When bad things happen to good people was the topic of my conversation with Jennifer Eikenhorst on a recent episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast. Jennifer shared how on an ordinary day, her life changed in the most horrific way when she was involved in an accident that killed another individual. If you missed that episode, you can listen here (When Bad Things Happen to Good People.) We never think something like that will happen to us. She shared the struggles that result after a moral injury, and how she continues to find hope despite being involved in an accidental death. There was so much more that we could have covered in that interview but just didn’t have time so I’ve asked her to share with you here.
Our Identity in Christ is Certain
By Jennifer Eikenhorst
Have you recently felt yourself drifting? Maybe your hope is waning or fading because your gaze is on distractions the world offers daily. You were certain you were anchored in faith but now you are starting to doubt. Maybe life has recently reminded you of that verse from The Book of James about a wave tossed by the wind:
James 1:6 – But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. (NKJ)
I personally love the beach, it’s my happy place and I love the lull of waves of any kind and every size. Give me the tide, the sounds, the sun, the sand on my feet! The wonder of the ocean reminds me of how big God is and how great is the majesty of his creation. However, the storms of life can bring crashing waves of doubt, depression, anxiety, fear, or feelings of being lost when we are not where we thought we should be.
The truth is we are not wired for uncertainty, even as believers. Life’s curve balls that throw us off course can be a real struggle. When I feel this in my spirit I take a moment to pause and reevaluate my identity in Christ. Identity is your authentic truth and often we identify with labels that are not eternal. Anything and everything in this world is subject to change, disappoint and even decay according to scripture. But friends, our souls (our deepest truths) were designed by God on purpose, for a purpose, unique and steadfast in His glory for our lives.
Knowing who we are, and whose we are in Christ Jesus empowers us with courage and resilience to push back against winds of change. Who God made you to be, his promises and the gifts he gave you are eternal.
Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of Mind in Action says, “When we implant God’s word into our minds, we fill our brains with the powerful environmental influence of God’s love, which directly impacts our physical and mental health in a positive direction.”
In 2016 after a devastating car accident, I was thirty-six years old and in an instant I was in the throws of the waves. I was tossed about emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually. My life as I knew it was upside down. God’s love is what saved me, he was my comfort and my hope. Knowing what scripture says about identity is why I am free from the bondage of shame, I walk in grace and live on to honor what Jesus has done through my darkest storm.
Hebrews 6:19-20 – This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Jesus went before me and calmed the sea because I made him my Lord and Savior, His word was buried in my heart, therefore, I was tethered to his truth. I realized the blessings and labels I identified with could change in a heartbeat. Soccer mom, teacher, coach’s wife, healthy, normal, all the words that describe my character resume were not my absolute truths.
What does scripture say about identity?
I am a child of God. (1 John 3:2)
I am loved by God. (John 15:9)
I am accepted and chosen. (Eph 1:4,6)
I am God’s handiwork. (Ephesians 2:10)
I am a temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 3:17)
I am equipped. (Hebrews 13:21)
I am gifted. (1 Peter 4:10)
You, Dear One, are beloved and you are tethered with love.
Write it on post it notes, sing these truths in the shower, in the garden, washing dishes! Refocus your sight on Him or get to know who He created you to be and the rocking waves will not overthrow you. Perhaps in this moment life looks so different you are realizing some of your identity was not built on eternal truth but the shaky foundation of this world. Who you are in Christ and who Christ is in you will not change despite what unforeseen circumstances may surround you. Meditate on God’s word, bask in the truth of scripture, seek an intimate relationship with your creator and declare who God says you are over your spirit.
Who does God say you are?
You are, perfectly and wonderfully made.
You have purpose, you were planned, called and equipped.
You are loved, redeemed, restored, adored, invited, worthy and enough.
You are not your diagnosis, labeled by your divorce, forsaken or punished because of your secrets from your past.
Take heart in who he made you to be and then share your hope-filled perspective with others because someone needs to hear it!
For His glory,
Host of Accidental Hope Podcast
May I pray for you?
Thank you that you never change, I can rest in that everlasting truth. Help me to fully seek and embrace who you called me to be in my special talents, abilities and gifts. Help me to focus on who you say I am, to establish my identity in you and your word. Thank you for loving me through the storms of life.
In Jesus’ precious name,
About Jennifer Eukenhorst
Jennifer Eikenhorst, host of Accidental Hope is a wife, mom and middle school teacher from Waco, TX. She and her husband of 18 years, Chris, have four amazing children ages 7-17 years. In their 18 years of marriage, Jennifer and Chris have faced many trials, some involving life-altering experiences, even death. She declares God’s glory and reflects through her testimony of beauty from ashes each time a challenge came. She hopes to inspire hope that God will always show Himself faithful in all circumstances. She would tell you she loves Jesus and helping others know Him as their hope and redeemer.