Brett and I gave each other small items for our anniversary this year. I gave him a back scrubber for the shower, some silly love song CDs that you could only find here in the Middle East, and a very rare anniversary card. He gave me an exercise mat (pilates on these tile floors are brutal), some heart chocolates, and a movie called Vantage Point. As you can see, I got the better end of the deal, as usual. The best present we both received came in an email from our son Ben.
Ben wrote and told us that he had just received his temple recommend and would be able to go do baptisms for the dead with Mary this week. This is another step toward his temple wedding with Mary in October. Sunshine filled my grin as I read his gratitude. His words were thankful and joyful, awash with humility and hard work. The roads that lead a person to the temple are varied. Ben's road was not the one I would have chosen for him, but looking back, I realize the perfection of Heavenly Father's gift of agency, and how Ben needed to travel the road meant for him. At one time, when I was despairing for Ben's testimony and his future, I went to the temple and plead with the Lord for the welfare of "MY Ben." I was quickly rebuked in my mind with the Lord reminding me that Ben was His child first and needed His inspired intervention instead of my harrassing hovering. That is when I again realized how individual the Lord's plan of happiness is and how He knows each of us so intimately that He alone can know what is best.
I'm so glad I heeded that reminder and let myself concentrate on loving my son instead of forcing him to be loved my way. The miracles in Ben's life include inspired bishops, ward leaders, good neighbors and friends, and mostly sweet Mary. Ben is a blessed young man with such remarkable talents, gifts, and abilities. Many of those gifts are spiritual. I know the Lord has been patient with him and with me, because there is a great work for Ben to do of which I could not get in the way.