My name is Jennifer Eicher. I am 44 years old, and have two amazing, loving daughters and two lively, energetic granddaughters. I have one younger brother, whom I am insanely proud of, and a very large extended family. I am currently employed as a caseworker for the Department of Human Services.
I was born in Greensburg, PA, but grew up in Kentucky and Texas, returning to PA when I was 15. I like to think that exposure to different places and people has shaped the person that I am. I know my family has shaped me as well, both for good and for bad. I am a child of divorce, as are my children. I also owe many of my values, such as a love of learning and a compassionate heart, to those who came before me.
I have a passion for helping people and speaking out for the voiceless; without a doubt, my thoughts on women in the Middle East, homeless people, victims of domestic violence and persons suffering with mental illness will influence my articles here. In 2011-after years of starting and stopping my studies-I graduated from Seton Hill University with a B.A. in Human Services, and am currently pursuing a Master’s in Organizational Leadership. I hope to use this opportunity to advocate for and educate people about issues of importance to me.
I live by two mantras: seek knowledge and seek beauty. Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, let us reason together.” I love to learn; that is why I read, debate, travel, go to museums etc. Of course, the Lord is the source of all wisdom, so his Word is the best place to start. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” As to beauty-in nature, art, music, acts of kindness, wherever it be found-it simply makes me happy. I love Romans 1:20 “The invisible things of God are clearly seen through his creation, so that men are without excuse.” Our Lord emanates beauty, just look at the stars and they will testify.
I was once told that every testimony should follow the same basic format; “I was…but then God…” For those of us who were raised in church or accepted Jesus at a young age, it can feel as though our stories are not as important, but they are, and I encourage everyone to write theirs down and share it. Life became a bit precarious for me when I was 16. We moved out of state after my first year of high school, and I did not feel I fit in at my new school or church. My parents were also headed towards divorce. I started dating a man who was over 3 years older than I, and when I was 17, found myself pregnant and engaged to be married. My new husband was not a Christian at the time, and suffice it to say that the early years were not what I expected. Around the time that I turned 21, God rescued me for the first time. I felt that life was so out of control, that I did not know where to turn. I was desperately unhappy. I remember standing in my kitchen, reeling drunk after having been out with some girlfriends, yelling at God to just leave me alone. I was on a self-destructive path, and I did not appreciate his interference. He did not leave me alone-unlike us, he knows a cry for help when he hears it- and over the next few years, life improved. I gave birth to my second baby girl when I was 22, then we started attending a church, and my husband accepted Christ. I wish that I could put a period here and say that was the end. Sadly, we failed to deal with some of our past hurts and sins, and our relationship fell apart slowly. In 2005, I was forced from my home, with no job, no money and nowhere to go, while enduring a very public, very messy divorce in front of the church…oh, did I mention, my husband had been acting youth pastor? That congregation chewed us up and spit us out, all four of us. I know they did not mean to, but the gossip, the rumors, the pity and the silence; one was more stunning and unbearable than the next. BUT GOD had a plan, and piece by piece, he helped me put my life back together. He put people in my life who kept me close to him when I may have been tempted to stray. (Let me pause to thank the people of Revolution Church who could not have known what they were in for, but stood by me through many a tear-filled service.) I stand here today with more joy and confidence than I ever thought possible. It is an ongoing journey; there are times when I still struggle with trust issues, bitterness and anger. The Christian life is not a rose garden; if you have studied the Bible at all, you already know that. But what I have-what we have-is a source of strength to sustain us.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. ~Psalm 121:1-2