Dear Compassionate Readers,

Twenty-one years ago, Pierre asked me on a date. I law clerked for my dad the summer before I attended law school. Pierre and I met there at the office. I called my dad and told him that I was going on a date with Pierre. My dad yelled to my mom, “Connie, I hear wedding bells! We are losing Jennifer.”

Pierre asked me to drive because he was extremely tired. I thought this is a first date. We ventured to Charley G’s restaurant where Pierre ordered a screwdriver cocktail and a cappuccino. It obviously worked because by our third date, Pierre and I knew that we would marry and adopt one day. Parents do have great instincts. Pierre and I have been married for twenty years now.

We have had our share of heartache and pain, triumphs and victories, sadness and tears, smiles and laughs. We have grown at different seasons, different, rates, and different cycles. But we have grown. We have tasted the bitter sweetness of wanting a divorce. In fact, we have both wanted a divorce, just not at the same time. Thankfully, there was and is a purpose for so much pain. They were all experiences to move us towards peace, gratitude, understanding, and contentment.

There are moments that Pierre has held me, and I cried. There are moments that he ignored me. There are moments that I held Pierre as he cried. There are moments that I ignored him. But the greatest moments occurred when held each other tightly and safely.

Pierre went through photos on my dad’s computer to put them on a USB flash drive. He was excited to see the photos that my dad took. Photos we have probably seen yet have forgotten.

Later that night, Pierre left a message, “Jennifer call me. I’m going through the photos.” I heard his brokenness. I heard his sniffles. It was my time to hold Pierre.

I called immediately while Pierre tried to gain his composure. He said, “There is one photo that did it for me. The one of us with Gabriel at the hospital. We’ve been through so much. Gabriel and his surgeries. Hurricane Katrina. Living here. Living there. Living in apartments and other people’s homes. All I want to do is protect you guys and make sure you are safe. I work so hard. We’ve been through so much.” The tear fell down my cheek. But I led differently this time. I shared, “But look where we are now. Look where we are going. Yes, we have been through so much. But we are on the other side now and things are only getting better.” He agreed, “Yeah.”

Where have you been?

Where are you now?

Where are you going?

Can you see the brightness on the other side?

Can you experience the joy, peace, gratitude, understanding, and contentment in the valley and on the mountaintop?

Can you experience your wounds as your greatest wisdom… your wounds as your greatest medicine?

Have you become more of a compassionate and loving person because of your experiences or have you grown more bitter, more critical, more complaints?

Yes, you have been through so much. But may you look at where you are now. May you see where you are going with your heart and not your head… with your Spirit.

Experiencing Where I’ve Been, Am and Going,