In three days, we officially set sail on our pirate ship.
We’ve frequently used this analogy over the last several months to describe the journey we’re embarking on. Why specifically a pirate ship, I know not, but this is the vision that came to you, and one that’s resonated with both of us.
For our 11-month anniversary, you gave me a pirate ship coloring book. Your thoughtfulness always astonishes me, however, it was the gift’s symbolism which also deeply moved me.
This pirate ship image represents so many things for us: leaving behind our previous inhabited islands; parting ways with the old, the familiar, the comfortable; waving goodbye to what we’ve known.
Inherent in this departure though, is tremendous excitement, hope, adventure, and expectation for what awaits! We are setting sail into obscure and uncharted waters, but the beauty is, we’re doing it together. We are mapping the course; we are steering the ship; we are the authors of this great voyage. Creating our life together gives me indescribable joy.
There's an undeniable confidence we feel about our voyage. Yet, the reality is, neither of us knows exactly where we're headed. And, this is one of the many things I love so much about the 39 different ships in the coloring book. The book captures the ships at different stages in their voyage. Some are on smooth waters, some are floating under beautiful starlit skies, some are caught in storms, some are being attacked by giant sea creatures.
I think these different voyage phases nicely parallel different marital phases. I believe we’ll have countless moments of extreme bliss and joy, when we feel completely in sync and intoxicated with one another; when our intimacy feels barrier-less; when we feel like we alone occupy space in this vast ocean. We’ve already experienced this, and have had enough people comment on the depth and intensity of our love, and connection, to doubt it.
However, we both know it’s naïve to think we won’t face giant swells, Captain Hook or gigantic octopi. Life is challenging. Circumstances aren't always kind. The sea we live in isn’t always marriage-friendly. There are many hostile forces lurking in our world, waiting to strip marriage of its sacredness, waiting to destroy it from without and within. In many ways, we’re like the disciples when Jesus said to them, “I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves” (Matthew 10:16). However, the disciples weren’t ill-prepared and neither are we.
We’ve put endless energy into building our vessel, our relationship. We’ve investigated the hull, inspected the deck, checked out the masts, and through counseling, hard conversations, the wisdom of others, God’s miraculous intervention, and our own endurance, commitment, and loyalty (and stubbornness), we've patched and reinforced the cracks which threatened the security of our vessel. We’ve built a beautiful, and steadfast, pirate ship.
Now we’re ready to set sail.
Yes, many unknowns lie ahead, and we’ll need to make more repairs along the way to keep our ship in working order. However, this is what I know.
There’s no one else I’d rather have as my shipmate. I trust you to steer this ship; to direct our route; to keep us afloat in pleasant and choppy waters. As your fellow navigator, I promise to do the same. We're an amazing team. We work effortlessly together. Our partnership, and love, is unparalleled.
I also know, that while we’re carving out our course, it's really the Divine Captain who is ultimately plotting, and faithfully overseeing, our route.
We’ve constantly marveled at God’s direct, and personal, intervention in our love story. He started writing it before we knew we’d been cast as characters. He was captaining our pirate ship before we even boarded.
God has given us a tremendous gift in one another. We often reflect on how unique our relationship is, largely because of its divine origins and divine sustenance. Though I commented earlier that there are forces at work in our world which are hostile to marriage, I believe there are even more powerful forces at work which promote, nourish, and encourage marriage. God is marriage-friendly. He designed marriage to mirror the intimacy, closeness, and nearness that he has with his people, and it's the profundity of this relationship he wants to reveal in our marriage. We weren’t brought together, or kept together, by chance, but rather, by God’s intentional orchestration. And, I believe this orchestration extends beyond just us. Though, we know not yet how God will use our marriage for a grander and wider purpose.
However, this is what I know.
David Rutkosky, you’re my co-captain, my person, my love. I can’t wait to float on this open sea of life with you.