Like so often is the case, wounds from our childhood shape the choices we make, from adolescence into adulthood. For today’s guest, growing up as part of a troubled blended family pushed him towards drugs and alcohol. Despite the unhealthy life he was living, he always found solace in working out. Today, he’s a personal fitness trainer who is passionate about seeing others become both physically AND spiritually healthy. He’s a native of Northern California now living in Southern California with his wife, Alyssa, and their young son, Caleb. Here’s the conclusion of our interview with Mr. Rob Decker.
The fall he’d hoped would kill him instead resulted in multiple broken bones, and most seriously, a broken back. When he awoke from a 10-hour surgery (the first of three), the police were there to place him under arrest for rape and attempted murder. He was shackled to his hospital bed with a bail set at $1 million. Lying in bed, unable to even sit up, Rob asked God, “What are we doing? What’s next? God, help me.” Rob describes the moments of peace that followed when he heard a “confident, but stern, soft voice” telling him that the charges would be dropped, his bills would be paid, and that he would walk again. He even saw himself playing soccer. And then, he was back to reality – the noise of machines, bright hospital lights, being grilled by detectives, all while experiencing excruciating pain. Within a couple of days, officers were back; this time, to let him know that the charges were being dropped. Understandably, his initial feelings were confusion and disbelief. However, Rob soon realized that what he’d heard days before was coming to pass. It was God. Now, it was time to move forward with recovery.
Rob did, in fact, learn how to walk again. And not only walking. A quick look at his Instagram and it’s not hard to be amazed at how intensely he works out. His challenge these days is to be the best husband and father he can be. Rob’s desire is that his experiences and his story will give people hope and encouragement. Doubt shows up and challenges Rob with thoughts of “What door am I going to walk in? Who am I going to reach? Will they listen?” Those thoughts go away quickly because he knows that whatever God sets before him is His plan; he just has to be obedient to what God asks of him. Rob trusts that whatever God brings is going to be much greater than anything he could create for himself. And that gives him peace.
Rob shares that he drew his inspiration and motivation from all that Jesus physically suffered leading up to and including the cross. Knowing and believing that God had him in that place for a reason, he was determined that he would walk again. And now, recalling all that his body has endured, he is able to push himself more physically in the gym and in the sports he plays. All those months of surgeries and the hard work of learning how to walk again have made him grateful for all that he is able to accomplish today in the realm of fitness. Some of his clients seem to be more motivated than others, but Rob is careful about making those judgements. God has shown him that we don’t know what will come to fruition. We don’t always get to see the impact that we have on the lives of others. Rob’s passion for fitness has given way to compassion for those he works with, as he resolves to not quit on them. He’s come to realize that sometimes, people just need a friend.
This last bit of encouragement from Rob is for anyone feeling hopeless today: YOU are here for a reason and God has a hope and a purpose for your life. Sit down with Him; He’ll listen to you. Have a genuine desire to seek Him. At the end of the day, it’s about you and Him, getting into that quiet place, shutting out everything else. There, you’ll begin to develop and have faith in the relationship that will take you to places you couldn’t even imagine.
Rob Decker: 00:00 He really showed up in the hospital for me, like on a whole different, like my experiences when I share this with other believers. A lot of times they’re just like, you know, we’ve never had those kinds of experiences. Like how could that really happen or you know, sometimes believers don’t even get to hear His voice. So, you know, they don’t listen or whatever, you know, everyone’s walk is their walk. So I don’t know. So what happened was, is, you know, the next day I wake up after like a 10 hour surgery and uh, and, and I’m, I’m laying there and the police coming and I have a, you know, external fixator on my left arm. I got a, I got a brace on my right arm. I have a, a, a back brace. I have tubes coming out of my neck, you know, I have oxygen mask on or the oxygen tubes.
