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Delivered from Demons and Addiction by the Power of Love

Ed Heath


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“I got some heroin; I got some cocaine. I go into this abandoned building, I mix it up. Suicide hit me and I was like, I just want to do the biggest shot, biggest speed ball I can do to just be done with this.” It had been two decades since Shawn Rae started using drugs to subdue the pain and anger of his broken home… it didn’t work. He says, “All I experienced from my real father was broken promises. I took it out on everybody. Yeah. I was angry. I was mad all the time.”

He took his rage to the streets where he joined Satan’s Disciples, a notorious Chicago gang. The gang gave Shawn family and an outlet for his anger. Yet soon he needed stronger drugs to battle guilt from the violent lifestyle. Shawn says, “I was a wretched soul. And I knew that. And I lived by a model: loved by few, hated by many. The drugs were creating a euphoria that masked everything that I was doing.”

Shawn did have some glimpses of hope over the years. They came through his Christian grandmother, who even called him during his few stints in prison. He recalls, “She loved on me, you know, in the midst to some of my darkest moments.” However, nothing she said seemed to sink in. So, at 29 years old, Shawn walked into an abandoned building, ready to end his life with an overdose. He says, “It was the bottom of the bottom of the barrel. I couldn't dig any further. I remember hitting my knees and, and I looked up and I'm just crying my eyes out. And I said, ‘Jesus, if you're real, then you'll save my life right now because I just want to die.’” 

Even though Shawn felt there was no response, he stopped short of taking an overdose and took just enough to get high. When he got home that night, he learned a family member had volunteered to pay for him to attend a Christian recovery center in Colorado. Shawn saw that as an answer to his prayer. He recalls, “Hope came right back. And I remember sitting on the front porch and I like looked up to the sky and I was like, ‘Are you really doing this?’”  

Shawn entered the program and endured two weeks of horrific withdrawals. Then, on day 15, during a church service, the withdrawal symptoms faded as the message of God’s love filled his heart. At the end of the service, he went to the altar and surrendered his life to Jesus. He says, “I felt this warmth come through me. It strengthened me in a way that I could continue to go on through the rest of the program.”

After finishing the program, Shawn spent the next two years working out his faith. He also started dating Nicole whom he met at church. Nicole recalls, “When I met him, I could see the hunger for the Lord. And that's really what drew me to him.” What she couldn’t see then was the pain and guilt Shawn had been suppressing for more than twenty years. He recalls, “All the things I did on the streets, all the things I saw on the streets, you know, all the things I did and saw in prison, all that stuff caught up with me. That scared me a little bit. So, when I started to feel all of these senses of emotions, I started to have attacks, like PTSD attacks and night tremors.”

Now engaged to Shawn, Nicole watched helplessly as her fiancé stopped going to church and slipped back into the man he’d once been. She says, “The music, the cursing, the anger, the just feeling of such dark turmoil, anger. It just creates a lot of heartache. It, it was just, it was just, it was not good.”

Shawn recalls, “As soon as I became lukewarm with in my faith, the enemy was right there to meet me. And, so, I picked right up where I left off, you know, with the drugs. And I fell hard.” Despite her reservations, Nicole married Shawn in 2018 and she prayed continually for her husband. She recalls, “I don't think I've ever prayed to that depth before or even after. Praying for things I never thought of praying of, his past, his family, his wounds, his trauma, what the enemy's attacks, the lies, just everything.”

One morning, as Shawn was starting to get high, Nicole was praying when Shawn says, “I just felt this overwhelming warmth and love just captivating and penetrating me. And I remember looking up to the sky and I'm like, ‘Why are you doing this? Why are you loving on me right now? I'm sinning against you, knowingly doing this. I felt this snap. It was like everything, all the weight, all of the demons, all of the hurts and pain, everything that I was dealing with, all vanished. I felt so free.” After Shawn told Nicole what happened, she started seeing changes in him immediately. She says, “Everything changed from like the going to church, his demeanor, his countenance, the bad air, the tension, the music, his language. It was everything.”

While Shawn still had to work through some of his past, he recommitted his life to God and forgave his parents. Today he shares with everyone about his healing and transformation through Christ. Nicole says, “He is the most on fire for the Lord person that I've ever known in my life. It helps me to know, man, God answers prayer.”

Shawn says, “God's grace is sufficient for all of us. And that no matter where you've been or what you've done with your life, God will forgive you if you just ask Him. He can change you for good. He can take whatever it is that you're dealing with. He can take all the lies of the enemy and He could turn around and He could turn it into a good life. God has a plan and a purpose for all of our lives if we're willing to accept it and receive it.”

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About The Author

Ed Heath

Ed Heath loves telling stories. He has loved stories so since he was a little kid when he would spend weekends at the movies and evenings reading books. So, it’s no wonder Ed ended up in this industry as a storyteller. As a Senior Producer with The 700 Club, Ed says he is blessed to share people’s stories about the incredible things God is doing in their lives and he prays those stories touch other lives along the way. Growing up in a Navy family, Ed developed a passion for traveling so this job fits into that desire quite well. Getting to travel the country, meeting incredible people, and