dear sadness,

well hello there. I knew you’d be coming back. you may be a bit unwelcome, but at least not unexpected. unexpected and unwelcome guests are the worst. so I guess I have the upper hand. I’ve prepared for you being here. and I’ve done a lot of thinking since you’ve been gone. there’s going to be a few changes in the way things are run around here, so listen up.

first off, you may only have one room. yes, it is a room close to the center of the house, close to the everyday workings and thought processes and the other deep feelings. yes, you are still living next door to love, and memory. but this time, you are also close to faith. let me say it again – you may only have one room. you can’t have the basement, and the kitchen, and the lounge, and the attic, and that little cubbyhole by the round window, and you most certainly cannot have the tree house in the backyard. you will not take over my life and tell me what I can and cannot do. you do not make the decisions. you most certainly will not be in charge of my house. you are an important occupant, but not the only one. I know I cannot get rid of you, because you are part of me, especially now. I was meant to feel you. and where there is loss, and space, and great love, there will always be sadness, and this is not wrong. but you will not drown me anymore.

secondly, you cannot bring your best friend, your right hand girl, your fellow conspirator – fear. sadness makes sense, but fear does not. you have no claim here. I have learned that fear has no place on God’s throne, and that’s what my heart is meant to be. fear is always irrational for anyone who believes, because God is in charge. that doesn’t mean I won’t ever be afraid, and it doesn’t mean I won’t fear for other people in my life, sometimes with good reason… but you were never meant to live here. not even lurking in a corner of the garden or crouching in the hedges or creeping up the ivy. wherever you show your face, I will fight you. and I will win. no more will you steal my breath and sit on my chest and clamp your stupid, clammy hands around my throat. I now have weapons, divine words and promises, which will make you bleed. so you will stay out of my house. I know you are there, but you will not own me. not any longer.

so, sadness. this is the way things are now. you’re just going to have to deal. I may not always be successful at implementing these rules, but I’m going to try my best, and you’re going to listen, because I’m not doing this alone. I’ve got God on my side. yes, you are valid. yes, I feel you deeply and accept the reasons why. yes, I do not hate you for existing. love is a coin – happiness on one side and sadness on the other. right now, sadness is the side my coin has settled on. but that doesn’t mean love still isn’t there too. and where love lives, there is always the potential for happiness. I still remember feeling that happiness fill my whole house. deep inside, the walls still know its warmth and song. just waiting to wake up again.

oh, and yes. that reminds me. you may indeed bring hope. sometimes hope brings happiness, but often it brings sadness too, in the waiting. it is double-edged like that. the shiny sharpness to my coin, the honed gold the light glints off of. I will admit, this is something I do admire about you. that you can still hope. some people think that you’re crazy. I think you’re just born of something that just won’t quit. that makes you stubborn, but also not entirely pointless. it’s a complicated subject, one I don’t understand fully. but I know that you don’t make sense without hope, as do most things. silence breeds sadness – in fact, I think it may be one of the most painful kinds of sadness, because it is so empty – but silence also means there is space that could be filled, even with difficult things. but at least that would be something. I can understand hope for that. so yes, please, bring hope. as much as you and I can stand.

and do pack a small suitcase, if you can – like I said, I don’t have room for a lot of your unnecessary luggage. no stowaways, if you please. I’m wise to your tricks, if not impervious. I’m sure that we’ll get along just fine, in time. perhaps, one day, you’ll decide your room is much too big for you. maybe if the coin flips, or the walls wake up. just say the word. I’ll be ready. but for now…

I’ll be expecting you.

– me, heart-housekeeper