Rob Decker: 00:45 I have pain medication attached to my neck while you have the blood pressure, the heart rate monitor, like all the, like all this stuff is going on all around you. And it’s just like in the bright light of the hospital. And, you know, there’s just a lot of chaos and here comes the police and they’re just, you know, Mr Decker, you’re under arrest for rape and attempted murder, right? And here I am, I’m on a mangled, I’m not moving like I can’t, I can’t even sit up in the bed, it’s just not going down. And I, uh, and uh, they shackled me as I’m laying there, you know, there’s like a day or two goes by and there was a police officer, I have 24 hours and we’ll pay it and they want to make sure I’m not going to go anywhere. I had a million dollar bail.
Rob Decker: 01:26 So this is like serious business. This is just some serious trumped up charges, you know. And um, this cop, he was just grilling me. He was giving me such a hard time. He didn’t want to be there. I know we didn’t want to be there, but I get it, like, you’re babysitting a broken man, right? Like he’s being accused of these horrendous thing. So this guy’s giving me such a hard time and uh, you know, he’s reading the report and he’s telling me how I’m such a bad guy and all this kind of stuff. And I remember telling him like, you know, I’ve done a lot of bad things in my life and I get that, but you know, this is just not one of those things, you know, if anything, like I tried to care about her, maybe I just didn’t go about it the right way, but this is, just not one of those things that we’re doing as, as I’m starting to break like I’m getting, you know, I’m gonna get teary eyed, my heart rate is flying and machines are going off because it’s too much action going on there.
Rob Decker: 02:18 And so the nurse comes in and she asked me to calm down. As she’s leaving the room, all of a sudden I’m, the ex girlfriend shows up and she’s, she, she’s kind of hiding. She’s got a new hairstyle. She, she went and got her hair done, I guess, and put on some sunglasses. So she wanted to be present, but she wanted to be concealed. And, and mashed up, and I’m, the cop looks at me just kind of be rolled in and he knew, he knew who it was. Like he, those were his words like, is that who I think it is? And I just, you know, agree with him. Yeah. He escorted her out, said she shouldn’t be there and you know, it comes to me and he’s like, you know, for someone who had went through something so traumatic, that makes absolutely no sense. Hey, you rape and try to kill someone.
Rob Decker: 03:05 Like they’re not showing up for anything, right? Yeah. That’d be scared to death, you know, for sure. And um, so, you know, um, that, that incident occurs in later that day, you know, I’m, you know, I’m talking to God, you know, under my breath, like He can hear my thoughts, right? And I’m talking to Him, and I’m like, you know, basically like “What are we doing? What’s next? God help me”. And um, it was the most amazing moment in my whole, um, I get this calming, peaceful sensation that just kinda slowly consumes my body and um, the, the noises of the hospital are going away bright lights are dim, like there’s no one around me, there’s no pain like moment, like no, trust me and I was a lot of pain and I hear this confident, but like stern, but it’s a soft voice and it’s like the charges will be dropped, your bills will be paid and you will walk again and I doze off into this vision.
Rob Decker: 04:14 Right? And this vision was me, me playing soccer and, and uh, and I wake up and everything’s back to normal; police, noises. Like people, like chaos. Right now you’re in the hospital and the painted definitely there. The pain is definitely there. And um, within a couple of days the detectives show up is another other police officers that I hadn’t seen. And, and, uh, they said, Mr Decker, you’re no longer with us – we’re dropping the charges. The charges have been dropped. And um, yeah. And I was just like, what’s, you know, I mean, I didn’t do it, but you know, like, you know, but you know, what happened, that voice like that, like God, it’s coming to pass. And so that was Kinda the first step. And you know, um, I remember after they had released me, I was, I was finally able to have visitors and um, my mom shows up at the hospital when she comes in the room and she’s broken and she’s just like, she knows what I did and you know, she takes partial responsibility based on my upbringing and just who she is. And there’s a lot of guilt running through her and you know, she, she tells me, you know, you know, they basically said that you’re never going to walk again, I was like, I know. And she looks at me and I understand exactly where she’s coming from. She says that she goes, I just wish that it would have all ended that day.
