Fullness of Joy

“For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.” Psalm 92:4


Standing on the deck of a lakehouse with my husband, my daughter, and a few close friends, I pretended to blow out a candle that wouldn’t light placed carefully on my 2 freshly roasted marshmallows. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate my birthday than to spend a day and a half away from home, making s’mores and playing board games with family and friends!


As I reminisce on this past year, I am absolutely overwhelmed and blown away by what God has done in my life. My heart aches for words to express the depth of love, gratitude, and wonder I feel toward Him. It is the longing of my heart to share the wonders of His ways in my life so that many will hear and want to know this amazing God for themselves!


It was this time last year that I was weary with grief. I had just miscarried for the 3rd time a few months earlier, which was the climax of 2 challenging and sorrowful years, and I felt tired. Tired of grieving, tired of the unexpected struggles with fear, jealousy, and anger that came with every baby commercial and pregnant woman I saw.


It was in this state of being that I felt lead to insert myself into the story of Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52. In this passage Jesus asks this blind beggar, “What do you want me to do for you?” It was incredibly powerful for me as I pondered how I would respond if Jesus had asked me the same question. I felt the weight of my response. Jesus of Nazareth, Son of the Living God, had just offered to do something for me. What did I really want? Did I just want to be pregnant, or was it more than that? I sat in silence in my living room staring at that page in my Bible feeling almost nervous as if Jesus was right there in front of me awaiting my answer.


I thought back on my life and how my relationship with Jesus had been the constant and central joy. He has captured my heart like no one else. Yet, after a couple years in the darkness of grief and sorrow, where God had been silent, I didn’t feel much joy in Him. In fact, I had been wrestling with feelings of anger and frustration with Him. I felt confused by what seemed to be God’s lack of concern for my situation and His silence toward me. Even more than just wanting children, I longed for restoration in my relationship with Him.


I pondered the question again: “What do you want me to do for you?” I carefully and decidedly wrote in my journal, “I want the fullness of joy in Your presence. (Ps 16:11)” I hesitated, and then added “And I would love to have children one day.” I continued along with the story of Bartimaeus in Mark 10: “‘Go,’ said Jesus, ‘your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.” So I concluded my journal entry, speaking of myself, with: “Immediately Jesus began to answer her requests, and she followed Him the rest of her days.”


My birthday came a few weeks later. As I have now made this a habit each year, I asked God for a birthday gift. (Some years I have asked for a specific thing, and other years just for anything that I KNOW is from Him.) His gift to me became apparent immediately. As I was getting dressed and singing to a new worship CD, I unexpectedly found myself jumping and dancing! I was overcome with such a deep, profound, uncontrollable joy that the only explanation was that it was supernatural.



Immediately, I remember my request from a few weeks earlier for the fullness of joy that is in God’s presence. There couldn’t have been a better description of what I felt. I had such an unexplainable sense that this day was the starting of a new season. That God was doing a new work in my life. I was sure of it.


Of course my next immediate thought was… “If God answered my request for joy, maybe He also answered my request for children! What if I am pregnant again? Talk about one amazing birthday present!” I briefly entertained the thought of purchasing a pregnancy test, but then quickly dismissed it. I had taken so many pregnancy tests, some positive, some negative, and it had always been a discouraging process because of the multiple miscarriages I’ve had. I told God, “The only way I’ll take a pregnancy test is if you delivered it to my doorstep!”


My day continued to go wonderfully! Jimmy, as always, outdid himself and took me out to a nice restaurant, threw me a surprise party, and gave me his standard 3+ gifts! It was later that night at my party that my dear friend and mentor Krystal asked me to step outside with her so she could give me a special gift. She tried to explain that this was a strange gift and she didn’t mean to offend, but felt like she was supposed to give it to me. And sure enough, as I stood on my doorstep and unwrapped this small box, I laid my eyes on what else but a pregnancy test! I immediately began crying as I told her my prayer from that morning. Her response was simply this: “I’m not sure when you are supposed to take it, but I think this is God’s way of saying ‘Be ready.'”


Although I did take the pregnancy test that night and it was negative, it didn’t phase me. I knew God was going to also answer my request for children and that this was his way to let me know. (I still have that pregnancy test by the way.) It was just over a month later that Jimmy and I found ourselves in a hotel room Jerusalem, Israel staring at a positive pregnancy test!


“For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.”

Lively in the onesie we bought her in Jerusalem when we found out I was pregnant

As I rocked Lively to sleep this morning, I cannot help be reminisce on all these things. My God is great and He does great and marvelous things in the lives of His children. This past year has been marked by joy. Not joy from getting what I want and being free from pain, but joy in HIS PRESENCE. And I know the joy I have would not be nearly as deep and profound if I had not walked through the valley of grief and sorrow clinging to God though I couldn’t see or feel Him. I look forward to what this next year of life will bring. Whether joy or sorrow, peace or strife, I am learning to rejoice in whatever God brings my way because in either circumstance He is still with me. And that indeed is the greatest gift I could ever receive: more and more of His presence. It is there that I find FULLNESS OF JOY.

