The Little One turned 4 years old a couple of weeks ago. She still wasn't potty trained and the siblings were getting pretty anxious about it. We had been dealing with the Little One’s extremely strong will for over a year on the issue. We tried a lot of logical book learned techniques and used the proper language. It didn't seem to help. One suggestion found on the Internet was to completely give up talking about it and wait until it came from her. It said that her need for independence was overcoming her ability to accept the idea if it was “our idea”. So, I went with this theory and shut up.
She turned 4 and nothing improved. I was still changing diapers. I was also going through a trial of faith with some health issues, which had my resistance down. My irritability levels were high and my patience levels were low. My weaknesses in all areas of life were shining brightly for not only me to see…but my whole household.
It was in this “hour of darkness” when the “miracle” took place. It was morning and we headed upstairs to change her diaper. Ugh, I thought. We were out of diapers. I simply showed the Little One the empty bag. Her response? “It’s okay Mommy, I’ll wear underwear.” She knew where it was kept, picked a pair out, and put it on. Of course I was thrilled, but skeptical just the same since we’ve gone down that road before. The real test was getting her to go in the potty!
As anticipated, she refused to go and held it for the rest of the morning, into the afternoon, through her dance class. When she refused to sit on the potty there, I was rushing home praying we could get there in time before an accident. And, we did. She made it and she went in the potty! The look of delight on her face as she practically screamed “Mommy! I’m a big girl now!”
Why am I sharing this story? Because it occurred to me that a person’s conversion can happen in an instant! I faith share with so many people and we spend hours, days, weeks, years worrying about the conversion of our children, nieces, nephews, husbands, wives, parents, siblings, friends…but we so often forget that conversion can come in a moment--just like how it happened for the Good Thief. That “moment” may not happen according to our plans, but when we put our trust in the GOD who IS, we can trust and have faith that it WILL happen. And, when we struggle with that kind of trust and/or faith…we can give it to Blessed Mother and beg Her to have the trust and faith in us and for us to move the mountains!
“You should assume an attitude of contrition and gratitude, especially in your relationships with others. Do you want to be a channel of grace for others? If so, then acknowledge that you are who is not. Contritely acknowledge your evil and be grateful for every grace that you experience. Then God will be able to pour out the most priceless of His gifts through you.” S.C. Biela, The Two Pillars, (Ft.Collins, CO: IAMF, 2006), 85.