Have you ever had a profound calling from God you could not ignore? I have been blessed enough, this has happened to me many times in my life. I can still remember the day of each specific calling and am amazed at how God has placed the whole thing together so far. Sometimes saying yes to God without counting the cost and by taking the risk can bring greater joy and fulfillment than just doing the safe and easy thing. For me this included going into nursing, moving to Lansing, MI, becoming Catholic and marrying my husband, having kids sooner than I thought we would, teaching introduction to NFP, being trained to teach Creighton, and founding Groesbeck Fertility Care Center.
I was raised Protestant, mainly Baptist, and when I left for college in Lansing, I started attending a Methodist church where my relationship with the Lord grew. After college I met my husband who was Catholic. When things got serious, I decided to go to RCIA (Right of Christian Initiation of Adults) to decide if I would become Catholic and if I should marry my husband. I guess I already gave you a spoiler, but that year on Easter I was confirmed Catholic. Just a few months later, I married my husband.
My husband was all about NFP and no contraceptives before we got married, and he made had openly expressed this to me. I personally liked the idea of less chemicals in my body. I think it helped in my family, birth control was never pushed or viewed as a must have. During marriage prep, I found out the mom of one of the nurses I worked with had made the video we had to watch as our introduction to NFP. Since my husband and I were in the medical field (and had the accompanying irregular schedules), we had a one-on-one intro to NFP because our priest at the time said we had to take it even if we were both in the medical field. At the time I was frustrated because I felt this would be a waste of our time. I assumed my knowledge on birth control, including NFP, from nursing school would take care of the requirement.
Going to that one-on-one with the instructor was far better than I expected. Just knowing some of the mechanics of how the body functions was not the same as knowing why the Church teaches the spiritual importance. At the end of the session, the instructor mentioned if I ever want to teach the intro to NFP to give her a call. A year later, when my first baby was 6 months old, I heard the call, I remember it plain as day. Sitting in church when I heard God tell me to call and start teaching. I listened and taught the introduction to NFP for several years.
Beyond the spiritual reasons for what the church teaches, I learned that NFP is much more than the rhythm method that nursing schools teach as being NFP. This was an eye-opener for sure. Who knew there were forms of NFP which have scientific evidence to back them up, can actually work, and aren’t based on the ridiculous assumption every single woman has a stable preovulatory phase and you can just calculate days?! Interestingly, there has been a resurgence of the rhythm method in the form of cycle tracking apps. If you are seriously avoiding or attempting to achieve pregnancy, I strongly recommend that you do not depend solely on an app but use a more formal method.
Obviously, I am biased towards Creighton. If finances are a concern, it is worth reaching out to your local FertilityCare Center, parish, or diocese, since there is financial aid available in some cases. And just remember, if you are frustrated with having to go to the intro to NFP session during marriage prep, it might just be an opportunity for God to work in your life in ways you never imagined.