When the Cloud Descends, by Guest Blogger Jeanne Doyon

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 I’ve asked myself recently, after breaking my foot while speaking at a women’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 wasn’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 women’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 reason—and for some reason my broken foot was part of His plan.

Everything I’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, God’s presence led them as a cloud by day and a fire by night. When the cloud descended, they made camp.

So, I’ve been ‘making camp’ for the last six weeks. I don’t want to move forward without Him, while the details of my destination are obscured by a misty haze. Something I’ve discovered in past clouds is to continue doing the last thing I received instruction about—so I am praying, listening, posting my blog, writing in my journal, and polishing some messages I have presented this year. I am ‘being faithful’ while I ask God to clarify the 5W’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 He’s planned for me was planned from the beginning (Ephesians 2:10). If I hadn’t broken my foot, I would have sprinted off in a direction as soon as I left my job. The cloud’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 wasn’t part of my plans, but He has a way of orchestrating unique circumstances for His glory and it’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 writer’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 jeanne.doyon@gmail.com and find out more about her speaking topics at www.jeannedoyon.blogspot.com

 

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  • verna

    . . . and you continue to minister as you wait upon God for the “next step’ . . . loved this post, Jeanne, encouraged my heart!

  • Jeanne Doyon

    Thank you all for your prayer during Hurricane Sandy. We fared well. Lost power for four days which isn’t as bad as in the past. We were well prepared. Roughing it makes me realize how blessed we are in this country. So thankful for modern conveniences 🙂 I may need to write a followup blog about Preparedness Tips.

    • Praise God for His protection and provision! Welcome back to civilization. 🙂

  • Liz Cowen Furman

    Amazing…this spoke to me this morning…
    Something I’ve discovered in past clouds is to continue doing the last thing I received instruction about—so I am praying, listening, posting my blog, writing in my journal, and polishing some messages

    I think I need to continue doing the last thing I received instruction about while I am in the waiting holding pattern here with you. Thanks for the reminder.
    Hugs,
    Liz

    • Hi Liz! Thank you for stopping by. I’m so glad Jeanne’s words spoke to you, just as they spoke to me!

    • Jeanne Doyon

      Hi Liz, thanks for stopping in and letting me know how this spoke to you. That way I can be praying for you as your are waiting for His next step….after the cloud moves 🙂

  • …and do get well soon!

    • Jeanne Doyon

      Thank you….I am well on my way. I got released from the doctor’s care; I no longer need the boot unless I feel like it would give me extra protection or comfort for certain times; I can drive…my restrictions right now are no exercising, walking, jogging, weight bearing exercise until I have NO PAIN. The doctor said it could be 3 months before the bone is completely healed. But, I am taking my calcium, Vitamin D, Magnesium and Vit. C every day to help with the healing process. Now, to find an ingenious way to keep from gaining weight during this period of inactivity. HA!

  • Don’t forget to thank God for the sadly rare strength He has given you to look past broken feet and to see the glow of the lamp that His word is unto your feet. You have preached powerfully to me through this post, and I believe that fits somewhere in your 5 W’s.

    • Jeanne Doyon

      Thank you for that, Jonathan! I am truly thankful for His grace and peace during this ordeal. He is at work mightily around me and I see Him at work in you also. Your message has encouraged me too 🙂

    • “Don’t forget to thank God for the sadly rare strength He has given you
      to look past broken feet and to see the glow of the lamp that His word
      is unto your feet.” Beautifully written, Jonathan!

  • Good though provoking message. Thank for sharing, Jeanne & Vonda. Hard to move in God’s timing sometime, but it’s alway the best the way God plans it.

