From single, to used, to married…
My journey with NFP in real life has been anything but linear.
A loop-de-loop would be a more appropriate term.
Even before marriage, I was encouraged by a Catholic mentor to proactively begin charting my menstrual cycles. Learning about my body’s cyclical nature was empowering, and it helped me discover my PCOS diagnosis! It was also fascinating to become aware of the intricacies of God’s design for a woman’s body.
Unfortunately, there was a time in my life when that knowledge was completely discarded, and what had started as an insightful journey was exchanged for someone else’s pleasure.
Trading NFP and Chastity for a Toxic Relationship
In my early twenties, I joyfully moved to the Twin Cities in Minnesota to pursue my master’s degree and be closer to my boyfriend. After five months in a big city far from home, my application was denied, and I was single.
During this low season, I met a man that I KNEW was no good for me, but it felt so nice to have some playful dates to take my mind off of the heartache I felt. However, it wasn’t long until things took a drastic turn.
This man quickly revealed that he could be both manipulative and controlling, and I felt swept along in a current that I couldn’t get out of. Before long, we were having a one-sided sexual relationship. I threw my years of charting and learning about my body out the window when he wanted sex. He had no interest in Natural Family Planning (NFP) and would put on a condom while he proceeded to use me.
It was dehumanizing, on many levels. This behavior continued for several months, and it wasn’t until I became pregnant (with twins!) that I made a heartfelt return to God, and He equipped me with the courage to escape.
Relearning Healthy Sexuality
Fast forward a few years (and several stories) later, and the twins and I are in a safe space. I became reacquainted with myself by resuming charting and learning my body’s new patterns (because postpartum can look different!). I also met the wonderful man who would become my husband.
When we began dating, I was very clear that NFP was important to me, and I invited him to explore it as well. He was open-minded and so supportive even though NFP was new to him.
After our marriage, it bolstered my confidence even more to see how he actively observed what my body was doing and participated alongside me in the journey of NFP.
While trying to conceive (TTC), there would be hilarious times when he would read the ClearBlue monitor and exclaim “It says peak!” as he hoisted me right back into the bed.
Reclaiming My Sexuality
Now, my husband and I have been learning to work together to discern whether we should try to wait (TTW) or TTC.
My body is respected and listened to, and as a result I feel more at home in my body.
I still grieve for the times in the past when I allowed myself to be used, but I also rejoice in how I am currently being honored.
Upon further reflection, I praise God for how He redeemed a situation that was not His will and turned it into a path for two people to come together in a way that respects His design for life.
NFP Life™ featuring Dr. Danielle & Kyle Koestner — This six-part video series is an overview, witness, and introduction to the beauty and science of Natural Family Planning. Watch the trailer below and register here.