Overcoming When it is Just Too Much

Deb has faced more than any one human should have to in her life. She has seen more, dealt with more, and lived through more than I hope I ever have to.

She has lived through times we read about, hear about, and that become the news. We think, “I’m so glad that isn’t me.”

It is Deb’s life.




3 years ago, in October 2011, Deb’s twin brother David found a job via Craigslist. He happily notified his family and friends before loading up all his possessions in a U-Haul and driving from Virginia to Ohio.

The night before he was to meet his new employer he called Deb. That was the last time she would ever talk to him.

The silence over time began to worry Deb. She couldn’t function. She knew something was wrong because David hadn’t contacted her. She couldn’t eat. She laid awake at night running scenarios through her head and calling his cell phone to leave messages.

“I tried to keep that hope but deep down knew he couldn’t be found alive. Some people have referred to it as a “twin connection”. It might sound weird or odd, I just knew.”

She spent hours searching for clues and trying to find out anything that might giver her a hint to her brother’s whereabouts.

With nothing left, she relied on her faith in God. One evening she picked up her Bible and opened it. The Bible fell open to Psalm 61:1-4


Hear my cry, O God;

Give heed to my prayer.

From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint;

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For You have been a refuge for me,

A tower of strength against the enemy.

Let me dwell in Your tent forever;

Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.


Deb and David


On November 7th she finally made her first call to the authorities.

A few days later, on November 15, 2011 Deb got the call she had been dreading. The call that confirmed her twin brother, David Pauley, had been murdered.

It is hard to put into words what Deb was going through.

She was lost. She felt like half of her was gone and that she was going to be alone. She felt that once her two older siblings were gone from this earth, she wouldn’t have anyone left. Deb has a husband, six children, and ten grandchildren, she wouldn’t be alone–but the feelings were all too real.

“I found myself thinking the could of, should of. Thinking I should of made him come live with us instead of him going off to find work. Thinking I could of saved him.”

Finding herself in a very dark place, Deb wasn’t sure she would survive this loss.

It was just too much.


But Deb found support.


During the early days of her search, before she ever contacted authorities, Deb’s support network had slowly started to build a web around her.

Her Husband, teen son, and daughter understood her neglect as she sat at the table searching through the internet, looking for each bread crumb. Her daughter helped with those searches and anything else she needed. Her husband provided strong support in a way that only a husband can.

Her friends circled and rallied around her. She received countless emails, phone calls, and facebook chats. She knew those that cared about her were praying, praying for support, praying for answers.

A new friend, Wendy, answered her desperate calls. She came to Deb’s house to provide support and prayer within minutes of learning about David. A friendship that blossomed and strengthened through this tragedy.


Last picture of David


They were able to find David’s murderers and slowly built a case against them. The pair had killed 3 men and attempted to murder another.

And Deb sat in silence, unable to speak details of the case because it had gained national attention. She was under a strict gag order. Not willing to jeopardize the trial, she wouldn’t even share details with her husband.

As time for the trial came, Deb traveled to Ohio alone to testify. She found support among the families of the other victims as her tenderly stitched wounds were ripped open. Leaning on the other victims and the assigned Victim’s Advocate, she survived.

She survived re-living every detail of the case. She survived the memories. She survived having to identify David’s belongs only to hand them back to the court. She survived mental images that she will not speak of to this day.

On April 4, 2013, Richard Beasley was given the death penalty. On April 4, 2013 Deb’s gag order was lifted and she could finally speak to others openly about her pain and details within the case. She could finally let it all out.

Deb has gotten her closure. She did a documentary with some of the other victims to share her story. She wants people to think twice before meeting someone on the internet. You never know who they are behind the screen.


Deb’s support network is still there.

She still leans on Psalms 61:1-4 and her faith in God. On bad days, she finds herself crying in prayer and leaning on Him. She relies on the faith that David’s murder will be used for good for someone, somewhere.

She has become very close to the Victim’s Advocate and families of the other victims. Brought together by tragedy, friends for life relating in ways that very few can understand.

And when it was all too much, Deb didn’t quit, she didn’t fail, she overcame. There may have been times when it was too dark for her to see a speck of light, but in that darkness her faith, friends, and family were there around her, supporting and loving her through the tragedy.

And Deb is a stronger woman because of it.

“I think we should all stay aware of the fact that God is in control. I went through my time of questioning God why, being angry at Him for taking David. Those feelings are ok and normal. You can’t heal until you tell God everything. Even that you’re mad at Him. He understands and loves us no matter what.

Family relationships have been mended and strengthened. Many have learned including me to tell the people you love and care about that you love them. We learned that relationships are more important than having to be involved in every activity.”


If you would like to read more about the Craigslist Murders in Ohio, here are some links:



I love sharing your stories. Stories of life and how things are going well, stories of struggles, and stories of how you overcame when you were in a very dark place like Deb was. If you would like to share your story, please contact me using the “Green Grass Awards” tab above or by clicking here.




4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. itherapywithamy
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 12:01:24

    People all around us are not only more broken than we can imagine, but also more brave. Thank you for sharing these stories.



  2. justmechrismt
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 08:35:51

    God bless her. Thanks for sharing this story on the link up.



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