In most natural family planning (NFP) circles, there are a few acronyms that get thrown around a lot: TTA. TTC. TTW. They get thrown around so much that we often forget what they actually stand for, or at least I do.
When I see them, I know that the A = no babies. C = babies are the goal. W = whatever happens, happens. I ignore the T’s because they are the same throughout. Lately, as my husband and I have been talking about our family size and praying about when to add to our family, I’ve been struck by the beauty of those little T’s – the thing we all have in common.
Trying To Avoid (Pregnancy)
Trying To Conceive
Trying To Whatever
We’re all just trying. I can read and pray and discern and discuss family size and spacing until I’m blue in the face and the cows come home, but at the end of the day, I’m still just trying. The perfectionist in me struggles to let go, to be content with only ever trying. I want to succeed, I want to achieve, but all God is calling me to do is try.
There’s beauty and comfort in that. All I can do, all my husband and I can do, all any of us can do is try. We try to space pregnancies for grave/serious reasons (and as frustrating as it can be, the Church leaves it up to us to discern what grave/serious reasons are sufficient for spacing pregnancy). We try to get pregnant. We try to whatever, to leave it in God’s hands without much (if any) regard to a chart. We try.
Sometimes we fail. Sometimes NFP methods fail. Sometimes we discern one thing, and then a few days later our reasons change, our prayer changes, our understanding of God’s answer changes. That’s why it’s called trying to avoid, conceive, or whatever – we don’t have all the answers. We aren’t God. So we try.
Sometimes the trying is easy – we let go and we let God. Sometimes the trying is hard and met with dealing with painful emotions – fear, anger, anxiety – and moving past them to let God heal us and open us up to His plan. Sometimes the trying is, itself, trying. Sometimes we are met with months, years even, of infertility or miscarriage. But despite it all, we still keep trying, day after day, cycle after cycle, year after year, we just keep trying.
Through all of the trying, the praying, the discerning, the talking, the silent time with God, the thinking and the number crunching, we hope that our trying gets us closer to Him, closer to His will, closer to holiness. Whether we are TTA, TTC, or TTW, we are all – each for our own reasons that He alone can judge – trying. And that’s the best we can do. And do you know what? That’s okay. He sees our trying and He blesses us. So keep on trying, and find comfort in the fact that no matter which letter you ascribe to, we are all just trying.