29: The Projects and the Cornfields

with LaMorris and Megan Crawford | November 2, 2020

LaMorris and Megan Crawford came from two different worlds. He grew up in gangs on the South Side of Chicago. She grew up sheltered in the cornfields of Indiana. But when Megan met LaMorris at a Christian college, she fell in love. Her parents, however, did not. They didn't have to meet him, he was black and that was enough.

Show Notes and Resources

LaMorris and Megan Crawford came from two different worlds. He grew up in gangs on the South Side of Chicago. She grew up sheltered in the cornfields of Indiana. But when Megan met LaMorris at a Christian college, she fell in love. Her parents, however, did not. They didn't have to meet him, he was black and that was enough.

Show Notes and Resources

29: The Projects and the Cornfields

With LaMorris and Megan Crawford
|
November 02, 2020
| Download Transcript PDF

LaMorris: She ends up pulling the trigger twice. Both of the bullets hit my mom—one in the chest, one in the neck.

I was a kid in trouble. I was selling crack cocaine by the age of 14. For 20 years of my life I thought I was an accident because of the life my mother led, so when I read the verse that “I formed you in your mother’s womb,” Kim, it changed my life.

I call her. It’s like 11:30 and at the end of the conversation she goes, “I just want to be honest with you and just tell you this up front.”

Megan: “My parents would never agree to us being together,” because he’s black.

Kim: From the FamilyLife® Podcast Network, this is Unfavorable Odds. I’m Kim Anthony.

Unfavorable Odds is about finding hope and help in those seasons of life when things are pretty tough. Jesus has promised us that whenever we walk through those dark valleys, He’s always with us. We will never have to go it alone, so on each episode of this podcast, we’ll be talking with some people who have learned how, during those really dark times, to draw their strength from Jesus.

If I have ever seen an example of 1 Corinthians 13 played out in a relationship, it would be in the life of the two people you are about to hear.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

He grew up on the south side of Chicago where he was involved in a gang at an early age. She, on the other hand, was raised sheltered in a Christian home in a small town in Indiana. Their worlds were very different, but Jesus was the common thread that drew them together.

LaMorris and Megan Crawford are the parents of four beautiful children. LaMorris is a speaker and motivator, and they both are on staff with Athletes in Action serving as chaplains for the Cincinnati Bengals.

I had a conversation with them about how they overcame the personal challenges that marked their childhoods and about their love story that broke down some walls of racism even within Megan’s own family.

LaMorris, I’d like you to take me back to the time before you were born. What do you know about your mother?

LaMorris: That’s a good question. I don’t know very much, just what’s been passed down from her sisters, her brothers, my grandma. But she was a tough little cookie. She was pretty much what we would call on the streets a hustler.

She made decisions at a very young age. She sold drugs. She was a prostitute, ran with gang members, and she did what was necessary to take care of her two kids. She had her first child, my brother, at 14, and she had me at 16. From the stories that I’ve gathered in my investigative work, those are a few things I know about my mom before I was born.

My mom was always a rebel so to speak. She got in trouble in school, and she had got sent off to a girl’s home in Michigan for troubled youth. She was there that fall. She actually came home for Christmas break that December.

My aunt, who was her best friend, they pretty much did everything together. They were having this after school party; like every—almost every day after school they came to my grandma’s house and hung out—everybody in their neighborhood.

This particular day that’s what’s happening. It’s in December. It’s cold. This one girl comes down, wanted to come in and basically was told no, so she got into a verbal altercation with my grandma. My mom heard her arguing with my grandma, so her and my aunt came upstairs. Fighting where I come from is normal, so they beat her up.

Kim: Well hold on. Let’s get into where you come from.

LaMorris: Oh yes, absolutely, south side of Chicago all day, born and bred. [Laughter] I grew up in Altgeld Gardens Housing Projects on the south side of Chicago. That’s where I was born and that’s where these events occurred.

