Happy New Year! I think the timing is right this year for a few things to be happening. I need your prayers. When I took all my NFP posts down it was because I was going through my own panic/crisis in my own marriage/family journey.
Mainly, who is supposed to be here?
How do I know when its time to say yes?
Am I using NFP correctly?
I am trying to consolidate my posts that I wrote over the course of two years into a small book. This small book is about my own journey off of the pill to a more open to life marriage. This all seems very premature to even be telling you this, but I think it needs to happen and I need prayers! I am reading Viktor Frankle's Man's Search for Meaning and from the hell of a concentration camp he was finding scraps of paper to write down his own manuscript they had taken from him, and he also wrote the book I am reading in NINE days! So much of my conversion happened through reading the personal stories of others, so sharing my story with others just seems like something that should be happening. It would be a lie to say I don't feel very VULNERABLE with all this, but its time.
When I had my sweet second daughter, my world was rocked. I had been convicted after my marriage, and then once having conceived and birthed my eldest daughter, that Justin and I were going to try to use natural forms of contraception.
Just as the Church asked us too.
So much of this commitment to living out the teachings I had read in Humanae Vitae and books like the Hahn's Life Giving Love was about being a "good" Catholic. I was so new with using the Natural Family Planning method that I was totally surprised and rather in shock when I conceived my second only ten months after having my first.
In my mind it wasn't...she wasn't...supposed to have happened.
So...what I thought would be a neat and tidy planned out beginning to marriage, turned into really, a game changer. I was a working mom at the time, needing to finish out my obligation to the Coast Guard, and my husband was the second in command of a patrol boat. And life...life was messy and very much about surviving.
It was in the three months of maternity leave...where I had a moment of my own awakening...my own epiphany to the GIFT given at Mass.
The wise men had a long, what I believe to be, even a two year journey to lay eyes on the Christ Child. They followed the signs, they persevered, and they beheld.
They knelt and made themselves small before the GREAT and they offered their gifts. I remember as I walked up the aisle to the altar nine years ago, to the Eucharist, to Jesus in Bread, that I felt the same awe...I felt the same wonder...it was a moment of great peace even as I held my infant baby in one arm and gently guided my curly haired toddler with the other.
I wasn't alone.
God had given me a GIFT. And I think my gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh took the shape of a promise.
I was going to give Him my trust.
Jesus I trust in You.
I made a quiet promise in my heart to trust Him with my fertility. I had tears in my eyes as I received my Eucharistic GIFT that day and I never went back to using artificial contraception again.
That does not mean there aren't times when I struggle with trusting Him to bring another child into the world...but I'm thinking about trust again as this season's Epiphany approaches.
My husband and I are in our mid thirties and we have a beautiful fullness in our home. It is a lot of work and at times is exhausting and at times, we wonder...are we crazy?
Crazy or is it more...brave? I'm not sure. I keep reminding him...to also say aloud to myself...I trust this. I trust Him. He has always provided and in surprising ways.
I know secular culture, outside, is ready to move on.
We can be slow and deliberate and say no thank you.
Let's stay right here and journey with the Magi and linger in the GIFT a bit longer friends.