Star Iron

There was no moon. Despite deep nightfall, the surface of the black lake was balmy and warm and as I lowered myself silently into the silky darkness, the water cooler the deeper my legs slipped, and my breath caught in my chest. Slick plants tickled my ankles as I pushed away from the worn wooden dock, still holding heat of the August day. Acrid smoke from forrest fires hung heavy in the air, carried on the evening breezes away from the lake, but making the air pungent with cedar and off-season holidays.

Pushing gently further from the dock, I slipped the floating tube under myself and laid back into the embrace of the water. The sky above was inky, but the show was supposed to start soon. My eyes closed, the rolling edge of the lake tickled my neck and I breathed in the silence.

I was waiting on the Perseid Meteor shower. Peacefully and and deeply content, I floated alone on the vast still lake. Silently the meteors began to rain down, the only light in the deep black summer skies. I imagine them reflected in my eyes, and wondered what things the world had in store for me. I felt magical- like God put on this show just for me, while everyone else slept. Everything was possible.

That night was fifteen years ago now. Life has unfolded in ways that girl could never have imagined. It’s been both better, worse, deeper, happier, and more scathingly real than anything I could have imagined. But isn’t that life? No matter what we imagine, it’s always more. Since that night, that girl has loved, married, birthed three children, split her heart wide open repeatedly, divorced, cried an ocean of tears, laughed and found joy in the new life of broken places and grown into a woman she never expected to become. God’s plan for me was so much greater than my own. And I’m so glad.

Today I had the experience of someone holding up a mirror to me. Two people, actually. One held up a mirror that was fractured from the human desires and impressions of others. That reflection was not about me, but had I known less about who I am and who God expects me to be, I might have been lost in the image. But another held up a mirror that told me, like those meteors so long ago, that God has a show just for me- that the light reflected in my eyes is not lost just because not everyone can see it, and that anything is possible. One mirror wanted to cage me with expectations; one mirror wanted to set me free. I know which light my eyes reflect.

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