In the Aftermath

A Hope Sign in Stormy WavesAn “event” is defined as a thing that happens, especially one of importance.

So, let’s set some groundwork, shall we?

First, every event is a thing that happens, thus making everything that happens an experience. We experience events, both great and small, good and bad. The good ones tend to leave us feeling warm and gooey inside – accomplished and proud. The downside is the bad ones usually wreak havoc and leave us depressed, disillusioned, and damaged. The failed marriage that leaves you alone and at rock bottom. The lost job that leaves you on the streets. The bad decision that leaves you with a record and no hope for a future. This is the “aftermath,” defined as the consequences or aftereffects of a significant unpleasant “event”.

Earlier we agreed that an “event” is a thing that happens, ESPECIALLY one of importance. It seems like the ugly events are always ones of importance. They always carry the weight of the world and once they happen - BOOM!

The aftermath of unpleasant events or “things that happen” tend to knock us off course.

Need an example?

Let’s look at Hurricane Matthew (the event).

We prepared for the storm (the event) – we bought water, bread, batteries and boarded up for the night. The storm came and went but what IT left behind was downed power lines, flooded streets and towns, closed stores, wrecked homes. So, you see the bad part was not the event… You got it… It was the aftermath.

I realized years ago that the aftermath has more impact on our lives than the actual event itself.

What event was it for you that left unpleasant, less than satisfactory, numbing aftereffects? What left you saying, “this CAN’T be”? What happened after the marriage failed? What happened after you lost your job?

What came next caused you to question God. What came next took your peace, your joy, your love, your hope.

Could it be that you’re in your aftermath?

For so many of the youth we serve at Boys & Girls Homes, they come to us in their aftermath. They have experienced abuse and neglect at the hands of the people expected to care for them the most. They are questioning how God could let these things happen to them.

It is in the aftermath that God begins to show who HE really is. It is in the aftermath that HE comes in to heal, mold, deliver and restore. Your aftermath can’t HOLD you!

In your aftermath God places the right people around you to help heal you. God begins to position YOU for your comeback. It is in your aftermath where therapy begins to shape coping mechanisms that allow you to see that this is not the end.

We fully believe that at B&GH, the right people to help the children are our team of campus life staff, therapists, and all the staff and volunteers who intentionally interact with the youth.

And in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, we saw God’s hand in the coming together in the community. B&GH partnered with community groups to provide meals for the community. Our youth were kept safe and donations of goods and services came from across the country to support those negatively impacted.

Realize that what God has for you is for you. HE meant it when He said that HE “has a plan for your life, a plan to prosper you and not to harm you, a plan for a hope and future.” A plan that no event could destroy. A plan that uses your aftermath for your good.

Remember that event, that thing that happened, whatever it is, IT CAN’T HOLD YOU!

You are no longer a prisoner to the thing that happened, you are no longer a prisoner to the pain of your past.

You are free. You have victory over it.


Harrington Ward is a full-time behavioral specialist at Thomas Academy and is the part-time Chaplain for Boys & Girls Homes of North Carolina.

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