Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

The Beauty of Second Chances

Second chances.

It’s something we all want, but something that is often hard to give.

I am so thankful for the gift of second chances. After my first marriage, I longed to have a second chance at marriage. It’s such a blessing to have a marriage that is not characterized by verbal and emotional abuse. It is wonderful to be in a marriage where I know my husband loves me and is faithful. It has been a true gift to see what it is to be loved well, to be loved as Christ loves us.

But how often do we fail to give others a second chance? I’m not talking about the abusive ex-spouse. These toxic individuals have to prove change over a period of YEARS even DECADES before we give them the space to have any influence on our lives.

What about the friend who treated you poorly but has since come back and apologized? What about the child who has walked away from the values you instilled in him or her but has come back seeking reconciliation? What about the drug addict who has taken the necessary steps to go through rehab? To follow the 12 steps?

How quickly do we extend the olive branch and offer a second chance?

I am so thankful God is a God of second chances..and third chances…and fourth chances…and…

The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
    nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
    he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
    is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
    tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are;
    he remembers we are only dust
. Psalm 103:8-14

What a beautiful reminder of the kindness and compassion of our Savior. It doesn’t matter how many times we mess up or how badly we treat Him, He is always slow to get angry. He always removes our sins as far as the east is from the west. He remembers how weak we are…that we are only dust.

Can I just get a praise Jesus?!?!

There is nothing more beautiful to me than the story of someone who received a second chance and made something beautiful. I love hearing stories or ordinary lives turned extraordinary through the painful messes we make in our lives.

I love hearing stories of those who find beauty in the broken life.

There’s a new movie The Way Back starring Ben Affleck set to release March 6, 2020. I must warn you the story is rated R for some real life language. It depicts the life of a drug addict who is given a second chance at life and finds the beauty of redemption, the beauty in a broken life.

I am pretty picky about the movies I see. I usually choose those that provide wholesome entertainment, that touch me at a deep level. I am a huge fan of the Kendrick brothers (The War Room, Overcomer, etc)—not because the movies are excellent examples of cinematography but because I am always looking for a reminder of God’s goodness and His grace. The Kendrick brothers have a way or portraying God as who I know Him to be, even if our stories are never tied up with a neat little bow the way their movies do.

I also enjoy movies based on true stories. Unbroken, the story of Louis Zamperini, was a remarkable story of the triumph of the human spirit. I haven’t seen the second part of the story where Zamperini found Christ, but I have read the book and know the rest of the story. His triumph over life and hard times was because of the power of Christ at work in His life.

Even stories such as Lone Survivor leave me wanting more, wanting to be a better person. I struggle with the violence and the language, but I also know it is true life. It’s the world in which we live. While I don’t want to be stained by the world, I do want to see the power of one life that changes his or her world for the better.

And this is the story of The Way Back. It is the real story of a drug addict who reluctantly accepts the opportunity to become a high school basketball coach. Through his second chance, he finds the hope for something more.

You want the next amazing part?

I get to give away two Fandango movie tickets so you can go see a movie free!!!!

All you need to do is comment on my Facebook post that you want to be entered in the drawing. You can also comment on my blog post. But you have to get me your address so the tickets can be mailed to you! The last time I did a giveaway, the winner never sent me an address. I don’t want that to happen to you.

If you want to check out the trailer for the movie, you can click here:

You can also check out the following links for more information:


Instagram: @thewayback

Twitter: @TheWayBackMovie


I can’t wait to send some movie tickets your way…and to see an inspirational movie depicting the beauty of redemption.