We're Here to Shine!

Posted by Elaine January 01, 2019 at 12:00 AM AEDT

Again we celebrate the dawning of a new year, with new hopes, dreams and possibilities!
When I thought about my New Year resolutions I realised they were the same resolutions as I’ve made every other year, to do with reducing my weight that increases rather than decreases each year.

If I never saw my own reflection I wouldn’t be dissatisfied with the way I look.
Why is it so easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves with others? Why do we dislike our own appearance?

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Women in the 16th century endured the pain of binding their feet to be accepted as beautiful! “The practice of binding feet was not only considered beautiful, it was considered necessary in order to get married and to have a better life.” When ask whether they’d have their feet bound again, the majority of them say no.

According to RoseMarie Armentrout · Campo, California it was a societal pressure. All the other girls in the village had their feet bound. They didn’t want to be left out. They wanted to ensure they had a good future and could marry into a more affluent family.

Feet binding prevented being able to walk, run, skip, dance or play. This practice went on for a millennium or more, but why?

Foot binding was eventually banned in 1912 but photos of bound feet are too graphic to show here… this horrific abuse was actually a symbol of beauty and acceptance.

This lady displays her Chinese golden lily foot in the 1800s, captured by Photographer Lai Afong .

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But that was a long time ago. It would never happen in modern society.

But today…
People crave fake tans, fake eye lashes, fake boobs, fake hair colour, implants inserted to enhance shape, along with endless hours improving fitness, starving or restricting diet to be acceptable as those around us.

People of all ages and shapes are getting tattoos to follow a trend, enduring pain and expense, then enduring more pain to have then removed again when they didn’t achieve the desired effect. I myself have been surgically enhanced and I’m not sorry. I’m not judging or criticising anyone, I’m just making a point. Regret comes when we realise our actions didn’t make the difference we’d hoped for and it isn’t what we were meant to be.

When someone dies we don’t remember their slim figure or bulging physique. What lasts is the way they touched us and the impact they had on our world. There lies our reason for being.

It was never God’s plan that we conform to the looks or likes of another.
Of every person who’s ever lived from the beginning of time, we each are one of a kind.
No-one has the same fingerprints as us – no-one else has our DNA!

The only way to truly understand how precious we are is to see ourselves through God’s eyes!

God cares so much that even knows how many hairs we have on our head. And He’s never far away from us, His thoughts of us in a single day outnumber the grains of sand.

Read here for yourself:
Lord, you know everything there is to know about me.
2 You perceive every movement of my heart and soul,
and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.
3–4 You are so intimately aware of me, Lord.
You read my heart like an open book
and you know all the words I’m about to speak
before I even start a sentence!
You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.
5 You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way,
and in kindness you follow behind me
to spare me from the harm of my past.
With your hand of love upon my life
you impart a blessing to me.
6 This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible!
Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.
7 Where could I go from your Spirit?
Where could I run and hide from your face?
8 If I go up to heaven, you’re there!
If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too!
9 If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there!
If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting!
10 Wherever I go, your hand will guide me;
your strength will empower me.
11 It’s impossible to disappear from you
or to ask the darkness to hide me,
for your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night.
12 There is no such thing as darkness with you.
The night, to you, is as bright as the day;
there’s no difference between the two.
13 You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside
and my intricate outside,
and wove them all together in my mother’s womb.
14 I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!
Everything you do is marvellously breathtaking.
It simply amazes me to think about it!
How thoroughly you know me, Lord!
15 You even formed every bone in my body
when you created me in the secret place,
carefully, skillfully shaping me from nothing to something.
16 You saw who you created me to be before I became me!
Before I’d ever seen the light of day,
the number of days you planned for me
were already recorded in your book.
17–18 Every single moment you are thinking of me!
How precious and wonderful to consider
that you cherish me constantly in your every thought!
O God, your desires toward me are more
than the grains of sand on every shore!
When I awake each morning, you’re still with me.
19 O God, come and slay these bloodthirsty, murderous men!
For I cry out, “Depart from me, you wicked ones!”
20 See how they blaspheme your sacred name
and lift up themselves against you, but all in vain!
21 Lord, can’t you see how I despise those who despise you?
For I grieve when I see them rise up against you.
22 I have nothing but complete hatred and disgust for them.
Your enemies shall be my enemies!
23 God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart.
Examine me through and through;
find out everything that may be hidden within me.
Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.
24 See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on,
and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways—
the path that brings me back to you. Psalm 139 TPT

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Because God has made us so uniquely different, does He want you to look any less we do right now?
He wants us to work on what’s on the inside of us, what motivates us, but our appearance will never have someone say “I’m so glad I got to know you!”

Being the best version of me will automatically be draw others to me, not because of the way I look but because they are glad they met me and it’s the same for you.

Spending time each day doing what we’re meant to do will make our joy compete!

Sometimes when there are too may obstacles in my path, my view of sunrise is less than perfect, but the effect it has on my surrounding can be amazing! Just like the sunrise effects it’s surroundings we’re meant to shine, to leave a positive effect on the people we meet.

Imagine our world if we stopped being hard on ourselves and began devising ways to brighten someone else’s day! God will smile on us when we get it right and blessings will follow!

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If you’ve discovered how important you are today and you want to begin to shine, please share this message and bring light and hope to someone else’s world!
2019 Elaine Costin – Capturing Sunrise / Blog