    • Jeanne Doyon

      Thanks for stopping in, Janet. So true…His timing is so different than ours. I need to be reminded of those in the Bible who tried to hurry things along–Sarah, for one. Learning to stay out of His way 🙂

    • Thank you for your encouragement, Janet! I love that we can “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” 🙂

  • I needed this! I’ve been in pain over 2 1/2 weeks and learned last week that I have two fractured ribs on the left side, and another possible fracture in front. So I to have been sidelined. I hadn’t considered that God was telling me to wait. So now I’m praying for Him to reveal Himself to me in a deeper way. To lead my footsteps. To give me direction about what to do next.
    I can usually sit at the computer, but some days, like the last two, sleep deprivation has made me to foggy to do much of anything. I’m reminded of the season when I was down with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrom. One thing I can always do … pray!
    Thank you Jeanne & Vonda
    Love ~ Danie

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling, Danie Marie! But what a wonderful time for God to have Jeanne write this post. Would you believe she’s been on the schedule for about a year? We had no idea this would be going on at exactly the time you needed it.

      But God knew. 🙂

      Praying for you!

    • Jeanne Doyon

      Praying for you during this season, Danie. He has a plan…forgive my quick note. We still have no power here in CT, so I am getting online only once in awhile due to my battery life. Hugs….know that He is with you and with give you His peace.

  • Kristi

    What beautiful insight, Jeanne. Praying for healing and for God’s voice to ring loud and clear in the waiting. Thank you, Vonda, for being such a precious hostess!!

    • Thank you for being such an encouraging friend!

    • Jeanne Doyon

      Thank you, Kristi for stopping by and leaving a comment. Praying His blessings and peace to you. Thank you for your prayers. I saw the doctor yesterday. I am out of my boot (unless I need it) and have quite a bit of discomfort in a shoe. It will still be another 2-3 mos before it is completely healed. NO exercise, running, walking (till I have no pain). How do I burn calories GRRR,,, It appears it will be a bit longer before I am able to do more.

  • Gloria Ashby

    Jeanne, How well you articulated the word for my life this year … Waiting. And watching for the cloud to lift and move. A difficult thing to do for a “Doer,” but I’m learning. Thank you for sharing!

    Gloria

    • I had to admit when I read this, that I had never thought in terms of those waiting times being the times when God descends and tells us to wait. I loved it!

    • Jeanne Doyon

      I always say, “Wait is a four-letter word”. But I have learned that He is still working even when we don’t realize it. Mrs.; Charles Cowman in her devo called Streams in the Desert, says, just as in a musical rest,He is keeping time and will bring us back into play without missing a beat. Hugs to you,

  • Emily Wickham

    Dear Jeanne,

    I love your point about waiting when the cloud descends. This can be terribly difficult but so worthwhile. I picture you in that recliner–waiting prayerfully on Him–and receiving His answer with joy. In the meantime, He’s using you through posts like this one. Thanks! And thank you, Vonda, for sharing Jeanne’s message on your web site.

    In Christ’s Love,

    Emily

    • Thank you for joining in, Emily! Jeanne is a great writer and a dear friend. I’m thrilled to have her–and you–here on The Christian Writer’s Den. 🙂

      • Jeanne Doyon

        Thank you, Vonda., You are sweet!

    • Jeanne Doyon

      Me in the recliner..it has not all been bliss. I have felt peace yet my mind continued to whir away. I still struggle with being still and active stillness….AY! I guess that’s when I do the last thing I remember Him leading in. Thanks for your encouragement and prayer. I need it; I need HIM

  • Cindy Windham Jones

    Such a great message Jeanne! Thanks for sharing. I will be praying for you, your family and your community

    • Hi Cindy! Glad to see you here. Hope you’re doing well. And yes, Jeanne’s is a great message.

