Dorsey Ross Show

Overcoming Adversity: John's Story of Redemption and Resilience

November 15, 2023 Dorsey Ross Season 6 Episode 6
Dorsey Ross Show
Overcoming Adversity: John's Story of Redemption and Resilience
Dorsey Ross Show
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Picture being on top of the world, then suddenly, everything crashes down. That's the journey of our guest, Dallas-based singer and newscaster John, who's battled an unstable childhood, addiction, and divorce. Brace yourself for a tale of resilience and redemption, as John takes us through his tumultuous journey. He reveals how his faith and self-determination propelled him back on his feet and gave him a fresh perspective on life. His story is not just about getting back up after a fall, it's about understanding that it's okay to fall in the first place.

But, the episode isn't all heavy.  John lightens the mood as he spills the beans about his career transitions - from sports to newscasting, and then to sports broadcasting. John shares about the time he caught the performing bug in high school and how it led me to radio and broadcasting in college. Join us as we also delve into the significance of community support and self-understanding. We discuss how making conscious decisions can give us control over our lives, and how relying on community for support can help us overcome life's hurdles. Change is inevitable, but how we react to it is what defines us. Let's navigate these challenges together in this episode, one story at a time.

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Speaker 1:

Hello everyone. Thank you again for joining me on another episode of the Dorsu. Also Today we're going to special guest with those whose names are on the list. He is a new anchor, sportscaster and singer based in Dallas, who's podcast, called when You're Going, is reaching people with messages that where we're going is so much better than where we've been. John has seen his outlook on life being drastically by using to get up and try again after the biggest setback of his life. John is also the father of the girls. John, thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, Dorsey. It's a pleasure. Thank you so much.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely Definitely. Can you give us some background on your story where you grew up, how you got saved and what you've been through in your life?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely, I've been a Christian almost as long as I can remember. I was one of those kids that kind of grew up in church, you know, and I did grow up here in the Dallas area Louisville it's a northern suburb of Dallas and I grew up in a home where you know having a relationship with Christ, you know it was set up to happen right. We were in church, you know. That was encouraged. Definitely. My parents had relationships with Jesus, you know. I think I'm really grateful for that. But at the same time my home life was very, very unbalanced. By the time I got to probably eight or nine years old, I realized my parents were not getting along very well at all. There was a lot of fighting you know about, you know little things and big things in my home. I wasn't always aware of what they were fighting about, but I could tell that there was always tension and that set off a series of events in my childhood, you know, between eight or nine and until I went off to college, where my parents were very much on again, off again. We, me and my mom and my sisters I had four younger sisters we all moved out and we moved back in and we moved out again. Then it was my dad moving out a couple of times and moving back, and it was always unsettled and it was always just unsure whether my parents' marriage was going to make it. Eventually they did get divorced, but it wasn't until I was an adult. But it always felt like my parents were kind of divorced right and it felt like I was in a really unbalanced, uneven home. And even still to this day there's a lot that I can't make sense of when it comes to my home growing up and I've had to kind of let go of and say kind of like, only God knows. And here's where I am right now and let's keep marching forward. So you know, for me, you know, being having a relationship with Christ was always encouraged and I was trying to do that. I don't think until I was older and maybe even an adult, I truly understood. I truly understood what it meant to have a relationship with Christ in that I am fully forgiven, I am fully free, I don't have to feel the shame even when I do something I don't want to do, and that there truly is freedom in that relationship with Christ, and that's something I'm more fully discovering every day and I'm really grateful for that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I see you know the kind behind you. It could get up, make something new, go to battle. Where did you get that kind and does that mean something to you and what does that mean?

Speaker 2:

