by Connie Tuttle

If repentance is ‘turning back’ or ‘returning’ to Godde, then maybe it is our task of the Lenten season.

There is a special two year-old in my life right now and observing her behavior feels a little too familiar. Two year-olds, those infamous ‘terrible twos’ are working very hard to experience themselves as separate. They are discovering and establishing their identities. I get an inordinate amount of pleasure as I watch them unfold. Grant  you, it is most likely that I enjoy it so much because I am not the parent of said two year-old, but enjoy it I do.

The familiar part is that in them I recognize myself in my relationship with Godde. Oh, I’ve established my identity a good while ago but something about the “I can do this myself”, the “I don’t need you” bravado is uncomfortably close.

For the past year I have turned my back on Godde. Like a two year-old I have charged into the unknown, into emotional places where I have no point of reference and I don’t need Your help, Godde. Thank you very much.Or to put it more succinctly, NO!

I don’t need Your help while I am navigating grief, rejection, betrayal, and despair. I’ve got this, I say as I lurch toward the precipice. And the thing is, whether I care or not, Godde is ever-present. Even when I keep Her at some remove, she cares for my well-being. Somewhere in my heart of hearts I know that when I turn away, Godde is always there, always with me. Like a two-year old in a loving home I am safe enough, secure enough in Godde’s love to push hard.

And like a two-year old I know it is time to run back home.

So this Lenten season is a turning time. In the sure knowledge that our journey is our own and our choosing is our own, we can return to Godde with intention.

We grow up a little more each time we repent, turn back to Godde. It can be uneasy this growing up business when things are no longer black and white but both/and. This continual returning grows us in the experience of interdependence.

And while we may always harbor a two year-old within us, the season of Lent is rich with the invitation to stretch and grow as we turn toward Godde.  The two year-old in us knows it is always okay to come back.