I used to think it was easy to do life with others. I thought relationships were nothing but fun, games, and mushy love. I thought singleness was the most refining season.
And then I met a pirate.
Yes, a pirate. Now, he’s not a seadog, a landlubber, or a scallywag. He doesn’t say “shiver me timbers”, “blimey”, or “ahoy me hearties”. He doesn’t sail the ocean blue or plunder treasure. But he is from the Caribbean, so that makes him a buccaneer.
And because he’s a man, in close relation with me, that makes him a teacher.
A teacher to me. Because everyday I’m with him, I learn something.
I’ve learned real, delicious coconuts are not the brown, hairy coconuts you buy at HyVee.
I’ve learned “Whey me foo do?” means “What should I do?”
And I’ve also learned soccer goalies are really called ‘keepers’.
Besides opening my eyes to new truths of God and His love, he also shows me the depths of God’s patience and grace.
Mostly though, life with this pirate has taught me about the ugliness of myself. Okay, maybe that’s too harsh. But I never realized how selfish, how impatient, and quick to anger I am. I never realized how poor my communication skills are, or how I wear my emotions on my sleeves. After many, many days of doing life together, I have become comfortable and unadulterated, and he with I. We have misunderstood and hurt each other. We have disagreed and eaten meals in silence. And we have apologized and forgiven.
That’s the thing about relationships, they’re messy and refining. Sure, we have fun, lots of it…making meals, having dance parties, and playing volleyball. But, when I was single, I wasn’t even aware of the depths of my selfishness. The pirate has opened my eyes to my faults. The pirate has shown me where I can improve. And the pirate has poured out much grace.
So I’m grateful. And I’m hopeful. Because the pirate also has nothing good in him, except the Spirit of God, living inside him…so together we’ll keep growing. We’ll disagree and make mistakes, but we’ll keep changing. Because God doesn’t intend that through this Caribbean/American relationship, we stay who we were nine months ago. No, He will keep using life, circumstances, and tough discussions to make us more like His Son, bringing all the glory to Himself.
So tonight, say “Thank You, Lord” for the pirate in your life. The one who pushes you to know God more, challenging and encouraging you. The one who points out the fact that God doesn’t want to keep you where you are. The one who will be there in another nine months, extending a hug when you’re upset, making you laugh, and cooking you really good Caribbean food. That pirate is a gift…appreciate the gift.
Thank You, Lord.