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700 Club Interactive: Forgiving the Enemy – May 22, 2015

One mother struggles to forgive after an NFL star killed her daughter and nearly killed her grandson. Read Transcript


Gordon: A FOOTBALL STAR

CONSPIRES TO KILL HER

DAUGHTER AND HER GRANDSON.

YOU'RE TAKING THE BABY BY

CESAREAN SECTION.

Gordon: ONE WOMAN

CONFRONTS THE MURDERER.

HE WAS ALMOST LIKE A DR.

JIC KEA DR. JECEL AND MR.

HYDE.

Reporter: SAUNDRA ADAMS

WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO THE

BIRTH OF HER GRANDCHILD.

> HER DAUGHTER WAS EIGHT

MONTHS PREGNANT AND

EXPECTING A MARRIAGE

PROPOSAL FROM HER BOYFRIEND,

NFL STAY RAY CAROUTH.

Terry: THAT PROPOSAL

NEVER CAME.

INSTEAD, SAUNDRA SPENT THE

NIGHT IN THE HOSPITAL

WATCHING HER DAUGHTER SLIP

AWAY.

THE SUMMER WAS 1997.

MY DAUGHTER CALLED ME TO SAY

SHE MET THIS FANTASTIC GUY,

RAY CAROUTH, WHO WAS PLAYING

FOR THE CAROLINA PANTHERS AT

THE TIME.

SHE WAS JUST INSTANTLY

INFATUATED WITH HIM.

HE HAD A GREAT SMILE AND WAS

JUST OUTGOING AND

FUN-LOVING.

I HAD NO REASON NOT TO LIKE

HIM.

BUT HE WAS NOT THE PERSON

THAT SHE THOUGHT HE WAS.

HE WAS MORE OF A LADIES'

MAN.

BY THE TIME THAT SHE FOUND

OUT THAT SHE WAS PREGNANT,

THEIR RELATIONSHIP WAS VERY

TUMULTUOUS.

HE WAS ALMOST LIKE A DR.

JECKELL MR. HYDE KIND OF

GUY.

HE SEEMED TO BE REALLY

EXCITED AT FIRST.

BUT THEN HE TOLD HER HE

DIDN'T WANT TO START HAVING

A LOT OF CHILDREN ILL

ILLIGITIMATELY.

HE ALREADY HAD ONE SON AND

HE WASN'T THERE FOR HIM.

SHARIKA ALWAYS WANTED TO BE

A MOM.

SHE WAS NOT GOING TO HAVE AN

ABORTION.

NOVEMBER 16th, THIS WAS

GOING TO BE THEIR FIRST

OFFICIAL DATE AS A COUPLE

AGAIN.

SHE REALLY THOUGHT THAT THE

RELATIONSHIP WAS TAKING A

STEP FORWARD.

SHE EVEN HAD IN THE BACK OF

HER MIND, I THINK, MOM, HE

MIGHT EVEN ASK ME TO MARRY

HIM TONIGHT.

9-1-1.

I'VE BEEN SHOT.

WHERE ARE YOU AT?

I'M EIGHT MONTHS

PREGNANT.

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

I WAS FOLLOWING RAY

CAROUTH.

AND HE DID THIS.

WHERE DID HE GO?

I THINK HE DID IT.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO THINK.

OKAY.

I DON'T REMEMBER GETTING

DRESSED.

I DON'T REMEMBER DRIVING.

I JUST REMEMBER SHOWING UP

AND BEING AT THE HOSPITAL.

WHEN I GOT THAT, AND RAY

WASN'T THERE, MY INITIAL

REACTION WAS HE DOESN'T

KNOW.

I'M CALLING HIM AND PAGING

HIM, TELLING HIM SHARIKA HAS

BEEN SHOT, SHE IS IN

SURGERY.

THEY ARE TAKING THE BABY BY

CESAREAN SECTION, AND YOU

NEED TO GET HERE AS QUICKLY

AS YOU CAN.

I JUST REMEMBER WAITING

HOURS.

AND WHEN HE DID SHOW UP, HE

SHOWED UP WITH ANOTHER

COUPLE AND ANOTHER WOMAN.

