Truth. What is Truth?

“. . .the reason I came into the world, is to testify to the truth. Anyone committed to the truth hears my voice.” “Truth!” said Pilate. “What does that mean?” (John 18:37-38)

These words continually play out in my head. Truth, deception, half-truths, and outright lies are intermingled in everything we see, hear, taste, touch and feel. Even Pilate couldn’t recognize truth, or chose not to, when Truth Himself was standing right in front of him. So, why do I think that I can show truth to others, or even recognize it myself?

I was always a simple child. Everything was black and white, right or wrong. I never could lie, at least not well. One just had to look into my eyes and it would all come spilling out. So, it has always been difficult for me to discover that I have been deceived. News stories are the most difficult. When my husband’s cousin was recently killed in a tragic explosion in West, TX it was frustrating to watch the news report inaccurate facts, even the spelling of his name. It seemed to me that a big part of reporting would be reporting the truth and fact checking simple things like spelling of the names of men that had just given their lives trying to save others. So, here I am at 40-something years old and still feeling a bit na├»ve. It must be the illusioned perfectionist thing again.

I think that this confusion about truth in our society is really the working of the devil. Don’t think the devil is real? Think again. Devils are fallen angels. Angels are pure spirits with high intelligence, greater than humans even. They are not restricted by bodies or death. They were not affected by the Fall (as in the fall from grace when sin entered the world). And contrary to popular belief, humans never become angels. It is impossible because we are totally different creatures. Like a snake cannot become an eagle. Humans are animals and spirits (body and soul) and we are made in the image and likeness of God. We are affected by the Fall, but Christ came to save us by becoming human and dying to open the gates of Heaven. When we die we experience a particular judgment and if we have chosen God we will spend eternity with Him in heaven. At first only our spirits will be there, but after the final judgment our bodies will be reunited with our spirits. I know this to be true because God himself, Jesus Christ told us this truth. In fact God is Truth. Of course, I have over-simplified it for this blog post (and because my pea brain can only absorb so much of this truth). But, I think it is a truth that bears repeating in this confusing world of Reality TV (that is anything but real), urban legends in email and on Facebook, and news reports that are full of bias, inaccuracy and gossip. Contrary to a recent article entitled “Evidence Based Living” that claimed religion–any religion– to be solely based on belief without reason, the Catholic Church provides us with the Fullness of Truth, time-tested for over 2000 years, balancing faith and reason, and established by Jesus Christ himself. He is the way, the truth and the light. If you haven’t personally connected with Jesus lately, He is only a prayer a way! And for my fellow Catholics He is waiting for us in the Eucharist, to become one flesh with our own flesh. Our God is an awesome God!

Haiku Birth Stories

This is my most fun and easiest post so far. Thanks for the inspiration, Jennifer Fulwiler! The following are haiku of my birth stories.

Met her at age four
Loved her from the first moment
My child by marriage

Three false labor trips
Pit drip and epidural
My first baby girl

Four false labor trips
Pit drip and epidural
Second baby girl

Infertility
Five years and first baby boy
Yay! NaPro Technology

Four false labor trips
Pit drip and epidural
My third baby girl

Fifteen months and boom!
Second baby boy is born
Induced and epidural

An easier way?
Hypnobabies we will try
Baby boy at home!

Back to hospital
Doctor abusive to me
Born in daddy’s hands

Benjamin he is
Now placenta Previa
Emergency C

The Cross of Infertility

What would a mother of nine know about infertility? Well, before you scoff and discount my viewpoint, I will answer, “A lot.” While we had little trouble conceiving our first daughter, our second only came after a miscarriage and 2 years of trial. This was followed by a second miscarriage and five more years of infertility and female troubles. I was plagued with chronic and painful ovarian cysts and modern medicine’s only answer was the pill.

I am no stranger to this medicine. We had chosen it as birth control early on in our marriage. It was so simple and easy and seemed like everyone but the Church was behind its use. I’m not sure what broke through to my hardened heart and stubborn pride, but my heart was changed and suddenly I could no longer use contraception and be at peace. My husband was fully supportive and we self-taught the Billings method of Natural Family Planning (NFP). Used it to allow the chemicals to clear my system and then to achieve my first pregnancy. We would never look back. And over time and through obedience, God gave us the gift of understanding and knowledge and we truly embrace the beautiful and deep teachings of the Catholic Church.

Fast forward past two healthy pregnancies and babies and two miscarriages and once again the doctors want to prescribe birth control. I was at a loss. Since I was using NaPro Technology to chart my cycles and knew my problems were related to progesterone deficiencies, I couldn’t understand why the doctors wouldn’t look at natural alternatives. My questions fell on deaf ears. I cried and I prayed. I remember distinctly asking God what it was that I should do as we were trying to live according to His will. Within a month a NaPro/NFP-only doctor started practicing 20 minutes away from our home. It would be two more years, but we had a baby boy and then five more babies in the following six years.

But it is those five years that we carried the cross that I will never forget. It was five years of riding the roller coaster of emotions: hope, anticipation, disappointment, and hope again. Five years of wondering if it was punishment for past sins, of loneliness and of empty arms. Five years of trying to enjoy the children we already had while grieving the ones we lost and those that may never be. I worried about causing scandal–that others may think we were closed to life. Finally, I prayed for peace. I asked God to bless me with children if it were His will and if it would bring glory to Him, but if more children did not come I promised to still be faithful and begged him to please show me His way, The way.

God answered us by blessing us with six more children. I am often asked if we are done. How could I tell God “No?” To be done would mean that we would make steps in a permanent way to ensure being done. I won’t go back to that place of ignorance and darkness. God has shown me the light. We will always be open to new life, but are grateful NaPro Technology for the ability to know our bodies so well that we can space our children and use discernment and prayer to decide our family size.

I teach my daughters this method as well as a tool to learn their bodies and to become empowered. Too many girls and women are diagnosed with gynecological issues that doctors solve by prescribing birth control pills. We need to spread the word that these issues can be resolved at their source instead of using a bandaid treatment that will cause more problems. Increase in cervical cancer, breast cancer, infertility, depression, and blood clots are just some of the side effects. It makes my heart hurt to hear these stories when I know there is a better way.

The same is true for couples carrying the cross of infertility. Most doctors are quick to suggest IVF with high costs, low success rates and controversial techniques that involve highly immoral procedures, which include: fertilizing embryos outside of the marriage act, freezing embryos, destroying embryos and selective reduction (code for abortion) of multiple pregnancies. Meanwhile, NaPro Technology has a 99% success rate in avoiding pregnancy and an 81.8% success rate in achieving pregnancy. And I’m living proof that it works.