Kim: They go upstairs, and you said fighting was common. What happened next?

LaMorris: They fight. They jumped her. She leaves, and they think it’s over.

Well, she comes back and kind of the same thing reoccurred. They hear again. While she basically cursing out my grandma, they come back up. But this time she pulls out a gun and pretty much points it at my aunt, but my mother steps in the way.

She ends up pulling the trigger twice. Both of the bullets hit my mom—one in the chest, one in the neck. This was December 11, 1980. My aunt who my mom stepped in front of was nine months pregnant.

Kim: Oh, my goodness.

LaMorris: My cousin who would eventually lead me to the Lord was born three days later, December 14th. Yes, so 17 years old, she was shot and killed.

Kim: I’m so sorry, LaMorris. I’m so sorry.

What were those years like for you early on growing up?

LaMorris: Oh, pain, pain. I’ve never met my father to this day, so I’m so grateful for my grandma. She took us in. She raised nine kids. Four died. She raised nine grandbabies.

Kim: Four died.

LaMorris: Yes. My mother was murder in ’80. My uncle at 17 was murdered in ’83. My aunt at 28 was murdered in ’89. But my aunt in between there had a brain tumor. She died in ’87. So ‘80, ’83, ’87, ’89, my grandmother lost four kids, so she raised nine grandbabies.

Kim: Wow.

LaMorris: Yes, I’m so grateful she didn’t give us up; put us in the system. She kept us.

I had a lot of pain as a kid. A lot of things right early I didn’t understand. “Why me? How could this happen? Could I at least have met her? Could I at least have had a conversation? What’s her personality?” You know, little things.

Kim: Yes.

LaMorris: I think the father piece, and this sounds weird, but it wasn’t a big deal because no one at where I grew up had a father. So that felt normal, but most people have mothers, right?

Kim: Right.

LaMorris: I think the stat is 75-77 percent of inner-city homes are single moms, so that was normal. The father piece didn’t hit hard ‘til later in becoming a man. But yes, a lot of pain; a lot of rebellion. My grandmother did the best she could with what she had.

Kim: Right.

LaMorris: That pain came out in different ways, anger. I was a kid in trouble in school. My desk sat next to the teacher’s. I began repeating the same things in which I came from. I was in a gang at a very early age, and I was selling crack cocaine by the age of 14. That was my childhood, more survival mode than anything.

Kim: Did you look to those gang members and drug dealers as your heroes during that time or did you feel like there had to be something more?

LaMorris: Yes, I didn’t know there was anything more. That’s all I knew because that’s what I saw, so that influence became a huge part of wanting, belonging. Knowing that you got some guys that you with every day, and like I said, it felt like what I was supposed to do because of where I came from. I didn’t realize that there was more until I got older.

Kim: When did things begin to change for you?

LaMorris: I graduated middle school by a miracle. [Laughter] Don’t know how I did it.

Kim: By a miracle.

LaMorris: I don’t remember doing an ounce of homework. My grandma met with the school board and they agreed that I could walk across the stage, so I did. I made it to high school, still dealing with pain, and began to do things that I thought would fill the void in my life. I was a four-year starter on the basketball team. I was voted the most athletic kid out of my class. My high school was 2500 kids.

Kim: Oh, goodness.

LaMorris: I was turnabout king, homecoming court, prom court. I thought these things would fill the void, but the void got bigger. Drugs, none of that could do it. Alcohol couldn’t do it. I thought because of my athletic ability, that was it. Like all the stuff I’ve been through here it is, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t at all. It didn’t do anything.

My senior year I was being recruited. I had a good basketball career. I was being recruited by schools. I always wanted to leave Chicago but I ended up scoring a 14 on my ACT.

Kim: —fourteen.

LaMorris: Fourteen, yes. So all those doors closed, of course, so I ended up taking a scholarship at a community college. I played one year of basketball there. When I was 19, that’s when I had encounter with Jesus and my life completely changed.

