The Wall Street Journal had an article about a woman who had her eggs frozen in her late 30s so that she could plan her family in her 40s when her fertility is gone. She spent almost $50,000 to freeze 70 eggs, obliterating her savings and the money her parents offered for a wedding. She calls it “baby insurance,” the “best investment” ever.
As I read that to my husband across the kitchen counter the other morning, I sat my coffee down and asked him how in the world do we protect our children from such misguided ideas? He reminded me, rightly so, that this is not unique to our generation. Although the science is relatively new, the psychology of control is not. With a nod, I remembered that I was of the same mindset only a decade ago, career planning first, family planning second. I was that woman, more or less.
But once I learned what the Church teaches about fertility and marriage, I understood what it means to bear fruit. The fruits born of faith, hope, and love lead to peace, joy, and life; the fruits of control, fear, and vice lead to bitterness, solitude, and despair. That’s where a person finds courage to reject myopic ideas that our days can be so strictly planned, that children are commodities to be had or not, or that any amount of money can ever provide insurance against suffering and pain. You see beyond it.
After years of contraception, tenuous relationships, and me-first title-chasing, I let go of control and offered all I have been given back to Christ. In return, I received the forgiveness that makes a woman whole, and became more than I ever dreamed I could be. I was free to find myself, happy and capable.
Later that morning after breakfast dishes were done and teeth were brushed, I continued to think about these fruits. I do believe that if children grow up in a home with a mother and father, if they are taught that love requires sacrifice, and if they are instructed in the faith, they will mature, even in this fallen world of today, to be living witnesses of the timeless truths of the everlasting Church. The ideas that lead a woman to freeze her eggs so she can put off marriage will seem foreign to them I hope, maybe even abhorrent. Our Christian lives of simplicity and obedience are our rebuttal, aren’t they? The shining light in a dark world.