While in Tempe, Arizona doing some interviews yesterday, I had a block of free time and went for a walk. From my hotel, I strolled down the main avenue, then turned down a neighborhood road to get away from the traffic. The houses were pretty non-descript, with desert landscape adorning most front yards. I probably meandered a mile or so through the area when I came to a fork in the road. I chose to walk on the street to the left, which only led to more boring houses, rock gardens, and cactus plants.
After a few blocks, something inside urged me to turn around and take that right street at the fork. When I did, the rocky, dry landscape ended within a couple of blocks, and I stumbled upon the most magnificent oasis! A city park with lush green rolling hills and tall shade trees. Once I climbed to the top of the embankment, I discovered yet another pleasant surprise — a 10 acre lake where several paddleboats awaited patrons, fathers and sons were fishing, joggers were circling on a concrete path, and hundreds of ducks waddled around in search of breadcrumbs tossed from picnic blankets. It was like a glimpse of what Heaven will be like!
I couldn’t help but think about what a shame it would have been had I not listened to that inner voice saying, “Correct your course! Go back!” And I was reminded of that inner voice saying the same thing in the early years of our marriage when that “7 year itch” had set in and I went looking for love through numerous emotional affairs. What I thought was going to be an extramarital oasis turned out to be a desert road that left me 100 times more parched and weary. But thankfully, I realized that I could corrected my course. I gave up my pursuit of superficial “intensity” and pursued genuine “intimacy” instead. I stopped searching for the perfect lover and simply created the perfect love with my own husband. And what did I find? THAT’s where my oasis was to be discovered!!! Now after 18 years of marriage, we’re happier than we’ve ever been, and I can’t imagine that there’s anyone better for me in this world than Mr. Gregory Ethridge!
Have you ever wandered down the rocky path of emotional fidelity? If so, where did it take you? How have you managed to correct your course, and have you discovered your marital oasis yet? If so, we want to hear about your roadmap!
If you’re still meandering down that desert road, I encourage you to check out the Every Woman’s Battle message board at www.shannonethridge.com where you can connect with other women on similar journeys and discover the secrets to correcting your course!
Wishing you the BEST marriage possible,