I Don’t Want to Walk Around Wounded

Scars are areas of fibrous tissue that replace normal skin after injury...result from...wound repair...a natural part of the healing process.

I don’t want to walk around wounded. I have a purpose to fulfill and doing so will get rather challenging if I’m bleeding out or stopping to replace my bandage all of the time.

Now, scars I’m okay to have. Even Jesus had scars. And I’m fine if mine show. They are evidence of healing and a Grace that sustains. Scars remind me what/that I’ve endured.

But, I don’t want to walk around wounded.

The difference between wounds and scars is time and attention, tending and mending. If a wound has developed into a scar, some growth has taken place.

Let’s talk about growth… Growth doesn’t always mean you’ll stop fighting your recurring battle. It often just means you’ll fight through stronger and more effectively than you did before. I’m aware I’ll face what I usually do again…and again. Certain temptations were designed uniquely to match my weaknesses. Yesterday, perhaps, I cried. Today I may be genuinely smiling. Tomorrow, I might cry for some of the same reasons as before. But then, I’ll wipe my face and forge on, knowing I’ll eventually celebrate the momentum that falling down gave me to get back up… Knowing that eventually the sun will peek from behind the clouds, and everything’s purpose will be clear, and I’ll be better off, and all that good stuff… Knowing that setbacks are necessary for the process, but they don’t necessarily equate defeat.

Thus, I’ll choose to never claim defeat. I’ll fight, and I’ll get hurt. Certain doubts will knock me down, but the Truth will reveal itself and Love’s laces will stitch me up. I won’t have to walk around wounded.

At times, you and I will feel a little (slash a lot) less than fabulous. But if we don’t allow ourselves to feel, we won’t know we’re broken. And if we don’t recognize our brokenness, we won’t seek healing. Therefore, let’s feel so we can acknowledge & address the less-than-fabulous… That way, we won’t have to walk around wounded.

Here are lyrics to a new song that allowed me to feel a couple weeks ago. It gave me a healthy space to contemplate my doubts, and express my frustrations when familiar winds whisked me downward, knocking my thoughts to and fro. This song was my plea for some mending:

My Plea

Always go through the same

Living my yesterday

Wiping these tears

Just to feel them fall again

Knowing just what I need

Still somehow out of reach

Stretch me, don’t leave me there.

Please, reach out to me

but don’t say anything

that I can’t bear to hear.

What gives me joy

leaves me depleted, too

How does that make any sense?

And what fills me up

Opens my wounds

There’s wear and there’s tear

But it’s fresh and new.

Please, bandage my heart

And I’ll wear the scars

That you’d have me to.

Please, if this isn’t the end

Just make it make sense again.

Please, reach out to me

but don’t say anything

that I can’t bear to hear.

Please, if You can

I know You can

I believe that You can

make it alright again.

© Maya E. Hairston, 2017

Soulhouette: This is M.E.

I know… I haven’t blogged in forever. But I promise it’s with good reason…

I’ve been otherwise occupied planning the next big move…

After a lifetime of writing, a few years of wandering in a musical desert, about 2 more years of focused studio time, lots of learning, plenty of tweaking, two single releases and a music video… I’m so excited to finally unveil my first full project with an album release concert on November 19, 2016!!! What a fitting way to celebrate my birthday weekend, wouldn’t you say? Pretty much… So, let me tell you a little bit about the album:

It includes many of the original songs I’ve highlighted in this blog. It tells my story. It paints listeners a picture of who Maya Elizabeth is…honestly…truly. The lyrics reflect my experiences and struggles with self-image, worries about my worth, pleas for forgiveness, and doubts concerning my purpose. Then they resolve to address my Creator’s perspective, His masterful design capabilities, and His gracious love for those who don’t even know how to receive it.

These conflicting and contrasting thoughts describe the album’s title, ‘Soulhouette: This is M.E.’ I assume you might like to know what the term “Soulhouette” means and how it emerged. First, note that it’s a play on the word silhouette. Here’s an earlier reflection of mine that sums up the significance:

image-1In allowing me to face the struggles I address in my lyrics, God reveals to me the person He created me to be and the purpose He designed and destined for me to fulfill. I am discovering and striving to embrace the image He gave me, to see myself as He does. I’ve learned my outward appearance and people’s perceptions of who I am are merely shadows or silhouettes–dark outlines of my shape or a simple suggestion of who I might be. But, as I engage and entertain the Light, my true image become more visible. More light means more truth. Light exposes my complete figure, as truth releases me from the dark thoughts that once ruled my life.

As I’ve shared before, writing these songs has helped me process situations so I can recall what I know to be true and combat not-so-lovely thoughts. This phenomenon is precisely what birthed this project, and exactly the impact I’m hoping it will have on listeners. If you’re in the area, or planning to be that evening, I invite you to join us for a night of live music, healing, truth and love! And, whether or not you experience ‘Soulhouette’ live, I believe listening to this album will help you continually renew your mind, offer you hope for your future, and encourage you to live on purpose.

Get excited, grab your friends, and get your tickets! I’ll see you all on November 19!

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Say Oh!

“Each breath that we breathe is a display of His mercy.

So even weary hearts can sing a song of thanksgiving…”

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Sometimes I lose enthusiasm. Who doesn’t, though? There’s no shame in feeling ‘blah.’ There is shame, however, in letting that ‘blah-ness’ dictate your actions.

