Updated: Apr 18
“Grit is a prerequisite to a beautiful life… without grit, we stay on the surface of what is possible, without grit we miss the wisdom that comes with perseverance… Grit is simply another word for sacrifice. The key to sacrifice is clarity of purpose. When you know where you are going it gives you the stamina to keep going.”
These striking words are taken from a beautiful essay written on grit by January Donovan, the founder of “The Woman School”. I read this essay recently and it struck me how relevant it is to the couples that we work with through FertilityCare, the challenges they face, and the cross of fully embracing the Church’s teaching on sexuality.
"Grit is a prerequisite to a beautiful life..."
When couples dive in and do the difficult work of communication and consistency to daily track their fertility and have regular conversations about their fertility, their family and their future, it unlocks something great within them. The vulnerability and deep determination this requires is a pathway to a beautiful marriage and a beautiful life.
"...Without grit, we stay on the surface of what is possible, without grit we miss the wisdom that comes with perseverance…"
Using Creighton Model FertilityCare to manage your reproductive health, space children or address infertility is certainly not the path of least resistance. While it is tremendously effective, fruitful and worthwhile, it is also hard. Really hard. Not because it's difficult to figure out but because perseverance is a truly difficult virtue. And perseverance over time in the pursuit of the true, the good and the beautiful is the grit that leads to wisdom. On the path of least resistance you'll miss out on what is possible for your marriage and your life.
"...Grit is simply another word for sacrifice..."
The Exhortation before Marriage in the old marriage rite of the Church is recommended reading for any engaged or married couple in my opinion. But my favorite line within the Exhortation says: "Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy, and perfect love can make it a joy."
I think anyone that has been in any relationship can relate! Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome! And yet... it can be JOY-ful. I've witnessed married and engaged couples making some remarkable sacrifices for one another. Laying down their lives by learning about cervical mucus (way to go, guys!), charting through busy and difficult seasons, undergoing painful medical procedures, being radically open to life, enduring very long seasons of abstinence, the list is endless. I've seen these sacrifices transform marriages through fire, not to mention the ways in which they inspire, edify and witness to those around them.
"...The key to sacrifice is clarity of purpose. When you know where you are going it gives you the stamina to keep going."
In follow up sessions, your practitioner will frequently ask you what your purpose is in using Creighton Model: to monitor your fertility, achieve pregnancy or avoid pregnancy. Part of the reason for this is so that we can help you get the most out of your follow ups and the full effectiveness of the system. Another reason is, as January Donovan says, if you know where you're going, you have the stamina to keep going.
Finding clarity of purpose in your use of CrMS can not only give you stamina but also drive even bigger conversations about clarity of purpose for the overall goals and dreams you (and God!) have for your marriage and your family. Your ultimate purpose in the sacrament of marriage is to get your spouse to heaven and that certainly requires perseverance, sacrifice and grit.