You’re Not Alone

Gwen SmithBlog, Christian Living, Faith, Fear, Hope 16 Comments

While walking into the opening session of a conference, my husband’s cell phone rang. He answered the call, then as the emcee welcomed us to the weekend, Brad leaned over and whispered in my ear. “Preston fell on a rock at camp. They’re taking him to urgent care to get stitches in his chin.”

Deep breath in.

Less than an hour later, Brad’s phone rang again. “The doctor said Preston actually broke his jaw. They need us to pick him up and take him to Charlotte. He might need surgery.”

Gripped by his words, I struggled to think clearly … A broken jaw? Surgery? It was supposed to be just a few stitches! Bags were packed quickly and by the time darkness fell, 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 it in three places.

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 Preston’s hand while his jaw was reconstructed for seven and a half hours.

In the wee hours of the morning, surgery was completed. When Preston was wheeled to his room, Brad and I rushed to his side, and though he was heavily sedated, I reached for his hand to assure him he wasn’t alone.

“Preston, I’m right here! I’m right beside you, buddy. We love you and are with you.”

His eyes flickered open for a split second as if to let us know that he heard our love. Then he drifted back into 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 leaped to Preston’s side and whispered, “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 laid back down and whispered to God through oceans of tears, “Lord, please heal my son! Please heal him.” And in the still of the night, in the quietness of my 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.”


My soul heard the voice of Peace speak His presence tenderly to my pain. He heard me. He knew of Preston’s 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…

“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).


There are times when our heart-burdens cry so loudly that we struggle to hear the voice of Peace. There are times we struggle to remember and recognize the unsearchable, inescapable presence of God. Times when prayers seem to go unanswered, and broken situations seem unfixable and painful. Are you there now?

We all know ache.

We can’t get through this life without knowing ache. Thankfully, we’re also invited to know the Healer and the holy Healer knows all about your heavy heart burdens.

The Bible says not a tear falls that isn’t known to the Lord. (Psalm 56:8)

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, Isaiah 49:16, Psalm 139, Psalm 56:8, 2 Corinthians 12:9, John 14:27, John 16:33).


Dear Lord, Thank You for always being with me and for hearing my prayers. Please help me to know deeper levels of peace today as I soak in the wonder of Your compassionate and constant presence. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



How would your worries look different if you took God at His word and allowed His presence to inform your fears today?

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 His children, including you? If so, leave a comment and say, “I do!”


There are endless opportunities for us to worry, wander, and wonder. But that’s not God’s best for us. Though we remain broken and impacted by an imperfect world, you can get through anything in the power and hope of Jesus. That’s the message of I Want It ALL. Order yours today from Amazon or get a signed copy when you order from my shop.


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Comments 16

  1. I’m reading this in the MRI department waiting on my Husband. He has a tumour in his bowel and this blog came as a word straight from the Lord. Thank you Gwen and thank you Lord.

  2. I remember reading this story you wrote a while back. It touched my heart then and it has touched my heart again. The goodness, the faithfulness, the promises of God. He is in our today and in our tomorrow too…..either walking by us or holding us.

    I DO!!


  4. I do!!!

    Thank you for sharing this story and your writing!!! The Lord has used it when encouragement is so needed.
    Thank you!

  5. I do. Aging health issues are taking the toll on my husband and me. I do believe because God has shown and led me and will continue to be here for me.

  6. This reminded me of a time a few years back, I was still under doctor’s care, recovering from a brain aneurysm, when I lost my husband, then my mom in a two-week time period. I was sleeping maybe 3-5 hours of broken sleep, and spending most of my time in tears. Because of my brain injury, my mind would think right, and I felt completely lost & confused. I remember one night as I was tossing & turning, praying to make all the thoughts just quit so I could go to sleep, in my mind I saw Jesus holding me, and suddenly I felt a peace come over my whole body as He told me not to worry, He had a plan. I’m telling you this because I had never felt that kind of total peace before, and have not felt it the same since. The next couple of months are sort of a blur, but He did give me a plan, and even though it included some scary; very “unlike me” actions, I decided to just trust and followed what I felt Him telling me to do, which has resulted in a close relationship with HIM…

  7. Everyday I live, every breathe I take is a reminder of God’s presence. However, many times it isn’t automatic. Many times I have to remind myself that God is right here. I know He is because his word says He is. I choose to believe. I choose to reach out to Him. I choose to have Him the center of my world. But, I’m also reminded that just because He’s here, doesn’t mean He will remove obstacles or pain but that He will be with me and on the other side of it I will survive and hopefully thrive.

  8. I do. I am a middle school teacher who will have total knee replacement next Friday, May 26. I am struggling through all the “end of the year activities” and in much pain physically. Medical bills are a major financial strain. Through this devotion and one shared by a close friend today, God has revealed Himself to me and confirmed so many things. Thank you, Gwen. I miss your podcasts so much.

    1. Karen,
      I had a total knee replacement 5 months ago. Retired from a school system as well. I have been told my other knee is also in need of a total knee replacement. I talk to my Father in heaven all the time. He is my strength my stronghold in whom I will trust. I’m sure you must be ready for the knee pain to get some relief and trust me you will. You’ll have some pain but it will not be bone on bone pain. After you start some rehabilitation you will see some difference. Remember every one is different so go at this on your pace don’t push yourself to hard with your rehabilitation. If you need a friend to talk with or need prayer I’m here for you. God will take care of you! You’ll be so happy you had that knee taken care of.

  9. I do!!
    God’s timing is amazing!! On Monday; I found out about a “RES Hate Page” where a video depicted me getting killed.. RES is the school where I teach. All I could think was school shooting. I panicked. . I was scared, Authroties got involved. Today, I’m returning to work, but read this devotion that was in my school emai. I Do know God is with me!! I will cling to this devotion and God’s word all day! Thank you!

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