I hesitate to write about NFP, because I firmly believe some things should just remain private. That's why, I’ve never shared here, online, about my husband and my decision years ago to take the plunge and follow the Church’s teaching on family planning. But in honor of National NFP Awareness Week, I wanted to say just a few words.
When Tim and I first started really learning about our Catholic faith and getting to know other Catholic couples, there seemed to be a huge dividing line. That line was labeled with three little letters- N-F-and-P. There were those “good” devout Catholics on the one side and the not-quite-so devout “cafeteria style” Catholics on the other. Now that I’ve experienced marriage on both sides of that line, I see things a little differently than I did back then. I don’t necessarily believe that in our pre-NFP days Tim and I were not good Catholics. We simply didn’t understand the theology or the reasoning behind it all. I think (hope) we were the best Catholics we knew how to be at the time.
Thankfully, God was patient in calling us to the “cross the line” so to speak. Thankfully, Tim and I did answer His call. NFP felt like a huge leap of faith and even now, after years and years of understanding and practicing it, it still requires faith every single day. But, overall, it has been a huge blessing in our marriage. We are certainly stronger for having taken the leap.
So while it may have taken us a while to fully embrace, God knows we are committed to NFP. He knows we want to want only what He wants for our family and that we will always follow the Church’s teaching in this (and every) area of life. But, He also knows it isn’t always easy for us. NFP can be a real struggle. Being open to life and open to God’s plan when it may differ from ours can be overwhelming at times. Having a big family and welcoming babies at God’s will, is, in and of itself, an immense leap of faith.
NFP has been an incredible blessing, but it has also been an incredible challenge- just like each of our beautiful children. We will continue to be committed to it, and continue to be challenged by it, just like we are in raising each of our beautiful children. NFP isn’t easy, but it’s what’s best for our marriage, for our bodies, for our souls, and for our life. And if God’s plans are different than ours, we will trust that His are better and we will willingly follow wherever He leads us and accept whatever blessings He bestows upon us. That is what NFP has taught us and what practicing it continually calls us too- trust in God and putting Him at the center of our lives.