Kim: Wow! But up until then, you really struggled with your own identity. How did that play out for you?

LaMorris: Because I didn’t know who I was, I had no idea of where I was going. I had no idea what to major in in college. Only thing I knew I wanted to do was play basketball. I couldn’t tell you what may—I didn’t know none of that. [Laughter]

For some people basketball was a sport. For me basketball was life. Because on that court it didn’t matter the pain I was facing. It didn’t matter that I had holes in my shoes, I was a dirty kid on the block. I was good. Because of that, that helped me escape that pain.

When it came to college, I had no idea—what are you talking about? I want to go to the schools that’s going to give me the most money because I can’t afford if I don’t go. I had coaches visit my home, calling, so my identity was wrapped up in my athletic ability. Not necessarily—because I didn’t know that there was this God who had a purpose, call, and destiny on my life, so I couldn’t attach it. All I knew was basketball, so that was my identity.

Kim: As you were describing being the dirty kid on the block, you having holes in your shoes—but then this basketball, it gave you this new persona, this level of respect I would imagine.

LaMorris: Absolutely. The same drug dealers you’re looking up to, they cheering for you on the sideline, right, placing bets on Lil’ Boo. My nickname was Boo. [Laughter] Even though the kids who did have could talk about me off the court, they ain’t wanna see me on the court.

Kim: Okay.

LaMorris: That was my “Got you.” You could say whatever you want. You get that basketball. It’s a done deal. That was kind of how I stuck my chest out.

Kim: It gave you significance, right?

LaMorris: Yes, yes.

Kim: When did God intervene and how did He do that?

LaMorris: Yes, yes. The miracle of the story of my cousin being born three days later—he had accepted Christ at 16. We went to the same high school.

When his mother was murdered, his brother and sister come live with us. We slept three to a bed. We lived in the same projects, but they lived—if you know anything about Altgeld Gardens, they’re blocks—so it was blocks one through seventeen—we lived in block ten—they lived in block seventeen. We would go over to each other’s house. We would walk the blocks, right? 

His mother gets murdered in ’89. They move with us, so we were more like brothers than cousins. Fast forward, high school, I’m the man, right? He’s a wrestler. Actually he was—when he was 14, he was the leader of a gang in our neighborhood. He had nearly 300 kids under his authority. They carried dope for him, guns for him.

Kim: —at 14?

LaMorris: —at 14. He ended up meeting this girl at Wendy’s—Burger King—Burger King, and she didn’t have a ride home. She had to close that night so she—he ended up walking her home. Her dad ministered and told him the gospel—

Kim: Wow!

LaMorris: —and ending up building a relationship with him and leading him to the Lord.

He became a believer at 16, and I watched his life change. I know his story. We slept in the same bed. I saw something happen in his life that was—we would say bananas. But I didn’t want none of that because I’m the man so to speak, right—starting point guard, popular kid.

But then at 19 something happened in which I remember being broken. I remember being, “If this is what life is about, I’m going to be bored because I’ve done it all.” I remember thinking, “Really, what is this about?” So he told me the gospel. He told me the gospel, and I accepted Christ and my life was radically changed.

Kim: Wow. Now did you ask him about his life change or did he volunteer the information. How did that play out?

LaMorris: It’s interesting. What happened—this how he got me, Kim. He set me up. This what he did. He was like, “Hey, yo, cuz. There’s open basketball at my church on Wednesday nights.”

I was like, “What did you say?” [Laughter]

He was like, “Listen, I’ll even come pick you up.” He would come and pick me up on Wednesday nights. He didn’t say nothing about we going to be having some worship. We going to sit down, hear a message. All I heard was basketball and I was suckered in. You got me. Because he knew I loved the game.

I would come up to this church in the suburbs what felt like a hour ride, right, and schooling these kids. We would sit down and there was these messages. Then I’d start hearing the words like “purpose,” “destiny,” “God loves you,” “Father God loves you”—these little words and it was just seeds.