Rob Decker: 05:42 And uh, you know what I think for her just to not see her son struggle because she, you know, she saw me. I was 29 when this happened. So she saw my childhood, she understood who I was in my twenties and she understood the addiction to drugs and alcohol, that kind of stuff she wanted. Plus, and she was raped and beaten and had her issues. And so, you know, I was an extension of who she was and she wanted it to be over for her herself, you know, so I understood. And um,
Jake Enriquez: 06:14 she, she was basically saying that she, if she had made a different decision, you wouldn’t be here right now going through this, right? Well, I want to take a moment to say, Mama, thank God that you didn’t make that other decision and that Rob is still with us. Thank you Lord for that!
Rob Decker: 06:14 Amen. Yeah, I love Mama for that one.
Jake Enriquez: 06:14 Absolutely man. Praise God!
Rob Decker: 06:38 If you’re listening, which you will be, because you know, I’m going to give you the link when we’re done. Amazing, But because of that, you know, that moment, you know, the, the, the nurses that are coming in the room and they’re like, you know, we gotta get you to try to stand up. And I knew for a fact I wasn’t getting off. I wasn’t being negative or pessimistic. It ain’t going down. You know. And, uh, but, you know, I, I knew that I had to give my mom some hope.
Jake Enriquez: 07:07 So, at this point in time, you talking about it, it was time to get up and put some work in and you had to go to work and uh, actually go against the grain and put it in a lot of hard work. I mean, what does God really have in store for you at this time?
Rob Decker: 07:20 I knew that God had me here for a reason. I knew that, you know, alls I can do is in my thoughts, you know, thinking about Jesus on the cross and the amount of pain he had to have been in. When He, He had to drag the cross and He took the whoopings and I mean, that’s barely even describes anything that really. I mean, you can watch “The Passion of the Christ” all day, which is the movie I was visualizing, but I also know that I’ve read Isaiah 53, and in the movie, Jim Caviezel is still Jim Caviezel after the whooping. But I know the Lord didn’t look like the Lord after the whoopings, right?
Jake Enriquez: 07:59 You couldn’t even look upon His face. You’re right about that. Absolutely. They couldn’t even look at Him.
Rob Decker: 08:05 Yeah, nope. And so, you know, I had to take all of that collectively and like, you know what, I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna do my best to stand up. And so with all that, you know, I, I got up out of that bed and stood up and, “BOOM”, I felt like someone hit me with a dump truck on the left side of my body and, and uh, they put me down immediately and they shot me up with plenty of medication was like, this is not happening. I had to have another surgery and maybe that was a week or two later. It was just surgery. And um, after that surgery they got me out of the bed and I was able to drag my left foot and I’m, right? But you know what that told me was I’m going to walk again. Yeah.
Jake Enriquez: 08:47 But the first surgery took like 10 hours, is that right?
Rob Decker: 08:49 Yeah. The second one was very close to that as well. I’ve had three back surgeries all together because you know, at the end of the day, even though the second one was successful in the sense of me being able to drag my foot, it wasn’t successful in the sense of improving my posture to the point where it wasn’t gonna be long-term. The third surgery they actually had to open me from the back. The first two were through the side where they try to put a cage through the front of my vertebrae to stand me up tall again, but that just wasn’t going to happen. So the third one, you know, they, they had to open me from the back and lock me in. But
Jake Enriquez: 09:24 And brother, your’e still working out like that now? Oh my goodness!
Rob Decker: 09:29 And I thank God, you know, I, people see the things that I do in the gym and they see the way that I play sports and they see the things that I do in my body. Trust me, I felt the worst of it. So you know, whatever I can inflict on myself isn’t going to be that bad. But I’m very grateful. If you go on my social media, you see the kind of thing that I do and I’m, you know,
Jake Enriquez: 09:50 I do, and you look to be having a great time too!
Rob Decker: 09:50 Oh yeah, well self-inflicted torture is pretty fun I guess.
