When the Wrong Place is the Right Place

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Encouragement, Fear, Friendship, Trials, Trusting God, Worry 22 Comments

Matt 6 Birds SQ

It is completely normal for me to run late. Especially when I’m trying to catch a flight. On this particular day after, however, I arrived at the airport much earlier than normal.

I was faced with a dilemma, pay $75 and get home two hours earlier, or save the money and enjoy some time to relax and reflect on the conference I had just left. Not feeling that I could justify the added expense, I checked my luggage, went through security, and boarded the train that would take me to my gate in terminal B.

With time to kill and a tummy to fill, I eyed the TGI Friday’s located near my gate, B21, then walked into the restaurant. The hostess led me toward the back room to be seated.

“Can I sit here instead?” I asked as we passed by a tiny booth in the middle of the restaurant.

“Sure!” She replied. “Your server will be with you in a moment.”

A beautiful young woman named Bria greeted me. She liked my hair. I liked her friendliness. She told me about her two littles – a boy and a girl who are two and three. I told her about my teenagers who are growing up far too fast. We shared smiles and conversation then she took my drink order while I turned my attention to the menu.

After she returned with my drink and recommended the salmon I told her that I would be praying for my meal and asked her if there was anything I could pray for her about.

“Yes!” She said, seeming somewhat amazed that I had asked. “That would be great. My husband has a court date this week and we really need prayer.”

She had tears in her eyes.

“What’s your husband’s name?”


She continued to wait on tables. I prayed.

Coming back to the table, she asked me what I do for a living. I told her.

“What is your husband going to court for?” I asked.

Serious face. “He was just doing a favor for a friend. The lawyers can’t even believe he was charged… but, it’s a really bad situation.”

“If convicted, how long could he possibly be in prison?” I asked gently.

“10-20 years.” She said with eyes that searched mine for hope. “I’m really scared.”

“Oh, man. I’m sorry Bria. That’s hard stuff.”

She waited on a few more customers. I prayed.

We chatted with every table visit and I told her that I would send her a few items to encourage her.

Hungry for hope, she promised to email.

She waited on a few more customers. I prayed.

When she brought my check she looked me in the eye, leaned in close and softly said, “THIS MORNING I prayed and asked God to send me a sign.” Then she leaned in a little closer and said, “I believe you are my sign. Thank you so much.”

Wow. Chill bumps.

I agreed and told her that the Lord surely wants her to know that she is loved and that He is listening. We said goodbye as new friends, knowing that we had both just experienced God.

I paid my bill and headed to my gate: B21.

I was early for my flight so I wasn’t surprised to see that the gate board did not say that the next flight was to Charlotte. After a few minutes I looked up and realized the flight on the board was too close to my flight time to make sense. So I pulled out my ticket and looked at my gate number. D21.

My ticket said D21.

I was supposed to be at gate D21. That’s in a completely different terminal.

No. Way.

And right away I knew.

I knew that the LORD had me arrive at the airport early. I knew that the LORD led me to pass up the earlier flight. I knew that the LORD had placed B21 in my mind so that I would go to terminal B and connect with Bria.

Before heading to the train that would take me to the D terminal, I ran back into TGI Friday’s to find her.

“Bria! Just wanted to let you know that my gate is D21. For some reason I thought I was flying out of B21. You’re the reason. God really DID send me to be your sign. He’s listening.”

Oh, the look she gave me.

Does God really hear our prayers? You bet He does.

My chill bumps had chill bumps.

HIS grace held us close as we hugged and said another quick goodbye. Then I headed to terminal D with a fresh awe for a God that loves so much.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?
And not one of them is forgotten before God.
Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
(Luke 12:6-7)

Dear Lord, You are such a personal, loving God! Who am I that You would see, know and care about me? Yet, You do! Thank You for Your love. Thank You for hearing me when I pray. Help me to rest in Your love, trust Your plan and move in Your leading. In Jesus’ Name, amen.



Read Psalm 18:6, “In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.”

How has God been attentive and responsive to your prayers in the past? How can and should the truth of His love for you affect your current challenges? Grab your journal and hash it out, or leave a comment below to discuss it further and encourage one another.