Oh, absolutely. It means a lot to me, you know I. So I'll have to take you through my marriage, which, you know, I kind of met what I felt was the love of my life at, you know, like I was about 19, and a couple of years later we ran back into each other and we ended up getting married when I was 23 and she was 22. And so it, and I thought I had the world by the tail by marrying this girl. I thought it was, you know, she's beautiful and she loved Jesus and it's everything I wanted. But you know, it was just one of those things where the marriage didn't go exactly like I was hoping it would go. About a year into my marriage, I fell into some addictive patterns that I had experienced earlier in my life and that I thought I was kind of over. Well, they reared their ugly, heading in and I brought them to my wife and I said listen, I've done this, I'm sorry, I don't want to do it. And she came alongside me and helped me, you know, stood by me through recovery and things like that. But she did say you know, john, if you ever do this again, I'll divorce you. And so, about three years passed, we moved to Oklahoma for my work and I kind of got away from my support system and I started to slip back into those addictive patterns and every time I thought, all right, I mean, this is the last time, put it away, I don't have to do this anymore, I would just go right back to it. And it got worse and worse and I just kept hiding it from her because you know, she had said what she had said. I loved her very much, we were starting to have kids, I definitely did not want to lose my marriage and I loved her. But eventually, you know, it just kind of took control and I lost hope. I never admitted to her that I was stuck in these addictive patterns, but you know, through us just not getting along, the pandemic type time of September 2020 really hit us hard. We were in financial trouble and we were fighting all the time and she basically told me she wanted to divorce and I didn't want that. And we went for about a week where I was like, no, I don't want this, please, I'll try anything. And Finally, a week later, she said John, I don't know what's wrong with you. I don't know if you've been seeing somebody else, I don't know if you're struggling with addiction. I don't know what it is, but I just feel like I've lost you. And I said, no, I've never cheated on you, but yeah, I have been struggling with addiction. I've hit it from you for about 10 years now. And she said, yeah, okay, well, that's the final straw. Then and the divorce proceedings started and it was certainly the lowest time of my life, man. It was, you know, you've got three kids at the time getting kicked out of your house because of you know something you've done? And just that low moment of feeling so alone and so broken and not really knowing where to start in recovery. Other than I knew Jesus was the answer. I just didn't quite know how to get there right. And thank goodness for community I know we're going to talk about that in a little bit but thank goodness for people that came along beside me during that time, because it really was a rapid change to go from September of 2020. I don't want to say things were good in our marriage, but that was the first time I knew that she wanted a divorce to January of 21. That's when the divorce actually became final and I fought for it the entire time. But you know, in there I at some point, you know decided that I was going to get back up and that I was going to fight for my life, even if my marriage came to an end. And where this comes from is the story of David and Bathsheba. You may remember how you know. David was supposed to be out at battle and instead he just hung back at the palace he saw Bathsheba, took her, got her pregnant Obviously shouldn't have done that tried to cover it up by bringing Uriah back, trying to get him drunk and to sleep with his wife so it didn't look like it was David's kid. That never happened. Finally, he basically has Uriah killed on the front lines of battle right to cover up his misdeeds. And it wasn't until Nathan called him out that David actually said oh my gosh, yeah, you're absolutely right, I screwed this up and you know, whatever the Lord's judgment against me is, you know is just and you know God wasn't going to make David lose his life, but the kid that was going to be born to Bathsheba was going to die right. That was going to be basically the judgment there that David fought God on that. I mean for seven days, while the kid was sick. David is crying and he is pleading with God and won't eat. God, please save this baby, just like I was pleading with God during that time of separation, before the divorce was final. Please save my marriage, god, please save my marriage. But what happens is when the child dies when David and Bathsheba's child dies the attendants are really afraid to tell him because they think he might do something drastic. But it's kind of crazy what he does. Because what does he do? He gets up. That's the first thing he does. When he finds out the child's died, he gets up, he goes, he washes himself and then he goes to the house of the Lord and he worships. And I learned something from that that when the child died, david kind of accepted it, you know, and it doesn't seem right in that moment that David would be able to get up and just say you know what, alright, I fought for this thing, but I'm going to put it behind me. And not only did he get up, you know, and worship God, he also made something new. One of the next verses is that he went and comforted Bathsheba and, you know, and she became pregnant again. Who is that kid? It was Solomon. Solomon who, you know, eventually became the wisest person that ever lived and built the temple. And then what did he do? He went to battle. What he should have been doing at the very start of the entire story, he should have been out with his guys doing battle, like kings do. And so this has been my cry, you know, since the divorce went final is to get up. It's not easy all the time, but but just keep getting up just because things didn't turn out like I wanted them to Like I thought they should. To get up to make something new. I don't know what that is, maybe the podcast, it's a lot of different things over time but just to keep making something new along the way. Maybe it'll be a new relationship that God will bring me down the line, I don't know. And then to go to battle in every area of my life. I was falling down on the job in this area of addiction and it ended up, you know, ruining my marriage, making my marriage come to an end. So I'm not going to do things like that anymore. I'm going to go to battle in that area and every area of my life where God shows me hey, you know, I love you, but I've got more for you here. I want to go to battle in those areas, and so that's that. That's why that poster is up there behind me. It has meant a lot to me over these last two and a half years since the divorce.

Speaker 1:

Right Now I'm writing the bio Bio you're. You're in that you were a news anchor, sportscaster and singer. Do you do all three of them today?