Jake Enriquez: 09:56 And I said, well, I’ll tell you what I mean, I think about your story. I now here and now and obviously you know, you’re walking now, you’re working out and people don’t believe it. You can just go check rob out on Instagram. He likes to do little videos of working out and it’s good stuff. But, uh, but you know, obviously you’re walking now you’re, you’re, you’re grinding now. You’re doing the things that you need to do. But I think about those times when you look back, you know, struggling, or wrestling with God. Are there times that come upon you today that you still wrestle with the thoughts of who you are in Christ or which way you’re supposed to go? And if they do come up, you know, what do you do about them now?
Rob Decker: 10:37 Well, you know, um, it’s so, it’s so crazy because over the last few years, like I’ve watched the Lord carry me from place to place and you know, anytime I feel distant from him, it’s me, it’s me and the decisions that I may write, it’s me cutting off that connection. But he’s, he’s my source for everything. So, um, I don’t, I wouldn’t say like I struggled with like say depression or suicidal thoughts or you know, who I am in the sense of like, you know, I’m a child of God and he loves me and I’m one of His, um, I think that my newest challenge is, are, you know, being the best husband I can be for my wife. Um, being a godly man; being the best father I can be for, for Caleb. And I actually have a son who is 18 now from, you know, my past, you know, and, you know, the Lord put it on my heart to have a relationship with him.
Rob Decker: 11:27 So I’m building that. And, you know, I know God will repair all that, but you, you, you want to repair these relationships, you want to show love. Um, and also, you know, through my experiences and trying to put the story out there to, to really give people hope and encouragement. I think my biggest struggle is, you know, um, you know, are you going to reach the people? Or, are people gonna listen? Because the truth, the truth is like, I don’t want to be the guy in the pulpit preaching and collecting from people like, I don’t want to be that guy. You know, I truly believe that the Lord will bless me in this journey and take care of my family and we all want that, right? We want to be able to take care of our family. I want kids, I want this life and, and uh, and have a couple of things that I didn’t have, you know, God willing.
Rob Decker: 12:17 But I think those are my challenges is like, you know, what, who am I gonna? What, what door am I going to walk in? But that goes away quickly because I know that no matter what my vain imagination and my selfish ways can create in my own mind, it’s totally irrelevant because whatever He has set before me is His plan. I just have to be obedient and whatever He’s going to bring to me is going to be much greater than anything I could create for myself and I know for a fact. And that gives me peace, you know, it’s like, you know, and as you know, a man, like there’s certain things I want in this world, in this life, but at the same time, like how important is it really? And constantly having those conversations with God every morning, every morning it’s like we’re conversing, it’s getting down like where you’re talking about what’s going on and hey man, just let me walk in Your will. Like, I wanna walk in Your will. Because Your will is the way to go. So there’s the battle. There’ll always be the battle, you know, you live in the world, you’re impacted by things. So, um, yeah.
Jake Enriquez: 13:21 Well, I think about it Rob, you know, and I can definitely, I can understand your concern. I can understand, uh, where you’re coming from. I do the same thing, but you know, you’re right. You’re so right. You know, if we just walk in the will of God and walk with Him, He’ll continue to lead us along the way where we’re supposed to be. So I think about some of the challenges. Now, if I’m looking at somebody like yourself and thinking about somebody like you and I do see and I know and I understand that you want to get out there and encourage people want to get out there and show them that you know God is with you. You want to show them that, hey, the Lord will see you through it and increase their faith in it.
