Ahoy, matey! Shiver me timbers and all that. It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of . . . whatever you’re feeling.

Talking like a pirate is fun because—unless you actually are a pirate—most of us don’t do it every day. Most days, you probably talk like a . . . whatever it is you are.

Have you ever noticed that we all have our own lingo? There are words and phrases we use with some people that others we know wouldn’t “get” at all. We toss around acronyms, code phrases, and verbal shortcuts that are terrific as long as the listener speaks the same language. But artists rarely speak medical, doctors don’t always understand legal, lawyers aren’t often fluent in teacher-speak . . . and quite a lot of people don’t understand faith or “church” language.

We’ve likely all seen enough movies to parley in “pirate” at least for one day of the year. But imagine what it’s like to turn up at an event packed with people who look pretty much like you, but are using words and phrases everyone seems to understand—except you. They all know the same songs and speak the same language, while you can only listen and wonder what on earth you’ve gotten yourself into. Wouldn’t that make it hard to feel like you belonged?

“The true good news of who God is and what it means to be loved by him is so extraordinary, I want every woman on earth to hear it,” Shauna Niequist has said. “But a lot of times we use language that doesn’t allow people to hear it.” How sad is that? Isn’t the message more important than the vocabulary?

We think so.

That’s why at BELONG we are intentional about providing a welcoming space for ALL women. No one needs to speak a special language or have a specific background. You need only to open your heart to experience the love, encouragement, and honest, vulnerable messages we share.

After one of our first events a woman shared with us that she invited two of her coworkers who weren’t into women’s events or “anything church-y.” But they came to BELONG and experienced something remarkable that invited conversation on the drive home about faith and understanding why we were created and what we were created for—our purpose. Women have told us they crave perspective on just that. They’ve also told us they need help in their relationships and with their emotional well-being. So that’s what we offer at BELONG.

When it comes to talking like a pirate, it’s pretty fun and doesn’t (usually) hurt anybody. According the official web site, “It gives your conversation a swagger, an elán, denied to landlocked lubbers.” (And who wouldn’t want that?)

But the mission of BELONG is for every woman to know she is not alone, she matters, and that embracing her own story will make all the difference . . . and we never want words to get in the way.