Have you seen these videos before? There are 4 made by a group of seminarians and they are all great. I watched them when they first came out nearly two years ago. I thought it was time to revisit them again.
Steve and I learnt the sympto thermal method when we were engaged. At that stage though, I didn't really realize how bad for a marriage contraception was. It was in our first year that Steve started to look into joining the church and I had a reversion to the faith. At that stage I thought to follow everything the church taught was being legalistic and very impractical for most people.
I was pregnant with Daniel within the first 3 months of us getting married so I didn't really think about nfp or contraception when we first came back to the church. For the first 11 years of our marriage, it wasn't a great concern to me to get pregnant many times so I was happy to use nfp when we thought we needed too but I did this because another pregnancy wasn't a huge issue for me and the level of abstinence was pretty low.
the first time I thought we really needed to think seriously about avoiding pregnancy for some time was just after Amelia was born. That year was full of challenges for us. First we moved away from family and friends for Steve's work. Then Tom was diagnosed with diabetes. A new baby, 5 other children under 10 and learning how to cope with a chronic illness away from family and friends made me feel like I was in over my head. I knew by now though that when the church said something was bad, it really was bad. I knew without a doubt that I couldn't use contraception with a clear conscience and that I had to trust that the church taught this for our own good, not because she wanted to spoil all our fun.
While I was breast feeding Amelia, Steve and I were both so committed to avoiding a pregnancy that we agreed that total abstinence was the only way we could be certain. It was because of that total abstinence that my understanding of marriage and the sacrament was changed. I saw our marriage grow a lot. Steve and I prayed a lot together that year and we also told each other things we hadn't really been prepared to tell each other before. Steve really became my best friend that year and our marriage changed. It is hard to put into words what changed that year but I know that our love for each other and for our children was different. I didn't feel as vulnerable with Steve and felt more certainty about his love for me as I really am.
Because of the experience we had we knew that the church really did teach this for a reason. Without the wisdom of the church to guide us, we may have used contraception and our marriage would not have grown the way it did then.
I am so grateful to the church that she guides us and tells us what is right and wrong. It helps us in our journey to heaven.