Jake Enriquez: 13:59 And you know you’re doing it, and everyone uses their own platform though. Everyone uses their own thing. In other words, God puts you in that, uh, that or deal with fitness for a reason, for raising a really good reason, by the way. And when he, when he puts you in there, he gives you an ability that he doesn’t give everybody. In other words, God blesses us with different things. So when it makes me think about, is this, when you look at somebody who comes to you and they say, Rob, I need some help with my training. I want to train up in this and that. What do you look for in people when you look at somebody, is there a way, now that you can see that, uh, it’s hard to ask this question, but is there a way that you could see it in somebody, this guy where he really wants to come through? Or sometimes, I know we don’t like to admit it, but do you look at somebody and say “Hmm, they don’t, I see they don’t want to really put in to really come through there like that. ”
Rob Decker: 14:53 That’s also fair, because that happens. You know, here’s the deal. Like I understand when some, someone’s sincerely want something. You see it in their actions. You see it in their drive. You, you know, you know, I have a guy who’s overweight and an amazing man of God. He’s actually the one that takes care of my website and all that stuff. He’s one of my clients and he’s a brother in Christ. And, and you know, um, he has his struggles but this guy, he wants it and he needs, he needs direction and he needs a friend and a brother in the meantime to edify each other. Um, but then I have another young man who, you know, his, his parents are the ones taking care of the bill, right? And, and, and a lot of times you just don’t see the fight in him or the desire in him.
Rob Decker: 15:44 And you know, complacency and like, how bad do you really want? How important is it to you? So, but this is what I learned. I learned through another client. There was a young man who I struggled with greatly and his mom and his step father, they’re amazing. I actually train them too. But I struggled. I struggled with this guy and I remember going before the Lord and say, Lord, I can’t do this anymore. Like, this kid is killing me. Like he didn’t communicate, he didn’t want to talk, but go to find out like he was graduating from Boy Scouts going into Eagle Scouts and they have this big ceremony. Well, he gave me the award for that person that made impact on them and, and uh, and, and I saw that I made a difference even though I couldn’t see that I was making a difference just by having a relationship with them.
Rob Decker: 16:31 So even with my other guy, it’s like, yeah, I don’t see the fire, I don’t see the desire, I don’t see the will, but at the same time, I’ll tell you right now, I had a brother in Christ before I was with Christ who would say “That guy is never coming to Christ.” He was just like, and this guy’s like my closest Christian brother, you know, I mean this guy, you know, uh, Paul and Timothy type stuff, you know, but, um, but yeah, and, and you know, so, so even if my mind starts to kind of think these things and I see these things that just, you never know what comes to fruition. You don’t know how it’s going to go down. So, not to quit on people. Like, my thing is, is that they’re there for reasons or in my life. I’m not going to quit on them. I’m going to continue to do what I need to do, um, because, you know, fitness is very broad for me. It’s definitely a deep relationship in fitness for me. And sometimes, people just need a friend.
Jake Enriquez: 17:25 Man, I like that. You just said a mouthful, man. I love that. You know, one thing is it for you to do it, but then the other thing I see that’s passion being brought to compassion. In other words, your passion is, uh, you know, the fitness in and I see that about you, but your compassion is not to quit on others. You know, and that’s, that’s an awesome thing, man. I tell you, it’s a true blessing, a true blessing and you know, to take that and really let that work in you because it’s manifested in you already. And now let God just continue to drive it through. He’ll show you those people like he did when you’re talking about that young man. He’ll continue to show you where, hey, don’t quit on this one. Let’s just keep going, kind of thing. And that’s great, man. I love, I love the fact that you’re in it like that. Well, we talk about a reader’s being leader, you know, all the time and so we’re always about trying to learn different things and continuing, you know, to just broaden our horizon and learn the most that we can. And I understand you got a book coming out, right?
Rob Decker: 18:19 Actually, I was given a chapter in a book. my story. The story, I look at it this way, but the chapter I could share is kind of like when you watch “Passion of the Christ”, you get to see a day in the life of Christ. Like, you don’t get to see the whole shebang. I get that chapter where you kind of get to touch on a couple of experiences that lead up to like the whole Jesus moment. But I’ve been given the chapter and my heart’s desire at some point is to actually write a book so I can get so much deeper and to share these things with people in life and show God’s grace along the way. Like from the gate, you know, from Mama having an abortion to pouring today. Yeah, I, I am. Um, I will have a chapter to a book that comes out March 28 and it’s The Missing Piece. Um, see Kate, Kate writes a bunch of books. She’s out in the UK and for whatever reason I just reached out to her one day through Instagram and we developed this great relationship and she heard my story and she was just like, I’m writing a book, I need you in it. I need that story in the book. It’s also, you know, and she’s a believer and she’s trying to reach, um, you know, a bunch of people through her method. And so, yeah, yeah.