AND MY HEART JUST SANK.

NOT ONCE DID HE ASK ME HOW

SHE WAS DOING.

NOT ONCE DID HE ASK ME, DID

MY SON MAKE IT?

OR HOW IS MY SON?

I REMEMBER THAT LONG WALK TO

THE NEONATAL UNIT.

AND WHEN I SAW CHANCELLOR,

OH, HE WAS JUST THE MOST

PRECIOUS SIGHT.

HE HAD ALL LITTLE TUBES ALL

OVER HIM AND EVERYTHING, BUT

HE WAS JUST BEAUTIFUL.

THE DOCTORS GAVE US SUCH A

GRIM PROGNOSIS, BUT WITH THE

CEREBRAL PALSY, EVERY PART

OF HIS BRAIN HAD BEEN

AFFECTED.

ALL ALONG, I KNEW AND I HELD

ON TO MY FAITH THAT GOD IS

IN CONTROL OF THIS.

Reporter: WHO SHOT

24-YEAR-OLD SHARIKA ADAMS

AROUND 12:30 TUESDAY

MORNING.

SHE WAS TRAVELLING TOWARDS

TOWN WHEN FOUR SHOTS WERE

FIRED INTO HER DRIVER'S SIDE

WINDOW.

IT IS INCONCEIVABLE TO US

HOW ANYONE COULD COMMIT THE

COWARDLY DEEDS THAT HAVE

LEFT THEM FIGHTING FOR THEIR

LIVES.

Reporter: THE MAN THEY

MOST WANT TO TALK TO, HER

BOYFRIEND AND PANTHER'S RAY

CAROUTH, SO FAR HAS DECLINED

TO BE INTERVIEWED BY

POLICE.

IT IS OUR HOPE THAT ALL

OF THE PERSONS POSSIBLE FOR

BRINGING OUR CHILD AND

GRANDCHILD TO THE BRINK OF

DEATH, WOULD BE BROUGHT TO

JUSTICE WITH SWIFTNESS AND

CERTAINTY.

THE DOCTOR HAD TO INDUCE

A COMA.

FOR 28 DAYS SHE FOUGHT.

WE HAD TO MAKE A DECISION.

IT WAS A DIFFICULT DECISION

BUT IT WAS ONE THAT I MADE

WITH PEACE, KNOWING THAT I

STILL HAD SHARIKA WITH ME

THROUGH CHANCELLOR.

HER LEGACY IS LIVING ON.

HER LIVING WON'T BE IN VAIN,

AND NEITHER WILL HER DEATH.

HOMICIDE INVESTIGATORS

RECEIVED INFORMATION ON

DECEMBER 15th, 1999, THAT

MR. CAROUTH WAS STAYING IN A

MOTEL.

Reporter: THEY FOUND

HIM HIDING IN THE TRUNK OF A

TOILETOYOTA IN THE MOTE THE

MOTEL PARKING LOT.

THE TRIAL WAS NOT ABOUT

RAY.

WE'RE NOT GETTING THE GIST

OF WHY WE'RE HERE.

SOMEONE HAS LOST HER LIFE.

SHE WAS SO LOOKING FORWARD

TO TURNING 25.

THE PLANS AND THE

ASPIRATIONS THAT SHE HAD IN

LIFE, AND THE PLANS THAT SHE

HAD FOR HER CHILD WERE ALL

JUST SNUFFED OUT WITH THIS

HEINOUS CRIME.

THE REALLY WONDERFUL THING

IS THAT SHARIKA KEPT A

JOURNAL, A PREGNANCY

JOURNAL, AND SHE WROTE DOWN

SUCH DETAILED NOTES, THERE

WERE SEVERAL TIMES IN HER

JOURNAL SHE MENTIONED HOW

RAY PARKED IN A REALLY

REMOTE AREA.

SHE BELIEVED SOMEONE HAD

BEEN IN HER APARTMENT.

IT COINCIDED WITH BRETT WALK

INS' ABOUT HOW HE HAD TAKEN

MONEY FROM RAY TO SHOOT

HER.