    • Jeanne Doyon

      Thank you, Cindy. We still have now power (Wed @ 7:30pm) and there are no restoration estimates yet. I am sitting in the dark, with a LED light next to me to barrely illumine the keyboard. Four candles penetrate the darkness around the room. Maybe my next blog will be survival skills LOL

  • Nan Jones

    Jeanne, you spoke powerfully to my heart. I especially love the following: ” I don’t want to move forward without Him, while the details of my
    destination are obscured by a misty haze. Something I’ve discovered in
    past clouds is to continue doing the last thing I received instruction
    about—so I am praying, listening, posting my blog, writing in my
    journal, and polishing some messages I have presented this year.” It is so incredibly wonderful to realize that when we are in covenant with the Most High God, the descending cloud is His Presence in our midst. I’ve be walking in this same knowledge. Thank you for describing it so eloquently. Sweet blessings to you and your foot 🙂

    • I agree, Nan, Jeanne had a beautiful, eloquent way of writing what we know to be true…but must be reminded of often. 🙂

      • Jeanne Doyon

        Thank you again, Vonda for inviting me to share. It is hard to believe that was over a year ago….and two weeks ago I had no idea what I was going to write. He is amazing!

    • Jeanne Doyon

      Thank you, Nan for your post. God is good to use the words of His heart to touch yours. We are in covenant with a MIGHTY God!! And His sovereignty has touched us all tonight because of His love and grace

  • So sorry to hear about your physical woes, Jeanne, but happy to know you’re trusting Him and using this time to seek Him and ask for clarity. May your recovery be quick and unremarkable, and may you emerge with a clear vision of what to do next!

    • Thanks for your encouraging words, Susan. I know Jeanne appreciates them!

    • Jeanne Doyon

      Thanks so much, Susan. I am continuing to wait on Him. Tomorrow I start NaNoWriMo….still wondering what will come of 30 days and 50,000 words but I want to start out this new phase in my life faithful to His call to write. So, please pray that whatever flows out will be something I can share with others.

  • Jeanne Doyon

    Forgive me for not replying to each individual comment…I will soon. We have no power so my laptop battery is being conserved. We are fine..roughing it…but fine. God is good and He is providing. I see the orthopedic doctor this afternoon – they have power. So, glad to be moving forward with that. More later…hugs and grateful for your prayers.

  • Marcia Gaddis

    Jeanne, thank you for the 5W reminders. I needed this today, my friend. I know all things work together for good…it’s the waiting that makes me bite my nails!

    • Yes, the waiting…

    • Jeanne Doyon

      Me too, Marcia. I need the reminders every day. Jesus was always on time. And He never minded the distractions, He took every moment as a divine appointment. So cool

  • Catherine L Young

    Jeanne, I pray that your ankle is healing well. You comments remind me of an email that I shared with a student a few years ago. The theme was ‘Not my plan, but God’s plan’. Many times we get ourselves caught up in our own plans and forget that it’s not about us, but about Jesus Christ. So I pray that God reveals His plan for you and that you receive His peace during this time.
    God Bless!

    • So true, Cathy! I frequently find myself just dashing around, making my plan happen, and then realizing it wasn’t part of God’s plan at all. Great reminder from Jeanne.

    • Jeanne Doyon

      Thank you, Cathy. It has been an interesting adventure. Still without power here. My eyes are on Him though….

  • Judith Robl

    Thank you, Vonda, for providing this venue for Jeanne’s thoughts.
    And thank you, Jeanne, for putting the traditional journalist’s questions in this format. I’m copying them to make a poster for my office. If we keep God’s purpose before us, we won’t be drawn away by things that may be good in themselves, but are not part of his plan for us.

    • Judith, I sometimes have a hard time discerning good from best. I want to do all the good things around me, when God has so much more for me if I will choose His best.

    • Jeanne Doyon

      Thanks for your comment Judith. What a great idea–to post the 5W’s–I wish I had kept my purpose board too. Long story,but it wouldn’t fit in my suitcase for the trip home. So, I am planning to do another one to put in my office as well

  • marcia moston

    A reminder full of wisdom. Thanks Jeanne and Vonda

    • Thank you for stopping by and encouraging Jeanne. She’s actually in the midst of Hurricane Sandy right now in CT. Please pray for her!

    • Jeanne Doyon

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your thoughts, Marcia.