Speaker 2:

What a great question. Yes, I do. Actually, yesterday I did all three in one day. So my day job is as a news anchor for a news radio station in Dallas. We're not news talk, we're just news, and so think of your evening newscaster or something like that. Right, so we do news, we do traffic and we do weather and I'm a newscaster, news anchor. And then, as time allows for me, as much as I can in the evenings I broadcast ball games. I could be football, basketball, baseball or whatever the case may be A lot of times through ESPN plus type platforms for local universities. And yesterday, after my full time shift, I did a public address announcing for the WNBA team here in Dallas, the Dallas Wings, and before that I sang the national anthem for the game as well. I actually got to do all three yesterday, but yes, I still do those two this day and they all, you know, kind of bring me joy in their unique ways and I am really, really blessed to be able to, you know, make money and also to just do these things that bring me joy on a daily basis and hopefully it gives glory to God along the way as well.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. What made you get into all three of them in your life?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you know, I grew up as a ridiculously avid sports fan. I mean more like obsessed A sports nerd, I think is what you would call it, because I had absolutely zero athletic capability at any kind of elite level. But I loved the games, I loved all of the stats, I watched everything. I listened to the sports radio station in town and became kind of obsessed with that and I really thought that I was going to be a sports radio star down the line. That's what I was kind of hoping for as I went through high school, though I'd always loved performing. But that's where I kind of caught on, like that's where all my friends were, wasn't we're in musical theater, and that's where my best ability lied. And so I was in all kinds of shows and stuff and I started to see that I had a real ability to sing and act and, you know, kind of make a fool out of myself sometimes too. And I actually went to college. The first year at the University of North Texas I was in the musical theater program. After a year of that I was like man, I like this, but I don't know if I love it. And in order to do this with the rest of my life. I'm going to have to love it, because this is a tough road. So I decided to go a different route. I decided to go with one B, so to speak, which was getting into radio and the radio station there on campus. And I did everything. I DJed, I did sports, I was the sports director for the last couple years I was at the University of North Texas and by the time I got out I was pretty obsessed with doing sports, play by play. So that's where the sports stuff came in, that's where the sports casting came in. I followed that path for a good 10, 12 years and then when I came back to Dallas after I'd mentioned I was in Oklahoma for eight years when I came back to Dallas I got a call from my old boss and he said hey, I've got an opening as a traffic anchor broadcasting traffic on our station, and I started there. But they quickly moved me into news just a couple years later and I've been there ever since and I did not know how effective I would be at it. I don't know if I'm talented at it, but I am a pretty even keeled guy. I am not into politics whatsoever. I have no rooting interest there. So I think that really helps me, you know, because I'm not going in there and I'm able to read the news and deliver the news with a lot of neutrality, also, when things call for, with empathy. I'm pretty good at breaking news and I'm really really good at breaking weather events as well. So I didn't know I was good at all these things, but God has showed me that over the last four or five years. And then I still get to do sports on the side, and then I still get to do singing on the side, like national anthems, and I've gotten to sing for the Mavs and the Rangers and the stars and like the wings, like last night in front of former President Bush at a tennis event. So you know, god's blessed that as well. So I don't know why I get to do all these things, but I'm really happy. I'm really happy I do and that I can still do them all, even at 40 here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Do you want to? One thing? If you could. What is one thing you can think about all of the industry that you do?

Speaker 2:

One thing I could change about them. I don't know if I'd change anything about singing. Maybe, if I could change something about singing, that we would have more Broadway style songs in the praise and worship space, because that's what I'm best at, is like Broadway style. But but you know, praise and worship isn't really Broadway style, so so my voice isn't best suited for modern praise and worship. But I don't, I don't want to slow everybody's roll. I love modern praise and worship. I just, you know, I just wish I was better at singing it. Otherwise, in sports, I just wish it was more about the game and the people rather than all the ancillary things, like we're starting to get into sports betting and stuff like that. That doesn't really float my boat. I don't care at all and I'm not like trying to be preachy against it, I don't even. It's not even that. It's like I just don't care. You know, I care about the competition, I care about the people involved, I care about telling stories and I think, other than that, you know, I just I'd love to see more games on TV, so I'd I'd love to see that down the line. Specifically, women's sports I think there's a lot of room for continued progression in advancing women's sports, and then on the on the news side of things, I don't, I don't know, like specifically at my station, I'm pretty proud of how we are able to stay neutral and able to stay down the middle and, don't, you know, really lean one way or the other. I just wish, you know, I wish more news organizations were like that and they and we weren't trying to, you know, win a ratings battle for, you know, either conservatives or liberals, you know, and slant stories that way in order to win those rating battles. I think there are a lot of news organizations that are guilty of that and I don't want to be part of that and I wish that went away, because I think that those of us in news, deep down, almost all of us, just want to be in it in order to disseminate information and entertain when it's necessary, but to keep people informed and safe and not scare them. And so those, those are probably the things that would change about the industries.