I REALLY SAY THAT SHARIKA

VOICE WAS EVEN SPEAKING FROM

THE GRAVE.

THE DEFENDANT, RAY

CAROUTH IS GUILTY OF

DISFIRING AN ARM, GUILTY OF

USING AN INSTRUMENT WITH

INTENT TO DESTROY AN UNBORN

CHILD, GUILTY OF CONSPIRACY

TO COMMIT MURDER, AND NOT

GUILTY OF FIRST-DEGREE

MURDER.

I TRULY BELIEVE THAT

FORGIVENESS IS A CHOICE.

IT'S NOT A FEELING.

AND SOMETIMES I HAD TO MAKE

THAT CHOICE THOUSANDS OF

TIMES A DAY.

SHAI PRAY THAT HE COMES TO

AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND A

REPENTANCE BECAUSE GOD CAN

USE HIS LIFE TO TOUCH SO

MANY MORE PEOPLE.

BUT IF HE NEVER DOES THAT,

AND IF HE NEVER ASKS ME TO

FORGIVE HIM, IT'S NOT ABOUT

HIM.

IT'S ABOUT CHANCELLOR.

I THINK HE HAS BEEN SMILING

SINCE HE WAS BORN.

HE EVEN HAD A SMILE THEN.

HE IS SO AMAZING.

ANYBODY AROUND ME, IF THEY

HAD DOUBTS OF IF THERE WAS A

GOD AND HOW GOOD GOD IS,

THEY COULD SEE IT THROUGH

CHANCELLOR.

HEY, MOMMY'S ANGEL?

HI.

HE'S MY MIRACLE BOY.

GOD WAS RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE

OF ALL OF IT BECAUSE HE WAS

ABLE TO LET SHARIKA DRIVE

THAT CAR AFTER SHE HAD BEEN

SHOT, WITH FOUR BULLETS IN

HER.

SHE WAS BLOWING THE HORN TO

GET ATTENTION.

SHE WAS ABLE TO CALL FOR

HELP.

SHE WAS ABLE TO GET TO THE

HOSPITAL TO DELIVER THIS

BABY.

SHE WAS ABLE TO LIVE FOR 28

DAYS.

THAT WAS NOTHING BUT GOD AND

HIS ANGELS WORKING

OVERTIME.

HE SAYS THAT HE'LL NEVER

LEAVE US OR FORSAKE US, AND

HE HAS NOT DONE.

I'M SO GRATEFUL.

SO GRATEFUL.

THEY DIDN'T BURY SHARIKA;

THEY PLANTED HER.

SO SHE IS STILL GROWING AND

GROWING AND GROWING.

Terry: WOW, WHAT AN

AMAZING STORY OF JUST SEEING

GOD IN THE MIDST OF PAIN AND

LOSS AND HURT AND ANGER.

YOU KNOW?

FOR ALL OF US, AS WE WATCH

THIS STORY, I THINK WE JUST

FEEL THIS THING RISE UP IN

US THAT WANTS WHAT SHE

TALKED ABOUT INITIALLY,

JUSTICE AND SOME KIND OF --

YOU KNOW, SOME KIND OF

ANSWERS TO THE WHOLE THING.

Andrew: SAUNDRA IS AN

INSPIRATION TO ALL OF US.

SHE IS SAYING, I LOVE

CHRIST, MORE THAN I HATE

RAY.

I LOVE MY DAUGHTER MORE THAN

I HATE RAY.

I LOVE MY GRANDSON MORE THAN

I WANT TO HOLD ON TO THAT

FEELING.

IT DOESN'T MEAN THE FEELINGS

GO AWAY, BUT WHEN WE'RE NOT

FORGIVING -- WHAT AN AMAZING

STORY OF FORGIVENESS.

I'M NOT SAYING IT IS AN EASY

THING TO DO.

BUT UNFORGIVENESS SEPARATES

US FROM GOD.

Terry: SEPARATES US

FROM GOD.

AND WHEN WE DON'T FORGIVE

AND WE HAVE ALL OF THAT

ANGER AND HOSTILITY, AND WE

STUFF IT, IT MAKES US SICK.

