‘God’s got a blessing in store for you’: East Nashville man shares message of hope after difficult year

Nashville Tornado

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — “Recovery” is a term Patrick Starnes is familiar with. He runs TrueCare Transformation, a sober living group home for men in East Nashville.  

“They try to help each other, be strong for each other, but when I need to get involved, they don’t hesitate to give me a call.”

A Different Kind of Call

Starnes remembers getting one of those calls on March 3, 2020, but it was for something different than what he’s used to dealing with.

“[A member] gave me the call in the middle of the night and said ‘hey, get here quick. We have a problem, the tornado has destroyed our house,” Starnes said. 

The minute he got the call, Starnes knew he had to get all eight men out of the house, fast.

“I forced the door open and we stepped over the rubbage [sic] to get out,” Starnes said. “This was one of the houses that took a direct hit. If it wasn’t the brick, if it was wood or siding, I’m pretty sure it would’ve all been destroyed. But through the grace of God, I had a place for all eight of the guys to go live and it took us about eight months before we were able to get back in.”

Fighting a New Battle

The next-door neighbors are still displaced as they wait for repairs. Other homes on the block had to be torn down.

While battling the disease of addiction, all eight men have fought the battle of staying sober while dealing with not only a tornado, but also the stress of a “new normal” brought on by COVID-19.   

“Anything that’s other than what they see as normal can be traumatizing to them, that can set them back.”

Yet, he tries to remember things do get better.

“They can look right across the street and see that there’s those houses are no longer there that they’ve looked at for so many years. So, to see that and understand that they were able to come back out into their house, it’s a blessing,” Starnes said.

The Best is Still to Come

To everyone else, he offers a message of hope.  

“Be encouraged. If you lived through it, then the best is yet to come. If you’ve lived through this, if you lived through the storm, you lived through the pandemic, then I’m almost sure God’s got a blessing in store for you,” Starnes said. “It’s just a blessing to get be able to get through it, because a lot of people didn’t make it through. So, my word to other people that has been through this, you made it through. You didn’t stop in the middle of it. The best side is still to come. The worst side you passed through.”  

See how hope has overcome heartbreak across the area. News 2 brings you special reports Tennessee Stronger: A Year of Recovery all day Wednesday in every newscast and on WKRN.com.

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