Will Ramsey is a follower of Christ, husband, and father who has a powerful message to share with the world. Will Ramsey is a pastor who’s found his calling in encouraging and uplifting others. He’s also the author of A Father’s Journey Through Darkness: Growth From The Loss Of A Son.
A Father’s Journey Through Darkness: Growth From The Loss Of A Son by Will Ramsey
Here’s an excerpt from the book: God’s Wisdom is amazing. God put Brock in our home after all this happened in the needed time. We moved back to Ohio from Iowa and thought Brock would move in with us. We thought there would be no issues. But unfortunately, there were issues, and Brock didn’t go with us when we returned. I thought Julie would lose her mind because that was one of the biggest reasons we came back. God knew, though. Brock moved back in with his uncle and what looked like a disaster turned out to be the wisest choice. Brock reached out to us wanting to move in with us.
I told him he could, but the only thing he had to do was go to church. He didn’t have to pay rent; he didn’t have to buy food. We take care of everything and just go to church. He moved in and started going, which was in Dec 2012. On January 20th, 2013, Brock Gave his life to Jesus. It was amazing. He had gone to church that day, and, at the end of service, he was trying to talk to the pastor but couldn’t get close because he was busy. So we went home and started watching the playoffs. It was conference championship Sunday for the NFL. The NFC was on first. The game was over, and we were getting ready to turn to the next game, and Brock asked if we could talk. I said sure. He said I want to give my life to Jesus. I shut the TV off; I was so excited I couldn’t contain myself. We talked, and we prayed, and he gave his heart to Jesus right there in the living room.
If Brock had moved in when we wanted him to, it would have been forced, and it would have been our plan, not God’s. I’m not saying that God couldn’t have used that plan, but it wouldn’t have gone as well as God’s plan. Brock had almost died months earlier as an atheist. Now he was following Jesus and trying to learn as much as possible. He also wanted to find a rehab program that he could get into. I was just trying to help him as much as I could. This was a new facet of addiction with which I hadn’t dealt. This was my son, and I wanted to help him get through what was happening. The problem was he wanted to quit, but he was doing it to please people instead of doing it for himself. I thought it was him that wanted to get clean.
He went through a program, and we thought it worked. The problem is he went to other things away from the drugs, but he thought he could drink and be ok. If you are an addict and they tell you that you can’t do any substance, then believe it, you can’t. Brock never truly got clean in 2013 because of that. Then he was faced with a massive loss. His mother died in a car accident in a head-on collision 5 days before Christmas, and that is when Brock graduated to heroin. He didn’t deal with the loss of his mother well. We all went to the funeral, and Brock stayed with friends and used. He came back down to the area and disappeared for two weeks. We thought he was staying with friends, and he was staying in a motel using.
Wisdom Over Want
Many times, what we want and what is wise are two different things; I wanted Brock to live with us and to get clean; that’s what I wanted. The issue is that’s not what was wise. Everything became a cycle at this point. Brock would live with us for a little while and what we didn’t know is that he was going to friends’ houses and using and coming back the next day afterward. We were enabling him, weren’t charging him any rent, and he had enough money to do what he wanted. We thought we were helping him and we were hurting him. The enemy was attacking our family through Brock. He was trying to put another wedge between us, but the good news is we had the love of Jesus present. God was preparing us through all the frustration and the times Brock would go and stay with a friend, and we were not certain what he was doing. Through the frustration of knowing he was using but not being able to prove it without being the tyrannical dad, I was when I was younger. It was a double-edged sword. I wanted to stay on top of him and make sure that he wasn’t using, but he was a grown man, and that wasn’t what he would respond to.
God was grooming me; He was preparing me for what was coming. He knew what I would face through all the different things Brock did. This beast of addiction that Brock was dealing with was overwhelming. We had no idea the extent that it went to how deep it truly infiltrated his body and his mind. He would be clean for a little while and then fall again. We would celebrate a win and be right back where we started.
God Was Grooming Me
God’s understanding: There were so many different things that happened and so many things that I could tell you about that you could ask how you could even deal with all of it. A father’s love for his son is how you deal with it. God loves us unconditionally, and we must bring our trials and sins to Him and ask for forgiveness from the father. That’s what Brock would do, and I was trying to show the same love and compassion that God shows us. Now let’s not get it twisted. I’m not comparing myself to God. I’m saying that I wanted to show the love of God through me as a loving father, Brock at the time was exceptionally good at taking advantage of that.
So, at this point, I should get to the part that God was getting me ready for. I should tell you what it was that he was preparing me for. We’ve established that Brock’s addiction controlled him more than he controlled it. We’ve established that he would stay clean for a brief time and then relapse. Well, this cycle went on for quite a while. The last time this happened in my house was the final preparation for what was to come. It was 2017; Brock had come home from work and had just finished taking a shower.