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Comments 22

  1. I remember lying in my room when I was in high school and writing in a journal to my future husband. I’d write all sorts of notes and questions and things I’d wonder or ask this man when I eventually met him. I would wonder where he was and what he was doing and if he was thinking about me too. It has always been such a strong desire in my heart to find a wonderful man to marry, someone who would love me and cherish me and appreciate me for the person I am. I always thought I would get married right out of college, just like my parents, so when that plan didn’td work out, I started to get discouraged. A school mate snatched my future husband away from my arms just because she had spiritual powers, all hope was lost to me before i came across the help doctor (prayerstosaverelationship@gmail.com
    ) who i confided in, i told him my long story and he helped me regain back my lover with his prayers which is now my husband today. if you have any problem email the help doctor (prayerstosaverelationship@gmail.com

  2. I need orayer. I keep praying and reading encouraging things and feel I’m not going anywhere in life and my prayers aren’t being answered.

    1. Jo Ann P., I am sorry for what you are going through…feeling as
      if your prayers are not being answered. If Jesus is your Lord and
      Savior your prayers are being answered but it may be delayed
      or the timing is not right. Sometimes God has to get not
      only us prepared, but he has to prepare others that may be
      involved in the answer also. You may be ready but they may not
      be. His timing is so much better than ours.
      The devil wants you to think God has forgotten you or
      doesn’t love you as much as He loves
      someone else. I know God’s always working behind the scenes,
      getting things ready and sending the answer. DON’T GIVE UP!!
      Don’t stop praying. You might be closer to the answer than you
      think you are.

  3. Today was our 33rd Anniversary and I received a phone call from my sister who was crying. She said her and her Husband had to put one of their beloved cats who has been with them for 15 years. Since we just put our 15 yr old beloved dog down 3 weeks earlier I knew how broken she was. I asked her if I could pray for her and her husband. I prayed for her and tried to encourage her. To be used by God is an awesome thing. I am glad I was there. Tonight we spoke briefly and she had mentioned I had prayed for her to have God’s Peace which surpasseth all understanding and she was experiencing that peace. God is so God

  4. I had to deal with stepdaughter being accused of something she shouldn’t and it was absolute hell. The worry, the lawyers fees, everything. She was lucky and got 2 years house arrest and 3 years probation. But she now is a convicted felon. Oh the heartache so thanks for the post. Do you know what happened with Bria’s husband?

  5. Thank You Gwen for your wonderful posts & FOR YOUR HONESTY in how you love God. Many in the world don’t share their hearts like this ,even the christians in the churches .
    I have just gone through very hard times, nursing my husband in his journey of the ALS disease. God stood by me in incredible ways ,showing His Love toward s us every single day , taking care of things . I never wanted this , but I learned so so much how deeply God loves me to the smallest details, that I can say it was worth it all. God gave me so much love for my husband. Even the ending was super ,beyond me ,how God answered my prayers & took him ‘home’ early ,that it surprised the medical team. Some people in the church can’t believe that , instead of mourning , I have JOY in my days now for the last seven months of being a widow. I have no fear ,but total Peace & watching as God is guiding my future steps.I do not feel alone.His LOVE is so real, so fantastic.
    You can totally trust God & all the words in the Bible are true.

  6. What a wonderful story of how God works in our lives when we least expect it! So happy for Brian that you were there for her. I hope she knows how many others are praying for her through your sharing.

  7. Thank you for sharing this. For some reason this morning, before doing my quiet time I had a nagging feeling to read a devotional from “Girlfriends in God” and I was truly blessed by your blog. I was so blessed by your story and when I read your prayer and prayed it….I cried!!!! My heart and mind couldn’t contain how a mighty sovereign God could truly love me and YES He does!!! I am overjoyed!!! It fortified in me that I should really share His love to others, by His grace. Thank you again!! God bless you more!

  8. I truly love that scripture, Mathews 6:26. When I feel lonely, broken hearted, disappointed by family members, I often think about the scripture and quickly realize how much HE loves me.

  9. I wasn’t really in the wrong place at the wrong time BUT just today an unexpected lunch date allowed time for two sisters to minister to one another and it was needed by both of us.. He always knows what we need, right on time. Praising him for the precious story of your encounter with Bria and what an awesome idea to pray for your food servers. I ( a former waitress) love that idea… Your just such a precious vessel. 🙂

  10. Thank you SOOOOO much….I REALLY needed this scripture reference today because since yesterday, I’ve been in distress.

