You know those stories of God’s faithfulness and grace that capture your heart and make you praise Him? Becky Bennett’s story is one of those. I found Becky through Instagram and cried when I read her testimony. Her strong faith in Jesus through the midst of the storms of life is anchored in His steadfast love. She is a women who choose joy in the midst of suffering, and her joy is contagious. I know you will be blessed by today’s “A Life Lived Beautifully” feature! Grab a cup of coffee and meet Becky!
Introduce yourself like we are having a cup of coffee together. 🙂 What kind of coffee/tea would you drink?
Hi there! I’m Becky Bennett—I’m a follower of Christ with a huge crush on the worship leader I’m married to, momma to three beautiful littles: Ava (5), Avianna (3), and Jack (2), and creator of To Choose Joy. I’m a Maine girl loving life in western New York and I battle a nerve disorder called CRPS. I’m sipping scalding black coffee—the same cup I’ve forgotten about and reheated three times already.
What is your definition of a “life lived beautifully”?
I would say it’s a life of surrender and total dependence—dying to ourselves at the feet of a kind and loving and perfect God, and recognizing our moment-by-moment need for Jesus. It’s a life of gazing and seeking—digging into the Word to learn His heart and His ways, and desiring to pour that back out in love and humility, in grace and truth.
When did you start following Jesus?
I was four years old—Christ had been my reality, and I knew that He needed to be my forever. He was so gracious to grab ahold of me so early—I wouldn’t have made it through without Him. I was incredibly shy, and He was my voice. I was terribly fearful, and He was my safe place. Through devastating losses and painful trials through the years, He has never let me down and never left my side.
What are some verses you constantly cling to and bring life to your soul?
I Thessalonians 5:16-18. It’s my anthem: “Rejoice always, Pray continually, Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
My face-down prayer every morning is Psalm 51:10, 12: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me…Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.”
All of the Psalms—I desperately love the Psalms—but if I had to zero-in, I’d probably say Psalm 27 (1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear…4: One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple…13-14: I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”). It’s a constant reminder of what I want the cry of my heart to be and of the security of my soul in His hands.
How do you integrate sharing the Gospel with creativity?
In the fray of life, it’s so easy for me to slip into distraction and worry and stress. My own need to be re-focused by the Truth is really what inspired me to start my shop with hand-lettered Scripture art. I love writing, so creating Bible Studies and blogging have been outlets for me to pour out whatever God puts into me. I’m also a dancer, and at this point in my life, I get to use that in leading worship for the kids at our church—I love choreographing motions that help them to worship God with all of themselves!
How did God direct you to start your blog To Choose Joy?
My husband always says that dancers are the most graceful people on stage and the clumsiest on flat ground. Not one to try to prove him wrong, in 2014, I rolled my ankle. Walking. On flat ground. And that seemingly-innocent rolled ankle landed me in the hospital for four days and nights. As I lay in that hospital bed, not being able to imagine what was ahead of me, I knew I needed truth. I asked Sean to read the third and fourth chapters of Philippians to me again and again, and Philippians 4:4 stood out to me like it never had before. It says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice.”
Immediately after that, with three children under the age of four and a job teaching seventeen ballet classes a week, I was diagnosed with a debilitating nerve disorder called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). It has no cure; only the hope of remissions. It causes constant pain that’s medically rated worse than un-medicated childbirth and amputation of a digit without anesthesia.
We didn’t know if I would ever walk again. For many months, I was bound to a bed and a wheelchair. I couldn’t hold my babies. I certainly couldn’t dance. My husband had to carry me from room-to-room. Even that was excruciating. But God was there. And I determined myself to rejoice.
God put it on my heart to start blogging—to share the hope I had in Him through this awful trial. To share His joy. To share that He is sovereign and constant and SO good, no matter what is going on in our lives. Two weeks later, the pain spread into my dominant hand. I couldn’t use that, either. But God was my strength. And He was more than enough.
At the end of 2015, my dream of sharing God’s joy expanded. I turned my blog into a full website and started writing and teaching Bible Studies to encourage women to dig deeper into God’s Word and to cling to Him through life’s trials.
What is the vision behind To Choose Joy?
Focus changes everything. I want to point people to the Truth through Bible Studies, the blog, and wall art. My dream is to help women strategically place the Truth in their unique lives where they need it most—on-the-go—for strength, for resilience, and so they can experience real joy in every step.
What are some books you are currently reading?
I always have so many books going at once…right now, I’m in the middle of Children of the Day (Bible Study) by Beth Moore, A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller, Intentional Parenting by Doug and Cathy Fields, and In This House We Will Giggle by Courtney DeFeo.
If you could tell every woman reading this blog one thing God has laid on your heart, what would it be?
That true joy in Christ really is available to us in every step we take. That God doesn’t change when our circumstances change. God tells us to rejoice always (Philippians 4:4), and He doesn’t ever ask us to do anything that He won’t also give us the strength to do. True joy isn’t about happiness—it’s about recognizing God’s grace in everything and through everything and rejoicing because of it. When we grab ahold of that, it changes everything. No pain can overcome us. No trial can defeat us. No darkness can hide us. My most recent Bible Study is called, “Joy Challenge,” and it’s all about how the joy of the Lord really is our strength.