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I’m Right Here

Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth
Fear not … I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:1-2)

Friend to Friend
While walking into the opening session of a marriage conference that we had been looking forward to, his cellphone rang. He answered the call and we took our seats. As the emcee kicked off the weekend with gracious greetings, my husband, Brad, leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Preston fell on a rock at camp and is on his way to urgent care to get stitches in his chin.” He took my hand and whispered again, knowing from my expression that I was alarmed, “It’s just a few stitches. He’ll be okay, honey.”

My stomach flip-flopped. We locked eyes and shared pain – both wounded in the heart for our firstborn son. This was not the way we had imagined that our weekend away would begin. As the session began, my momma-bear instincts kicked in and my mind reeled. Though he was a hundred miles away and though he’s a man-cub teenager, I ached to be by Preston’s side while the doctor stitched up his chin. I am always by his side when he gets hurt. Yet, there was comfort in knowing that this was “just a few stitches.”

As that first session came to a close in prayer, Brad’s cell phone invaded the quiet. He leapt up and left the room swiftly to get an update on Preston. Right behind him, I asked repeatedly, “What are they saying? Is everything okay?”

“He said that Preston broke his jaw,” Brad said with a tone of disbelief. Again he said, “The x-rays showed that he broke his jaw. I can’t believe this. They need us to come get him and take him to Charlotte. He might need surgery.”

Gripped by his words, I struggled to think clearly, “A broken jaw? Surgery? It was just supposed to be a few stitches! Well – it’s probably just a small fracture. I really hate that I’m not with him right now…” Bags were packed quickly and by the time darkness fell on North Carolina, Charlotte was on the horizon.

The next several hours were a blur of doctors, x-rays, CAT scans and surgery plans. Bad went to worse as we learned that Preston didn’t just break his jaw… he broke his jaw in three places, and, as the doctor phrased it, “he pretty much broke his jaw as bad as you can break a jaw.” Nice.

Surgery began and the wait was on… and on… and on. The heart-distance between the operating room and the waiting room was a thousand miles. It killed me to not hold his hand and stroke his hair while his jaw was reconstructed for seven and a half hours.

In the wee hours of the morning, surgery was complete and Preston was wheeled to his room. Brad and I rushed to his side as they brought him to his room and though he was heavily sedated, I reached for his hand and assured him, “Preston! I’m right here! I’m right by your side. I will stay here beside you. I know you’re in pain, buddy, but you’re going to heal well now. I’m right here and I love you.” His eyes flickered open for a split second to let Brad and I know that he heard our love then he drifted back to post-surgical sleep.

Several times an hour the nurses came in to check his vitals. I hadn’t slept in nearly a day and was thoroughly exhausted, but each time a nurse entered the room I leapt to his side and whispered to my wounded child, “I’m right here, Preston! I’m right here. You’re not alone.”

After the third or fourth time of reassuring Preston of my presence, I lay back down and whispered to God, “Lord, please heal my son! Please heal him.” And in the still of the night, in the quietness of my bleeding momma-heart, my soul sensed Him whispering right back to me, “I’m right here, Gwen! I’m right here. For him. For you. You’re not alone.”

Peace. I heard the voice of Peace speak His presence and tenderness into my pain. He heard me. He knew of my plight. He knew I needed a word of encouragement. Not an audible word – just a heart whisper. He was right by my side. I knew it as I remembered His Word, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). Peace.

There are times when your heavy heart-burdens cry so loudly that you struggle to hear the voice of Peace. Times when your prayers seem to go unanswered and your broken situations seem unfixable … and painful. Oh, so painful! We all know ache. We can’t get through this life without knowing ache. The Bible says that not a tear falls from your eye that isn’t known to God. (Psalm 56:8)

He knows all about your heart-burdens. He knows that you need a word of encouragement today. Hear His whisper now, friend. Whispers from His Word … from His heart, “I will never leave you or forsake you. I know your name and have engraved it on the palm of my hand. I hold your tears in a bottle and ache with you. My grace is sufficient and I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. I’m right here.” (Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 139, Psalm 56:8, 2 Corinthians 12:9, John 16:33)

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, Thank You for reminding me that You are always with me, that You see me, and that You hear my prayers. Please help me to know deeper levels of peace today.

