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The 700 Club

Women, Wine and Weights Result in Back-Breaking Reality Check

Ed Heath - 700 Club Producer

“I never really truly felt love or affection in my household.  There was just way too much anger, way too much physical, emotional, mental, conflict in the house.”

Growing up with abusive and sometimes absent parents, Rob tried to cope any way he could. He recalls, “I started drinking at a pretty young age.  I think I was about 15 years old. For me it was just never a fun thing it was an absolute escape from absolutely everything.”

While alcohol, and eventually drugs, helped him cover up his hurt and anger, it was sports and fitness that gave him what he really needed. “The lack of affection, the lack of love, the lack of someone paying attention to me is probably why I really drifted toward fitness,” Rob speculates, “because in that industry it's all about the ‘me.’  Right?  You know, it's all about ‘Look at me.’”

In the years following high school, Rob went through life with no direction or purpose. He recalls, “Life in my 20s was a huge blur. I wasn't able to hold on to jobs too long. I think my true motivation was drink as much as I can, do as many drugs, have as much fun as I can. I was on a destructive path.  It was basically like slow suicide”

Meanwhile, he continued working out.  That led to a number of relationships, but they were superficial and short-lived “I’d been in a couple relationships that were really, really good, but they weren’t destructive enough for me.” Rob remembers,  “And so I destroyed those relationships and I hurt some really good people in the process.” When he was almost 30 Rob met a girl and soon fell in love, but like all the others, it turned bad quickly. He recalls, “It was extremely destructive. There was nothing positive about it whatsoever. It was more of, you know, tearing each other down and there was nothing edifying about that relationship whatsoever. So her and I broke up due to all the negativity in our relationship.”

Going through another break up was devastating.  “And that’s when one of my old co-workers, a friend of mine, had convinced me to go to a Bible study. And at this point I'm like, ‘Why not?  You know, I have nothing else going for me, this God-thing might work.’” Rob said, “And this group of like 10 or 12 guys uh asked me if I wanted salvation and if I wanted to accept the Lord. Absolutely! I just knew like something in my heart, something in my spirit kept telling me, you know, ‘This is the right decision.’  You know, you get this little tugging at you like ‘this is what you need to be doing.’”

But weeks later, his ex-girlfriend came back. “She told me that she wanted to see me and that she was sorry for everything that ever happened between us and that she really wanted to work it out. I was just drawn to her for whatever reason, you know? And it wasn’t a healthy one.” Rob remembers, “I turned my back on the Lord, knowing what was best for me, to go back to what I was familiar with.” Their relationship was as destructive as ever. Then, one night at her condo they had another argument. This time she went too far. “She had called the cops and told the cops that I tried to rape her and I tried to kill her.” He said, “And when those words came out of her mouth she completely betrayed me and turned her back on me, you know?  And that was – that was painful.  I felt extremely betrayed, and I felt extremely broken and hurt and uh very confused, like it just didn't make sense to me whatsoever.  Hopeless is probably the best word.  I felt very hopeless. And in that moment, I just – I was like ‘I just can't do this anymore.  This is not the life for me.’”

Rob dove head first through a 3rd story window. He recalls, “My foot clipped an awning and changed my fall and I end up breaking my back and shattering my left arm, breaking my wrist and collapsing my left lung, and I just woke up on the ground with shallow breath and looking up at a broken window and asking God ‘Why?’  Like why would you – why would you even let me live? I was in terrible, terrible, terrible pain.”

Recovering from seven surgeries on his back and arms, Rob had plenty of time to think about his life. “Here I am completely shattered man, and I’m not going anywhere. I can’t move. I can’t even feed myself.” He said, “I believe that that was my one-on-one time with God and he reminded me how just a couple months prior to me jumping out the window, how I actually accepted him right where I officially, in a-a group of-of Bible-believing men, accepted him to be my Lord and Savior, and here you are. This is what you did.  And-and so, here we are.  Now we can have a relationship, all the – everything's out of the way now. Like now it's just me and you.”  

The girl eventually withdrew her allegations and disappeared from his life.   As Rob recovered, his priority was getting to know God. “My ‘why’ questions to God were like, ‘why would you let me live? Why would you let me experience this?’ I already had the troubled childhood, I didn’t have a good relationship with my parents or my sister. ‘Why?’” Rob believes God clearly spoke to him. “But I was never really mad. Because at the end of the day like I still know that those are my choices, I chose to drink and I chose to do drugs. I chose to not lean on him. I chose not to seek him out, those were all my choices. And you know, he reassure- he kept reassuring me like how great my life was going to be. – and he’s not lying.”

With God’s help Rob kicked his drug and alcohol problems. Today he shares the love he found through Jesus Christ with his wife and son. He’s also a personal trainer using lessons from his past to encourage people who feel their lives are hopeless. He said, “I was using my talents and my gifts and my charm for all the wrong things in this life and I knew that God loved me and he wanted me here and that he wanted me here for a greater purpose than what I was putting out there. If you earnestly seek him, he will help you.  And I know that.  You knock on that door and he's going to open it and he's going to bring you right in.”

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