GOD DOESN'T JUST SAY

VENGEANCE IS MINE AND I'LL

REPAY FOR THE HECK OF IT.

HE IS SAYING, GIVE ME YOUR

PAIN, AND I WILL DO

SOMETHING THAT MATTERS TO

IT.

FOR SAUNDRA TO GET TO THE

PLACE WHERE SHE CAN SEE THE

HOPE IN HER GRANDSON IS

PRETTY AMAZING.

LET'S GO OVER TO JESSICA IN

THE CHATROOM.

TERRY.

THAT'S RIGHT.

HERE IS A QUESTION FROM LIZ

LIZZIE ON THE TOPIC OF

FORGIVENESS: "I GREW UP IN A

BROKEN HOME, AND I WANT TO

FORGIVE MY FATHER FOR THE

THINGS HE DID TO ME.

AND I EVEN TOLD HIM I

FORGIVE HIM.

BUT EVERY NOW AND THEN I

HAVE FEELINGS OF ANGER, OR

SADNESS OR BITTERNESS

TOWARDS MY DAD WHEN I THINK

OF MY CHILDHOOD.

I WANT TO MOVE ON WITH MY

LIFE.

HOW CAN I TRULY FORGIVE ONCE

AND FOR ALL?"

Terry: WELL, I THINK

"ONCE AND FOR ALL" HAPPENS

IN TIME.

ONE OF THE THINGS YOU HEARD

SAUNDRA SAY IN THAT PIECE,

SOMETIMES I HAD TO FORGIVE

HIM A THOUSAND TIMES A DAY.

WE ARE NOT GOD.

WE ARE FLESH.

AND SO THOSE FEELINGS COME

BACK AND COME BACK AND COME

BACK.

I THINK THE IMPORTANT THING

IS NOT TO FOCUS ON THE FACT

WE HAVE THEM, BUT WHAT WE DO

WITH THEM WHEN THEY COME

BACK.

Andrew: WE SHOULDN'T

MISTAKE FORGIVING ONCE AND

FOR ALL WITH FORGETTING ONCE

AND FOR ALL.

SOMETIMES I THINK WE ARE TOO

HARD ON OURSELVES.

SOMETIMES WE THINK, I

HAVEN'T FORGIVEN ALL OF THE

WAY.

WE EVEN HEARD IN THAT STORY,

FORGIVENESS IS A CHOICE.

IT IS NOT NECESSARILY AN

EMOTION.

Terry: ABSOLUTELY.

AND I THINK, ALSO, WHEN WE

HAVE THOSE FEELINGS,

OBVIOUSLY, LIZZIE, YOU'RE

VERY FAMILIAR WHEN THOSE

FEELINGS COME BACK TO YOU,

LIFT THEM UP TO THE ALTER

AND SAY, GOD, HERE THEY

ARE.

BECAUSE YOU ARE WILLING AND

ABLE, I'M GIVING THEM TO YOU

AGAIN SO I CAN BE SET FREE.

GIVE IT TO HIM OUT LOUD AND

RECEIVE HIS PEACE AND HIS --

I GUESS HEALING IS WHAT

WE'RE ALL LOOKING FOR IN THE

MIDDLE OF THESE KINDS OF

SITUATIONS.

COMING UP, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN

A MOTHER AND HER SIX

CHILDREN LOSE THEIR HOME.

YOU'LL SEE AFTER THIS.

Terry: MARIA WAS A

SINGLE MOM WITH SIX

CHILDREN, NO MONEY AND NO

HOME.

AT ONE POINT SHE PRAYED FOR

GOD TO LET HER DIE SO SHE

WOULDN'T HAVE TO WATCH HER

CHILDREN STARVE.

BUT GOD HAD A DIFFERENT

ANSWER TO MARIA'S PRAYERS.

> AS THE HUGE PLANKS HIT

THE GROUND, MARIA AND HER

SIX CHILDREN HUDDLED

NEARBY.

THIS HAD BEEN THEIR HOME.

NOW IT WAS A HEAP OF ROTTING

WOOD AND CHEAP METAL.

MY FATHER SOLD THE HOUSE

WE WERE LIVING IN SO HE

COULD FIND A NEW HOUSE FOR

HIMSELF.

