So after awhile I decided to try something else and insert this scene much earlier in the story. It just felt right. And that's when things gelled. Instantly I knew I'd hit upon the answer and everything flowed from there.
As I got to thinking later about this phenomenon, I realized something. It wasn't "me" who found the right answer. God was trying to nudge me in the right direction all along but I didn't know it. Now I'm a Christian, and that overflows into everything I do (hopefully!). But often I'll try to do stuff on my own, including writing, before I'll seek out God's guidance. I don't want it to be that way.
A big question we ask ourselves sometimes is, "Was that leading I felt me, or was it God?" Sometimes we just give our little brains too much credit! Of course it was God. He speaks to us through our spirits, so that's why it sounds like us, but it was still God. Those gut hunches, little nudges, and all around intuition on what to do is how the Holy Spirit leads us. If it's something positive and good, chances are it was from God. We need to recognize that as writers.
God doesn't usually lead by shouts from the clouds. His still small voice is often all we'll hear. So the next time you're sitting down at your keyboard, or even trying to decide how to best plan your day, take a second and listen. Really listen. That little nudge to switch your schedule or swap out scenes if you're a writer, could very well be God speaking to you.