In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn
Read Isaiah 43:1-3,5a. “But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior… Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”

How does this speak to your circumstances today? To your heart? Pray about it and journal if you’re the journaling type… then let’s meet on my Facebook page to talk about it and pray through it together.

More from the Girlfriends
If this devotion resonated with you and if you would like to learn more about how your brokenness can be reworked into a picture of God’s beauty, don’t miss Gwen’s book Broken into Beautiful. Every step of transformation begins with the heart of God. Broken into Beautiful will take you there. To order the book, go to Amazon or, for a signed copy, visit Gwen’s website:

LOVE MUSIC? Check out Gwen’s new CD, Uncluttered. Now available on iTunes! The songs of Uncluttered are purposed to sweep you away from life-noise and to focus your heart and mind on the one thing that matters: your relationship with Jesus Christ.

50 Responses

  1. Jacqui Downie says:

    Fair dinkum, this made me cry!!

    • gwen gwen says:

      Well, that rocks. Tells me that the LORD used the devotion to hit you in a tender heart place. Awesome!


      • Jenn Long says:

        Yes this did speak to me today, He has been showing this to me all week in other devotions. I am going thru a trying time in my life now where I need Him and all of Him and I need his peace. Thank you for being obedient to His voice Gwen. I will print the above out and carry it with me today.

    • Rochelle says:

      Oh how wonderfully God used this story to minister to me as I cried before him this morning! I was seeking peace as my husband faces surgery Friday! I couldn’t seem to get peace about it, and I realized it was that I needed to get quiet before God and seek his peace! He begun to rain down peace over my soul as I thought about the peace that he gave this mother during her sons surgery! I know God is with us! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your story!

  2. Jen says:

    please pray for our family we are reaaly struggling right now and it’s very hard to hear God. We are drowning in our problems… Thank you for the encouragement!

    • gwen gwen says:


      I’m sorry that you are going through such pain with your family! I just prayed for you and am humbled that God allowed the story from my momma-heart to meet you where you are.

      In Grace,

  3. WOW, Gwen another great devotion this morning. I love reading your post. God is so good; I’m sharing Ps. 34:17 & 18 with some family & friends who are having difficulties &/or heartache. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful talents.

  4. Glenda Mills says:

    I have been having problems. Haven’t received GIG since Sept 23 so I searched today to see why. While searching I began to read the articles I had missed…This one literally made me sob in a way that I haven’t in a long time. I love it when the Spirit moves in such a way. Such a cleansing heart cry today. Thank you so much for sharing this and may God Bless You and your ministry even more. RO 1:9-12

    • gwen gwen says:


      I love when the LORD moves that way! SO blessed to hear that you were moved by the message. Praise God. :)

      About the devos… sorry! That happens sometimes. Not sure why. Gremmlins? 😉 Email us at and we can forward it on to our tech team.

      Blessings in Grace,

  5. Lisa Tarpley says:

    Thank you for helping me to hear God’s whispers today!

  6. April says:

    This was such a powerful message..I truly needed this today. Thank you & God bless you

  7. Danius says:

    This brought tears to my eyes… especially beauitufl to my heart. Thank you for those words.

    • gwen gwen says:

      Awwww! Well… for what it’s worth, I cried when I wrote it!!! 😉 I think that connects us at the heart.. in CHRIST, for sure!


  8. Janice says:

    Friday’s devotion is awsome,it touched on a few situations I am going through — my heart is heavily burdened from getting along with family members to getting along co-workers! As I read GIG every morning, I pray, I read scriptures every morning, I know God is with me as he bless’ my family with blessings seen and unseen he protects us. He talks with me! but I am at a time in my life when I am surrounded by sooooo much evil, animostiy, I remind myself what God has for me is for me! Please pray for me that I become stronger and will not be concerned with other peoples thoughts of me, as I try my best to stay obedient in God’s word, and I am often tested. Most days I am humble and surrender, but others days I walk by sight and not by faith. Thank you and may God Bless you and your family

    • gwen gwen says:


      Thanks for sharing your heart. God surely is amazing and we really love doing life with you through Girlfriends in God!