Terry: MARIA'S HUSBAND

LEFT HER FOR ANOTHER WOMAN.

BUT MARIIT FORCED HER

CHILDREN TO THE STREETS.

I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE

BETTER TO DIE THAN TO HEAR

THE CRY OF MY CHILDREN FROM

HUNGER.

I CRIED AND CRIED AND ASKED

GOD TO TAKE ME.

Terry: BUT THE VERY DAY

MARIA'S HOME WAS DEMOLISHED,

A TEAM FROM CBN'S "ORPHANS'

PROMISE" WAS VISITING HER

VILLAGE.

WHEN WE HEARD ABOUT MARIA,

WE CAME UP WITH A PLAN.

WITHIN DAYS CONSTRUCTION

BEGAN ON A NEW HOME FOR

MARIA.

I JUST ASKED GOD FOR

SIMPLE THINGS, A PLACE TO

SLEEP AND SOME FOOD FOR MY

CHILDREN.

Terry: BUT THERE WAS

MORE FOR MARIA.

DISHES AND FURNITURE FOR HER

NEW HOME AND CLOTHING FOR

HER CHILDREN.

AND ENOUGH FOOD TO LAST

THROUGH A COLD WINTER.

I DON'T KNOW HOW TO THANK

GOD OR ANY OF YOU KIND

PEOPLE WHO GAVE ME THIS

HOME.

I CRIED BECAUSE I COULDN'T

BELIEVE THIS IS ALL MINE.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO

HELPED ME WITH MY PROBLEMS.

YOU NEVER KNEW ME AND JET

YOU HELPED ME.

I WILL THANK YOU MY WHOLE

LIFE.

Terry: YOU CANNOT KNOW

THE DIFFERENCE THAT YOU ARE

MAKING, NOT JUST IN MARIA'S

LIFE, BUT IN THE LIVES OF

MANY LIKE HER, WHO ARE BESET

BY POVERTY.

THEY SIMPLY CANNOT MAKE IT.

IT IS NOT BECAUSE THEY DON'T

WANT TO.

IT IS NOT BECAUSE THEY DON'T

LOVE THEIR CHILDREN.

I ALSO CANNOT TELL YOU HOW

MANY CHILDREN ARE IN

ORPHANAGES SIMPLY BECAUSE

THEIR PARENTS CAN'T AFFORD

TO KEEP THEM.

YOU HELPED MARIA KEEP HER

CHILDREN.

YOU'VE GIVEN HER A HAND-UP,

AND WE SAY THANK YOU TO THE

"700 CLUB" MEMBERS.

FOR THE REST OF YOU WHO ARE

WATCHING AND YOU'VE NEVER

JOINED "700 CLUB," THIS IS

THE KIND OF DIFFERENCE YOU

CAN MAKE FOR JUST 65 CENTS A

DAY, $20 A MONTH.

WHY DON'T YOU JOIN WITH US?

IT IS A WONDERFUL THING TO

KNOW YOU CAN MAKE A

DIFFERENCE LIKE THIS.

IT IS ALL POSSIBLE WHEN YOU

CALL.

OUR NUMBER IS TOLL-FREE:

1-888-777-1999.

JUST CALL AND SAY, I WANT TO

JOIN "THE 700 CLUB."

WHEN YOU DO, WE WANT TO SEND

YOU THIS GIFT, "THE

TRANSFORMING WORD," VERSES

FOR HEALTH AND HEALING.

THIS IS BOTH A D.V.D. AND A

C.D.

AND PAT TEACHES ABOUT THE

HEALING WORD OF GOD.

AND THEN ALSO TALKING ABOUT

THOSE THINGS IN THE WORD

THAT SPEAK HEALING AND

HEALTH TO YOU AND I.

WE WANT YOU TO HAVE THIS.

THIS IS YOUR GIFT WHEN YOU

JOIN "700 CLUB

INTERACTIVE."

SO CALL NOW,

1-888-777-1999.

OR YOU CAN JOIN BY LOGGING

ON TO CBN.COM.

Andrew: THANK YOU,

TERRY.

