Friday, January 14, 2011


Well, I've sort of been avoiding this all day but I know it's something that is in my heart to share as it's been on my mind nearly every minute since I heard.

Wednesday morning I was at work doing a yearly training course. When it was over I checked my cell phone for any texts from Wally. Sure enough there was one waiting. But this time it was not the usual 'Miss you hope you're having a good day'. Nope. Instead it was one that made my stomach turn and my heart sink.

It said: 'I read in the paper today that Bee D. is missing'.

It took me a moment or two to put into context the name, but once I did I could barely believe it.

For 7 years I was a youth worker at a church. I did this over the span of eight years.

Pastor D. started working at the church 6 months after I did. We got to know each other quickly as he was quiet but forthright with what he believed. I was openly relieved that he was the 'real deal' in his faith walk and that I would get the privilege to work beside someone who would understand my heart and support my efforts. He was a good man.

Along with Pastor D. came Bee his wife and their two daughters, one who was 14 and the other was I believe just turning 6 years of age.

They were the perfect family. Bee was ever so obliging and never went without a smile and positive word (really, I NEVER saw her grumpy or negative ever).

I got to know them well as we shared a meal together early on and then went on to lead their girls in the mid week activities as well as on Sunday mornings for the 7 years I was at the church. I got to see them grow, mature and even see the oldest get married (well I wasn't at the wedding but you get the idea).

Pastor D. and his wife were always supportive and encouraging with my work at the church, as well as with Wally and his ministry, and even when he changed jobs. They were the first to praise and uplift us, see our hearts and cheer us on. I never felt intimidated or discouraged by them ever.

There was a point when the higher ups in the greater church government were changing rules that would in the end potentially cause me to lose my job. Pastor D. came to meet me all ready with a plan of attack so that I would be able to stay on as staff. He was going to defend me.

It was then I shared that it was time for me to leave me post as I felt lead to do other things with my life. Even then he and Bee graciously let me go.

Needless to say when I received a text saying Bee was gone without a trace I was upset, in shock and even nauseous. How could this happen? Where did she go? Did someone take her? Did she leave on her own? Why? How were the girls? How was Pastor D.?

I phoned Wally briefly but he had no more info than what was already shared. Though I wasn't involved in the situation I wondered how I was going to function through the rest of my 13 hr day (clearly I'm self centered - hopefully someday I'll grow out of this). I thought about just going home but realized that would do no good and truly I had no right. Worrying over a somewhat past friend was hardly grounds for 'time off'. Bee isn't directly a part of my life now nor is her family, other than the exchange of Christmas cards and letters paired with a hug at the church doors.

None the less my mind couldn't be tamed, nor my flip flopping stomach. I couldn't remember the last time I'd worried so much.

As the day progressed I shared my feelings with a couple of co workers to ease the boggling of my mind. I couldn't believe this was happening.

I went to bed Wednesday evening wondering if Bee would be found by morning. If she would come home or perhaps some trace of her would be discovered. I tossed and turned through the night with little sleep. If I, a distant friend, was this frazzled how were Pastor D. and his girls and family doing?

By tomorrow morning 4 days will have passed and the news stories about the disappearance are now running over and over with the same information. Bee called in sick to work without her family's knowledge and then was seen leaving around 8 am Tuesday morning. There has been no trace of her since. No credit or debit card activity, and no cell phone use. She's gone.

I won't express the speculations. Some, though always possible, are too offensive to me at this time and to be truthful are only guesses. Bee has struggled with depression this past year and has been treated medically for it. She was a nurse doing social work, who apparently was challenged by her ever stressful job. As many of us are.

My greatest hope is that she went somewhere to release, to de-stress, to renew, and she has every plan to return when she's ready.

My hope is that a job meant to give didn't take.

My hope is for a fairy tale ending.

It is with an unsettled and heavy heart I hope.

Please continue to pray for this situation and for the families left in the balance waiting.

I asked Wally what it must feel like to be in Pastor D.'s place right now, or even to be one of his daughters. His response: 'It must be maddening'. A perfect description I am sure.

Please hope with me. Hope doesn't expire, even when we do.