  11. Thank you , Thank you, Thank you a lot. I really need this today. GOD Talk to me thru you. GOD BLESS YOU !!!! :):)

  12. Beautiful, my husband and I were just where he wanted us few years back we saw a horrific accident involved 3 children thier grama and a semi there were 2 fatalities due to the semi spewing down a hill hitting the car with the family. It all exploded we came up as that happen we jumped out and helped. Mind you we just returned from Honduras on a mission trip. The kids were burned bones broke. When we finally found them weeks later we found out the kids walked out of the hospital with nothing wrong. Wow God

  13. This morning I had one of those talks with God about the negativity in my life and my past that I have allowed to flourish by giving it attention. Watering it like watering weeds in a garden. I want to water the flowers and the fruits that God has planted. As I was walking back to my desk in midst of prayer I heard a voice say “Focus on God.” So that is what I plan to do.

    Today as I was reading my morning devotional, it talked about Jeremiah 29:11 and I asked God to help me walk in his plan. I trust God but how do I fully trust Him? I asked God to lead me to verses today to help me focus on positive things. I began writing them in a journal with the plan to focus each day on God and the blessings.

    I realized today that I want to walk in the path that God has laid out for me, but I don’t really know how. I am praying that from my life to my finances, he will help me make Godly decisions. Reading your devotional today was a confirmation to me in my quest. I found it through my Girlfriends in God email. The thing is, I haven’t read one of them in about six months, but today I did. Today I cried as I finished, because I knew this was an answer from God that He is listening and He will help me.

    Sorry for the long post. Thank you

  14. Ten years ago, after my abortion, I was so worrried I had committed an unpardonable sin. I started searching the Internet to see of there was one. I learned of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I immediately panicked and had an unwanted thought about the Holy Spirit and cried innfear that I had committed it. I had never worried about unwanted thoughts until reading about others’ and of course some of their’s became mine. After I saught help from my preacher and others they explained to me that it is a rejection of Jesus bc he is the only way for forgiveness. One day a butterfly came and just sat on my shoulder amd I felt peace and thought of Jesus. My mother was standing there and said thes same thing. The next morning at church there was a beautiful butterfly on the front of the church bulletin.:)

    1. Melanie, I want to put your mind at ease once and for all
      about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. It is actually a deliberate
      act and the fact that you even panicked and you care whether
      or not you committed blasphemy shows that you DID NOT, since
      someone would have to be aware they did so and not care at all.
      Abortion, along with any sin, (except for not receiving Christ
      as Savior), is forgiveable. Just know that if you have confessed it
      as sin and asked forgiveness you are FORGIVEN! If you did not
      love God you would not care about having had an abortion.
      It’s not an unpardonable sin. In fact, I worked as a counselor at
      a crisis pregnancy center and saw how God uses women who have
      had abortions or crisis pregnancies to minister life to other women.
      God will use this somehow….just allow him to make you a vessel
      of healing to others. And to those who have never received Christ
      as their savior just ask Him to forgive you of your sins and to
      be your lord and savior and you will be born-again and saved for
      all eternity. Acknowledge that Jesus is the son of God and that
      He died for your sins and receive the gift of eternal salvation.
      The devil tries to make people think they have gone too far and
      it’s too late…don’t listen to his lies.

  15. Thank you for today’s devotion. I recently had an unexpected leg amputation and it seems like as soon as things begin to improve, something else goes wrong. I am trusting God’s timing in all of this, but it is a comfort to hear those Bible verses that remind me that He Knows and He is in control.

  16. I am enjoying reading your devotions each day! Right now, I’m tying soooo hard to believe that God hasn’t brought my family and I this far… just to leave us!

  17. I am suffering from work-related stress issues and have been signed off work until the end of March. I am in turmoil because I feel God wants me to resign~and to get a better life/work balance, but I have bills to pay etc etc. Yet I know the Lord has a plan as in Jeremiah. J

  18. I am 19 years old, and other than a few babysitting jobs, I don’t work outside of home a whole lot. I do help my mom out with homeschooling a few of my younger siblings, and I do help out quite a bit around the house and with our animals (we have a small farm), especially now that all of the sheep and goats are having their babies, but I have struggled with really being content with where I am. I have told myself over and over again that God has me right where He wants me, but yesterday, He used my dad to reassure me that I am having a positive effect on others, and that I am growing and maturing. God did not make a mistake when He decided to keep me here at home for a little while, and He did not make a mistake with you.

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