The reflection of an impression: A short story by Shubricca L Bell
“Look in the mirror Diana. What do you see?” I can still hear my moms voice echoing that question to me. Although it was thirty something odd years ago, I remember a saying she’d often say, as if it were yesterday. “Your reflection tells two stories.
Who you are, and who people think you are. What they see is an impression of you. What you see is a reflection of your truth. What is your truth, Diana?” At the time, my eight year old mind couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of what my mom was trying to instill in me, so she’d plant seeds in me, until I was able to plant seeds of my own.
She sat on the end of her bed brushing my hair, as I sat on her and my father’s roll arm upholstered bench. It was my favorite place to sit when she brushed my hair or when I’d come into their room to watch tv. Sometimes while watching tv, I’d lay down and fall asleep on it, and my dad would oftentimes carry me into my room and tuck me in. Many times I’d try to convince him that I wasn’t sleepy, so that I could come back into their room with them. He never fell for it, but that didn’t stop me from trying.
I stood in front of my closet mirror pondering these thoughts as I put on my navy blue blazer. My reflection said I’d make a great impression at the board meeting today. I looked like money, as I should. My sales and marketing strategies has helped several small businesses become multi million dollar corporations. Today the CEO was officially announcing his retirement and who he’d choose as his successor.
I just knew it would be me. Everyone at the corporate office knew it too. My assistant had gotten me a congratulatory gift even before the meeting. “You’re getting a raise,” I joked with her before hurrying into the meeting. “Yes,” she said with excitement as she played along.
“Now hurry into the meeting, before you’re late,” she said as she handed me my coffee. “But the meeting doesn’t start for another thirty minutes,” I said as I looked at my wrist watch. “Yeah, well that thirty minutes was twenty nine minutes ago,” she said. I came into the meeting smiling, but everyone else’s face quickly dimmed my shine. “Congratulations, Caroline, new CEO.”
Wait, what did I miss? I thought to myself. Apparently I’d missed the speech our former CEO had given about how great Caroline was, and I’d walked in when he introduced her as our new boss. I was crushed. Besides making many small businesses into multi million dollar corporations, I’d also helped take this company from rags to riches. I’ve been with this company for nineteen years.
I helped it grow from soliciting random people on the streets for business to being the second highest ranking marketing agency in the U.S. I felt sick. I hid that feeling and congratulated Caroline, and quickly went to my office to bury myself in work. My assistant tapped on my door, and came in to say, sorry. She asked me if she could get me anything. I smiled and thanked her for her concern, but told her I was fine.
During the day, many of my associates came to me and said that I should have gotten the position based on my experience and results with the company. Not to mention the time. Caroline had been here eight months, but our former CEO favored her for whatever reason. People talked and had their opinions of why she got the promotion, and her work ethics had nothing to do with them, according to them. I didn’t care about why she got the promotion, I only cared about why I didn’t.
That night I looked in the mirror as I brushed my hair, and I tried to be strong, but I broke down. I’ve been a hard worker and an overachiever since grade school, but that didn’t mean things ever came easy for me. It felt as if I had to work twice as hard as everyone else. Then a scripture I knew came to mind. I knew it was the Holy Spirit.
Luke 12:48, “But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” This means that if God has given you a gift, and you know what that gift is, He expects you to honor Him with that gift. If He has blessed you with much, He requires more from you. This is why I was getting hit harder than some other people.
Many of the people I know, don’t know what God requires of them. They just bury themselves in work to maintain a successful lifestyle, but I know the Word of God, and although I’ve buried myself in work as well, being financially set is not all that God has for me. Helping businesses become successful was great, but how was I bringing glory to God? How was I leading people to Christ? Sure I told people about the Lord every now and then, but I wasn’t operating in my purpose on a daily basis, and if I was, not at the full capacity that God created me to work in. I knew the Holy Spirit was telling me to be more.
To think of others more than I think of myself (Philippians 2:3). For the most part, I did, but I am human. I got in my feelings sometimes, but I didn’t operate out of them. So the rumors about our new CEO and former CEO, went in one ear and out the other. I wiped my tears, and smiled as I looked in the mirror.
I thought about the reflection of my impression. What does my impression on others look like? Well, to many, I am an intelligent business woman. Who makes a great living with a generous six figure income. They know that I’m a Christian.
Then I asked myself, what kind of impact am I making on people long term? I don’t want to only have religion, I wanted a deeper relationship with Christ. If someone lost everything they’d ever worked for today, would they trust me enough to come to me to not only set them on a financial road to freedom, but a spiritual and emotionally free road as well? I looked in the mirror and spoke the seeds my mom planted in me as a child. These seeds were my truth.
“I am loved. I am blessed. I am beautiful and intelligent. I can do anything I put my mind to, because God is within me. I am kind. I am honest, and I do unto others as I would have them do unto me.
I was created with purpose. I am a child of the Living King.” I went back to work the next day and continued to be faithful in the position that I was in. I gave one hundred percent everyday as unto the Lord. I still had that burning desire deep inside me, that said, I was created to do more.
One day, I got a call from a major motion picture movie production company. They were in need of a new chief marketing officer. The company did many Christian inspirational films. I thought this was my time to shine. That was over four years ago, and I’ve been operating in my purpose at a greater scale, every since.
I have the opportunity to put out great inspirational content that gives people hope and leads them to Christ. Everyday I pray with my staff. People come to me for emotional and spiritual support and I’ve even helped several churches become financially free. You see, I think we all are operating in our purpose at some level. We just don’t know it, until we make our purpose about God, and not about us.
It wasn’t meant for me to get that promotion I wanted years ago, or I would have still been making money, but not truly living the life God called me to live. He had a greater plan. Now the void I once felt, is filled because I’m doing what I was created to do. So I want to encourage you, to be faithful where you are, but never stop pursuing that dream that God has given to you. Now when I look in the mirror in the morning, or before bed every night, I speak these affirmations.
My reflection tells this story. “I am loved by God, therefore I can truly love myself and others. I am blessed, because favor follows me. I am beautiful inside and out, because I allow the light of Christ to shine through me. I am intelligent and full of wisdom, because I listen and obey the counsel of the Holy Spirit.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I exemplify the fruits of the Spirit daily, and because God lives in me, I will win and not fail. I am living life purposefully. I am the child of the Most High God. The true and living King! In Jesus name. Amen.”
A message from the author:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this story as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Daily affirmations are important for us to speak over our lives because they’re seeds that we plant today, and reap the benefits of tomorrow. Never give up on your dreams no matter how hard things get. Trust God and walk by faith and not by sight. Last but not least, know this, God knows how to get you to where you need to be.
Remember Matthew 5:6, (Christian Standard Bible) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Be blessed. -Author Shubricca L Bell