Kat Mills reflects on how the true meaning of Christmas, means we can be blessed, even when we're suffering.

Kat Mills
Kat Mills

I sometimes found it hard to understand or process my emotions when growing up. Often when I felt down, the best way I could release the emotion and work through it would be to get out my musical theatre books and sing through a whole bunch of heart-wrenching numbers. It was very cathartic and helped me sing out the emotions I felt.

Over the years this has progressed and instead of having to sing others' words and emotions, I will now write my own songs to try and process my worries, fears and joys.

My hope is that as this helps me process my emotions and works through things that I am dealing with, it will also help others in similar situations.

As a writer there is something so powerful and emotional when someone comes up to you and says, "You put into words what was in my heart, what I couldn't vocalise - thank you!" This is what other writers had done for me and now I have the privilege to do for others.

As a singer-songwriter I am always a sucker for a beautiful melody that evokes emotion, and it is fair to say there are plenty of those around at Christmas. Songs that after even just a few notes, are powerful in leading you back to the memory that you associate with the song.

I often perform for some seniors' groups in and around our community, singing songs from the musicals and by-gone years. Last year I was asked to perform some Christmas songs. There is such a wealth of great melodies and festive numbers, so I had soon put together a good list that the guests would know and enjoy singing along with.

One of my all-time favourite Christmas song melodies is 'Have yourself a merry little Christmas' and so I included this in my set. My performance was going well, but as I started singing this song, something changed dramatically for me. I was suddenly so acutely aware of the lyrics. There I was singing blithely about letting your heart be light, for your troubles would soon be out of sight, and right in front of me were people with real problems, issues and illnesses that weren't just disappearing because it was Christmas.

There were people socially isolated, others who were battling cancer, and there was I in song saying don't worry it will all be okay - Christmas is here.

I felt like the words were turning bitter in my mouth and I found it hard to get them out. I felt completely heartless. I found it hard to have eye contact with the audience as I sang that song.

When I got home it was still on my mind and heart and I felt stirred to write some alternative lyrics.

As a Christian I have a hope in Jesus, so for me I wanted to sing and share something that has a real hope. I wanted to write something that shared the true message of Christmas, that a Saviour was born, and it was through this Saviour that we have a hope, and we have someone who can take our fears away.

Jesus is the one whose strength is abundant and who will carry us through any storm. Jesus overcame this world so that in our struggles and troubles we have a hope beyond comprehension.

I have shared these words with you at the end of my blog and I pray they bless you.

My prayer is that whoever you are and wherever you are, that you would know this year and each year the true meaning and hope of Christmas and that it would impact you far beyond the season.

Have yourself a blessed little Christmas,
May you know God's peace,
In his strength and love you'll find your strivings cease,
Have yourself a blessed little Christmas,
May you know God's joy,
He brought love and freedom through this baby boy
Let us join as the angels sing,
Praises to the king of love,
The son of God, who has to come us,
To restore our broken hearts,
As we walk through mountains and the valleys,
Through his love sustained
In his gracious love he'll take our fears away,
So have yourself a blessed little Christmas now,
Yes have yourself a blessed little Christmas now,
lyrics (c) 2017 Kat Mills CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.