Speaker 1:

Okay, Now you also have a podcast and a program where you're going. Why do you feel that that wouldn't make it?

Speaker 2:

I think it goes back to the get up, make something new, new, go to battle. Because I am, you know, for about the last year and a half I knew God had put it on my heart that I was probably going to do a podcast at some point, from a faith based point of view, and I just didn't know how that was all going to play out. But a big part of my recovery over the last two and a half to three years has been the belief that God is not done with me, that no matter what I've done, in order for me to have a hope in a future, I have to believe that, that God believes in me, that God and basically that he knows what he can do through me. If I'm submitted and surrendered right, it's not in my power, it's in his, and thus I'm not done. My story is not over simply because you know my marriage didn't make it, and a good deal of it was my fault. That doesn't disqualify me from anything, anything at all helping other people, leading my kids the way I should lead them, having a fulfilling career that points people to Jesus. You know any of it relationships down the line. It doesn't disqualify me from any of that and I don't care what you've done you know where you're headed as long as you have obviously the right mindset. If you're I believe you know and I know you believe too following God what he wants for your life, trying to listen to the Holy Spirit and take those small steps along the way. If you're doing that, where you're headed is so much better than where you've been, and people need hope. I remember I referenced it earlier sitting on that hotel room bed, you know, after being kicked out of the house and just like literally crying myself to sleep several nights because you feel like you've screwed up so bad. You know, not really feeling like the situation was unfair. I didn't feel like a victim, I just felt super guilty. I felt I did feel shame and I felt alone. And I know there are people out there that feel that way, that feel like the world's done with them or that maybe they even feel like God's done with them. And I know that that's not true and I know I can speak for God because I know his truth God's not done with them. And as far as the world goes, I mean, I know there are people like me that believe that there is worth left in every single person, I don't care who you are, and so that's what I hope to get people out of the show. And we do that. People get out of the show, and we do that through different topics along the way, but you know, just the ever evolving human experience is something that we try to talk about. Try to talk about, you know, mental health, true mental health, about forgiveness, about grace, about God's mercy for us, about relationships and just how those things truly can get better and our belief in that they will get better for people if they continue to walk forward.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you mentioned it and you said, you know, for those that feel down and those that feel, you know, like you know, everything has gone completely, you know, or exploding around them, you know like you were in that time in that hotel room you mentioned. You know that God's not done with them yet, or even with you yet. What other incognito would you give to people who feel like you know, giving up and feel like you know everything has gone to peeking around them?

Speaker 2:

What a great question and I appreciate you asking that and I take it very, very seriously. You know, I would encourage people that I hope this is an encouragement that it will get better. Sometimes it gets a little worse before it gets better, and that doesn't mean it's not going to get better. Sometimes you have to dig a little bit deeper into you know, we all want to find out why. Sometimes we got to figure out okay, why am I here? You know, why am I sitting in this hotel room alone right now? Honestly, what did I do to bring myself to this point? And if I was the one that brought myself to this point, you know, maybe I shouldn't be relying on just myself so much. You know, maybe I should look to, you know, some advice that is a little bit above my understanding. You know, maybe I should forgive that person, maybe I should I'm, you know, just really attack that addiction. Maybe I should look back in my past and be like okay, why Do I feel like reaching for a bottle or reaching for food or reaching for pornography, when I feel like avoiding I'm? And when you take control of your life like that, when you truly start to understand yourself and why you do things, it gives you know kind of you the power back, and I again, I'm I fully trust in God with my life and that sort of thing. But sometimes we can feel like really out of control, and I think God wants us to Be emotionally mature enough to be able to look back in our past and say, okay, what's the causality here, where did the dominoes start falling and what is it trace back to? And let's retrace these steps and do something different. When we do that, again, it gives us the power back, the power to take steps. Instead of reacting to situations, we are Taking the bull by the horn, so to speak, and saying no instead. Okay, I feel like this, I'm gonna make a different decision, I'm not just gonna react the way I've always reacted, and so I think it's just one of those things when you're in the situation, you're feeling hopeless and you're feeling like a screw up. It makes absolutely no sense. But when you, when you dive into it, it can start making sense. I would also say there are people in this world I promise there are people in this world and there are a lot of people. When they come to the end of the rope like that, they don't trust people anymore, that there are so many people in this world that have been where you have been, they have made it out, and then it's kind of like the pay it forward thing, or you know, we want to help. You know, I want to help people On as massive a scale as I can To know that there is hope. And anybody that reaches out to me I want to respond, take him by the hand is Long as God would have me do that and help them, take that next step, and I know there are millions of people like me that want to help people who are in those circumstances. So you're not alone. You just gotta find the right community. And it's not like a taking advantage of them type thing. It's just leaning on them for a little while and saying I gotta catch my breath and I gotta figure out who I am, and people like me and people who have been through stuff they understand and they want to help you through that too. Some of the encouragement I'd give you.

