Finding Grace Heals the Hurts of Life (Movie Review)

Billie Jo YoumansBy Billie Jo Youmans8 Minutes

With a cast of seasoned actors, Finding Grace offers an in-depth look at a common modern reality: families fractured by grief and a loss of faith. A couple needed spoiler alertsthe movie deals with some heavy issues. Tackling both an (implied) attempted date rape and suicide (along with the horrific aftermath), Finding Grace presents a believable experience of faith’s healing power. The topics are handled with much grace, and viewers will come away with a deeper understanding of healing and wholeness.

Jasen Wade stars as the overwhelmed father of a rebellious teen, Alaska Rose (played by Paris Warner). Erin Gray (Judge Harper), David Keith (Bishop Reed), Braden Balazik (Kyle Rose), and Kisha Sharon Oglesby (Julianna Foster) contribute solid performances to this layered and complex story of modern-day family life.

A Little Entertainment

A single dad with a rebelling teen daughter sets the stage for this family drama. Bitterness fuels the brokenness in Alaska (Allie) Rose, and she’s testing the limits with guys and partying. Arrested for public drinking, Allie’s lousy attitude in court nets her a sharp rebuke from the judge as well as a sentence of 150 community-service hours and a promise of jail time if she returns to court within a year.

Defiant and uncooperative, Allie begins working at a nursing homewhile God begins working in her family. His mysterious ways bring healing for the past and hope to the future. But you’ll have to watch the movie to catch a glimpse of God at work.

A Little Deeper Digging

Our world is battling a mental health crisis, and the Church has the answer: Jesus Christ. We have the privilege and responsibility of showing the world HOW Jesus heals every hurt. Finding Grace courageously confronts two gigantic problems, suicide, and depression, and reveals a glaring dichotomy. On the earthly side, it clearly shows choices have consequencesfor ourselves and others. But praise God, it shows the eternal truth that the GRACE of God conquers every earthly trouble.

Finding Grace tosses you into some deep waters, and then rescues you with an authentic message of hope and purpose – which is found in the GRACE of God. This is a movie with take-aways that lead you toward living a life of purposewhether you are 15 or 85and it’s a message desperately needed. After you watch the movie, you may want to dig a little deeper into how grace changes everything. That’s what this section offers to you.

Loving God’s Grace

It’s hard to find what you can’t define, so let’s begin by unpacking that old, oft-repeated definition of “grace:”


Can you FEEL what those words mean?

Life’s heartaches create a longing for the unearnable riches of Godpurpose, hope, and peace. When we reach the end of ourselves and realize that our very best efforts truly are trash (Isaiah 64:6), we begin to treasure the gift of GRACE. We’re designed for lives of purpose; we’re wired for hope and peace, but we lose our way.

Our loving Father understands the hurts and heartaches that cloud our thinking and blind our eyes to His goodnessand He desires to use that pain to draw us deeper into Himself. It’s why He sent His precious Son to make a way for us – only because of Jesus can God open His arms to us with abundant love!

Every time we wander away from the peace and joy of His presence, God orchestrates circumstances and creates divine connections to remind us of His love. When His grace floods our hearts and we feel His GRACE, healing happens! Nothing stands between us and the love of God when we find GRACE (Romans 8:31-39).

Loving Your Feelings

Did you notice what’s needed for healing? We must FEEL His grace. Emotions are a God-given gift we must learn to love! We’re not victims of our emotionsthey’re part of being made in God’s image. Allie and her dad focused on going on with life without going through the feelings of abandonment and grief. It’s an easy mistake to make, but we have to feel in order to heal.

Jesus demonstrated emotion, and God expresses emotion in many biblical passages. God gave us emotions as truth detectors. Emotions are real thingshormonal chemicals that affect our mind and body. But here’s the thing, they flow from our thoughts and beliefs.

Emotions follow thoughts, which is why “taking thoughts captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5) to truth keeps us in the center of God’s grace. Negative-leading emotions, those that propel you toward such things as immorality, envy, anger, or division (Galatians 5:19-21), wave a red flag. Those emotions point to an enemy invasion, a lie that’s destroying your God-given design (Galatians 5:22-23). Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work (1 John 3:8). Finding God’s grace heals the wounds of life.

Loving Your Life

Children exemplify the zest for living God wants us to have. Their delighted discoveries and joy in small things. The ever-changing stages of life tend to throw our minds into confusion – just like Allie and Mrs. Foster in Finding Grace. Without Jesus, rebellion, depression, and even suicide feel like better options than life. But WITH JESUSwho is LIFEjoy returns.

There is a purpose and hope that comes with being chosen by God. The promises of the Bible can be trusted and built upon. He is the only foundation that supports the strains of life. Spend some time with the verses below and ask God to fill you with the abundant life Jesus died to give you (John 10:10). Allow God to flood your heart with awareness of His love and let the joy overflow. Here’s a few Scriptures to focus your mind on His promises of joy: Psalm 71:23, Isaiah 55:12, and Romans 15:13.