Then we would ride home, and he would just minister to me. He already had my ear because I know where he came from.

Kim: Yes.

LaMorris: I saw his life change. He didn’t have to convince me. I saw, now I know, God change his life. Then we prayed the sinner’s prayer and it was a wrap. My life was changed.

Kim: Wow, the power of a living testimony. We can’t underestimate how much our lives mean, how much our walk is important. I think a lot of times we wrestle with “Okay, how many people can I share the gospel with directly?” when our whole life can be the gospel if we’re walking with Christ.

LaMorris: Absolutely!

Megan: Yes.

LaMorris: As you know, Kim, the hardest people to win is your family—

Kim: Yes.

LaMorris: I think what God did—just our story. I believe—God has been speaking to Megan recently about the word sovereignty, sovereignty—and just to think of our story—the day my mother was murdered, him being born three days later—his mother being murdered—we sleeping three to a bed—we go to the same high school—you just see this sovereignty. 

By the time the gospel was presented, it was like a set up the whole time, right? [Laughter] I just watched him. I just saw God begin to bless and do things in his life that was counter generational to where we came from. I saw generational curses break in his life. I saw him having a car and, it’s crazy, insurance, right? [Laughter] I know it sound crazy.

Kim: I get it.

LaMorris: His attitude changed. He got out of the gang. I’m like, “Who is this dude?” He couldn’t fake it because we slept in the same bed. “I know you,” right? [Laughter]  It was just so—Kim, it really was the sovereignty, grace and mercy of God, now that I look back and know the character of God.

Kim: Tell me about the transformation that took place in you personally after you trusted Christ.

LaMorris: Two of the biggest things that God did in me was, number one, I remember reading the text that says, “I formed you in your mother’s womb.” Remember, Kim, for 20 years of my life, I thought I was an accident because of the life my mother led, so when I read the verse that “I formed you in your mother’s womb,” Kim, it changed my life.

Because everything that I was stretching for my identity, I found that the God who created the heavens and the earth, the God who placed the stars in the sky with His finger—not plural, singular, one finger—and called them by name. Scientists can’t even tell us how many stars there are. That God—those same hands knitted me.

Megan: Yes.

LaMorris: It didn’t matter how I was conceived. It mattered who created me. It set me on fire, set me on fire. That was the biggest thing, when I found that I wasn’t an accident, that the God who loves me created me, it changed me. 

The second thing was purpose. When I realized that everything God creates on purpose, He creates for purpose, it was over. That it didn’t matter how I got here. It didn’t matter where I came from. That God is orchestrating my life. It changed everything for me.

I had a basketball scholarship to that community college, full ride. That next year I didn’t play.

Kim: Why not?

LaMorris: Because I never missed church. Every time the church doors was open, Kim, I was there. I went to three services, Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, small group, volunteer, raked the leaves, package bags. Every time the doors were open, I was there.

For early in my walk with God, that was one of the biggest struggles, “Did I make the right decision? Did I make the right decision?” Because I knew God gave me this gift, right? Because my goal was like, “I’m going to transfer and go D1, and hopefully, if I get a shot, play overseas, whatever. I was just going to string it out as long as I can go to see what could happen. That was my heart desire since I was a kid, to play pro ball at whatever level. I didn’t care.

But to know that this idea, family and love—when I was in this space, I felt loved.

Megan: Yes.

LaMorris: Because then I would have to go back to the projects and there go all the drama, right. But when I was in this space with these people, I felt love. It was like, we were the last ones on Wednesday nights in the parking lot talking. I’m like stringing out. I don’t want to go home. [Laughter] I mean, you know.

Then I did that for three years. I worked full time, went to school full time. Then that’s when I transferred to a university, and that’s where my lovely bride comes in.

Kim: Megan, I want you to share with me how your life was perhaps different growing up than LaMorris’s was.

