Just Ask

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Our lives have meaning. That’s an absolute truth. But there are times our efforts in life lack meaning. There are seasons, perhaps, where we don’t contribute much, embrace our full potential, or use our gifts productively because we don’t know what we’re doing and we don’t ask for direction. We want to pour out, but we ourselves are too thirsty. We get stuck in a rut.
The graphic above pictures an excerpt from a song I wrote as a plea to my Source when I hadn’t written in a long, long time. Recently I was reflecting on these lyrics that have helped “un-rut” me during some dry times and began contemplating the following points. I thought about thirst and its remedy. I was reminded I have plenty of water at my disposal… I simply need to ask for it.
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1. We have to ask for what we truly need.
Sometimes we move in vain because our motives are misguided and dishonorable.
We can want success. We might fear failure. We can want money. We may be anxious about lacking financial security. We might chase a title so we can demand respect. We can pursue a relationship to secure a status or fill a personal void, perhaps. We may work hard and acquire those fabulous things, and that’s beautiful, but what will we do with them then? Pat ourselves on the back for a goal well accomplished, realize we’re as empty as before, and keep running after the next/better/more?
Instead of asking for visible or tangible things, what if we asked for wisdom? That’s an uncommon request. What about direction, guidance, strong judgment, or discernment? Image-1-1.jpgIf we sought as or more diligently to obtain those qualities, we’d probably make more effective decisions, and spend our time living more focused, purposeful and fulfilling lives.

2. Asking saves us time & trouble.
I’m honestly learning myself that we don’t have to expend and exhaust ourselves trying to figure out (on our own) what we’re supposed to do with our lives–in general, day-to-day, all of the above. We waste too much time running, walking, and crawling in circles when we could reach out for guidance and up for a lift. We pursue things that don’t align with God’s perfect plan for our lives. We just do what we feel like doing, or we do nothing because we don’t feel like it (guilty). Then, when our (non)efforts don’t totally pan out, we get angry, upset, or confused and find ineffective (and usually destructive) ways to cope.
3. We have to ask because we don’t have all the answers… but we have access to the One who does.
 So, if you want to know your purpose or how to live, ask the One who created you. First, get to know Him, then chat about what He had in mind when He decided you should exist. He already knows what He has for you and how he wants to prosper and not harm you. But we make ourselves too busy to sit down and converse, ask questions, listen intently, respond when necessary… This quality time and conversation fills us up–quenches our deep thirst for the answers we attempt to get in so many different places.
He shakes His head, “Child, if only you knew….” If only we recognized the access we have.
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We can literally just ask our Creator. Starting the dialogue is as simple as saying, “Hey, I believe you exist and you are who you say you are, and I trust you even though I can’t see you (that’s called faith, btw). Since I accept that you know best, can you lead me? My feelings/nature don’t seem to know how to get where we’re supposed to be going…” If you don’t even know you can talk to Him, you likely won’t ask Him anything… But I promise you can and you’ll want to.
But, anyway… Get to know the One who knows it all and become vulnerable enough to ask for wisdom and direction. Tell Him where you are and what you want. We all get thirsty. We’ve all been in a place (or will land in a place one day) where we realize we’ve gotten off track or lost all sense of meaning. That’s the space where we recognize we’re in need. And if we land there enough, we’ll know what we’ve been drinking doesn’t really satisfy.

Here’s How You Know You’re Doing Exactly What You’re Supposed To

Last week I officially launched what I’m referring to as my music movement. I published my website (http://www.mayaelizabethmusic.com) and made my first single, Come Ye, available for listening. Several individuals have asked how I feel about this exciting new journey, and with everything else going on in my life, my most honest answer is simply that I’m overwhelmed. I’m starting to process what it means to finally begin releasing my music and exposing my magnum opus, so to speak (at least to this point in my life), and wanted to share two realities I believe confirm I’ve made the right decision in pursuing this path. Encountering the following factors strongly suggests you’re moving in exactly the direction you ought.

First, when your choices and actions align with your purpose, their outcomes positively, and, I’d dare say, divinely impact others’ lives. You can’t possibly know all that everyone within your immediate or extended reach might endure. When what you produce, share, represent, express, or reveal meets multiple people–all from varying backgrounds, circumstances, experiences, etc.–exactly where they are, at exactly the right time, with the exact message, revelation, or encouragement they need, there is no explanation apart from the Supernatural. In these instances, you can rest assured that you’re operating not just in your strengths, but, moreover, in your gift-guided, God-granted, duty-driven destiny. You’re totally tapped into your best offering to honor your Creator, and your most productive and fulfilling contribution to empower the rest of creation.

