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Desperation Brought This Couple Together

Addicted to drugs and searching for a new modeling gig, Will moved to LA and needed a place to stay. Ranae needed someone to love after her career was devastated by scandal, so she took him in. They fell in love, then fell in love with God. Read Transcript


WILL: Trying to get high, smoking and a lot of weed.

It was just about, OK, Will needs

to have a good time, because Will needs to numb this pain.

RENEE: Totally thirsty for unconditional

love, and no one wants anything to do with me.

I had no self-worth at all.

NARRATOR: Will was an addict who couldn't relieve his guilt.

Renee was a Hollywood cast-off, desperate for someone to love.

Both came to LA looking for a fresh start.

Their desperation brought them together.

Renee was adopted and raised in a broken home.

As the only Middle Eastern girl in small town Kentucky,

she never felt like she belonged.

RENEE: Everyone was blonde, blue eyes, had dimples,

had little button noses.

Like just looked like little Britney Spears everywhere, OK?

I felt like I had to be beautiful,

and I felt like I wasn't beautiful at all.

I told myself, as long as you have a banging, hot body,

you're set.

It doesn't matter if people love you

because you can get that void filled

by sleeping with somebody.

I just felt like sex could fix everything.

NARRATOR: Will was a different story.

He was a pastor's son, had a loving family,

and was a devoted Christian.

He started preaching at 13, earning the admiration

of those around him.

But by college, it was more about the attention

than the message.

WILL: My relationship with God was really

dwindling, because I was strictly

going through the motions.

The kudos and the recognition--

it feels good.

Being able to brag to my buddies that, oh yeah,

I got invited to go here.

Yup.

Going out of town again, you know.

Sorry I can't hang out.

NARRATOR: Then Will got a job that

boosted his ego even more--

as a store model at Abercrombie and Fitch.

Everybody there loved me.

Loved the way I looked, loved the way I dressed,

loved the way I talk.

I mean, everything was just, oh, Will is awesome.

And all it was pride.

NARRATOR: Will started pulling away from his church,

and eventually left the ministry to work in the fashion

industry.

As for Renee, she had moved to Hollywood

with dreams of becoming an actress.

Within a few months, she starred a national commercial

with Jessica Simpson, booked guest spots

on "Desperate Housewives" and "Ugly Betty,"

and even received a personal invitation

to the Playboy mansion.

I had basically gotten everything

that I had ever wanted handed to me, but I still wasn't happy.

I just wanted some kind of unconditional love.

I wanted someone who just found me

to be the most amazing person in the world.

NARRATOR: It was then she started

dating a well-known actor and moved in with him.

But it was not the fairytale she had been hoping for.

He cheated on me.

He would go drink, and do drugs, and end up in the hospital.

And then call me from the hospital

and say I drove him to do that.

But I just wanted to be loved so bad, I didn't care.

NARRATOR: Meanwhile, Will signed with an agency

in New York City.

And was modeling for Armani, Puma, Bloomingdale's, Emporio,

and Gucci.

I felt like I had arrived.

People were awesome.

I loved them, they loved me.

NARRATOR: But success came with compromises,

and a growing sense of guilt he couldn't shake.

WILL: I was doing all these things that were wrong.

Going against everything I was taught.

I was willing to sleep with whoever.

I was willing to do any kind of drugs.

I still had these moments where I felt like it was just me

and God in the room.

And he was just, what are you doing?

What are you doing, Will?

NARRATOR: While Will's career flourished,

Renee's was about to crash.

A sex tape she made with her boyfriend was leaked

to the tabloids, destroying her professional and personal life.

RENEE: It was my idea to make the tape.

It was my decision to make that.

But I was doing it to try to fix our relationship.

And try to help somebody, like, love me.

And it like ruined my life.

I couldn't get a job at this point.

No guy wanted to be with me at all.

NARRATOR: That is until she met Will.

After having a falling out with a designer,

Will headed to LA hoping to restart his career.

The night he arrived, he met Renee at a party.

It was a perfect fit.

He needed a place to stay, and she needed someone to love.

RENEE: He's willing to live with me.

He's willing to be with me.

So I'll just put up with the fact

that he does drugs, because who else am I

going to get that loves me?

NARRATOR: But the drugs Will used

to numb his guilt were costing him his career.

After three months, he had no money, no work, and no one

to turn to except God.

WILL: I said, God, I'm done.

I don't know if you still loves me.

I don't know if you still have something for me.

I just know that I can't continue

doing what I'm doing right now.

I just wanted to be in church, because it had been years

since I'd really been in church.

I remember going up to the altar and praying.

As much effort and energy that I exerted for myself,

that's exactly how much I want to give back to you.

You're my Heavenly Father, and I'm like a prodigal son.

NARRATOR: Gradually, Will stopped using drugs.

But Renee noticed that wasn't the only thing

different about him.

He started to have a lot softer heart.

He started to not be so angry.

He started to be kinder with me.

NARRATOR: Then he did something that made Renee's heart stop.

RENEE: He said, we're not going to live together anymore.

And we're not going to sleep together.

And I was like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

No, dude. no.

If you stop sleeping with me, you

will want nothing to do with me.

Trust me, I know.

And he's like, look, I'm going to show you

that we will still date.

We will still be together.

I will still be faithful to you.

And he, like, still called me.

He's still, like, took me out on dates.

And he really showed me what true, unconditional love was.

Of like, you don't have to sleep with somebody.

You don't have to live with them.

You can be faithful to them.

That was just like a total depiction of Jesus.

And I felt like--

it just like-- really, like he really showed me God.

NARRATOR: A few months later, Renee gave her life to Christ.

Two years later, she married Will.

It was then she realized that God had given her

the love she had always wanted.

RENEE: Genesis 50:20.

What evil was planned against me, God used for good.

And it's just like really cool.

Because that's something like only He could do.

NARRATOR: In 2015, they launched The Night Shepherd,

an organization that provides legitimate resources

and personal support to those working in the entertainment

industry.

Together, they share how God fully redeemed their lives.

I have found my identity in the Lord.

That He made me perfect in every flaw, and every freckle,

and everything is perfect in His eyes.

There's no room for pride and God.

And God says, it's not about your works.

It's about what I've done.

It's not about your accomplishment.

But it's what I have set for you.

And His awesome plan is better than anything

that you could ever come up with.

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