Today’s Truth

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 cell phone 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.”

Less than an hour later, Brad’s cell rang again. An update.

“He said that Preston broke his jaw,” Brad said with a tone of disbelief. “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! 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.”


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).


There are times when our heavy heart-burdens cry so loudly that we struggle to hear the voice of Peace and to remember the unsearchable, inescapable presence of God; times when our prayers seem to go unanswered and our 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 our eyes that isn’t known to God. (Psalm 56:8)

He knows all about your heart-burdens.

Hear His whisper now. 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 light of your constant presence.

In Jesus’ name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Read Isaiah 43:1-3,5a. Identify the promises found in this passage. Do you believe that this is the heart of God for all of His children… including you? Journal your answer or swing by my blog or Facebook page to take the conversation deeper.

More from the Girlfriends

Ready for a fresh faith adventure? Today’s GiG devotion is adapted from Knowing God by Name by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, & Mary Southerland by permission of Multnomah, division of Random House, Inc. This is the perfect book for individual study or for gathering a group of friends in what we call GiG Groups. With impactful devotions, study questions, journal pages, and free on-line video intros, this book is a resource you’ll refer to time-and-time again.

7 Responses to “I’m Right Here”

  1. Gem says:

    Hi Gwen,

    I will be praying for your son. I always get goose bumps whenever I read your devotion or watch you. I feel your bible verses are the things God wants to tell me. I need God’s help too and He’s the one getting me through my sorrow. Please include me in your prayers to overcome all my trials. Thank you and get well to your Preston.

  2. Bridget says:

    Hi Gwen
    you insipire me so much, you speak to my situation. i have most of the times feel am all alone, i have felt i am fighting the battles alone. may that voice of peace come into my life. i and my kids are going through tough time trying to be accepted by people of this world. i have alot of questions at times i wish i was able to talk to GOD face to face and ask him many things.
    You are a blessing Gwen.

  3. LAURA says:

    Prayers! I know looking at my own children how precious they are in my sight. To be loved by God, honored by God that he would withstand the fire with us, protecting us. I want to sing of his love forever. I am sorry you missed your retreat but so happy the Lord brought you safely to your son. That he knows God is with him and saw what he needed and provided it. You:)

  4. Sandra says:

    Wow, talk about heartstrings! This whole message pulled at mine. I was not feeling well when I woke up. I am alone, I am concerned. I read your words over and over. Preston, I am right here, you are not alone. Before I came to the end of your story, I knew God was talking to me through your words. I needed this, right here, right now. “Worry is concern without prayer.” A friend told me that a long time ago. I need to pray more, worry less, and know God is right here, he is with me, I am not alone. Thank you for your message today. It is just what I needed to start my day!

  5. Pam says:

    I have heard this voice of “Peace” before too. It comforts me to this very day.

  6. Sky says:

    Hello there dear Gwen,
    I am learning more and more how to lean on God in every situation. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have a child go through that but I know God has blessed you with a strong faith and He fills you with His love. Thanks for sharing this it really helped me take the focus off of myself and onto others. Because we are all part of the Church. Please keep me in your prayers. I need freedom from fear and to feel God’s love deeper. Thanks for all you do. Your posts always move me. God Bless you and your whole family. Much Agape.

  7. Jessica says:

    I don’t know why each time I am shocked how God places just the right devotion and Bible Verses to read. It happens time and time again. He knows I struggle on the weekends that my son is not with me. I need His Peace, the only peace strong enough to calm my heart. Thank you Heavenly Father, for Your Word, Your Strength, and Your peace.

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