My First REAL Thanksgiving

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I’ve had many Thanksgivings and they were all memorable, but not exactly like the one I had in 1991. My first husband has passed away the year before and I had moved to Florida to begin again, living with his family at the time. It started out okay, but soon it became unbearable. I won’t get into all those sordid details, I will say that God purposefully sent me to Florida. I had just started working a long-term temporary assignment and I liked my job.

During this time, I had to move out on my own by myself… I needed to breathe again. I found some cute apartments not far away from the house I was living in. I went to take a look and I really liked it. The management really cared about the landscaping and it was an upscale complex. Amazing that I rented a one-bedroom apartment at $395/month. My rental application was accepted and after much prayer, I was ready to make it on my own, all on my own. I missed my husband and I was still grieving over him, but nevertheless I had to break ties with his family.

Incidentally, the time that I was moving into the new place happened to be Thanksgiving week. I made several trips just to drop off little things. The big move was scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving. I had planned to stay in the house till then, but I had a terrible falling out with my husband’s mother and I decided to spend Thanksgiving in my new apartment despite not having any furniture.

I had the key and so I remember bringing about 12 pillows that went with my couch and a toaster oven. I bought a frozen pizza from the grocery store and I put the pillows down on the floor making a bed out of them. I plugged the toaster oven on the floor next to me to cook the pizza.

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There was no one in the apartment but me and Jesus. I was so happy. No more listening to people screaming and cursing at each other, slamming doors, company in and out, etc. I heard nothing…no noise at all.

What I was so thankful for was…peace. God knew I needed to be on my own and I didn’t care that I spent this Thanksgiving without the traditional trimmings of turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, and sweet potato pie. I fell asleep on those pillows and awoke to the best rest I had had in months.

Thanksgiving isn’t necessarily about all the food we eat, maybe not even who we spend it with… sometimes it is just us and Jesus and for me that year…it was the best Thanksgiving I ever had and it is the one I will NEVER forget.

Kim McDougal

Kim is the founder and creator of Growing Up in Grace. By day, she's the Director of Interactive Communications for the Hispanic chamber located in Jax, FL. Kim also owns "Beautiful Food Photography" and sells her handmade greeting cards and vintage art printables on Etsy.