can’t fail. That’s the whole point of it. Let me explain.
My husband and I use NFP as a means of family planning for many reasons such as being healthy, knowing our bodies, and because we believe contraception is contradictory to the vows we spoke at our wedding. But one of the most important reasons for us is that it is always a ‘yes’ to life.
That little line let's us know a life has been created.
Contraception is a ‘no’ to life in many ways. First, it’s a no to your spouse’s fertility, which is one of the greatest gifts a spouse can give. It takes God’s plan for life out of the equation and put’s your imperfect plan in the forefront. And of course contraception has the ability to actually end life after it’s begun as one of its functions in preventing pregnancy.
Ben and I decided that all of those rejections to life were not what we were called to. In fact we felt and understood that it was our vocation as a married couple to put a huge emphasis on saying yes to life in every aspect of our marriage whether that be actually having children, ministering together so others know about this ‘yes’ to life, or whatever God called us to.
With NFP it is impossible to say no to life. You, as a grown up, instead have the knowledge to recognize your ability to create life and, together with your spouse, decide whether or not you are called to that path every cycle.
So, no, NFP did not fail because a life resulted when it was supposed to and was not prevented by Ben’s or my intentions or medically through an abortificant nature.
It also wasn’t a fail because through NFP and charting we had discovered that I could have some issues conceiving. It was with this knowledge and many long discussions that my gift-from-God of a husband who convinced me that if we continued to actively postpone pregnancy we could miss our chance. So I gave up control to God, and He decided to do some fancy driving.
In the months following our decision I had some very odd cycles that made me seriously doubt my ability to conceive. I even contacted a nutritionist and began to change my diet in an effort to correct the problems we were seeing. Three months later I got the best birthday present ever (and a huge surprise) when that second line showed up on the pregnancy test. I have to attribute this as a success to NFP in that it helped us recognize potential issues with conceiving and gave us the ability to decide to be open to life and God’s perfect plan.
If you had asked me two years ago if I’d be expecting a baby girl in the near future I would have laughed at you because that was not in “my plan.” But now I understand the saying “in God’s perfect timing” because I couldn’t imagine my little family's life if it had gone according to my plan and not God’s plan for life.