11.13.2005

My introduction

I've been invited to share here, which is both cool and intimidating. But what the hey? I've got nothing to lose, and I'm a blogging addict so here goes.

These are issues very close to my heart, and while I do not have the theological background that David has, and I don't have the medical background that many others have, I do that have the perspective of a 23 year old mother who practices NFP.

The problem of contraception and abortifacients has been getting more airtime. It keeps popping up on the Lutheran Blogosphere, here and there, about once a month. That encourages me, and I hope that maybe this blog can become grand central station for Lutherans to dialogue.

For now I'll just give a little history of who I am, and why I take the position that I do regarding these Life-issues.

Rob and I are Olivia's parents. She came a lot earlier than most first children do. We weren't even married for one year. We've been practicing the Creighton Method of NFP, and we were open to babies from the beginning.

Let's back up...

I was on the pill off and on before I met Rob for various medical reasons, but I hated it. I hated being tied down to medication and I hated taking the pill at the same time every day. So I quit.

This was a blessing in disguise because I was later diagnosed with Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome. This disease is often treated with the pill, interestingly enough, but people are finding that while the pill helps a woman cycle regularly, it does not heal PCOS and may even cause permanent damage and serious infertility.

I discovered all of this after becoming engaged to Rob. His mom encouraged me to see her doctor about my irregular cycles and that is when all of my suspicions about the pill (and other contraceptives) were validated.

Rob had always assumed he would practice NFP since he is the oldest of 7 children from NFP practicing parents. With his encouragement, and the support of his mom and our doctor I hopped on board the Natural Family Train, unsure of where it would take us.

It was a struggle for Rob and I to learn the method. It was a struggle to know that it was up to our willpower to prolong our childless years. It was struggle to know that all of our friends would be pursuing lucrative futures, and that I would most likely be a mom before I was a college graduate. I was only 21 and I was already preparing myself, in actuality, for motherhood.

And all the things that we struggled over and feared came true. But it wasn't at all like we thought it would be. We love our life, and we love our marriage. We know that God has given us the vocation of the parents of Olivia and we feel honored and blessed to do our best to fulfill it. And even though I am sometimes lonely, and I'm defintely the youngest mom I know that wasn't devastated to have a baby, I am happy.

Because of all that I have learned in the past two or three years about the pill, and the value of life, the topic has become one of my greatest passions. I crave the opportunity to share what I know, and I love to see the change that it makes in families. This is why I joined this blog. I could tell you all in one post on my blog Love and Blunder, it would make you think for a moment, and then you'd be on your way. I want the impression to last longer than that. Here the issue is ever pressing, and there will always be new information, a new perspective, and hopefully a new author to share the truth about contraceptives and their negative effect on the Church, the world, families, women and children.

I am excited to see the discussion unfold. I am excited to share my experiences. And I'm excited to get to know other NFP practicing and NFP-curious Lutherans and other confessional Christians. I am excited to be a voice for the unborn babies dieing for their parents' convenience, and for infertile mothers being medicated but not healed. Right now, Rob and I are alone in the world, and hopefully through fruitful dialogue, we'll become the norm and not the exception.

Thanks Pastor Dave for the invitation and the opportunity to spur one another on toward love and good deeds, always in the shadow of the cross.

10 comments:

Pr. David Rufner said...

Devona,

Thanks so much for your post. It was really excellent in how you showed that while the path for many of us was initially a departure from the pill culture, in the end it became so much more.
Megan and are also blessed to not only use NFP, but like you and Rob we use the Creighton Model.
As we move ahead into the days and months to come this may prove as one model for how we can frame future discussion:

1. State clearly what our concern over The Pill is and show how Confessional Lutheranism would lead us in the midst of that concern. (This part of the conversation has certainly begun.)

2. As you did, demonstrate somewhat anecdotally where the journey away from The Pill has led some couples.

3. Make a two-part (or more) case for NFP:
a. What distinguishes it from other contraceptives (this will then in part disarm the objection in b.)
b. Put forth a case on how to respond to those level the objection that NFP is no different than contracepting because the married couple is still exercising their will over God' (There are certainly different variations on this objection, and sometimes it is in question form).

