Friday, April 1, 2011

within you, as you

I've been struggling recently with my own beliefs about birth control. While I have always been a great supporter of a woman's right to choose not to have children at any particular moment (or at all), I'm not sure how I reconcile it with my beliefs about letting nature take its course.

I've been reading many blogs lately, and have found many that detail women's struggles with infertility. Some choose to wait a while before exploring any sort of infertility treatments, others choose to get started with medical help as soon as they realize they may have trouble conceiving. I've always told J that I do not want to go through any infertility treatments. I think I believe that if God doesn't allow your body to get pregnant naturally, you shouldn't mess with it, and adopt, or simply accept that having kids is not in the cards. (I say "I think" because I can't possibly know now, at 24, how I'll feel in a couple of years if I've been trying to get pregnant for 5 years. It's possible that I would completely disregard any beliefs I have about it now and exhaust every avenue in trying to have a baby of my own.)

On the other hand, I've been on birth control since I was 18, and will very likely remain on birth control until J and I are ready to have kids. We've always planned on having kids in our late 20s or early 30s, which will mean that I will have been on some sort of (hormonal) birth control for 10-15 years. I've always been nervous that this would harm (or completely destroy) my ability to conceive someday, but knew that I couldn't possibly be a good mother earlier.

So. Does this make me a hypocrite? I feel like it does. How can I say that I shouldn't mess with medicine if my body cannot conceive naturally, yet use hormonal birth control in an effort to prevent conception before I'm ready? How can I claim that I believe in God's plan for me for one time period in my life, but not another? On the other hand, if God wanted me to have a child now, wouldn't He be able to override any forms of birth control I was using?

I feel very confused and conflicted. I don't know how to reconcile my beliefs about God with what I want out of the rest of my life. I believe that God gave us free will, and wants us to exercise common sense in using that free will. But sometimes I worry that I spend too much time exercising that free will and not enough time listening to God.

As I was writing this post, I was watching Eat, Pray, Love. And right after I wrote the last sentence (above), in the movie Liz said "So the holy truth of the whole adventure here in India, is in one line: "God dwells within you." God's not interested in watching a performance of how a spiritual person looks and behaves."

Touché, God.

1 comment:

  1. I've never thought about both sides of that coin- great points love.