NFP Testimonies: Kate & Eddy
It’s hard to believe, but my husband Eddy and I have been married for over 12 years. When we began our Natural Family Planning journey, we had no idea what God had in store for us. I remember filling out a questionnaire at a dermatologist appointment while we were engaged and I read a question, “Are you able to get pregnant?” I honestly had NO idea how to answer that question! I think so, certainly hope so, but I guess we will find out soon enough?!
When Eddy and I got engaged and began our marriage preparation, we also enrolled in a Natural Family Planning course. I was eager to learn all about it, but had no idea how much it would teach me about our Creator. For the first time in my life, I began to truly understand the beautiful gift of the fertility cycle. As others can attest, with this knowledge, I think I finally came to appreciate with awe the female body, the hormonal shifts, the internal and external changes that take place all for a beautifully designed purpose. I began to comprehend the magnitude of marital intimacy, the responsibility Eddy and I would have each month as we discerned to attempt to achieve or postpone pregnancy, and the need we would have for God’s grace and help! I am so grateful to have been enlightened and empowered by this self-knowledge and understanding. Jesus promised us, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will see you free.” John 8:31-32. By accepting the Church’s teaching on marriage and family planning, Eddy and I have truly experienced a sense of appreciation, gratitude and freedom.
Although we both wanted children desperately and desired a large family, Eddy and I had originally planned to try and postpone pregnancy for a year to allow ourselves time to adjust to marital bliss. But to our surprise, as each month passed, we found ourselves growing increasingly disappointed to find ourselves not pregnant, and felt a strong urge to reevaluate our plan. We have really loved growing in relationship with God through our process of discernment. I believe God delights in partnering with us in the creation of new life. He has manifested Himself to us many times through Scripture, through personal experiences, through conversations, and of course, through prayer when He has something important to tell us.
It can be a challenge often times to embrace His divine plan for our lives when we may have had something else in mind. Sometimes it means pain, sickness, discomfort or hardship, often times it means dying to our own need for control and many times sacrifice on our end. But as Jesus tells us, “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” John 12:24. Eddy and I have seen so much fruit in our lives by yielding to God’s plan for our life. We have been blessed with several children, providence to provide for the needs of our family, and healing through relationships with family members and friends, but the greatest gift has been joy. Through the delightful chaos and the beautiful mess, God has given us the desires of our hearts!
Much like the journey of faith, Natural Family Planning is a daily, weekly, monthly commitment, a walking side by side, and arm in arm with God. It requires a unified front with a shared goal and cannot be achieved without deep personal relationship between spouses and our creator. Over the years, our discernment process through NFP has enhanced the prayer life and communication between Eddy and me, and in turn, helped us to be more compassionate, accepting and understanding of each other.
Marriage requires energy, effort and stamina, and the practice of NFP can be very challenging requiring at different times the gift of self and the denial of self, but by inviting God into this sacred journey with us, we have felt His strength and peace. God does not call the equipped, but equips those He calls, and He is so faithful! As we continue to walk this journey of faith, we trust in our loving God who sees us, hears us, loves us and truly knows what is best for us! We are reminded in Scripture, “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you- plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.