Rob Decker: Falling Into You

XrayMy eyes slowly opened and as they began to focus I found myself staring at darkness…small points of light shining in the distance…the moonlight barely lighting the night.  My mind snapped into focus as I became acutely aware of the searing pain that ran through my entire body and my eyes slammed shut.  I tried to breathe but struggled to take shallow short breaths. I tasted blood and I felt a hot tear run down my cheek.  I heard voices.. yelling…the crunch of glass.  Why did God let me live?   The world faded away....


“We think you should get an abortion, you’re too young.”

Those words were uttered to my mother by many people throughout the nine months she carried me.  My mother made the difficult choice to keep me and on May 20, 1978 I entered this world.

One of my earliest childhood memories was the day I proudly came home from kindergarten with my graduation certificate reading “Robert Yancy”. That was, after all, what I had been told was my name since birth.  However, that day I was confronted with the harsh reality that the man I called “Dad” was not my biological father.  He told me the last name on the certificate was wrong and that it should read “Robert Decker”.  I was instructed that from that day forward, I would use my mother’s maiden name.  My Dad made it clear that his daughter was the only “real Yancy” child in the family.  This poignant memory served as a significant turning point for me – I was an outcast from my own family….an afterthought.

Most kids grow up with “home” being something special, safe and comforting.  Mine was filled with turmoil and fear.  There was no quiet or safe place in our house…it was constantly filled with arguing, drinking, smoking, drugs, and physical abuse.  It became commonplace for police arrive at our front door.  I would escape the toxicity by staying at friends’ houses or out on the street.. anything to get away from the hell I knew was waiting for me at home.   

By the time I started high school alcohol, drugs, girls and fighting consumed my life and led me down a dark path. As a freshman I would pick fights with seniors and I spent a month in juvenile hall.  I was constantly looking for outlets to numb the pain of the neglect I felt at home.

The drugs and alcohol abuse continued through my twenties. I buried the pain of my childhood with constant partying and fighting. I moved through an endless series of short and meaningless relationships.  .  By 28 my life was a complete mess and I had written myself off as a lost cause.  I was an unemployed alcoholic and drug abuser.  

bookA friend I had met through work was one of the bright lights in my life.  No matter what I did, this guy always was there to encourage me.  I knew he was a Christian and would regularly invite me to church.  My response was always the same “Nah..that’s not for me.”  

One night I decided to go to a men’s bible study.  I was unsure of what to expect.  To my surprise, everyone there was so accepting.  I sat and listened intently and at the end they asked to pray over me.  I reluctantly agreed and as they asked Jesus to come into my life I began to shake and I started to get physically hot.  I felt a sense of peace for the first time in my life. I am pretty sure that was the fire of the Holy Ghost coming to save me.  I left feeling refreshed..ready to make a change in my life.  Unfortunately, two short months later I found myself returning to my previous life.

I was in a toxic, codependent relationship.  Every bit of money we made went to support our drug and alcohol habits. My girlfriend turned to selling herself as an escort to make money to pay her bills and enjoy the finer things in life.

On May 28, 2007, I received a phone call from my girlfriend.  She was travelling with a “client” and was upset because he had physically assaulted her giving her a black eye and also had forced himself upon her.  She texted me a picture of her injuries, apologized to me for all the wrong she had done, and told me that she wanted to make it right when she came back.

When she came home, we talked a while, started drinking, and things started to become intimate. I stopped her and couldn’t continue because of everything that transpired between us and because of what happened to her on her trip. We started to argue and I went to bed.

I woke to loud banging at the door and a voice yelling “Open up! Police!”  My girlfriend came into the room and informed me that she had called the cops and told them that I raped her and tried to kill her.  It felt like I had been hit by a ton of bricks.  That betrayal stung deep and my mind raced as I thought of what would happen to my life…I lost all hope. I felt I could not go on…I was done..I didn’t want to feel this anymore.. I didn’t want to feel anything anymore..

Through tears I stammered “I can’t do this anymore and I’m ending it here”.   I then turned and jumped head first through a third story window.


I remember hitting the window.  My foot had clipped an awning on the way down changing my fall and I hit the concrete on my left side.  I shattered my left arm to pieces, collapsed my left lung,  broke my right wrist and severed a vertebrae in my low back.

Upon arriving at the hospital I was taken immediately into surgery and eight hours later I was wheeled into a room.  When I woke up my eyes slowly opened and they began to focus.  I found myself staring at a bright light and an IV bag....a constant beeping filled the room.  I was wearing a back brace, external fixator and cast on my arms. I had tubes coming out of my neck while they were pumping me with morphine.  I couldn’t lift my head...everything still hurt despite all the drugs they were pumping into me.

Eventually a police officer came into the room and informed me that I was under arrest and being charged with rape, attempted murder, and my current bail was set at one million dollars.  The doctors told me that I would likely never walk again due to the severe damage to my spine.  I wasn’t allowed any visitors because I was under arrest.  I was all alone.

As I was lying there shackled to the bed and trying to make sense of all of this, my mind went back to that time months earlier when I had felt God’s peace in that bible study.  I asked God, “Why would you do this to me..why would you allow this to happen?”  At that moment the bright lights of the room started to dim, the chaotic noises of the intercom, oxygen machine, rustling of the doctors and nurses all faded away. I felt the intense pain subsiding and I heard this small still voice say, “The charges will be dropped, your bills will be paid and you will walk again.”  I then fell into a deep sleep.  

