In our marriage prep, we'd heard about the stresses of NFP. We'd heard about the difficulties of choosing to abstain during times of fertility rather than choosing a form of birth control. We'd heard that NFP could cause fights and at times resentment. Everything we'd heard about the difficulties of NFP prior to our marriage was in the context of using NFP to avoid having. children (or TTA). Clearly, we weren't using NFP to avoid having children at this point in our marriage. It followed then, that there should be no difficulties caused by using NFP, no stress, no strain on our marriage.
When Nicholas and I decided to be open to children from the beginning of our marriage, we both hoped for the best. I could never have anticipated the heartbreak that has accompanied us on our journey towards having a child. I broke down the night after I took a negative pregnancy test during our fourth … Continue reading A Letter to my Future Children
Infertility is not merely a cross. It is an opportunity to witness to the deeper reality that we as married couples do not get to decide how our marriage is lived out. It is a witness to a motherhood and fatherhood that is lived spiritually rather than physically. It is a witness to the fact that fruitfulness is not limited to procreation. Infertility, understood in this way, is a charism. It is a call to live out fruitfulness even in the midst of barrenness.
When people open up about their crosses, we have the beautiful opportunity to become an image of the visitation. We have the option to set out and travel to the hill country in haste to rejoice with our brothers and sisters in Christ, to share in their sorrows, and to carry their burdens with them. We have an opportunity to become an image of Christ to them and to recognize Christ within their hearts. And when we dismiss the sufferings of others, either by saying that they haven't gone through their suffering long enough, or not to worry, or that it isn't a big deal, we miss that opportunity.
"You have granted me life and living kindness; and Your care has preserved my spirit." Job 10:12 A few months before our wedding, Nicholas and I sat down and wrote a mission statement for our marriage. We sat down at Ritter's Ice Cream and created a vision for our family and marriage. It remains a … Continue reading Gratitude: The Gift Amidst the Cross