Last Saturday, my husband and I began potty training our two girls. One daughter has had 3 failed attempts and this was supposed to be our fourth and final time doing this. We took away the diapers and sent one last one on a balloon per the request of said daughter. We all cheered as the balloon flew away and then the real work began. We sent timers, we had reminders, we had stickers, candies, charts, promises of coveted toys, everything! My daughter started out pumped about it, but then somewhere she decided that she didn't want to do it anymore. She was actually mad when a little bit of pee made it into the toilet, she got mad when I got excited for her. She stopped wanting to sit on the potty. She peed big puddles and pooped in her undies. I forced her to sit on the potty. I let her hit me and scream at me until she went pee and then we just both cried and cried. I tried not talking about it, so it could become her idea. She stopped telling me when she went pee and I almost stepped in a puddle of it. After that I just put her in a pull up and admitted defeat. This is the one area that I can not force her to do what I want. She is the only one in control of her little defiant body. She can hold in that pee and poop until she bursts if she wants and that is what she was doing. It makes me sad and frustrated because I am not trying to do anything hurtful to her, I am merely trying to help her grow up. To learn a life skill that is expected and necessary.
As I was thinking about this, I was reminded about how God teaches us. At some point, we have to grow up in our faith. We can not be sustained on “spiritual milk” forever as Paul says. (1 Corinthians 3) We have to grow up. To help us, God can take away things that we don’t need anymore, like how I took away diapers from my daughter. At first, we can be excited about new changes like when my daughter cheered as the balloon took her diaper away, but when the excitement wears off, it becomes hard. We choose to fight him: we aren't ready, we don’t like it, how unfair…blah blah blah. But he knows what is best. Just like I know my daughter is too old for diapers. He cannot make us embrace those new “undies,” only we can make the choice to embrace what we need to learn next. We can either fight it by crapping everywhere (complaining, whining..etc) or we can put those big girl panties on and be transformed. We have the choice. He doesn't want to harm us, he is merely molding and shaping us into the person He created us to be. God is in the business of transformation, He won’t let us stay the same. Hallelujah!