Today is our 21st anniversary, and I still can hardly believe that so much time has passed! On our milestone 20th, I dedicated a whole post to that beautiful day in 1990 (when most of you were still in Pull-ups).
To wrap up NFP Awareness Week, I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you where we were then, and where we are now.
Back then, I was content to begin married life on the Pill, and my husband and I were set on having two children, three at the most. Why? Well, because that's what society told us was acceptable. The thought of thinking for ourselves never crossed our minds. Having more than two or three kids? It just.wasn't.done.
After we quickly had our three children (so that we could be free to have fun and travel in our forties… ha ha ha!!!), we were ready for my dear husband to undergo the knife and destroy his reproductive capabilities. Because, again, that's just what responsible people do, right? We had no qualms.
However, something temporarily stopped us from going ahead with the vasectomy (that is a story in itself), and our subsequent reversion/conversion to Catholicism stopped us permanently, which means our fertility wasn't permanently stopped. Whew!
Long story short, we have welcomed five more children to our family since then (all boys!), and we can't imagine life without them. We also have one soul already with God.
If there is one message I want to send clearly to all, it's this: The fact that we have eight children is not an indication that NFP does not work. On the contrary, it has worked beautifully for us, and our children came when we expected them. No, the reason we have eight children is because understanding the truth and meaning of human sexuality changed our hearts. We went from being closed to the possibility of new life in our marriage, to opening those doors wide. It was a freedom in so many ways and on so many levels that turning back is unthinkable.
When you see NFP couples with a houseful of children, please don't make the mistake of thinking "NFP fails!" Like blogger Second Chances' husband says:
"The best part of NFP is that after you use it for a while, you realize you don't want to use it anymore :)"
And consider Jen Fulwiler's observation regarding her first encounters with NFP couples:
"Instead of seeing pregnancies as precarious, once- or twice-in-a-lifetime events that require extensive planning and hand-wringing, they seemed to see pregnancy as a natural part of married life."
And as the wonderful Fr. Frank Pavone says:
"Love leads to life; it does not close it off. Love welcomes life; it is not afraid of it. Love and life go together because they are two aspects of the one God."
NFP may start as a dutiful obligation on the part of some newly convinced yet still-fearful couples, but when we put our trust in God's promises, it ends in a transformation of hearts, souls and marriages, for the glory of the One who is both Love and Life.
|Happy Anniversary, honey!|