Megan: Yes, our stories are very different. I grew up in the middle, basically, of corn fields in a very predominant white neighborhood. I went to a little school—really so far completely opposite stories— [Laughter] —a little school where I had one African American friend. She was the only one in our school. She’d been adopted into a white family. Even just the neighborhood of what I was around and used to was not only evident in my physical life but also was emotionally with my family. 

The way my parents grew up, I think, is an important piece to this because they grew up very sheltered. My dad was in a really rough—grew up in a lot of rough neighborhoods and just experienced a lot of really difficult things in his life. Because of that, he decided that his children would never go through that so we were very put in the middle of no place.

I have three older brothers and we just were like, our little tiny bubble was the end of the world for us. This was it. I grew up in New Castle, Indiana.

As I was learning to understand what it was like to grow up in a Christian home, there were a lot of different persuasions for me. I basically had a picture of Jesus handed down to me from generation and generation. When He got to me, He was just kind of blurry.

Although I’m really thankful for the Christian heritage and that legacy and just pillars of faith in our family, it was the scripture that the tradition of man makes the word of God of no effect. That’s what I felt like I grew up in, so I’m trying to learn and understand who God is.

I got saved at a really young age. I don’t remember how old I was. I don’t remember that moment taking place which I’ve revisited several times, like, “Is that okay?” But throughout my life I continued to rededicate myself to the Lord.

Kim: Megan, did you ever wrestle with identity as you were growing up?

Megan: Yes, when I was probably five—I also don’t remember the age, the exact age of this, but I had been molested for probably four, five years by a family member. I always knew I needed to protect that family member, because I felt so bad for them. [With Emotion]

Kim: As a little girl, you took on the responsibility of protecting someone who was literally doing you harm. Is that what you’re saying?

Megan: Yes, yes. I began to see how different her life was and how unfortunate the situation was, so it was such a burden for me because I grew up—I was almost like this—I don’t know the best way to describe it but like a survivor’s guilt, right, because I had this—I have two parents that love me.

LaMorris: Can I give a little context really quick? Is that okay, Kim?

Megan: Sure.

Kim: Sure, absolutely.

LaMorris: What she’s saying is the family member that did it, her dad made decisions that put them more of a poverty level mentality, so she felt bad for them. The dad wasn’t present. The mom struggled. They struggled—not clothes, no food, that type deal. But her dad worked hard to get him out. She grew up more higher level middle class and they grew up more poverty. When this is happening, she feels so bad for her—

Megan: Yes.

LaMorris: —and what she’s going through that she didn’t really say.

Megan: I would say that it’s kind of above that though because really it was like the family unit. At least I knew my parents loved one another. Her parents were divorced. There was just so many things that were messed up in her life, specifically, that I was like, “I’m in a really good position.” I felt like I could see that early on. Like, “I need to protect this because this is not normal. It’s not healthy.”

Although, of course I know that’s not correct, that definitely shaped me. But also God in His perfect sovereignty, there’s such a beautiful plan and a way out of it that He wants to use that story in a way that you could never think or imagine.

Kim: Megan, let’s move into your college years. When did you first meet LaMorris?

Megan: I met LaMorris—well first, in high school I was told, “This is the university you should go to. This is where you’ll save money.”

I was like, “But I just want to be in a Christian environment.” I’d been in public school my whole life. Again, the sovereignty of God—I just had this real true desire, like hunger and thirst for God, so I was like, “I just want to be in a Christian university.”

I get to my orientation. I’m with my friend and it’s time to sign up, and LaMorris and his friend are working for the university. I need to—

LaMorris: We were student workers.

Megan: Yes. “We need to figure out right away my roommate, future roommate. I—we need to figure out right away where we’re going to live because we have top choice.” In all of my personality, I need to figure it out. I need to be organized and I want to know so we don’t miss this great opportunity. [Laughter]

I’m asking all these questions, trying to find the right people, and that’s when we see LaMorris and his roommate, also. At the time, yes, they’re student workers for the university. We went up to them right away and just started asking questions about the school. That was the first time I saw him. But I didn’t hardly notice him because I needed that top room. I needed the best place. [Laughter]

Kim: You were on a mission.

