Photography : Portraiture
Blooms In Adversity
Cindy Kiman Portraiture by Fen
01
Apr 2021

I grew up adoring all Disney Princesses, but Mulan is undoubtedly my personal favorite. The world knows Mulan as a warrior princess, but I acknowledge Mulan as the faithful warrior.

Oh just in case you have not watched Mulan 2020 version, please do me a favor. Watch it and thank me later 😛

These are my reflection on Mulan 2020; the seven takeaways that I learn from the movie.

 

1. The source of strength.

On the final battle between Mulan against Bori Khan ( the main antagonist ) in order to save the emperor, Mulan lost her sword. She was very anxious. Im sure that by that point, Mulan would have thought that she will lose the battle and die anyway.

Out of her desperation, the emperor reminds Mulan : “ Rise up. You are a mighty warrior. Rise up like a phoenix. Fight for the kingdom and its people.”

By the end of the movie, Mulan wins the battle not because of her sword, but because she puts her hope and confidence in the phoenix.

This scene reminds me of

Isaiah 40:31 NIV

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint.

Just like Mulan, too often as human beings we have tendencies to focus so much on the tools; on the external factors first. We worry so much what is on the outside and forget “who” shall be our truest source of strength, “whom” shall we put our hope in, instead of “what”.

 

2. Set your priorities right.

When given the opportunity to fill in an important position close to emperor in the palace, Mulan politely rejected the offer. Knowing that she made a mistake before entering the battle because of leaving the house, she wanted to make things right with her family by coming back to the village instead of staying in the palace.

This scene reminds me of

Exodus 20:12 NIV

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

I learn from Mulan that when we set our priorities right, things will fall into places eventually. Hence, when we focus on what pleases Gods heart, blessings will follow us. We don’t have to chase what God is sending.

 

3. God is just and fair.

If you actually notice, Mulan comes from a very small village that is far far away. When she first left the house, it took her days until she reach the training ground.

This reminds me of

Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glority your Father in heaven.

I learn from Mulan that it does not matter where you come from, you can still be  a winner. In the context of modern days, it does not matter how broken your past is or how unqualified you think you are..  God never sees you less. God loves you, He wants to bless you, and nothing can stop Him from loving you and wanting the best out of you. You are a winner and precious in His eyes.

 

4. Ignoring the evil.

As I recall, there are several scenes where the witch attempts to persuade Mulan and seek to join force. However, Mulan not even once fell into the temptation. She stands firm on her belief to serve and protect the kingdom.

This reminds me of

1 Peter 5:8-10 NIV

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

What the world offers you will always be deceiving on the outside. So be alert. Have faith.

Quoting it from Ps Sid Mohede : faith is seeing light with the eyes of our heart when all our physical eyes see is darkness.

 

5. The importance of right community.

One of my all time favorite scenes from the movie is when Hong Hui tries to back up Mulan in front of Commander Tung and says: “ You would believe Hua Jun, why do you not believe Hua Mulan? She risked everything by revealing her true identity. She is braver than any man here. She is the best warrior amongst us. “

This reminds me of

Proverbs 27:17 NIV

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Find your tribe; love them hard. HAHA JK

Plant yourself in a community that showers you with truth and grace needed. The right community or friends take you far in life and help to shape you into best version of you.

 

6. Its okay to have fear.

On the very last night before the great battle, the soldiers are sharing their hearts out. They are filled with fear because they know that the chance of being alive after the great battle is 50:50. In the midst of her fear as well, Mulan tries to calm her friends by saying : “ Having fear is normal. Because courage grows out of fear. “

This reminds me of

1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 John 4:18 NIV

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

During one of my earlier days in pole dancing class, I was so dizzy because of the speed and spin on pole. Dancing on pole is no joke, it is like a walk in Jurassic park. I asked my teacher: have you experienced dizzy? Are you afraid of falling from pole?

She replied me: I do. You just have to make sure that the love inside you is greater than the fear.

That sentence resonates deep in my heart up until today.

 

7. The truth will set you free.

One of my favourite scenes from the movie is when Mulan had her first encounter with the witch.

The witch intentionally asks : who are you ?

Mulan : Hua Jun. ( she enters the battlefield undercover as Hua Jun because of the golden rule that apply: only men are allowed to fight )

The witch : because of your lies, it weakens your chi ( inner strength ).

Fast forward, Mulan comes out as a true warrior and winner not as an undercover Hua Jun but as who she really is Hua Mulan. In contrary to what the villagers believe that women shall never become warriors and has strong chi because it is considered as a disgrace to the family, Mulan proves it all wrong and eventually earns respect. Protecting the kingdom evenmore.

This reminds me of

Psalm 46:5 NIV

God is within her, she will not fall. God will help her at break of day.

 

At the end of the day, it is not lies that give people strength and confidence. It’s the truth.

Rise up ladies and the gentlemen, our time has come.

Quoting it from my favorite @wisewomanwaits, pandemic does not cancel God’s promise.

The same God that raises Lazarus from the dead;

The same God that parted the red sea;

The same God that feed 5000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish;

Is about to do something new.

 

Isaiah 43:19 NET

Look, I am about to do something new.  Now it begins to happen! Do you not recognize it? Yes, I will make a road in the desert and paths in the wildnerness

 

 

Cindy

 
 
more from
Portraiture
Like a Symphony

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought, word, and deed” – Mahatma Gandhi

The Art of Balance

“You can have it all, you just can’t have it all at once.” – Oprah Winfrey

Chinese New Year Fashion 101

While we’re still ringing in the New Year, let’s not forget that there’s another highly anticipated event that’s also just around the corner!