When I woke, all the sounds of hospital rushed back and my debilitating pain returned throughout my whole body. However, despite all that I felt an overwhelming peace and calm.. that same feeling I had felt months earlier at that men’s bible study.   In that moment I knew it was God filling me with hope.

Days passed slowly as I laid immobile.  There was a police officer stationed on duty outside of my room 24/7.  One morning, the officer on duty walked in my room as he flipped through a file and aggressively blurted out “Mr. Decker…you aren’t a very good guy…you haven’t lived a very good life.”  I simply nodded and he started asking me about that fateful night.  

I explained to the officer that I had made a lot a bad decisions in my life but what I was being charged with was not one of those choices.  As tears began to fill my eyes, monitors started to beep and a nurse walked in and asked me to calm down and the officer to leave.  As the nurse left the room my heart sank as I saw my girlfriend enter the room, saying nothing and hiding behind sunglasses and a new hairstyle trying to disguise herself.

The same officer came back into the room and approached the bed.  His tone was softer as he asked “Is that…who I think it is?”  I nodded.  The officer looked at the file and back at me and said…“After what she says happened…something doesn’t seem right..her coming here.” He then turned and escorted her from the room.

A few days later detectives took the shackle off my wrist and told me that all charges had been dropped.  I was finally allowed to have guests and my mom was the first to come…tears streaming down her face.  The doctors had just told her that I was probably never going to walk again. I knew she was still processing that her son might never walk again and I said to her  “I know the doctors said I wouldn’t  walk again.”  Silence filled the room until she said “I had hoped life would have ended for you so that you would not have to suffer in this life anymore.”  Her words sounded harsh but I knew it was coming from a good place.

A week after my first surgery, therapists wanted me to try to stand for the first time.  It felt like an impossible task  but I knew in that moment I needed to do this.  I needed to do it to prove to myself that I might walk again. I needed to do it for my mom to give her hope.

I closed my eyes as the two therapists sat me on the edge of the bed and I imagined Jesus Christ getting beaten and broken while carrying His cross. I had to try. As the nurses lifted me to my feet I felt immense pain surge through my entire body…slowly I was able to drag my left foot across the ground.  I collapsed back on the bed.  The nurses and doctors were discouraged and informed me that there would be another surgery.  I was reminded of the promise that small voice had made to me and a small smile spread across my face because I knew everything would be okay.

My hospital bill of over $840,000 was miraculously paid for by the state. Just one more blessing that came to fruition in my walk with Christ.

After six weeks I was released from the hospital and I moved in with my mom.  

I was taking six different pain medications and drinking to help numb the pain.  I felt myself slipping back to that dark place I had been before all of this so I turned my focus to God.  I began praying all the time and reading my bible.  I surrounded myself with other Christian friends that would come by and take me to church.  I developed some really strong relationships with these Christian brothers as the days went by. However, my body was not healing.  

In early 2009 I had to go back for my 3rd 8 hour back operation where half of my back was fused together. The operation left me with no curve in my lower back and put me back in recovery mode.  

Over the next few years I stayed with a friend and his family. Things were getting better and I knew that I was going to have to fight really hard to get back in shape and most importantly off the pain medications. I focused on building my body back up again…and after two years I stopped all pain medication.


About 5 years after breaking my back I was getting my body physically into shape again.  I continued to focus on my relationship with God and knew without a doubt that God had His hand in my life. I knew the next step was to get off disability and get a job.  I decided to return to my passion of fitness as a personal trainer where I could now help others and use my experiences to make a difference in other people’s lives.  

I applied for a position as a personal trainer at a local gym. My boss assigned another employee to train with me to assess my abilities as a trainer.  This was the first time meeting Alyssa -- I was simply mesmerized.  She had a smile that lit up my soul and beauty that radiated inside and out.  While working there I found myself actually wanting to go to work just to see her. We had a lot in common from the very start.  She was an athlete and we instantly connected over that.  I discovered that she was a Christian as well and we would often find ourselves talking about Jesus and how God was working in our lives.  

Before long I worked up the courage to ask her out and we started dating.  For the first time in my life I was in a healthy relationship where we leaned on each other and actually helped each other be better people.  Alyssa was having a positive impact on all aspects of my life.  She encouraged me to, give up alcohol and in solidarity, she quit drinking simply because she wanted me to. She was helping me become a better man. After dating for two amazing years I asked her to be my wife and on March 16th of 2014, we were married.  We broke bread together and were baptized the night before our wedding.

Today, my life is in a vastly different place because of God’s transformative love and grace.  God has continued to bless me and my family over the years.  Alyssa and I now have a beautiful one year old boy named Caleb and I try every day to lead by example and raise him in a house of God.

My journey is now the fuel that drives me to share the power that God can have in people's lives.  God promised me from the beginning of this journey that he would take care of me, and He has. If God can take someone like me and bring me back from literally falling to the lowest of lows…he can do the same for you.  If you fall… he will catch you.

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Rob Decker Speaks / Kingdom FIT
Locaton: Colorado Springs, CO
Phone: (408) 509-5093