Jake Enriquez: 19:41 That’s awesome. Keep, keep, keep going, man, keep moving in it. Definitely let us know and we’ll actually share some links and this, um, the show notes we have on here, but whenever you do, I’m not talking about just the chapter but you know, not, not just that, but whatever you do, put something else out, let us know because we definitely want to promote it with Humana. I think it’s for a great cause and it will definitely keep pushing people to, you know, to keep going, to keep moving man, because you know, God is still with us each and every one. But how did the, how did the listeners today, how would they reach out to you? How would they connect with you rob a social media website? How would you like for them to connect with you?
Rob Decker: 20:17 Well, my social media is connected to my website, so if you go to “rob decker speaks”, you can, uh, you can reach my, my Facebook and my Instagram. From there you can click on it and a lot of that stuff pops up on my, my web page so you can see the nutritious meals that I may for the fitness that I’d do with myself and my family or my clients and my friends, you know? Um, you know, I share my family, I share my faith, I share it all. Like I, you know, just trying to bring goodness, you know, I want people to start making changes. I want them to believe a little bit more, eat a little bit better, or move, move some more. So, you know, I use the website a lot of that stuff.
Jake Enriquez: 20:57 I absolutely love it, rob, because I do hear it in you and above you that you do give God all the glory, man. And uh, and we greatly appreciate that. Really we do. But let me ask you this, as one of the last questions here. Say somebody else is going through it and I want you to know it’s challenging, but you think back on a time that was really difficult for yourself. And what would you say to Rob Decker back then to encourage him?
Rob Decker: 21:23 The truth is, I don’t know if Rob Decker back then would have listened. You know, I believe that everything is happening in divine moments in order for me to come to the Lord. And so I truly don’t believe that there was anything. I never heard stories like the one that I’m sharing, I never had, you know, impactful Christians in my life. And you know, I would just want people not to give up hope, you know. I, I just know that you’re here for a reason and God has a hope and a purpose for your life. You just kind of sit down with Him and like have that conversation, you know, and He’ll listen to you pour out your heart to Him, and talk about all the things He’s doing wrong to you. Right? So you would think, right? Like He’s a good father and He’ll listen and you know, have that genuine desire to seek Him. Like, you know, open up your word, pray, you know, find like minded people, but at the end of the day it’s really about you and Him and just getting into that quiet place and just shutting out everything, you know, one on one time, you know, as long as it takes, you know, just really start to develop and have faith in that relationship and trust me, it will take you to places that you couldn’t even imagine.
Jake Enriquez: 22:39 Yes sir. Absolutely man. Thank you so much for that. And folks, that’s Rob Decker from robdeckerspeaks.com. I want you to remember something about what Rob was talking about and I think about anybody who’s going through anything right now, brother or sister, if you can look up, you can get up. So get up with Rob Decker, go see him or go visit Rob at robdeckerspeaks.com. We’ll have the show notes here in this episode. All you gotta do is go to press and reach.com forward slash a PR52. Again, that’s Rob Decker. Rob. Hey listen man, we love you and we thank God for you greatly appreciate what you do, man.
Rob Decker: 23:18 Thank you so much and I thank you for having me on the show. I really hope that this message touches on some hearts and and changes live man, and let’s, all of us, let’s just keep pressin’ on.
Jake Enriquez: 23:30 Absolutely. Thanks again, Rob. Appreciate it.
The Missing Piece in Spirituality: Stories and Spiritual Principles That Will Change the Way You Think Forever, compiled by Kate Batten