A huge passion of mind is reminding women that they’re not the only one and encouraging them to step out of that isolation when they feel alone in current circumstances.
=Well, confession: The way I’ve dealt with sex and fear makes me feel like the only one. I used to be intentionally quiet about this subject around my peers because I wasn’t sure what they would think of my ideas. Now that I’ve been married for a little while, I’m much more chill and confident about my choices, but that doesn’t mean I don’t face the same fears. I’m just less afraid to talk about those fears.
So here we go.
Let’s talk about sex, birth control, and babies.
One night, my serious boyfriend (now husband) was driving back from his sister’s graduation. It was Saturday night, it was late, and he still had a few hours to go. So, like any head-over-heels girlfriend would, I kept him occupied with phone calls. It didn’t take long to run out of things to talk about, so my husband, being the kiniver he is, asked,
“What do you think about birth control?”
This launched us into an hour-long conversation – the pros, the cons, the ethics; the meaning of marriage, family, and choice. We covered a lot of ground for one phone call.
See, I had decided to wait until I got married to have sex, so even though I was aware of the options, I had never needed to worry about birth control in such detail. I had never needed to actually make a decision that really counted.
Needless to say, that late-night conversation launched me into a long and strenuous look at my actual plan for sex and reproduction. I personally wasn’t keen on a typical birth control pill and knew there were other options, but now the research got real.
The more I thought and read and prayed and talked about it, the more I was sure I wanted to use a natural form of birth control.
While it was cool that I officially came to a decision and all, this is where the story gets good.
Guys, I don’t know if everyone realizes this or not, but…
Having sex means you could have a baby.
Like, for real.
This obvious and universal fact honestly had me floored when Greg and I got serious and I realized it could soon apply to me.
I would be having sex.
I could have a baby.
I have to own my choices and be responsible for s-e-x.
And before you say, “That’s what the pill is for, duh.” Trust me, I looked at all of it. Birth control pills are 99% effective with perfect use and said to be 91% effective with typical use. Contraceptive implants are also 99% effective – when inserted correctly. (These stats are pretty universal. I’ve read these on Healthline, birthcontrol.com, kidshealth.org, and Planned Parenthood, just to name a few.)
These are actually great stats and I don’t mean to be negative, but I can’t be the only one who wonders about that 1%? What about that margin of error? Right?
Don’t panic. Stick with me. That fear and defensiveness that you just felt about your sexual life is what this episode is all about.
It’s about coming to terms with this realization that having sex means I could have a baby.
And a baby would alter my world – a lot.
So, I got engaged. I started charting my cycle for my natural birth control method. I wrestled and soul-searched about my real attitude towards having children and my own personal timeline. I got married. Oh yeah, and I had sex with my husband.
If you asked my friends what I’m fearful of in regards to marriage, most of them probably wouldn’t know what to tell you. So, I’m going to be really honest here.
Here’s a list of what I’ve feared (on multiple occasions) over the past 11 months:
- That I was pregnant
- That I would get pregnant (when I was about to have sex)
- Looking foolish and discrediting all of my research and choices if I got pregnant “too soon” after marriage
- Being another “failure” story surrounding natural birth control to other women
- Judgement from my friends when they found out my morals and choices
- My friends thinking I was judging them when they found out we’ve made different choices
- That I would drink wine while being pregnant and hurt my baby because I didn’t know I was pregnant yet
- Hearing negative or discouraging opinions, statistics, or stories about natural birth control
- Having to explain how viable natural birth control is only to be met with judgemental or un-listening ears
We all have them, friend.
I know I am not the only one who has feared looking foolish, feared a major life change, or feared what other people would think about me.
I had no idea that having sex would bring on more of these fears.
But these fears are teaching me and radically changing my life.
Here’s what it comes down to:
If I have a baby, if people think I’m foolish, if my life is flipped upside down –
Do I still trust God?
Honestly, that late night phone call with John launched me into a long journey of not only naming my fears, but continually telling God about those fears and consciously choosing to trust Him with the outcome. I didn’t realize or take the time to admit that I was afraid of these things until I was faced with them. I had to force myself to push through the emotional and mental work to be self-aware enough to name my fears.
Only then could I look at a game plan to conquer them.
That phone call forced me take my fears, large and small, and tell them to God; to tell him my desires, then trust Him with the outcomes. Getting married, choosing birth control, and having sex has forced me to admit, then believe that God’s plans are better than mine, even when I’m afraid.
11 months in, I’m comfortable with my decisions.
But I’m still afraid. Every single item on that list still rises in my heart. Not all at once or every day – but often.
The difference is, in this area of my life, I immediately talk to God. Over and over again, I tell God my fears, I tell Him my desires, and say, “God I commit this part of my life to you anyways. I ask that you would consider my desires, but ultimately, I really trust you with this because your plans are best. I give this over to you. I trust you to do what is best for me.”
I do this often.
Dude, I even do this right before having sex sometimes. Using the natural birth control method means you have days you use protection and days you don’t use protection – and it wigs me out for a minute. So I literally pray right then and there.
There’s nothing like fear to turn the heat down in a relationship.
I’m not about to let fear damage our marriage or our sex life. I’m not about to let fear make me view the idea of children and new life as a negative. I’m not about to let fear keep me from what God has for me.
That’s why I have to constantly give it over to God.
And that’s exactly what I did before writing this very honest blog post.
So why am I so passionate about talking to women about fear and sex?
Real, honesty time here: I see a lot of women living with fears that come with sex.
I’ve heard many women talk about avoiding pregnancy or the possibility of kids with great fear.
I’ve heard many Christian women fearing the actual act of having sex for the first time.
I’ve heard many women express fear that their sex life will never be good.
And while I’m by no means perfect or “done” in this area, I can’t help but wonder: “Am I the only one who is dealing with these fears on a regular basis? Am I the only one who is naming them and talking to God about them?”
Look, there’s a high chance your story and your choices look different than mine. I promise that’s not what I’m here to debate or change. My concern is that we might be leaving these fears unnamed. My concern is that we might be letting fear control something in our hearts and minds that God wants to lovingly handle for us. My concern is that we’re so often walking around with this attitude that we’re in control – when all along God wants to sweetly walk beside us through these fears and use them to teach us trust every day.
Notice I said we.
We all have them, friend.
So, my ultimate question for you is – do you still trust God with them?
“Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.”
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