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  • Writer's pictureKristen Cole

Fig Tree Budding on Mother’s Day


I remember writing the skeleton of this post two years ago, thinking through all the different types of moms that I know and that have helped me to be the mom I was then and am today. I re-read the post and as I set out to publish it, God lead me down a different path…

The Scripture that inspired me was this, Habakkuk 3:17-19

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”

Happy Mother’s Day. Those words might actually sting you…not bring that warm feeling of JOY over the fact that God has allowed very life to spring from your body…and that little life-spring brings you treasures from the garden, handpicked “just for you, mom!”, precious hand-print crafts from school, homemade jewelry you will surely count as your most prized among your collection of diamonds…you may not have that…and Mother’s Day is hard. Because you want that title and you don’t have it.

Maybe you have lost a child. I don’t know what that feels like and I pray I never do. Maybe you pour your heart out to others, seeking, seeking, seeking for those answers you are sure will satisfy your soul with…just why… or maybe you keep your grief inside, your quiet hidden grief, that grief that feels as though a brick is being shoved on your chest as it pushes you further and further beneath the surface of the water that is life.

Maybe you aren’t a mom yet and you want to be. I know what that feels like, that longing unsatisfied. That longing, deeper than a well to the core of the very earth. That longing that forces your hand…to trust or to become bitter. Infertility, long-awaited adoptions..the waiting, hoping, confusion…the light that comes and fades, just like that train you thought for sure was coming for you, but it turned to the other track, the one that picked up the others…and left you standing, waiting, longing, alone.

Maybe you have been where I am, years ago. Maybe you take the time to call me and offer to keep my little ones because you remember… you remember the rat race. You remember the balancing act of little kids, marriage, jobs, financing kids, friends, faith…you remember that it is not easy and it is hard for a blessed mama to say those words that feel ungrateful. Maybe you sit with me at my kitchen table and talk-turning-to-prayer, leave me encouraged, encouraged in HIM. I take a deep breath. I realize I am not alone in HIM. I look ahead with peace and hope, knowing that I am fighting the good fight right now for these babies, that my right hand work will pay the greatest dividend…seeing my children grow to know they are loved by me – so that they can understand the love of their Heavenly Father to a greater degree. And there is a glimpse of a fig budding…

Maybe you are walking alongside me in this journey. You GET the raw emotions that can erupt due to lack of sleep, constant demands and discipline and (major) need for refining of myself. Maybe you take the time to hear my heart worries for each of my children and you let me cry on your shoulder when fatigue sets in and I am tired, physically, emotionally, spiritually… and it hurts. Maybe you break into prayer mid-sentence when I am sharing my heart and you cry, right along with me. Your hands folded in prayer, your “where two or more are gathered in His name” communing, it stops my thoughts from destruction and brings them into the light, HIS light. I reach for your hand, I feel HIS power, HIS love, HIS direction…it is just the two of us…and HIM. And yet another delectable fig fruit emerging…

Maybe we work together and witness the crushing reality of critically ill children. Maybe we have cried together over our sweet little patients, frustrated over seeing children ill, sometimes mistreated, sometimes alone. You relate to me in a way not everyone can. You have seen me cry at work, our world of healthcare fighting against what we know to be right, what we know to be of HIM. When you reach for my shoulder, you place your healing hand on me, you remind me that HE is the great physician…to our patients and to us. Your reaching out, leaves me reaching for HIM…and I am reaching to pull the fig from the branch as it reaches ripeness…

Being a mom is the most rewarding job I have ever had. It is also one of deep cleansing of souls, of giving up of self, of reorienting priorities and plans. It is a treasured, coveted role, one of esteem, of admiration, of strength. It is life-giving and life taking. It is one not had by all in the physical sense, in the birthing-of-life sense.

It is taken from some, too early, too harshly, too difficult for any to grasp understanding of. It is a mystery. Mothering is a very living, breathing being, that flows emotion…that seeks better than yesterday – every day. It is loving, so deep, so honest, so true that it cannot be compared to another’s, except to the love of the very Creator of all life, Himself.

There is a weaving of right hand work that flows seamlessly from the finger tips of women who pause, who don’t travel the well-worn path…who look up from their mom chaos, whether that chaos be caused by or in desperation for a child, who see the hurting ones…heads down, hands in their pockets, crusted tear residue on their cheeks…these right hand working women, pregnant with pause, offer a word, a prayer, a soul connection. “You are not alone”… she says. And the hurting soul believes her…and then she believes HIM. She trusts HIM and her journey of mothering becomes about HIM, just like yours…and you take a bite of that promised fruit, that bud turned nourishment, life giving, refreshing and new, filling your belly, your soul, your being who longs and is finally satisfied…

Today, every day, see the JOY it is to turn to HIM, to trust HIM. I turn to Habakkuk 3: 17-19 and I claim the victory of JOY in HIM for each of you today. See the budding of the fig tree, see it as it buds, it grows, it emerges fruit with the light of the SON, the SON who holds out his hand to YOU. He will give you the only nourishment that will sustain your life on this earth until you are with HIM and you see all the buds, grapes, olive crops, fields bursting with harvest, sheep filled pens and cattle filled stalls…when you tread the heights of glory, carefree and in perfect peace. 

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