Also, at some point I would like to see us take up two other discussions, parts of which I am sure will make it into any present discussion.

1. What does the church historic teach on the matter? And why in a century when we have bemoaned many other departures from the teachings of the church historic (the doctrine of scripture, and teachings of the Bible that marriage is between one man and one woman to name just two)have we been so quiet, unreflective, and unalarmed concerning our departure here from the church's stance on contraception?
2. What is the proper role of Natural Law in theology, the life of a Christian, and this conversation that we are presently having?

Again thanks for your helpful post.

In Our Lord,
David

Devona said...

I'm glad that my post was helpful. And I'm exceedingly glad that you practice the Creighton Model. It might help, if we're using any specific terminology that we'll be using the same terms. And having a link might help any unfamiliar readers to follow along.

I am up to the challenge of what you'd like to accomplish here. And I'm excited to see what my answers turn out to be. My journey thus far has only been for the past 2 years, like I already mentioned, so I don't know what my answer would be to a few of your questions. Some of them I'm already churning out the post in my head. :)

I think that this is, if nothing else, going to help me and possibly a few fence-walkers feel more assured that there is something better than what society (and unfortunately the Church) is telling us about the marriage bed.

Tina said...

Devona, I enjoyed your post! Thank you. At first glance, there wouldn't appear to be much in common between us--you are at the beginning of your marriage/motherhood, I am 15 years into my marriage with 3 school age children. But, I too have a peer group that, for the most part would be devastated to learn of a pregnancy, and my husband and I are praying for God to bless us again.

I have used some form of NFP for most of our marriage. The Pill made me terribly sick, so we ditched it after 3 months. It was after this that I learned of it's more sinister nature. In the early years, we used the Billings Method. After having our 3rd, we wanted a little more confidence, so added temping and other signals, ala the Fertility Awareness Method (which allows for a barrier during the fertile time). It has only been in the past year that we went NFP only--and for the past 3 months, we are simply not paying attention and seeing what God will do. (Although, I must confess, after 15 years of noticing the signs, it is nearly impossible to NOT notice them, LOL).

I am further along this journey than my husband is, primarily because most of the discussion seems to be in Reformed circles, and he tends to not be interested in trying to filter their brand of theology. :) So, I'm thrilled to have confessional Lutherans taking up the dialog.

I will ponder the questions you posed on how to frame the argument.

Elle said...

I'm interested in learning more about all of this, especially your third point, Pr. Rufner. Thanks for the post, Devona!

Tina said...

I'm curious how the discussion will continue. Will you post each of the questions you posed in a separate blog, allowing for comments on a point by point basis? Or are we to add comments here in this post?

In case it matters, my preference would be the first. :) Much easier to refer back to later.

Pr. David Rufner said...

Tina,

I know it is feasable to do a blog for each question/point, but I am afraid that it would be too much for me to manage. My head would be swimming.

So, I'm pulling for keeping it all on the same blog. I realize that it has ramifications then on people trying to follow the discussion. The best I think I can offer is be quite clear where we are at based on post headings.

David

Tina said...

Sorry, David. I'm new to blogging, so I don't think I actually said what I meant. LOL.

I didn't mean separate "blogs", I meant separate posts within THIS blog, as opposed to commenting within Devona's post.

Which is, I think, exactly what you mean as well.

Sorry if I added confusion. I'd never want to be responsible for someone's head swimming! :)

Pr. David Rufner said...

New blogger eh? That makes two of us.

Christopher Gillespie said...

Devona,

Also thanks for your post... My wife and I were alone for a long time on this issue, finding no support within the church. It is good to hear from some others who share our sentiments.

Chris

Sarah said...

This is great that Lutherans are discussing NFP and FAM, which we practice! It shouldn't be just a Catholic issue anymore. We attend an ELCA and there are still confessional Lutherans in the church, but this topic is almost taboo these days. People who love the "freedom" the Pill offers are scared to give it up. Whereas in reality they could have so much more!