LaMorris: Yes.

Megan: Yes. I just knew that he was African American and I didn’t know very many people that didn’t look like me. That was my first interaction.

Kim: Okay. LaMorris, let me hear your side of this story.

LaMorris: Yes, man. That was initial first time. That was in June of 2004. I was a transfer student. I had transferred there in the spring of ’03. I’m what’s called a student ambassador. We have—because we do also a transfer student orientation—my roommate and I worked for the transfer office, but we also partnered with the orientation event as a whole. Her and her friend come up to us asking, “Where do we go to sign up for a room? Yada, yada, yada.”

Then that fall comes. I’m walking through the bookstore to get books and I see her in line with the book of a class that I had already taken. I just walked through the line and said, “You won’t need that book.” That’s all I said.

Megan: Right, and I was like, “I don’t know who you are, and it’s on my list of books.”

LaMorris: I know. Right, right.

Megan: But for me, I was like, “This is on my list of books, and I’m a rule follower.” [Laughter] “I haven’t heard that yet.” I was like, “I’m going to get the book.”

LaMorris: I go downstairs, get my book, come back up, didn’t think about it. I was like, “She surely cute. She young.”

Then I go to class, and we’re in the same lecture hall for a class. I was like, “Hold up.” She’s super smart, so she sat like three rows up. I’m like 12 rows back. You know what I mean?

Kim: Yes.

LaMorris: The hall was on an angle going down so when you walk in you have to walk down the stairs to lecture hall. I’m up. She’s down. I would wait for her to walk up the aisle and try and meet her in the center and walk out with her. You see the picture?

Kim: I see.

LaMorris: I had my book bag, and I’d done put my book in this book bag five times waiting on her because she’s down there talking. I’m like, “Man, this is getting too evident. What are you doing?”

That started us walking together out of class, and I just began to get to know her. We would go to the coffee shop. Then the university would tend to have mandatory chapel. We would go grab some coffee and then walk over to the chapel.

That was kind of the beginning—nothing in depth—just getting to know her. Her roommate was sweating, right. But I was you know, “Brother, I’m from the projects.” I’m like, “Man, I’ve got to be in this computer lab. I ain’t got no laptop. You know what I mean.”

Her roommate sitting next to me, “What do you think about Megan?” I mean she like drilling me.

I’m like, “Girl, I got to get this paper done. You rich. You got a laptop in your room. You can stay up all night. This thing close at midnight.” I was like, “Alright, just tell her I’m going to call her.” She bee lined it out that room.

Megan: So funny.

LaMorris: She runs to the dorm and then—

Megan: Yes, I have no idea that she’s there with him or any of this is happening at all. I’m hanging out with a group of friends, and she runs in and just interrupts everything that is happening and is shoving me to our room.

I was like, “What is wrong with you?”

Then finally she was like, “LaMorris is going to call you.”

Of course, I begin asking her, “Why is he calling me? It seems like you know exactly what’s happening and this is weird.” Of course, we had talked about him. But I already knew that my parents would never agree to us being together because he’s black.

That didn’t really stop me though. I went right up to my room and waited for him to call. Before this he had said—he had said a few things like, I would randomly see him in the cafeteria and he would say, “I called you. You never responded.”

I was like, “What do you mean?” I had a cell phone and all of my friends had cell phones. I didn’t realize he didn’t have a cell phone. He was calling me, but he was calling me on my room phone which we never checked, right.

LaMorris: I’m trying to get study sessions, right. We in the same class. I’m like, “Yo, I need help with this.” You feel me. I’m trying to study with shorty. She ain’t answering none of my calls. I’m like, “Man, I’m fixing to sweat you.” [Laughter]

Megan: There were many moments like that where I was like, “Oh, I clearly am not seeing actually how he feels or what he’s thinking if he’s…," I didn’t understand that. I go up to my room. He calls.

