• Expect the Unexpected - Crosswalk Couples Devotional - November 18
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    Expect the Unexpected
    By: Rebecca Barlow Jordan

    Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone. - Psalm 33:22 NLT

    My husband and I recently returned to one of our beloved getaway places along the western coast. We had looked forward to our summer vacation and the cooler temperatures where we'd visited several times since our children were small. But it had been over fifteen years since we'd felt the Pacific Ocean's spray on our faces or the squish of sand between our toes as we walked along the California beach. It had been too long since we had tasted the fresh fish and chips at a familiar seafood restaurant or feasted at the seacoast's colorful Mexican restaurants. We returned this time with expectations of reliving some special memories.

    But those expectations met reality headlong the moment we drove out of the airport in our rental car. Everything had changed. Special places looked older, and the grass and hillsides, once lush and green, stood faded, now yellow and brown from lack of rain. New roads and hotels blocked some of the older beach views. One day we got completely lost on bumper-to-bumper side streets trying to find our way. Even with staying glued to our phone aps, we missed familiar turns. Our favorite seafood restaurant had closed up, but fortunately we found another one listed online at a location not too far away.

    In spite of everything, we enjoyed the trip and time away. But our unmet expectations left us unfulfilled in some areas, and after a few days, we grew homesick.

    Every marriage begins with a set of expectations, just like our vacation hopes. Having observed the positive attributes of our spouse before marriage, we may innocently visualize nothing but a continuation of the same. Memories of romantic dates, thoughtful gifts, and fun activities fill our minds with anticipation. What could possibly go wrong? Togetherness, strong ideals, and visions of happiness dance in our heads. We can't conceive of a time when anything might change.

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