All I had expected along the way was that all that was to come would be unexpected. I knew that the best thing we could do was prepare ourselves to be surprised by the emotions, the events, and the future we looked to forge together. And I knew that our vows and the day was simply posturing, arrogant poetry, childish bantering if it were not rooted in the confidence that we would keep our vows as He KEPT US.

I made it through the whole ceremony and to my surprise—did not cry. I suspect it was because I had not lived my life in desperation, because the longing had not eaten away at my soul. I was still able to enjoy the moment because I had pursued this very quality in singleness—contentment—without expecting it to lead to marriage. In this case marriage did not suddenly "complete me," did not suddenly transform me. Marriage gave me the gift I had longed for but I was the same person in all my goodness and failings. My emotion was one of satiety—satisfaction—I was at peace—content and (for the moment) satisfied.

What had been dream and mere speculation was at that point reality and joy. We held each other's hand as though a waking thought might try to separate us, or reality intrude. But this was a new reality and we were indeed awake.

There is a danger in wanting something very badly; it can become, in our minds, more than reality could ever provide. What we want can become pure fantasy in which real people have no place. Our own fantasies and dreams can conjure for us what is impossible to hold in flesh and blood—what is impossible to find in a person. Life punishes such frivolity through disappointment.

What I expected I received—and more. But I am glad that I did not have a list of "expectations" for marriage as it has allowed me to be surprised, pleasantly surprised and excited by "discoveries." I had not scripted for myself the details. I had not visualized how all things would be and so I was not disappointed. We had a wedding day that both met and exceeded our "expectations."

It is not that we cannot expect certain things but that our list or "expectations" should be short indeed, lest it become a script for failure. Me, I expect that tomorrow will yet exceed my wildest expectations and look forward to it with joy.

Hudson Russell Davis was born on a small Island in the West Indies called Dominica, and this is only one reason he does not like cold weather and loves guava.  He is a graduate of James Madison University with a B.A. in Graphic Design and earned a Masters in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary.  Currently he is a Ph.D. candidate at Saint Louis University studying historical theology.  Hudson has worked as a graphic artist and worship leader but expresses himself through poetry, prose, photography, and music. His activities are just about anything outdoors, but tennis is his current passion.

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**This article first published on December 31, 2009.