LaMorris: I call her. It’s like 11:30. I look up. I think it was a quarter to five in the morning—

Megan: Yes.

LaMorris: —when we got off the phone.

Kim: Oh, my goodness.

LaMorris: We talked about everything, Kim. Heard her story. She heard my story. I mean we talked about everything. At the end of the conversation, she goes, “I just want to be honest with you and just tell you this up front. My parents will not agree with me liking you because you’re black.”

I said, “That’s alright. I will not date you unless I get your parents’ permission anyway.”

Megan: Then I was like, “Oh no, I love him. That happened quickly.” [Laughter]

LaMorris: Kim, it took three and a half years before her dad said yes to me dating her.

Kim: Okay, when did you start asking?

LaMorris: Her freshman year in college.

Megan: He would call my dad. He would take my phone and call my dad. He would say, “Mr. Petty, this is LaMorris. I’m just calling to see if I can take Megan to the movies.”

My dad would say, “No, LaMorris, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

LaMorris: Anytime I wanted to take her out, I would call and ask his permission.

Megan: And every time he would say, “No, LaMorris, I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

LaMorris: —every time.

Kim: This went on for three years?

LaMorris: —three and a half years.

Kim: —three and a half years.

Megan: Then I started getting to the point after year two—I’m sure I cried the first year too, but I would just be sitting there crying. Because he wasn’t just receiving phone calls from LaMorris. I was talking to my dad. Actually, that’s when my dad and I really became the closest. Because I do have three older brothers. It was almost like he got to me and we don’t really know how to communicate because “I’ve been raising men.”

In college we just, because of LaMorris, were able to get really—have really intimate and good conversation. In that, he would say to me, “Megan, I know that you think I’m going to change my mind but I’m not going to,” or he would say, “Megan, I know I’ve always said yes to you but I’m not going to change my mind.”

Kim: Did he give you a reason why? Also, I want to know was he a man of faith during this time?

Megan: Yes, so yes. Like I said, growing up, him and my mom were raised in extremely conservative homes. They were part of a religion that she wouldn’t wear makeup. She wouldn’t wear jewelry. She’d wear her hair in a bun. She wasn’t allowed to trim her hair. She would be preached at from the pulpit if so. If she curled her hair with a curling iron, they would discuss that as a part of a sermon.

Then my dad was raised the exact same way but obviously as a male. They didn’t have a TV. He had to wear sleeves that were past his elbow just to stay very conservative and not draw attention to himself. Because of that, they get married, they escape this religion that was very unhealthy for them and very, in a lot of ways, cult-like from what they share—the stories they share, and so they were free.

Now, they’re into this new religion that is just Scripture, but there’s still some doctrine and some man’s rules. A big piece of what they learned was that being interracially married was a sin and that—I don’t know if you want to use this part or not but this is just the truth—but that black people were cursed.

Kim: Wow.

Megan: Because of that, they did not want us to be together. They thought, truly believed, that it was a sin.

LaMorris: Yes, so they didn’t think it was biblical to be interracially married. That that was—

Megan: Actually, the best way I would describe this is, yes, they loved the Lord. My parents went to church, raised me that way. I watched them pray. I watched them live a life for the Lord.

I think that, given the way they were raised, there was just some residue, just stuff stuck in them that they didn’t have to deal with and they never had to confront and had never been an issue for them. Because my dad would never and my mom would never say that they ever experienced a time where they thought, “We don’t like African Americans.” But when it came to their daughter, then they had to face the truths of what was in their heart.

We would go on Daddy-Daughter dates. Every time I would come home from school, from college, which we lived three and a half hours from, we would go on these Father-Daughter dates. Basically, just pretend LaMorris didn’t exist. It was better for all of us in that moment, right. We can’t talk about him. This one particular Daddy-Daughter date, I was just feeling bold because I thought, “What’s so interesting is that a lot of the attributes and the things that I love about LaMorris are just like my father.”