18 Comments

  1. The Lee's

    Wow… I can’t tell you how encouraging that is. My husband and I were just married April 16th, at the end of May we found out we were pregnant and on June 6th we miscarried. It was not how I imagined our first few months of marriage to go… and it’s been hard. But your post was a great reminder that God… his love is so faithful, he has us perfectly safe in him and will make all things work out. We hope to try again soon, but for now, just breathing in that love seems to be keeping us going strong. Thank you for your reminder of hope. 🙂 God bless.

  2. Anonymous

    i’ve been following your blog for about a year now. i really enjoy your ministering. you are definitely a blessing. i am so happy for you! please continue to allow God to use you!

  3. Marie

    Good story! And beautiful baby

  4. Kate

    Thank you so much for your blog ministry. we are still currently in the valley of infertility, and it so encourages me to hear about people who have remained faithful and been blessed! I know God is going to do this for us as well, and when I think about the how and when, I get such wonderful butterflies in my stomach! God is so good. and I praise Him, because a few months ago, I could not say that. I was enmeshed with the enemies’ words in my ear, and I thought God was toying with me, and using my pain for His amusement. The Lord has tenderly cradled my heart, gently washed away all the corruption, and shown me who He is again. my heart is full to bursting! and after about a year of solid bitterness after we lost our first child; a year of silence and hurt, we got a phone call last week about a baby that needs a home! nothing is for sure yet, but I know that no matter the outcome, it will not change how I feel about my Lord, because He is GOOD! and come rain or shine, He is still on the throne. I wholeheartedly feel that God was letting me have my tantrum, and drawing me back to him; He wanted to renew a right spirit in me before allowing any leads on children to come into our lives, knowing that at that point, any more bad news would have driven me farther from Him and given me more “proof” that He rejoices in my suffering. God has broken my heart and spirit in these last 3 months, and it has been the best experience of my life!! my soul rejoices in His presence; my heart leaps at thoughts of my King. don’t lose heart; He will never forsake you!

  5. Cierra Moore

    Very…Very…. Encouraging!! I thank God for your testimony and it came right on time for me! I just so happend to be looking for your husband cd’s and came accross your link. And i believe God lead me here because it was just what i needed when i needed it! thank you so much for heeding to the voice of God and sharing…… Thank you, thank you, thank you! May the Blessing of the Lord follow you where ever you go! 🙂

  6. Dawn Carter

    I was in tears through this whole thing. I am so blessed by your blog Kelly. Thank you for reminding me about joy!

  7. Jennifer

    What a blessing this was to me this morning! Thank you so much for sharing such intimate pain and struggle so that we all can long for the fullness of joy that can only be found in Jesus.

  8. Wow.
    this is such a beautiful story.
    an amazing testimony.

    a type of story that i hope to tell one day.
    not about your woes of trying to have a child, but of god answering MY prayers like he does for you.

    Gods favor is extremely underestimated.
    and you mrs needham HAVE god’S FAVOR.

    EVEN tho sometimes it may have seemed/or seems like he doesn’t hear you, take it from someone who DOES NOT have God’s favor…

    your an amazing woman of god.

    you inspire me so much and i am so glad to see you grow!

    stay encouraged!
    and never forget these blessings.

    I LOVE YOU!
    🙂

  9. I’ve been going through an extremely rough patch lately, and trusting that God knows what He’s doing is right has been really hard. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, it makes me want to go back to God and to ask Him for His joy and peace.

  10. Thank you for sharing your story! I got goose bumps as I read about your friend’s ‘unusual’ present. I am always in awe of God’s work and those goose bump glory moments just leave me speechless or in tears of awe at His glory. Your experience is testament to His enduring love. Praise be to God for that!

  11. Kelly! Thanks for sharing your life with us in this post–an encouragement and great reminder! I love how God can you “the waiting” seasons in our lives to make us more like Him. I love the story He is writing with you and Jimmy and your family.

  12. Belinda

    God is sooooo good!!!!

  13. Wow, the Lord just spoke to me through your story 🙂 I’m in college, and I’m very single. I’ve really been struggling lately so I’m working to meditate on His perfect timing and His perfect plan for me. I know He has one! I just wanted to say thanks for what you do, I’ll be back to continue reading your blog & to hear updates on your beautiful baby girl, the fruit of your obedience.

  14. such beautiful writing, Kelly. i am so grateful for you, your heart, your love for Jesus, and your precious family. i love you, my sister!

  15. That was beautiful! Thank you for sharing that! 🙂

  16. Geri

    Wow, this was so amazing! My husbad and I had a similar struggle to yours and now almost 6 years and two kids later it’s still very fresh when reading this. But I love looking at my kids every day and knowing not only that God CAN, but he WILL. I see his faithfulness in their eyes and my joy is renewed daily because of what he has done for us. Thank you for reminding me yet again that it’s not just because he gave me kids, but because my joy is alive in him!

  17. God is so amazing. I love seeing how He works in my life and even more so seeing how He works in others.

    I’ve been seeing Him answering my specific prayers lately. Prayers I’ve said for years and He’s always faithful no matter what the answer is.

    Though no dancing for me, recently I found myself in the kitchen just exclaiming how much I loved the Lord. (I live alone) but I just laughed and started tearing up because it was so overwhelmingly true just how much I love Him. And just in awe of Him.

    Happy birthday to you!! =)

  18. Zuri

    Just wanted to say thank you for this 🙂 Makes me praise God!

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