But, also, you know you’re succeeding in your life’s mission when you face unparalleled opposition. If doing what you’re supposed to was easy, everyone would choose wisely, but the road less traveled is exactly that… Whether you choose to believe it or not, destructive forces work continually and all the more diligently against your progress when you determine to let faith lead you. The day after I’d launched and supporters flooded my timeline and inbox with exciting affirmations, my elation began to subside and give itself over to discouragement. For every lovely thought, it seemed there were ten more negative, doubting, anxious lies screaming, “Defeat! You’ve done nothing of real worth. Busy yourself. Your work was in vain. You deserve no rest.” And the worst lie of all…”Fraud! You barely embrace the hope your lyrics boast.” That was the final straw… That’s when I knew my enemy was in full-fledged attack mode. That’s when I realized rehearsing the truth was even more relevant and necessary than before.

So I’ve resolved: Yes, it’s true. I don’t have it all together. No, I’m not worthy of my gift and its potential impact. However, I know, even beyond my doubts, that my Creator commands my courage (Joshua 1:9). He demands that I suit up for battle to withstand the spiritual forces that rattle my mind (Ephesians 6). And, finally, He has already empowered, equipped, and authorized me to rightfully claim victory (Psalm 118:14)! These are just facts, and they’ve never brought more comfort than they have this past week.

Perhaps you identify with the two realities I’ve just explained. Keep on pressing. You’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to.

5 Things to Think About Before You Give Up

 

As I’ve encountered what seems another torturously strenuous week, I recall an old favorite original. Back when I attempted to learn keys, it was one of the first songs I wrote with my own accompaniment. All other inspiration to that point had been written and delivered a cappella…just my lyrics with the tune in my head…but I digress.

I’ll walk you through some of these lyrics. When I feel like giving up because I’ve lost sight of how these copious, short-term, day-to-day demands are feeding into my long-term overall purpose, My Child, as I call it, reminds me of the following truths:

I’ll always love you more than anything

Even when it doesn’t seem to be that way

I care for you as much as I do

but the way that I do

You don’t always know

that I’m doing what’s best for you…

1. Love disciplines…and discipline is good. Don’t think of every painful process as punishment. Rather, choose joy in the midst of preparation. The best is yet, right?

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2. You get better even before it gets better. Every struggle develops strength, endurance, character, and hope. Think, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.” Romans 5:3 NLT

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…Yes, I hear the desperation of your weary cry

But know that when I speak the wind & rain will subside…

3. Admitting you feel weak doesn’t make you a quitter. It makes you honest, and it reminds you that you can’t succeed all on your own. Call out for the help you need to persevere. It’s not like you could have gotten yourself to this point relying solely on yourself, anyway.

 

…Lean, lean on me. Cry, cry to me.

Call out my name, and I’ll be here, right by you…

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4. Pause. Pay attention to what you might discover in the midst of your discomfort. What are you learning about yourself? What obstacles that you’re overcoming did you think you’d never face? What can this season teach you? Where have your decisions brought you? Where can different decisions potentially take you? Now that you’ve maximized your present learning experience, what will you avoid in the future? Our Creator grants us the freedom to make choices. We decide how closely we’ll adhere to the life guidelines provided. His absolute best for our lives lies within His perfect plan for our purpose, but even after we’ve been distracted from pursuing our dreams diligently, it’s never too late to get back on course.

Rest in my Will. Cling to my help. Submit yourself.

I Am your Father…

5. Think about who you are. Think about whose you are. Think about who’s rooting for you. Everyone wants to make someone proud (parents, friends, The Creator, self, etc.). Hold tightly to sustaining faith–the ability to envision the invisible, the hope for what’s yet to come–and when (not if, right?), you finally finish/succeed/overcome, you’ll be pleased to have earned remarks like:

“…Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” Mark 5:34 NLT

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I can take the broken and the lowest of the low,

mold and shape them into something beautiful.

Just give me your life and I will never let you go.

You are my child!

 

© Maya E. Hairston, 2016