COMING UP, A GRIEVING MOTHER

COMES FACE TO FACE WITH THE

MAN WHO KILLED HER SON.

I WANTED HIM LOCKED UP,

CAGED, BECAUSE HE WAS AN

ANIMAL.

AND THAT'S WHAT HE

DESERVED.

Andrew: WE'RE GOING TO

FIND OUT WHAT SHE TOLD THE

KILLER.

THAT'S COMING UP NEXT.

Terry: MARY JOHNSON WAS

AT WORK WHEN SHE RECEIVED

THE PHONE CALL.

SHE WAS TOLD HER ONLY CHILD

HAD BEEN SHOT, AND HIS DEAD

BODY WAS AT THE HOSPITAL.

MARY DIDN'T SNOW THE KILLER,

BUT SHE KNEW ONE THING, THAT

SHE HATED HIM.

THAT'S IT.

HE IS GONE.

I'LL NEVER SEE HIM

GRADUATE.

I'LL NEVER SEE HIM MARRIED,

HIM HAVING CHILDREN.

IT SEEMS UNNATURAL FOR A

PARENT TO HAVE TO BURY THEIR

CHILD.

Reporter: ON

FEBRUARY 12th, 1993, MARY

JOHNSON'S ONLY SON, LARAMIAN

WAS KILLED BY FOUR GON SHOTS

FOUR GUNSHOTS WITH A

GANG-RELATED ALTERCATION.

AND THEY FOUND THE SUSPECT A

FEW DAYS LATER.

I THINK HATRED BEGAN TO

SET IN RIGHT THEN.

Reporter: DURING A

POLICE INVESTIGATION,

16-YEAR-OLD LASHAY ISRAEL

CONFESSED TO KILLING HIM.

AFTER TWO YEARS OF HEARINGS

AND APPEALS, HE WAS TRIED AS

AN ADULT AND CONVICTED OF

SECOND-DEGREE MURDER.

MARY ADDRESSED HIM DURING

HER IMPACT STATEMENT IN

COURT.

I SAID, YOU KNOW WHAT?

IF MY SON HAD TAKEN YOUR

LIFE, I WOULD EXPECT HIM TO

HAVE TO PAY THE COST.

AND THEN I ENDED UP TELLING

HIM THAT I FORGAVE HIM.

THE WORD SAYS IN ORDER TO BE

FORGIVEN, YOU MUST FORGIVE.

SO I SAID, WELL, I HAD TO

TELL HIM.

BUT I WANTED HIM LOCKED UP,

CAGED, BECAUSE HE WAS AN

ANIMAL.

AND THAT'S WHAT HE

DESERVED.

Reporter: LASHAY WAS

SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS IN

PRISON.

THE GRIEVING PROCESS FOR

ME, I THINK IT BEGAN AFTER

THE TRIAL.

WAVE AFTER WAVE AFTER WAVE

AFTER WAVE, THE TSUNAMI.

THE HATRED.

HERE I AM A CHRISTIAN WOMAN,

AND I HATED THAT 16-YEAR-OLD

BOY.

AND I NEVER, EVER THOUGHT I

WOULD BE PUT BACK TOGETHER.

Reporter: AFTER THE

TRIAL, MARY WENT THROUGH THE

MOTIONS OF LIFE.

SHE VISITED FRIENDS AND

STAYED ACTIVE IN HER

CHURCH.

BUT IT WOULD BE 10 LONG

YEARS BEFORE HER EMOTIONAL

TURMOIL WOULD END.

IN 2004 HER PASTOR ASKED HER

TO TEACH A CLASS ON

FORGIVENESS.

AS SHE STUDIED THE CLASS

BOOK, MARY SAYS SHE TOOK A

HARD LOOK AT HER HEART.

I'M HEARING, MARY, YOU

NEED TO REPENT.

YOU NEED TO REPENT FOR ALL

THESE THINGS THAT YOU'VE

SAID ABOUT THIS YOUNG MAN,

ALL OF THESE FEELINGS THAT

YOU'VE HAD FOR HIM.

AND I THOUGHT, I HAVE A

RIGHT TO HAVE THOSE FEELINGS

FOR HIM.

