Embracing the Beautiful Body - Claire's Story

Monday, July 24, 2017

It's NFP Awareness Week! This year I am sharing stories from women who learned NFP methods while single. Single women often get left out of discussions of Natural Family Planning, but there are great benefits to be reaped for them too. It's time to hear some of their stories!




My name is Claire Ellendson.  I am a 21-year-old birth doula, NET Ministries alumni, and life-long Catholic.  I grew up being an older sister of a large family where I could see firsthand the beauty and purpose of God's design for fertility in my own family as we welcomed each of my younger siblings with joy and gratitude.  As I grew older however, I began to believe the lies from the world convincing me that my body was my greatest asset in attaining love. My body became to me a hopeless disaster, with a few redeeming qualities. 

Despite my consistent and faithful formation, my hatred for myself intensified from constant competition with my peers for the attention of men.  My mindset on my fertility was utilitarian. I thought that it was a thing that I probably wouldn't address until I was at least engaged.

God truly used my discovery of my own reproductive health as an avenue out of my own self-hatred and towards His divine truth.  I remember having earth-shaking menstrual cramps one day and demanded to know what the heck was happening with my body. I was blown away by how intricate and purposeful nature of my cycle. I was hooked on exploring more about the subliminal glory of how thoughtfully my body was gifted to me by God. I was lead to NFP though my pursuit of knowledge and practical application. Although I am not married or having sex, knowing what is happening with my fertility is a consistent reminder to me of the Lord's perpetuating gift of life.



I track my cycle using The Billings method mostly because it focuses on each aspect of what makes tracking my fertility useful to me as a single woman. This method teaches how to note and communicate changes with my body with a vocabulary which is easily utilized in my current stage of life (neither trying to achieve or avoid pregnancy). The goal of this is to understand the pattern of my fertility and to be aware of any irregularity. 



The greatest grace in my own journey of discovering NFP has been the redemptive effect that it has had on my own view of sexuality and womanhood.  For being such a sex-obsessed culture, so few have any level of intuition on how the female body works. Overcoming shame or misunderstanding about NFP or related topics is simplified by conversation and the God-given power of reason. It has been such a gift to me to be able to enter into conversations with women, as well as recognize beauty in how my own body is made.


Come back tomorrow for NFP For Every Body - Susie's Story.

2 comments :

  1. Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing it with us!

    ReplyDelete
  2. "intricate and purposeful nature"--well put, Claire! Thank you for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete

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