Today is a 5th Tuesday, which means it’s Guest Blogger Day. What a joy to have Jeanne Doyon here at the Christian Writer’s Den! I’ve known Jeanne for many years in the writing world, but it’s been a real joy to get to know her as a speaker when she attended the 2011 Christian Communicators Conference. God has truly been blessing her ministry, but as you’ll see, blessings don’t always come in the way we envision.
When the Cloud Descends, by Jeanne Doyon
Ministry is all about discerning the open doors and invitations to use our gifts to share the message of Christ. So, how do we handle those times of lull, when not much is happening and we are unsure of what to do next?
This is a question Iâ€™ve asked myself recently, after breaking my foot while speaking at a womenâ€™s retreat. My plan to leave my job and pursue writing and speaking full-time seemed to have a huge YIELD sign descend from above. Because of the fracture, I wasnâ€™t able to finish my last week at the office, leaving without any goodbyes; I had to cancel the second weekend of speaking at the womenâ€™s retreat. What did it all mean? His plan obviously altered mine, but for what purpose?
My thoughts, rather than planning my next step of ministry, labored over every faltering step with my crutches. I submitted my heart, mind and will for my next move because I had no other choice. I know everything happens for a reasonâ€”and for some reason my broken foot was part of His plan.
Everything Iâ€™ve learned in Scripture tells me that when the cloud descends, to wait. I gained this principle from reading about the Israelite journey through the desert. When they left Egypt, Godâ€™s presence led them as a cloud by day and a fire by night. When the cloud descended, they made camp.
So, Iâ€™ve been â€˜making campâ€™ for the last six weeks. I donâ€™t want to move forward without Him, while the details of my destination are obscured by a misty haze. Something Iâ€™ve discovered in past clouds is to continue doing the last thing I received instruction aboutâ€”so I am praying, listening, posting my blog, writing in my journal, and polishing some messages I have presented this year. I am â€˜being faithfulâ€™ while I ask God to clarify the 5Wâ€™s:
- WHO is my audience?
- WHAT is my passion?
- WHEN is it time?
- WHERE is God leading?
- WHY does it matter?
As I seek to know whether this season is meant to slow me down long enough to reassess or clarify my next step, I am listening intently to Him. I know the work Heâ€™s planned for me was planned from the beginning (Ephesians 2:10). If I hadnâ€™t broken my foot, I would have sprinted off in a direction as soon as I left my job. The cloudâ€™s presence and my being a captive audience in my living room recliner help me to be still and know He is God: LORD over my broken foot; LORD over my life; LORD over my ministry.
It will be interesting to see HOW all things work together for good. This wasnâ€™t part of my plans, but He has a way of orchestrating unique circumstances for His glory and itâ€™s part of the adventure in following His presence. I am praying to know how to proceed next, as soon as the cloud moves.
How is He leading you?
Bio: Jeanne Doyon encourages others to love God’s Word and to draw nearer to the Lover of their souls. She is a graduate of Christian Communicators. She writes, teaches and is available to speak at your event or writerâ€™s workshop. Jeanne is a contributing author to Fighting Fear, Winning the War At Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, and Kisses of Sunshine for Women, as well as Crosswalk.com and OpentheWord.org. Her articles appear in Evangel, Live, Proverbs 31 and Living Magazine. She shares her reflections on her blog at www.streams-edge.blogspot.com. Email Jeanne at email@example.com and find out more about her speaking topics at www.jeannedoyon.blogspot.com