AND THEN I HEARD, MARY, PRAY

FOR HIM LIKE YOU PRAY FOR

YOURSELF.

AND I'M PRAYING FOR HIM.

OKAY, SO I PRAY FOR HIM LIKE

I PRAY FOR MYSELF.

AND, UM, THEN I HEARD, EVERY

TIME HIS NAME COMES UP,

EVERY TIME YOU HEAR IT

WITHIN YOURSELF, SAY, I

CHOOSE TO FORGIVE.

SO I REPENTED.

AND I REALLY BELIEVE IT WAS

A TRUE REPENTANCE.

IT WAS FOR REAL.

IT WAS FOR REAL.

Reporter: AS MARY

STARTED TO CHANGE, SO DID

THE PERSON SHE WAS PRAYING

FOR.

I STARTED COMING INTO

MYSELF, STARTED MATURING.

AND WITH MATURITY, I WANTED

TO BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR MISE

ACTIONS MY ACTIONS.

Reporter: IN 2005, MARY

CONTACTED THE DEPARTMENT OF

CORRECTIONS AND REQUESTED A

FACE-TO-FACE MEETING WITH

LASHAY.

I HAVE TO MAKE SURE I

HAVE TRULY FORGIVEN HIM.

I CAN HONESTLY SAY FROM

THE MOMENT I WALKED INTO THE

ROOM, THE ENERGY LEVEL WAS,

LIKE, PEACEFUL.

WE HAD A CONVERSATION.

AND, YOU KNOW, HE ADMITTED

WHAT HE HAD DONE.

HE TOLD ME THAT IF HE COULD

HAVE COMMUNICATED THAT

NIGHT, THINGS WOULD HAVE

BEEN DIFFERENT.

SHE ASKED A LOT OF

QUESTIONS ABOUT MYSELF AND

MY LIFE.

AND IT SHOWED THAT SHE WAS

INTERESTED IN GETTING TO

KNOW THE PERSON.

I TOLD HIM, I SAID, LOOK,

I TOLD YOU IN COURT, THAT I

FORGAVE YOU, BUT TODAY, FROM

THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, I

WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I

FORGIVE YOU.

AND HE WAS, LIKE, MAN, HOW

CAN YOU DO THAT?

AND I SAID BECAUSE OF WHO IS

WITHIN ME.

IT WAS A VERY POWERFUL

AND MOVING MEETING, BUT I

FELT, LIKE, I WAS EXTREMELY

COMPELLED.

AND I ASKED HER, CAN I GIVE

YOU A HUG TO SHOW YOU MY

GENUINENESS.

I REMEMBER FALLING AND

HIM HOLDING ME.

HE HAD TO HOLD ME UP UNTIL I

FELT THIS THING LEAVE MEMENT

AN ME.

AND I INSTANTLY KNEW THAT

ALL OF THAT HATRED, ALL OF

THE BITTERNESS, THE

ANIMOSITY, ALL THAT JUNK I

HAD INSIDE ME FOR 12 YEARS,

I KNEW IT WAS OVER WITH.

IT WAS DONE.

IT WAS INSTANTLY.

INSTANTLY, IT WAS GONE.

Reporter: MARY AND

LASHAY CONTINUED TO MEET.

AND THEY EVENTUALLY BEGAN

SPEAKING IN PRISONS ABOUT

FORGIVENESS AND

RECONCILIATION.

THE MORE AND MORE WE

SPOKE, THE MORE AND MORE WE

STARTED TO GROW.

AND MARY HAS TURNED INTO ONE

OF MY BIGGEST SUPPORTERS.

SHE WORRIES ABOUT ME WHEN

I'M NOT WORRIED ABOUT

MYSELF.

AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT A

MOTHER DOES.

Reporter: LASHAY WAS

RELEASED IN PRISON FOR 2010,

AND MARY ARRANGED HIS

HOMECOMING PARTY.

I WALKED IN AND I SAW ALL

OF THESE PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T

KNOW, BUT WHO ONLY KNOW OF

ME BECAUSE OF THE PAIN I

CAUSED.