Here’s what I try to remember (and I’m grateful to have parents and friends who remind me often) when being overwhelmed makes me underwhelmed…when I’ve lost sight of my vision…when I’m barely trudging along…when I have trouble mustering up excitement about what I’m here to do…when I forget to celebrate…

I’ve been anointed. That’s not to say that I’ve been drenched in coconut oil (though my curls might appreciate that). But basically, being anointed means despite my doubts, my nature, or my flaws, God is merciful enough to breathe life into my lungs everyday so I can perform a specific set of skills with unnatural, unexplainable ease. Re-phrase… I don’t/can’t empower myself to do what I do. I don’t get bragging rights. I sing and write to inspire other people because my Creator gifted me the ability and the passion. And if I neglect that truth, He has every right and ability to revoke the privilege.

I’ve been appointed. A generous Creator destined my existence. He’s crafting my story to inspire and relate to somebody, so no matter how skeptical I am of my impact, it’s His impact to make. He’s burdened me to do something that someone else might not do as effectively, and not because I’m naturally any more skilled or worthy, but literally because He said, “Hmm… Maya Elizabeth…here’s a voice. Because I love you, I’m going to entrust it to you. Use it to introduce the world to healing, truth, and love… All the things that I am…”

I’ve been chosen. He’s etched my name on the very thing He gives me chance after chance to wake up and run after. He’s even merciful when I crawl… Do you get where I’m going? I have no excuse, essentially. I’m not here for me. I don’t exist to make art for my own delight and pleasure. At the end of the day, I’m not hustling to pat myself on the back. It’s bigger.

I’ve been graced. It is my responsibility to keep going. It’s my duty to remain steadfast and devoted, to act honorably, to live a life worthy of the gift and pleasing to the gift-giver, to show gratitude for every inhale, and bestow blessings with every exhale.

Even on a blah day, or during a blah week, month or beyond, I have every reason to sacrifice what and how I feel. If I’m alive, I have an assignment to fulfill, contributions to make, and seeds to sow. I’ve been selected and equipped. That, in my opinion, is pretty motivating and exciting. Just the thought gives me reason. So, although I sometimes have a hard time getting excited about my day-to-day, I should be grateful just to have a day-to-day and live it intentionally.

Anyway, the purpose of this rant was to describe the message in my latest single, The Anthem (Say Oh). As you listen, I hope the lyrics meet you where you are and provide somewhat of a pick-me-up to reignite your enthusiasm and your commitment to living on purpose. In every season, give thanks and keep going. That, essentially, is what this song means to me…

My First Music Video

This is so wild! Last night I had a blast during the ‘Come Ye’ music video pre-release party! It was absolutely incredible to witness the outpouring of love and support from so many people who are excited to walk this journey with me. There’s nothing more encouraging than hearing and seeing how your commitment to using your gifts wisely and pursuing your passions impacts others. Seriously, you’re not alone. And when you let your God-given gifts shine, you invite others to support and experience abundant life with you.

When I say I’m thrilled to share this video, I’m totally understating my elation. I’m excited that this song has brought so many listeners to realize hope and peace in the midst of their own battles, but I’m hoping a visual depiction will take the impact to a whole new level. The story is definitely meant to elicit emotion, but above all, we wanted to paint a picture that displays how God’s healing presence and His grace can show up in even so much as a song, a smile, an angelic being, another person’s gentle word or embrace…He can restore any situation/trouble/burden, no matter how grim or unfortunate or desperate.

The creator is love. His Word is truth. His power heals. Don’t give up and don’t ever feel that you have to bear your sorrows, your worries, you mess, or your circumstances on your own. Share this video and this message with someone today. You never know who might need some motivation.

 

 

Thanks for reading, listening, viewing, and sharing! Checkout www.mayaelizabethmusic.com and subscribe for updates on the Maya Elizabeth Music Movement. There’s more to come very soon!

Timbo’s at the Door

Sometimes doors fly open. Don’t let them hit you in the face and knock you down. Anticipate them and take advantage of chances to practice your approach and your delivery. I’m learning.

Last weekend, I navigated some inviting opportunities. I was supposed to perform Come Ye at a function on my campus, but other obligations conflicted with the rehearsal schedule. I wasn’t meant to walk through that door, and thankfully I didn’t bother picking the lock, because I would have been too preoccupied to notice another that swung right open.

Quick background before I explain door #2… When I was in high school, my dad introduced me to Leon Timbo‘s music. For those who are unfamiliar, I liken him to a male India.Arie, so to speak. His tone is enchanting. His sound is soothing. His acoustic guitar playing is masterful. Inspired, I bought and played his songs over…and over…and over.

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Okay, fast forward to last Friday… In addition to finally hearing Timbo live, one of my favorites was gracious enough to share his stage and let me open the show. Right… how Sway?

Well, a dear friend and sweet soul (Thanks boo!) introduced me to her connects, advocated on my behalf, and trusted me to show up prepared. And, to make a long story short, I just held onto resources, words of wisdom from lovely people, tons of support, and collected experiences & skills, and trusted God to walk me through the door He’d assigned. He’d been piecing together my path to that point all along.

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For instance, I’ve sung and played Come Ye so much that I should be sick of it. I’ve journaled, contemplated, drafted/redrafted web content, and hash tagged enough on social media that I’ve become comfortable introducing myself and communicating my main message succinctly. I carry my track and/or guitar with me wherever I go. When people ask how they can find me, I know exactly where to direct them. In fact, I was able to share with an eagerly receptive audience that night how they could search “Maya Elizabeth” and buy my first single on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and other online music distributors (I know I’m not slick…Shameless plug).

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Of course, I’ve got plenty of additional prep work and practice ahead of me. I’m learning as I go, but I’ve got to be ready to get going if I really intend to learn anything. This incredible opportunity has played a roll in my continued development, introduced me to more creatives with amazing talent, and (by faith) will lead to doors on doors on open doors.

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Timbo, Christen B, & Me

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