Her inspiration began through the heartache of infertility. Colleen and her husband tried for 4 years to have a baby, naturally and medically; they watched as all their friends as they began families and finally, God used an amazing illustration to move them toward their own family.
Thank you Colleen for sharing your story in this beautiful and touching way.
Learn about the upcoming release and how you can get involved!
an illustration from A Gift for Little Tree by Masako Dunn
"I have two fruitless tree stories. The weeping fruitless cherry tree story - where God restored my hope with a cherry on my fruitless tree, and then later, the three in one apple tree, which God used to explain to me how adoption was like a farmer's grafting. That story led us to adopt. Both stories were heart changing moments." ~Colleen Marquez
The Weeping Fruitless Cherry Tree Story
by Colleen Marquez
I cried when I realized the tree we bought for our front yard was a weeping fruitless cherry tree. Of course I had picked a tree just like me, fruitless and weeping as my husband and I struggled with infertility. We had chosen that tree to plant in our front yard to celebrate the close of escrow of the house we now could say we “owned”. Each day, as I watered it by hand, I saw lacy pink blossoms pop from the tree’s seemingly lifeless twigs. Beautiful but barren, I wondered, with inconsolable longing.
Then, weeks later, I discovered a tiny package of promise – sent just for me. As I examined the fading blossoms of my little cherry tree, something new caught my eyes. From a single shriveled blossom, grew a tiny green lump like a pea….or…was it a cherry?! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I cried out with amazement and a strange new hope hovered inside me. How could it be? What could it mean? Could a fruitless tree really grow a cherry? What could God be telling me through this?! In the crossroads of despair and hope, I chose to embrace hope. I laughed, I cried some more, then I called my husband at work and told him through my tears. He loved me enough to agree with me that it must indeed be a sign of hope from God!
Every morning that followed that summer, I tiptoed barefoot through the muddy grass to our tree, to look at my little cherry. Day after day the cherry grew bigger and bigger. Later, it began to ripen and turn red, and I delighted in this visible sign of fertility and life. With fresh hope I began to believe it must be a sign I would someday have a baby to love. I couldn’t stop looking at that cherry for the joy it gave me was like nothing else before. Only God would have known what that small miracle of life on a simple fruitless tree would mean to me.
Even though it was the only cherry ever to grow on our tree, my hope persevered whenever I remembered it. After 2 more years of active waiting and praying, at last God answered our hearts’ desire by grafting life into our barren family tree through the gift of adoption. It was the moment I had waited for all my life!
As I held our beautiful infant daughter close in my arms I showed her the miracle tree that had renewed my hope 2 years earlier. I thought of the tears I had cried, and of all my days of despair, and I marveled in the miracle of God’s gift of life to us. It wasn’t the timing or the way I had imagined we would become a family, but it happened exactly the way God knew we would appreciate best.
With a single cherry, God brought refreshment and promise back into my heartsick spirit, and in His perfect timing, brought the gift of our precious daughter, and eventually, the treasure of our son, to the branches of our waiting arms.
It is hard to believe twenty years have passed since that cherry of hope lifted my heart. Our home buzzes with the busy lives of our high school senior daughter and third grade son, and I am grateful beyond words for the gifts of our children, and for their beautiful birth families. God truly answered the desires of my heart, beyond my wildest dreams. And it's my time to pray for others.
Today, our cherry tree's branches are once again bare and scraggly, dormant in winter. I think of those I know for whom this season is filled with the heartbreak of infertility: the hollow longing for children to love. But I am convinced that hope, like spring is just around the corner. And this year, as I watch for signs of life on our tree, as I've done every year for two decades, I will pray God restores hope anew with the gift of a cherry on a fruitless branch in someone else's yard. May God's hope be yours this year. Truly, all things are possible with God. (Mark 10:27)
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” ~Proverbs 13:12
After many years of infertility, Colleen and her husband Mickey are the grateful parents of two beautiful children, given to them by God through the loving arms of their birthparents. They live in the Bay Area, California. Colleen's first children's book, A Gift for Little Tree - a parable about apples, adoption, and love will be published by Cupola Press in Fall 2013. For more information - www.giftforlittletree.com
(c) 2013 Colleen Marquez