The world of quieter conversions
St. Paul’s conversion, with all its drama and bright lights and the booming voice of God, reads like something out of a comic book.
While such film-worthy revelations of God to his people are rare, quiet conversions and reversions are far more numerous than people may believe. In NFP circles in particular, we see that the most misunderstood — and consequently hated — teachings of the Catholic Church are often the sticking point that spark interlocutors to really learn. Many of them ultimately fall deeply in love and come home.
Instagram user justine_gaylor’s story is just one example. She says:
NFP was a major part of my reversion. While I am not yet married and don’t actually use NFP, learning about it and how it works ethically with Christian teaching is the reason I came back to the faith. When I was relearning about the Church and I first learned the Church’s teachings on contraceptives I almost walked away…until I did a lot of research. I learned about NFP, the science and the ethics. I decided that if the Church could be sooo right about this, it had to be right about everything else…and I am happily practicing the faith again for officially 3 years! My fiancé and I are excited to take a CCL course in the next few months!
Similarly, the husband of NFP user Mariana Lopez had a recent homecoming as a direct result of his frustration with the very Church he now calls his own:
It led my husband to convert to the Catholic Church after first hating NFP and thinking it was an obsolete teaching. He entered the Church early last year.
Of course, conversions of the soul need not always bring an entirely new set of beliefs. Sometimes we are converted — that is, changed — in small steps, piece by piece, that strengthen a general disposition we already hold and lead us more closely to the Truth. Such accounts are particularly abundant in NFP circles. Here are just a few:
NFP was one of the teachings of the Church that I did not fully understand as a young adult. Once I saw the truth and beauty in it I was even more grateful and in awe of our Church and her teachings. — Cara Conlan Argumedo
I have been doing NFP for 20+ years now. If you had asked me [if it strengthened my faith] in the past, like 10 years ago or in the very beginning, I probably would have said [NFP had a] negative impact because my husband wasn’t understanding about it… Looking back now [I] realize I was young and just mad that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. Now I can honestly say it has strengthened my faith because I think any kind of discipline is only going to help you grow and strengthen. — LaDonna Tomes Ebelhar
Learning my body and seeing how it naturally works has been really great for me! It has strengthened my faith by being about [seeing] how God made the woman’s cycle so special that there is no need for birth control or any other form of contraception! — Kimberly Wagner
Finally, true conversion of heart leads us to the truth about not only things divine, but our every day earthly experiences as well.
Over the last year, NFP has strengthened my personal faith and my marriage. After 3 years of trying to control my fertility with hormonal birth control pills, NFP taught me what it really means to give up control and trust God’s plan for my life, family and femininity.
In my marriage, NFP has revealed just how much my husband loves me. On the pill I viewed sex more often as a chore (since the hormones left me with no desire) and I saw my body as something I had to sacrifice for my husband. With NFP not only am I more emotionally healthy, but both my husband and I have to make sacrifices throughout the month for one another. NFP has shown me that my husband is just as willing to make those sacrifices for me and I feel our marriage is much more balanced because of it. I am NEVER going back. — Nicole Jacobsma
Take courage and share the good news of our redeemed sexuality. Share the good news of NFP. Who knows which souls you may start down the road back home?
— Forest Hempen
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