19 years ago today I found myself inside the doorway of our tiny apartment, looking at the remnants of a broken marriage. My husband of 1 year and 7 months had ditched work that day and instead emptied our apartment of the possessions he wanted to keep … and I was not included in his plan going forward. He left no note, there was no call, he had no explanation… he had abandoned me.
My heart broke as I stood in that doorway and looked at our nearly empty living room. At the time I was 23 years old. The rejection and pain and soul-biting sadness from that day left scars that are still healing. I wish that wasn’t so.
But that’s not why I write today. The very brief version I share is to help you understand where I come from today when I talk about this being my FREEDOM ANNIVERSARY. The two years leading up to Friday October 20, 1996 were rough – really rough. BY FAR that chapter was THE.MOST.DIFFICULT chapter of my life. That chapter was packed full of life lessons that made me a better person but for a long time they left me hurt, bitter and broken.
One year later I celebrated my 1st FREEDOM ANNIVERSARY. And I’ve celebrated it as such every year since.
Each year on October 20th I faithfully do something for myself in remembrance of my will to fight for that marriage (with everything inside me) despite its failure. I make it a point to honor the lessons learned from that long ago and strive to continue that growth. I intentionally seek out ways to take care of myself on this date each year.
October 20th is a time to celebrate how I overcame the fear that entered my life that day. I celebrate how I moved beyond the daily anxiety attacks.
I celebrate the freedom that helped me see myself for the person I was created to be – instead of the person he told me I should be.
I celebrate the opportunity to do it all over. I celebrate how my family and friends supported me during that time. I celebrate the will to survive. I celebrate finding my wings. I celebrate living my life.
And today, like every other day, is another great day to celebrate!
4 thoughts on “October 20th – a day to celebrate”
Wow Lori such a powerful testimony thank you so much for sharing I really appreciate it Iam going through the same situation and God has been telling me it’s going to be ok even though I feel like a failure because my Marrige failed I know his grace is sufficient for me.
Aging is not always to be viewed negatively. We gain knowledge when we are young, but we gain wisdom with age. You were smart to view the change, however unwillingly, as an opportunity. You are wise to not only carry on
your freedom tradition, but to share your story so that others may look forward to their journey instead of falling into desperation. Life goes on either with you or without you. Congratulations on living well, my friend!
I am sorry that you had to endure all that, but yet so thankful that it opened the door for us to find each other. I am so thankful for my beautiful, talented, thoughtful wife. i WILL NOT abandon you. Happy Freedom Anniversary.
Praising God for His hand on your life…for what He teaches about Himself and ourselves when we walk thru pain, fear and anxiety! Though my circumstances are not the same….I have had to work thru much the same thing…..I thank God everyday that I have the choice to receive His grace and mercy and be tuned toward His heart ….freedom comes when we expose the dark and hidden areas of our hearts and then our experiences become the beauty that ministers to the hearts of those that need freedom! Hugs, my friend