He told Julie and me that he was going to bed. We said good night and that we loved him. Julie and I were watching tv, and suddenly she asked me unexpectedly, “What’s that noise?” I said what noise? She said she wasn’t certain but that I should go check on Brock when I got up. She dialed 911. I didn’t know it, but she had a feeling something was wrong. I paused the tv and walked halfway down the basement steps so I could see into Brock’s room. It looked like he was asleep. I called his name, and he didn’t react; I called his name again he still didn’t respond. I used my dad’s voice which should have made him jump out of his skin. He didn’t move. I ran down the rest of the stairs and got to him; he was blue, couldn’t breathe, and was turning gray.
I put him on the floor and started smacking him on the chest, trying to get him to wake up screaming his name. By this time, a Sheriff had shown up and was there. When he came down the stairs, by the grace of God, Brock woke up. No Narcan and no Emt’s at that point. Brock woke up and didn’t know what had even happened. See, that’s the problem with overdoses; the overdoser has no idea what’s going on. The family and friends are going through hell. They took him to the hospital and kept him for 3 hours at that point; when I picked him up, it was 3 am. I told him he had to go back to rehab and to be ready when I got home from work. I took him back to a program he had been in before, but he didn’t last two days. Finally, he called, asking to come home. I refused, and he hung up on me. That was the hardest thing I ever had to do.
Imagine telling your child they were no longer welcome in your home. At that point, Brock went dark for two or three weeks. I was picking up my mother from the hospital after a heart procedure when I got a call from someone I did not know saying that Brock was in the hospital. He overdosed again and almost died again, and he had to be given Narcan six times. The guy assured me he was ok asked me if Brock could call me after he got settled in the rehab facility that they were taking him to. I told him yes.
The Final Preparation
Brock stayed in that facility for a year. They helped him get a job and an apartment, and he was doing well. We saw each other often and talked regularly. He met a girl named Robyn, and they started getting serious. He called me and told me he was moving to Lancaster Oh to be with Robyn and that he would continue to attend meetings and stay sober. By this time, it was 2018. Going into 2019, Brock seemed to be doing all the right things. He messaged me to let me know I was going to be a grandpa again and that the baby was going to be due around Nov. I was extremely excited. Brock had a good job, and it looked like things were going well.
Wisdom No One Wants
I didn’t know that in December, Brock relapsed and fell off the wagon. It caused a massive problem with Robyn and Brock, and she let him know that if he couldn’t get it back together, then they were done. Brock never really dealt with adversity well. He decided to change things around so that if he had to go, he didn’t have to worry about it. He changed his life insurance to me if something happened, and I didn’t even know he had it. That was at the beginning of January 2020. It was all coming to a head, and we had no idea what was about to happen that would change all our lives forever.
Tuesday, February 11th, 2020, is a day that will be burned in my mind until I meet Jesus. I went to work as usual I worked in the car business, so I was at the dealership. It was 2:15. Robyn messaged me and said she needed me to call her. I wasn’t certain what was going on at that point. Brock had been trustworthy up to that point, so it was unusual for her to reach out to me about him. I called him immediately and got the shock of my life. She answered, and I heard a Robyn that I had never heard before. She was usually very calm and quiet. When she answered, there was a concern and a shaking in her voice that I had never heard before. She told me that she hadn’t heard from Brock since 10 pm the night before and that she had called his motel and said the police were there investigating. She had their number to the officers on the scene, and she asked me to call them as they would not tell her anything because she and Brock were not married. I quickly dialed the number, not sure what I would hear but already knowing deep down what it would be.
The Final Preparation
This is where things slow down. The police officer answered, and I told him who I was. I explained that I was Brock Ramsey’s dad and that I was an hour and a half away and that I couldn’t be there right away, and could he please tell me what was going on? He verified who I was again, then said, “Mr. Ramsey, could you tell me your address? After I gave him our address, I will never forget what he said. “Mr. Ramsey, it is my regret to inform you that your son has passed” As I sit and write this, all the emotion and pain come rushing back. It’s like opening an old wound repeatedly. It will eventually scar over, but it is still fresh. It’s been 27 months and 14 days as of today. When I heard those words, I was in shock; I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t think. I fell to my knees on the floor next to the sales desk in the dealership and screamed. My heart had been ripped out. I couldn’t breathe; I had one thousand thoughts running through my mind simultaneously. Was he alone? Who gave the stuff to him? How did he die? All these questions and zero answers. How Could this even happen?
I went 10 months in the deepest darkest depression a person could deal with. I was putting a happy face on the outside but dark on the inside. God told me it was time in the last week of 2020. Time to produce a phrase or word that would help me escape the moment I was stuck in. February 11th, 2020, at 2:15 pm, is when the phrase #FocusFoward came to me. The definition has been refined over the last 29 Months. It is defined as “We focus forward on what’s in front of us and what God has for us and not long back over our shoulder at what’s behind us, what we’ve lost or what we might have left behind.” This has propelled me to what God is pushing me to do in my life. We can’t stay stuck in the moment of anguish, or we will die. We must move forward.
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