Rachelle Beckner

My story shows how God is faithful and woos us -- even when we don't know it. I didn't grow up in a Christian home, but had relatives who tried to be Christian influences. At the time, I only saw them as people trying to stuff religion down my throat. I had a relative who works in the church and told me at six that I needed to be saved. These relatives forced me to recite the sinner's prayer while stopped at a stoplight. I thought I did what I was supposed to do but never heard from God. Through college and my early to mid-20s, I live a confused life -- making terrible decisions and trying to find myself and meaning in life. When my grandmother died (who I was closest to), I fell into a depression as I couldn't understand the meaning of life. My husband jokes that this was my "searching" period. I had every self-help and new age book on the market at the time. I dated a series of men who didn't value me at all. I wish I loved myself more and understood how God viewed me as a precious child of His. (Honestly, this is something I still struggle with today, but I'm improving in that area.) During this time, I wrote in a journal about the type of man I wanted to spend my life with. It seemed impossible because there were polar opposites listed. For example, I wanted a man who would be rugged and fish with me and also take me to a see a symphony. Again, all the traits seemed impossible. I wanted a man who cherished me and who I adored just as much. I moved back from to WV (my home state) from FL and continued working as a journalist. On the weekends, I would visit my sister at WVU, where she attended and located in our hometown. During one October visit, we attended a haunted hayride. I hate anything scary. My future husband noticed me early that evening. I dismissed him thinking he's a young college student. We soon learned we were the same age and he knew I didn't like scary things. He hung around me as we went through the haunted house, knowing I would cling to him when I got scared. This was the start of our relationship. Fast forward seven months, we got engaged. Fast forward 5 more months and I asked my soon to be father in law why I never heard from God. His reply was maybe I never accepted God on my own terms that day when I was six. A month before we were to wed, I accepted Jesus as my savior in a small country church in WV -- one started by my husband's great grandfather. Our lives have always been on the fast track and we've had some big valleys and some big highs. God was with us through it all. He was there nudging my husband to come back to him (four months before we got wed and he broke his back -- a long story.) He was there in times when our marriage nearly failed; during the births of our two daughters; during unemployment; moves; illnesses; promotions; celebrations like a graduate degree. Life isn't easy but it is easier with God. I wish I had learned this earlier in my life.

My Life

Favorite Quote

A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.

Friends describe me

as energetic, blunt, passionate, outgoing

My hobbies

F45, movies, reading, chilling by a fire

Fantasy dinner guests

Ernest Hemingway, Julia Roberts, the Obamas

Best advice I ever received

Small daily steps add up to big changes.

My undergrad alma mater

West Virginia University

My worst subject in school


In college I drove

a Hyundai Excel (hatchback

If I weren't a professor, I would

find a way to make a living being a reporter again.

Favorite books

Old Man and the Sea, the whole HP series, the Mitford series, Outwitting the Devil, First We Make the Beast Beautiful

Favorite movies

ooh... so many. I love movies. We have Friday Night Family Movie Night. All of the marvel movies. The HP movies. About a Boy. Love Actually (pretty much anything with Hugh Grant.)

Favorite city

Not a big city gal. I love quaint small towns -- like Green Bank, WV, where we visit annually; Greenville, SC; or Manteo, NC. We do like to visit DC occasionally.

Favorite coffee

Dirty Hippie from Moe Joe's

Nobody knows I

Not much that nobody knows. I tell too much.

My latest accomplishment

Regaining my health. After 18 long months of failing health and little answers from medical professionals, I'm happy to say I'm on the road to recovery, which I found through my own perseverance and research.

Current Research

Health Communication