      Warmly in Grace,

  9. leigh craton says:

    These scriptures and message resonated so profoundly…Just when I needed to be reminded; I am never alone and all is in God’s plans and timing.!!

  10. Shelly Stephens says:

    Thank You!!!

    you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:1-2)

    This is what ministered to me this morning! I am His and He will be with me!!! I needed both of these!

    I have been going through so much unwanted transition the last year and a half. Trying to figure things out, knowing that God has a plan and a purpose, but not knowing what those are…yet. So, the fact that He is with me and I am His is Very Reassuring to me today!!!

    Thanks And God Bless!!


    • gwen gwen says:


      Thanks for the note and for the encouragement. Sorry for the struggles you are going through. Transitions are tough, no doubt. Sure sounds like you are tuned in to the Hope to help get you through, though! Atta girl! :)

      Keep Pressing On!

  11. Bridgette says:

    Thank you, very much .

  12. Riana says:

    Thank you very much. I really needed this encouragement!!

  13. ancore! says:

    ..goosebumps all over! praise God! He is our Peace..

    • gwen gwen says:

      Gotta LOVE goosebumps from God! :) He surely is our Peace. Thanks for the message, friend!

      Blessings in Christ,

      • cindy says:

        I just have found this on the bible website. Only God led me to it. “I’m Right Here”. God spoke to me to live in my hometown,and I am having as much trouble as Jesus did. But, God promised that I would also have great opposition. He promised that he would be with me to deliver me. Your article was a confirmation of all that God has been speaking to me and over me. I thank God for you.

        • gwen gwen says:


          I’m so glad you found us and that this devotion spoke to you so personally. Keep pressing into His presence as you rest in His promises.

          Warmly in Christ,

  14. Donna says:

    Wow this really hit home. I was in the same situation on this day with my brother who has Down’s. He’s in a group home & I rec’d a call that he had to be taken to urgent care for a health issue. I also was not their, I also could not get to him….I cried a bottle of tears too!! BUT I also prayed to our God & He filled me with peace. The next day when I called my brother was doing much better & was cheerful!!! Praise our heavenly Father!! This devotion just reaffirmed what God’s been teaching me…always turn to Him; He’s is always here!! Thank you!!

    • gwen gwen says:


      I’m so glad you posted. It moved my heart. Surely we are all in this together! We can relate to one another’s heart-trials. That’s why I love my Girlfriends in God! :)

      Big Hugs from North Carolina,

  15. michele reising says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. Sometimes in the midst you feel so alone and Im reminded today Im not Alone!! I love this verse, it so spoke to me today.
    “I know your name and have engraved it on the palm of my hand. I hold your tears in a bottle and ache with you. My grace is sufficient and I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. I’m right here.” As I head into a 3rd surgery, Im not alone and He is with me! Amen!.
    Hope you have an amazing week!
    be blessed,

  16. Lora says:

    I was looking for comfort and I found it in ur story. My teenage son is so broken spiritually thru drugs, anger, etc., rebelliousness. However, shows a little sign of looking at how his life is going and maybe believing in God and his mercy. We are struggling so much, but I know that God is with us in these hard times..Please pray for us..Campos family. Blessings to you

  17. nancy kallay says:

    Thank you so much for blessing me with this experience of yours that you shared with me. Gwen, may God continue to use you as you obey him and his command.I bless you for reminding me that God is ” right beside me” even as I am going through my current trials with my husband.I pray and belive in God,but sometimes it feels like he is too far away to reach or too busy to hear when I am calling.
    I blessed this morning as I read through your story.May God bless you and biblegateway.

    • gwen gwen says:

      Thanks, Nancy.

      Even as I type this I’m able to look across the room at my son – fully healed. What a blessing. Through each step of healing God was with us during the trial of Preston’s injury… and through each day He continues to beckon us toward abiding close to Him. The Vine. With whom we can do everything. Without whom we can do nothing. Gotta love that simple, yet profound, truth.