Speaker 1:

Right, and you and you mentioned community and you know, three years ago we A lot, you know most of the world, not even the country, but most of the world became isolated because we were shut down, we weren't able to go out, we weren't able to Interact with other people for you know, a very long period of time. How would you Advise you know yourself and even others, to come back into that community? Break that you know, break that I can make him, that we, you know, for so long, you know we got you to.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. And the first thing I would say is you don't have that excuse anymore. Thank goodness, you know you don't have that. You know that that very real issue on to lean back on, well, I can't do that because of covid. And so what I would say is Community works, man. Community absolutely works. When you've got people around you who love you and you love them, it becomes this big circle where everybody feels valuable because they're giving inspiration to you. You are giving inspiration to other people and you feel valuable. I would also say that you know you can only be loved To the amount that you're known. If nobody knows you, then you can't be loved. And if you even go to some sort of community whatever community maybe, maybe it's an, a meeting or something like that and you just sit there and you never say anything and you just kind of take it in and then you leave and you don't meet anybody you never really known, how can you be loved? I mean, people can can love you so much, but you can only be loved to the extent that you're known. And so getting into community and then being vulnerable and believing that vulnerability is a superpower, that not only helps you but it helps other people. You know it really. It really really changes lives. Things get done. Life change happens when more than one person is gathered. You know when, when two or three or more gathered in my name, you know God says and I think that's you know prayer becomes more powerful then. But you know what? You know? Just, we rely on each other and you know that, simply art, our wills become more powerful. We're encouraged to have self control, we're encouraged to have patients, we're encouraged To take steps in our recovery or in our lives, or in forgiveness. And when you're sitting by yourself, when you have a lack of community, then the only thing that's playing in your head are your own thoughts, and they're cyclical, and it's hard to come up with any new ideas. And it's hard, it's hard to love yourself. I mean, if you've got that ability, more power to you, it's getting better in me too. But you know you need those people. You need to love and be loved, and you need new voices in your life of people that really care about you. That's why community is so key and that's why it's been life-changing for me, because I had so many great men of God come alongside me in the last three years, guys like Jeremy Bowes and Eric Sommerhauser and Colin Tobias, ryan Johnson and Mark Moran and I could go on and on if people that truly care about me that check on me sometimes before I check on them, and then I in turn, have to be the one to check on them Because they're, you know, in a little bit of a tough spot. But that's okay, we all get in those tough spots. One of the only ways we can dig out of it is with community other godly people who really want to see each other improve and become more and more like Jesus, and so that's why community is so huge.

Speaker 1:

Amen. Well, thank you, John. Thank you for coming on the show today. We greatly appreciate having you.

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh, it's absolutely a pleasure. I love talking about these things and I love how. You know, every single time I get to come on, I get to think about new stuff and you know, I'm definitely a work in progress and I am happy to share as much as I can to just help other people who are works in progress take steps themselves.

Speaker 1:

Amen, If you can leave it with one last encouragement and peek at the bike. We greatly appreciate that.

Speaker 2:

Mm, hmm, I think one thing I'm learning is we're all kind of a lot of times we get paralyzed by fear. You know, anxiety is fear. Depression at its root is kind of fear, and the opposite of fear isn't bravery. In my mind, you know, the Bible says basically that the opposite of fear is love. Perfect love casts out all fear. How can that apply to your life? Well, instead of feeling like man, I got to get all brave so I can face this day, I don't know, maybe focus on love. What do you love? Who do you love? You know? Focus on God's love for you, you know, and ask God to give you more love for him, and stop trying to worry about being brave all the time to counteract and counterbalance fear. Instead, concentrate on love and find love. And I have a feeling that if we were able to do that and rewire our focus, that would help so much with the very real anxiety that we're experiencing in this country.

Speaker 1:

Well, john, again, thank you so much for coming on to show today. Guys and girls, thank you so much for listening and tuning in today. Again, I would love to encourage you to check out John's information and John's podcast and, until next time, please like, share and even review their podcast on Apple Podcast. God bless, have a great day, bye, bye.

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