Potty training almost broke me. I had heard that potty training could be difficult but I was NOT expecting to experience despair like this on only the 2nd day. Progressively since my son’s birth I was becoming less and less able to handle situations. Seeing socks on the floor that needed to be picked up was enough to keep me in bed all day, my son glued to the iPad screen because I couldn’t handle dealing with it. So when my son had his first potty accident on the morning of Day #2, I decided to quit.
Let’s go back a few years. My depression started when I was 21 years old, and lasted 11 years. I was on Zoloft for most of that time including during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. The Zoloft never took away the depression, but it shortened my episodes and seemed to do just what this verse in Isaiah mentions – it seemed to harden me to difficulties.
For a time.
About the time I weaned my son at 19 months, things became increasingly difficult to handle. The control I thought I had over my life dwindled, and most days I was too fatigued and nauseated to get up off the couch.
This was the backdrop to my adventure into potty training. I chose the cold turkey method of potty training, so my son went straight into underwear on Day 1. The whole day is supposed to be spent on non-carpeted floors, cleaning up after they mess themselves and saying “Icky” when they pee in their underwear. It felt like mass destruction to my brain and body.
I will harden you to difficulties
I didn’t discover this verse until years later, after I had been off Zoloft for several years and was no longer depressed. When I realized what God had been doing in my life for the past few years, I marveled. There is a limit to what Zoloft can do for you in hardening you to those overwhelming moments, but there is no limit to what God can do.
I am a work in progress, I still get overwhelmed when life gets hard but that’s why this verse still means so much to me. It is a reminder that through Christ I am made strong, that the God who brought me here from where I was 4 years ago, will get me there. I’m in the middle of my miracle!
The potty training story ends well, because let me tell you all about my adorable 6 year old: he goes potty in the potty now! I quit the quitting. God gave me the strength I needed, and we pushed through day after day.