Getting to where she is today Becky Rupp travelled a long, hard road pocked with drugs, alcohol abuse, and failed relationships. She spent most of her life trying to fill a hole. When she thought she had hit rock bottom there was always another obstacle in her path sending her astray from what she really wanted in life: love.
Her story begins in childhood. Her parents divorced when she was in fourth grade. Two years later, in June 1998, her father was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. He passed away in November of the same year; Becky had just turned 13.
“When my dad died it turned everything upside down,” says Becky, who tried to process her own relationship with God and the death of her father by cutting herself. She attempted suicide in seventh grade. All she could see around her was judgement and anger. “There was an internal battle. There was something inside of me that said, ‘I love God, but none of this makes sense.’”
After high school, self-harm turned to a form of codependency.
“I got thrown into the next relationship, then the next relationship. I was trying to find someone to make me feel good about who I was even though I wasn’t even sure who that was,” says Becky.
The road did not ease up. She worked but drank away her paychecks. She floated between women’s shelters and homelessness. Pregnant and struggling she found a place to pull over at the Milagro House. Catching her breath for a bit she had a healthy baby girl and completed a semester at HACC.
“I had to learn to live by somebody else’s rules, which wasn’t an easy place to be. Looking back, life wasn’t working on my terms, so maybe doing it someone else’s way was a good thing,” says Becky. “I still hadn’t dealt with all the emotional stuff. I moved out on my own and things were still a mess.”
The next detour turned her onto cocaine and when she awoke after a three-day bender checked herself into rehab. Despite days under suicide watch, a lack of adequate insurance cut her stay short and she was back out on the street.
“I felt like a massive failure. I wanted to get my daughter back. I wanted to get my life together,” says Becky, who now has reached the turning point in her journey.
She went back to a woman’s shelter in York where she had stayed at prior to having her daughter. This led her to a sermon on God’s love and she started working in the ministry. Religion had always been part of her life, but she never thought about church work as a profession until seven years ago.
“I always had a desire to help people,” says Becky, telling her story in a gathering room at Lancaster Bible College where she majors in the Women in Ministry Leadership program. Her regimen of bible, leadership, and women’s issues classes keep her in school five days a week. She works full time at a group home and helps once a month at a rehab in Hershey with their worship meetings. When not spending time with her 9-year-old daughter—who is good balance between tree climber and unicorn lover—she draws, writes, knits, and reads. The pastime she uses to connect with ministry is music.
“Music has always been something that has spoken to me and I connected with. At this stage, being focused on God and ministry it just makes sense,” she says.
Music is a bit cathartic, it serves as a connection from her present state to her past. Her dad played guitar, and her mom and grandmother played piano and sang when she was young.
“My dreams are huge,” she says, with her ultimate goal of “loving people and helping people” firmly on the horizon. “I think everyone, on some level, wants that.”
After graduation from LBC, she wants to be a part of a ministry that shares expectation-free values. She wants to work with single moms who are struggling with substance abuse, spousal abuse, or any other kind of hardship. Her bit of wisdom to people on the long, hard road she traveled: Don’t push away the people who love you and have your best interest at heart; listen to those people.
“God loves me no matter what, and I can’t screw that up.”