New Buds on the Fig Tree

With Mother’s Day coming up, I wanted to share a special story about my mom and how God turned a sad time in our lives into rejoicing.

My mother, Doris, was my best friend. She made life fun. She decorated the house for every occasion, laughed a lot, and could tell the funniest jokes. She thought her sons-in-law were wonderful and wouldn’t let an ill word be said about them. She loved her two granddaughters and wanted many more. She was a Southern Baptist preacher’s wife who knew her Bible and never stopped giving even when she had little left in her to give. She had arthritis and every winter came down with pneumonia but she never let it stop her.

The weekend of Mother’s Day 1993, she fell mysteriously ill. She was one of the most faithful people in my life, giving me advice and, more often than not, just listening to me rattle on and on for hours. To see her struggling was very difficult.

Now that we faced this new leg of her journey, we didn’t know what to expect. My dad didn’t think we had anything crucial to worry about—or maybe he himself was worried and didn’t want to scare us. The doctors were sure that her illness was not fatal, so we were all hopeful. However, I saw her go through a physical, mental and emotional deterioration in just a few months.

When she passed away in August of that year, it was determined that she died of a heart attack brought on by Sleep Apnea. We were told by the doctors that they had never lost an adult to the ailment. If only they had known the seizures and other symptoms she was having were from Sleep Apnea, then maybe something could have been done to save her.

On that last day with her, I had a very intimate conversation with her. She knew my husband and I were trying to have our second child. As I left her house, she encouraged me to go home and make a baby—a brown-eyed grandson, to be exact. (We have mostly blue-eyed people in my family and one of the first things she had noticed about my husband when we started dating was his brown eyes.) I told her I’d do the best I could, in jest, and went home. At 5:00 a.m., I received a call that she had been taken to the hospital and it didn’t look good. So we rushed there only to find out that she could not be saved.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 says “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.”

I had to find a way to rejoice even though I had suffered such a great loss. I had to believe that God would bring new life to our family.

Two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant! It was like a precious gift from God! About five months later, I found out I was having a son. What a surprise! Now, if I could only manage the brown-eyed part, all would be complete.

I searched the Bible to find just the right name to name our soon-to-be-born son. In Genesis, I found the verses that told how Adam and Eve named their son Seth because he was the replacement for Abel after Cain killed him. My husband and I knew then that Seth was the name.

In May of 1994, exactly one year from when my mom got sick, Seth was born. What a wonderful gift from the Lord and proof that He provides us with a little rainbow after the storm. Joy always comes in the morning. Oh, and the added bonus: he has brown eyes! I know my mom would be madly in love with her grandson (who turns 18 next week) and ever so proud of her two granddaughters if she were still alive. God indeed brought new life into our family!

This blog was posted as part of Katie Ganshert’s Wildflowers from Winter series on her blog. Please stop by and read the inspiring posts there.


Tagged: , , , , , ,

17 thoughts on “New Buds on the Fig Tree

  1. michelle delp May 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm Reply

    thanks for your Wildflowers From Winter story!

  2. […] Wildflowers from Winter:  Sherrinda: God lover, Jesus follower, Spirit chaser, and a writer of fun, faith, and forever love […]

  3. Katie Ganshert May 4, 2012 at 1:16 pm Reply

    I remember you emailing this story. It’s just as beautiful the second time. Love that you have your Seth, Sherri!

  4. Melissa Finnegan May 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm Reply

    Sherri, what an amazing story. I knew as soon as your mom said have a brown eyed boy God would grant that request.

    When I was pregnant with my first child, my grandmother, who wasn’t doing very well, told me I have would a little girl. Sure enough, I was blessed with my daughter.

    • Julia May 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm Reply


      This is so beautiful. God gave me my first baby two days before my Dad’s death anniversary. It redeemed the pain, because now when I think of that time I always think of my beautiful daughter. I love your story. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Ann Gaylia O'Barr May 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm Reply

    That passage from Habakkuk is one of my favorites.

  6. heatherdaygilbert May 4, 2012 at 6:00 pm Reply

    Oh my word, this just touches my heart! I can see your mom and what a godly woman she was. Glad you had your brown-eyed boy! God bless you!

    • Sherri Wilson Johnson May 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm Reply

      Thanks! Yes, she was a Godly woman who loved her family. I’m thrilled I got my brown-eyed boy!

  7. Meadow Rue Merrill May 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm Reply

    What a beautiful story of God’s blessings. It made me cry.

    • Sherri Wilson Johnson May 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm Reply

      I still get chillbumps when I think about how God shows his love to us in our time of need!

  8. leigh delozier May 7, 2012 at 10:10 pm Reply

    What a wonderful story! I loved every bit of it, from the Habakkuk verses to the descriptions of your mom to the wonderful reminder God gave through your son. Thanks for sharing it to help give others hope!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: