Pieces of My Heart ……

…… are all over the place.

There’s a piece in Philadelphia.
There’s a piece in Waco.
There’s a piece in Dallas.
There’s a piece in Austin.
And there’s a piece in Oklahoma, most of the year.

You can probably guess why that is.
It’s where my children are.
Daughter #3 is with me in NY so that piece gets to stay here.
Until she moves back to Texas in August.

All of that is to say that, while there will always be pieces of my heart wherever my children live, the rest of my heart is here …… in NY.
For the past few months I’ve been struggling with when to be here, and when to be in Texas. I thought I had figured it out. I planned to be here in the spring and summer, and then return to Texas for September till May.
And I was trying to be satisfied with that plan.
But I wasn’t.

So I’ve been praying about it and wondering what I should do. I felt that I should be in Texas because …… well, because that’s where we/I have been for 24 years. It’s where Jim last lived.
And most of my kids live there.

I know that there are thousands of people who live in two places and are happy doing that.
But I’ve found that I can’t really live fully in either place when I’m not there full time. It’s hard to commit to people or things (like volunteering, a year long Bible study, monthly meetings, etc) when I’m only here/there part time.

But I thought I’d power through it.
Then this week, and more specifically this weekend, I felt God saying, “You need to get on with your life, fully, and your life is here.”
I’ve found a church I really, really like (Thank you, RL!). A very diverse church where I am in the minority due to my age, and my race. And I love it.
It’s alive.
And growing.
And feels like home.

I’ve found a place to volunteer on a regular basis.
And I love it, too.

NY is where the rest of my heart is.
And where my life is.

At church yesterday morning the main point of the message was, coincidentally (I think NOT!) … “Does what you hold on to lead you to greater fear, or lead you to greater faith?”

Holding on to NY leads me to greater faith.
It means leaving what I’ve known for two decades.
It means leaving people that I’ve loved for two decades.
It means trusting God enough to let go.

Holding on to TX leads to fear.
Fear that I’ll never leave because it’s “safe”.
Fear that my life will never be as good as it was there …… “before”.
Fear that if I let go, I’ll lose control.
Which is hysterical, because Jim’s death taught me that there’s really very little that I can control.

I sat in church yesterday, and listened to God.
And felt a huge weight lift off of me.
I almost felt giddy.
It felt great to let go.

So, I’m going to live in NY.
Full time.
I know a couple of people who will be sad at this decision.
(I’m talking to you LB and NB.)
But I also know a couple of people who will be happy at it.
(I’m talking to you BL and KL.)

I’m not going to sell my house in Texas.
That will require a lot of work.
I’ll have to get rid of almost everything in it.
And figure out what to do with the stuff I have to keep.
That will take time.

I’ll still go back to visit every few months or so, but NY will now be home.
I totally love this city.
And I’m excited for the future.
And, after living the first four or so years of my “after” without that excitement, it’s feels great.

Now all of the pieces of my heart will be right where they belong.


14 thoughts on “Pieces of My Heart ……

  1. JSP

    I found you here when you stopped writing for Widow’s Voice, I guess you could say I am a fan:-) You were the first person that I read that perfectly described the horrible darkness of the early days. I read that you got through it and it gave me hope. I was so happy to read about your move to New York, and I really enjoy reading about your experiences there(and I just love Alan Alda, have since I was a kid and watched MASH). I feel like I really don’t want to live where we lived anymore… And your post makes me feel better about that. I am happy for you that you feel so good about this decision and excited for your future. Thank you for sharing:-)

    1. mysecondplana Post author

      Thank you so much for your kind words, and for keeping up with me. And for commenting and letting me know your thoughts. I appreciate your words and am so glad that mine could give you some hope. Thank you for that.
      I’m right there with you on Alan Alda. I loved him in MASH, too. If I see him again, maybe I’ll hug him for both of us. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Suzann

    Oh Janine, this is just what I struggle with right now. I have lived in my home for nearly 21 years and have been thinking about relocating. Or, at least having a second home somewhere else. Your feelings about “the fear that you will never leave because it is safe” is so right where I am at times. Happy for you.

  3. oakhoopscoach

    YES I AM HAPPY ABOUT IT! But mostly – because you I feel like YOU are happy with, and feel peace with your decision. Love you!

  4. Vicki Sitton

    You can add my initials to the sad group…….but very excited for you! I totally get needing to live in one place. There’s a BSF class up there waiting for you….I’ll send the info๐Ÿ˜Š. Was just telling someone about your old plan….guess I’ll set them straight. We love you down here but want what’s best for you….and that’s doing what God has purposed for you. So glad you are listening and willing to take that step of obedience. Love you, Vicki

    1. mysecondplana Post author

      Vicki, That was one of the things that was going to keep me in Texas, but I found the one here in NY. I’ve already been added to the list (which has already grown so long that they’re looking for a new space to hold it! God is doing some amazing things here!).

  5. Aunt Peggy

    JANINE you are amazing! You need to put all you have written into a book. Your journey will help so many. You have already written it. It will be a New York best seller. I want the first copy.

    May God continue to lead and guide you. Jeremiah 29:11.

  6. glenda1203

    I’m so happy for you that you feel NY is home now. When my dad passed my mom moved us to the Caribbean for a year and she realized her pieces of her heart were missing so she moved us (her, myself and younger sister) back to NJ to be where our other siblings and her grandkids lived. She made NJ home for the next 28 yrs til she passed.

  7. Cindy Deere

    Wish you the best Janine! I also really “get” the desire to live in one place. Hoping I get there sometime reasonably soon! You are loved wherever you are!

  8. Kim

    I went through the same decisions….for different reasons, leaving pieces of my heart in Georgia. I am still waiting to feel that peace, but have faith that stepping out into God’s plan is much better than holding on to something that is not. I am so excited for you, and proud of you! I KNOW how hard that is….and scary, and you are and have been such an example of how to walk in faith and not by sight for me. You go girl!!! And know that you are most definitely loved, wherever you are!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s