      Blessings to you, friend.


  18. Marire says:

    love your story, very inspirational, thank you for all the scriptures, they come to me in a time of trials.

  19. Gail says:


    I just read this today and it blessed me so. My grandson has had many problems since a small child, and this year has been the most difficult ever. My heart has been devastated because I have prayed for him for all these years, and things have become so much worse. The scripture from Isaiah gives me hope. I know God loves Seth, and that He has a plan. I just get discouraged sometimes. Thank you for your encouraging words.

  20. Jenny says:

    Every once in a while I’ll have a hard time falling asleep due to my racing mind and heavy heart. From experience, I know that is when God is telling me to go to His Word so He can show me something. But I am stubborn. Even after an hour of tossing and turning, I still don’t want to get up and go get my bible out of my bag across the room… Tonight I turned over and saw my cell phone, and popped into my mind. So here I am, finding GIG for the first time at 3:30 am, and after a tearful reminder that the Lord has me in His hands, I am able to relax. Thank you for sharing your story and allowing God to use you to minister to me and so many others. God bless you!!

    • gwen gwen says:

      Wow. He’s so good. It warms my heart that the LORD allows each of us to encourage others through the cracks of our lives. So blessed that you found us… and were reminded that He’s right beside you. Always.


  21. Jennifer Cortesi says:

    Gwen, thank you! I needed this today..and while it made me cry, I am glad I took the time to “hear” the heart whisper to read it. <3

  22. Darlene says:

    This was desperately needed today. I have more than one chronic illness and one of them has never given me a reprieve from pain for 30 years. This week, I have felt hopeless and alone. I am saved and have been since 1988 but physical pain with no hope of it ending not only wears me out, it wears me down. Thanks for sharing your heart with those of us whose hearts are broken.

  23. Sandra Garcia says:

    Sigh! Tears and a thank you with love!!!
    Thank you Jesus with all of my heart!!!

  24. Kim says:

    I so needed to hear this today….
    thank you for reposting it on facebook! Tears welled up in my eyes as I read this.

    Health issues have been the topic of discussion for a year and a half now. My son was hospitalized last January for 13 days and went through physical therapy for quite some time. He also has asthma and has had flare ups this past year.

    to top it off I am having some health issues that they are having a hard time pin pointing the cause. I spent two hours at the Drs undergoing more tests this morning.

    I am just ready for everyone to be well….
    more than ready.

    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement today!


  25. Theresa says:

    Hi Gwen, This letter had me crying through it all. My heart is breaking right now and I need a touch from Jesus.. It’s hard to hold on..

  26. Veronica says:

    First I have to say THANK YOU. I’m truly Blessed to have found
    you. GOD so touched my heart through your story. I’m still sobbing but I needed that hard cleansing soul wrenching wake up cry to remind me HE’s RIGHT HERE WITH US. It’s been over a hour & I’m still crying. Amazing right? Forget the bottle, grab
    a bucket. I too have been going through a rough year. I feel like
    JOB. I’ve lost everything & the people who meant everything to
    me. Today’s my Grandson’s 16th Birthday & He’s always had my heart. Now I know THIS TOO SHALL PASS. GOD will keep

    • gwen gwen says:

      Oh, Friend. Thank you for sharing your heart. God surely is with you, hears your cries and is catching your tears. Much love from one struggling sister to another… in Christ.


  27. Nicole JonasPiper says:

    I was so blessed by your post today. I am in the middle of a separation and possible divorce for the second time. I have seven children who are going through this with me. I was feeling hopeless, although I do believe in God’s ability to heal, restore and mend. Thank you for the reminders that I am not alone…that God is indeed hear hearing, feeling, listening and guiding. Through all, He is still in control and still here loving me and holding my hand. I pray to hear His voice over the noise and pain.

    Your sister in Christ.

  28. Mary Chukwu says:

    The post was a blessing. It is reassuring to know that God is on our side as we go through life challenges.

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