The season of gift-giving is fast approaching. I usually ask my children what special gifts they might be hoping for, but more often, I rely on my knowledge of them and my vantage point as their mother to give them what I know their heart longs for. It may be something that they didn't even know they wanted, and yet, when the brightly colored paper gives way, it's as if secret desires have come to fruition, and there is a look of joy, a look of, "How did you know when I wasn't sure myself?" cross over their faces that is most satisfying. It was a longing so deeply embedded within their hearts, that they hadn't even yet found the words to express it. One can have access to that knowledge through careful and thorough love, day by day. And though I only occasionally get it right, that's the kind of gift-giving that I want to do.
I believe in blessings. I believe in the laying on of hands and administering by the power of the priesthood, personal blessings designed specifically for the recipient, from God.
On two distinct occasions, while receiving a blessing, once at the hands of my father, and once by my husband, I was promised that God was aware of the secret desires of my heart, and that I could be assured that I would be given them. The first time I heard that phrase, "You shall have the desires of your heart", I was a little intrigued by what they were. I went through the list of things I pray for in my mind and thought of each one, 'was that it?'
What is the secret desire of my heart? What if there is only one, a crowning desire?
I can think of several things I long for and hope for, both now and in the future. But maybe each of those things would be likened to the gifts that my children would tell me that they wanted for Christmas. Maybe the real blessing, the most earnest desire is still germinating inside the tissues of my spiritual heart, and only a wise and all-knowing, all-loving God can see them taking root. What a comfort it is to know that he has taken notice, even before I have.
I have desires for my family, desires as a mother, desires as a human being, and desires that spill over from this life into eternity. I often wonder just which desire was Heavenly Father assuring me of?
But just as my children open their gifts and instantly recognize the wisdom and synchronicity of their gifts, given by an imperfect and faltering parent, I trust that I, too, will recognize the desires of my heart, as they are realized in my life. Saying to God, the supreme parent, (maybe with a little gasp of awareness) "Oh, thank you! It's what I've always wanted."
I wait to see, already grateful.