How grace hems us in

Column Post by Lisa Easterling

A week ago I set a fire I didn’t mean to set. I posted “Fifty Shades of Grace” with the best of intentions. Simply put, I was asking believers to stop biting one another, to consider the redemptive side of the book Fifty Shades of Grey. The post resulted in offending some beautiful people I dearly love, and creating a firestorm of misunderstanding that left me reeling.

Sadly my point became so badly muddled that it appeared I was promoting the reading of the controversial trilogy when that was not at all what I intended. I do not recommend the books, and will not be reading them.

But this is more than a simple case of being misunderstood: I entered the forest with only half a map.

What I mean is that I was arguing one facet of an issue and didn’t discover the scope of its magnitude until those I had unwittingly offended began taking me to task. Looking back, I can see that I had it coming. I lost sight of the big picture, and I lost sight of my audience. I unintentionally placed in harm’s way the very people God has called me to help.

“You hem me in, behind and before.” Psalm 139:5

God has the ability to shed His grace on His children in numerous ways. In this case He sent me some special friends who cradled my heart and showed me the way more clearly. These precious ladies may never fully know what an impact they had on me this week. I count myself profoundly blessed, and was shown what both Christian leadership and abiding friendship look like. I’ve spent the past seven days prayerfully asking God to use what they shared to grow me in ways I can’t naturally envision.

We’ve always taught our children that the mark of true leadership is humility, and that virtue is never more highlighted than in instances where we are faced with admitting we were wrong and asking for forgiveness. I was a poor leader this week, but I long to be a better one.

I stand humbled and more grateful than ever for grace. To those I offended, I sincerely apologize and beg forgiveness. I pray we might all remain teachable, that we continue to stand vigilant against anything the Enemy would use to harm God’s people, and that we always remember to extend to others the sweet grace that God extends to each of us, always with the goal of a beautiful restoration story.

Because grace always hems us in with His hope.

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P.S. We’d love to know your thoughts, so please be sure to comment below. Each of our commenters will be entered in a drawing for our current FREE book giveaway, Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship by author Teena Stewart. 

Lisa Easterling is a lifelong resident of the Tampa Bay area alongside her husband Steve, five children, and two grandchildren. A pioneer for home education in Florida, she has served in various areas of Christian ministry for the past 32 years. Lisa is a lifelong writer, editor, creative writing coach, and Site Director for Write Where It Hurts. Her favorite place to write is near the ocean, and she particularly loves helping others to fall in love with words. Lisa blogs at and can be reached by following @writepraylove on Twitter or emailing

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

2 thoughts on “How grace hems us in

  1. I am sending you warm, healing hugs, Lisa! I sincerely believe that there are occasions in which blogs and computers prevent our true message to reach others. Unintentionally, we may write words that are meant for good, except not all individuals comprehend the meaning. Accidentally, miscommunication happens and this may set up an unnecessary conflict.

    I’m praying God will pour out His grace, love, and peace upon you. May God turn this negative circumstance into something positive to use for His higher glory.

    • Thank you so much, my sweet friend. God never lets us go, and He has the most beautiful ways of dispensing His grace, blessing both the giver and the receiver. Love you, girl!

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