Hearing His Voice In the Search for Clean Underwear
By Charity Rios
Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Charity's Story
Poopy underwear filled my sink. Another glamorous evening of dishes and rinsing out my five-year-old’s latest potty accident awaited me.
“God, where are you here?" I asked, as I held back tears and washed out the poop-filled underwear.
“Am I just a horrible Mom, what is wrong with me?” My mind flashed to friends who had completed potty training in one week, to a recent blog post I had read about how their two-year-old was completely day and night trained in a weekend.
I felt insecure, exhausted, and desperate.
“I’ve tried everything God, its been two and a half years and he’s STILL having poop accidents! What am I doing wrong here? Please help," I pleaded as I scrubbed.
I never thought I would spend so much time in prayer and tears over poop.
After two and a half years of trying all the traditional potty training methods that had worked for my oldest son, nothing was helping. We discovered that my five-year-old had toilet sensory issues (look that up for a good time on a Friday night if you’re curious…wink). Yet, our newfound knowledge and training techniques had yielded minimal improvement.
As I wondered if I should hang up yet another sticker reward chart, my son began to wrestle with bigger questions. Every night he would ask my husband and I why he couldn’t hear God speak to him.
Despite our constant assurances that, as a child of God, he could hear God’s voice and that sometimes hearing His voice requires persistence and perseverance, my son would cry in frustration because he so desperately wanted to hear God speak to him.
My son's struggle continued as I battled lies alongside him. I struggled to believe that I was doing a good job as a mom and that God was going to bring breakthrough in his potty training. As my son struggled with doubt about hearing God’s voice, I became frustrated with God.
“Lord,” I questioned, “why aren’t you speaking to him?”
I feared that he would lose his pure childlike faith if he didn’t hear God for himself. My fears continued as we boarded a plane for a Christmas trip. Along with my fears, I had packed extra underwear and pants for my son, assuming that since changes in schedule typically triggered his potty accidents, I would need them.
Halfway through our trip, I realized I hadn’t been washing out poopy underwear. I assumed my husband had been taking care of it. After arriving home, we were eating lunch at a local deli, when my son dropped a bomb. “God spoke to me in the night,” he exclaimed.
“What did He say, buddy?” I asked.
“Well, it was two hours into the night, and God spoke to me, and told me that He was giving me the gift of not pooping in my underwear anymore,” my son beamed proudly.
My husband and I looked at each other and asked at the same time, “Wait, have you been washing out poopy underwear?”
“No!” we both exclaimed, realizing that it had already been ten days since he had a poop accident.
“When did God speak to you, buddy?” I asked. “He told me before our Christmas trip that he was giving me the gift of not pooping in my pants,” my son explained.
There were hugs and cheers all around our table. God had brought not just one but two powerful breakthroughs in my son’s life. He had taken a trial and given us triumph.
Now when I pass the sink that used to overflow with poop-filled pants, I smile. We have a perfect Father God who loves to interrupt our mundane moments with His miraculous presence.
Tips for Leading Your Children in Prayer
We have a God who longs to not only draw near to us, but to draw near to our kids. He has the answer for every problem we have in life, even potty training.
If we will faithfully lead our kids to Jesus, they will have everything they need. Even when we are wrestling with our own faith journey, in the midst of waiting for our own breakthrough or answers, we can lead them to Him. We may be surprised at the powerful encounters our kids have with Jesus, but honestly we shouldn’t because Jesus Himself said, "Let the little children come unto me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”
To shepherd your kids in hearing God’s voice, have them consistently ask God a question with you. Here are several that we have our kids ask God:
God, is there anything you want to tell me today?
God, is there someone you want me to pray for today?
God, how can I encourage my brother or sister, today?
Then wait with your kids, and listen together (ask God the same question too) and share with your child anything you hear. If they don’t hear anything:
Normalize this. Share the reality that in our relationship with Jesus we often have to keep seeking and asking, but build faith in your child with the truth that they are a son and daughter of their perfect Father God, who loves them, who created them for relationship with Him and that He will speak to them.
Share the truth that the Word of God is always speaking to us. Take a moment to read the Bible together and share about how it applies to your life.
Keep trying. I pray we continue to listen for His voice together with our kids.
The Hear Him Louder Essay Series is a guest writer series where God's daughters share their stories of hearing God’s whispers in their every day. It’s meant to serve as an encouragement for the times when God feels far and seems quiet. When we read each other’s stories of how He meets us, it reminds and reassures us that He is near. May this series be an invitation for us to listen for His voice together.
Don't miss any posts in this series! Subscribe to receive notifications for each new essay, posted every other Thursday. When you subscribe, you'll receive a link to a FREE five-day devotional (45 beautiful pages!) called, “Closer: Five Days to Hearing God Louder.” Each day features teaching on one posture and a guided journaling section to help us practice taking steps toward hearing God louder in our every day.
Learn more about each of these five postures:
1 | Seek: If I Seek God, Will I Really Find Him?
2 | Know: Will God Speak, Even to Me?
3 | Expect: Can I Expect to Hear God?
4 | Listen: How Do I Listen for God?
5 | Connect: Is God Really Right Here?
New to this series? Check out the rest of the series!
Interested in contributing to the Hear Him Louder Essay Series? The call for submissions opens twice a year. To submit an essay outside of those windows, contact me.
Charity is the author of the children’s picture book, My Heart’s Garden. She is a children’s book coach and delights in guiding writers to refine and release their stories of hope into the world.
Boy mama to four, wife and a follower of Jesus, Charity has been a children’s pastor, church planter and teacher.
Most days you’ll find her totin’ potties & rollin’ in the mini while she dreams of her next book idea.
You can connect with Charity on Instagram & Facebook, or through her tending tip emails, a weekly practice to experience freedom in Christ. Sign up at her website.