BUT I WALK IN AND I GET HUGS

AND SMILES.

THAT'S ALL PART OF THE

FORGIVENESS.

THE COMMUNITY FORGAVE ME.

ROW TODAY LASHAY AND MARY

ARE NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS.

THEY SPEAK ALL OVER THE

COUNTRY ABOUT THE POWER OF

FORGIVENESS.

I'M SO GRATEFUL WHO I AM

TODAY IN GOD.

THAT I'M NOT THAT PERSON,

WHO I USED TO BE, FILLED

WITH ALL OF THAT JUNK.

BEING ON THE OTHER SIDE

OF FORGIVENESS IS IMPORTANT

IN MY LIFE BECAUSE IT MADE

ME FREE ENOUGH TO BE

MYSELF.

I CAN REALLY LIVE AND ENJOY

LIFE.

I CAN ENJOY PEOPLE.

I CAN ENJOY BEING HOME.

I CAN ENJOY LAUGHING.

OUTSIDE OF THAT, I'VE GOT A

HUGE FAMILY NOW.

YOU KNOW, UNFORGIVENESS

IS A DANGEROUS THING.

AND I TELL YOU, WHEN YOU

ALLOW THE HOLY SPIRIT TO

RELEASE YOU, OH, MY

GOODNESS, WHAT FREEDOM.

WHAT FREEDOM THERE IS.

YOU'LL BE AMAZED AT WHERE

YOU'LL BE AT IN YOUR LIFE.

Terry: MARY IS FREE,

AND LASHAY GETS A FRESH

BEGINNING.

IT'S A GOD THING.

IT'S A GOD THING.

THE SCRIPTURES SAY THAT THE

ONE THAT OF SON SETS FREE IS

FREE INDEED.

BOTH OF THEM HAVE BEEN SET

FREE, BUT SOMEONE HAD TO

START OF PROCESS.

AND YOU KNOW, GETTING THAT

FREEDOM ISN'T DEPENDENT ON

THE OTHER PERSON'S REACTION

OR RESPONSE WHEN YOU OFFER

IT TO THEM.

BUT SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO

OFFER FORGIVENESS WHEN WE

DON'T EVEN KNOW WHETHER THE

OTHER PERSON WILL RECEIVE IT

OR NOT.

BUT GOD HAS A PLAN.

AND THE PLAN INCLUDES THAT

FORGIVENESS.

IT'S A PLAN TO LET GO OF THE

PAST AND LET JESUS BE YOUR

PRESENT, TO WALK INTO THE

FUTURE WITH TRUST AND FAITH

IN YOUR HEART, UNFETTERED BY

ALL OF THE WEIGHT OF

BITTERNESS AND RESENTMENT

AND ANGER AND HOSTILITY.

IT BEGINS WITH SIMPLY

SAYING, GOD, I'M WILLING.

HELP ME.

HELP ME TO BEGIN THE

FORGIVENESS PROCESS.

I WANT TO REITERATE THAT TO

YOU.

IT IS A PROCESS.

YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES WE FEEL

LIKE THERE IS -- WE JUST

CAN'T DO IT.

AS ANDREW SAID EARLIER, THE

FEELINGS ARE SO BIG.

JUST SAY YES TO GOD.

LET HIM CHANGE AND SHAPE

YOUR HEART.

IT IS A PROCESS, AND DAY BY

DAY, MOMENT BY MOMENT, HE'LL

ACCOMPLISH IT IN YOU.

ANDREW?

Andrew: WHAT A

POWERFUL, TERRY.

YOU SAID EARLIER, THAT THIS

CAN'T BE DONE WITHOUT THE

LOVE OF CHRIST IN OUR

HEARTS.

Terry: IT IS

IMPOSSIBLE.

Andrew: WE LEAVE YOU

WITH TODAY'S POWER MINUTE

FROM: "BE KIND AND

COMPASSIONATE FOR EACH

OTHER.

FORGIVING EACH OTHER JUST AS

CHRIST FORGIVES YOU."

FOR JESSICA AND TERRY, I'M

AND KNOCK KNOX

WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME ON

"700 CLUB INTERACTIVE."

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