We’re sitting there talking and I’m just slowly leading the conversation saying all these things that I appreciate about my dad and how I see that in LaMorris. Then right then we look up. There are TVs in the restaurant. He doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t point. He just looks up and stares. It was an African American man being arrested, and just really—just spiraled down to like, “That’s what you’re describing to me, Megan,” without saying that.

I was like, “Dad, you don’t even know him. This is not him at all. Don’t you trust what you’ve put in me and taught me to find out the kind of character of a person that I would want to be with?” That was just one of the many stories that we have.

LaMorris: Kim, now when I come to Christ at 19, I start going to that church in the suburbs. The staff, pastor was white, so the spirit of racism was broken off of me when the man invested in me like he would a son. I never pictured being in an interracial marriage. Like I didn’t grow—like what I grew up like, “The white man’s the devil.”

Kim: Okay.

LaMorris: I get saved. That quote, unquote devil is investing in my life. He’s stepping up, speaking into my life, becoming a father figure in my life. By time I get to our university, which is 90 percent white, my heart was already broken from that spirit. Now I have a expectation that all believers—

Megan: Right.

LaMorris: —has this new found love for the brethren. But, brother, came to find out quickly it was not that way. [Laughter] 

When he—when she said that I was on a mission to love. I was like, “I’m fixing to show what it means to love,” right?

Kim: Right.

LaMorris: Love people who don’t look like you. That was my mission. Anytime I encountered him, I wanted to be authentic and me. Of course, the classic Martin Luther King quote, “A man shouldn’t be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” I wanted him to see who I was, not what I was.

Megan: I would go home on any break and we would have strong conversations. I definitely wasn’t disrespectful. I feel like God revealed to me where they were, and just the theme of my life of like protecting people, I understood that they really didn’t understand.

At this point, I’ve ransacked the Bible. I know what they said and what they’ve been taught isn’t correct. I’m going home. I’m receiving stacks of paper stapled on my desk of why it’s not okay for interracial couples to be together. Because you can google anything and you will get an answer, the answer you want. With my three older brothers, I mean just adding fuel to the fire.

Kim: The entire family was ultimately against this relationship.

Megan: Oh, yes.

LaMorris: —and extended family.

Megan: Yes. My grandfather had told my dad that he would excommunicate him from the family if he ever agreed to me dating LaMorris.

Kim: Wow!

Megan: Mind you, this grandfather was never even really a part of my life ever. He lived a couple of miles away but just given a lot of religion and tough things, what my parents came out of, it wasn’t healthy.

He had said a very strong statement that he would prefer that I married a long-haired alcoholic hippie than a black man. My dad knew right away that that was wrong, but he’s still a man and this is his dad. No matter the story they have together, that was a problem because he still wanted approval from his dad.

I’d come home—if my mom’s grandparents would come to visit, they would put any picture that I had out, in a group setting—I didn’t have pictures of just us because we were honoring what my parents said, which was that they didn’t want us to be together, so I didn’t have pictures of just us—but any picture with LaMorris in it or any of his friends who were my African American friends, they would put in my drawer. 

Kim: Wow!

Megan: I was just feeling so hurt; like this is confusing.

When I went home for Christmas break one time, my mom and I were making cookies and talking about nothing, just life. It was really good and just a really good spirit of joy and peace. Out of nowhere my mom said, “What would I ever do, Megan?”

I was like, “What do you mean?”

She’s like, “How would I ever push a biracial baby in a stroller?”

I was like, “What do you mean, Mom? I guess how you’d push any other baby in a stroller.” We just sat in it for a second. Actually, I’m emotional saying it because the truth is, she really didn’t know. She really thought, “This is a problem.”

It was a beautiful moment because she’ll tell me now, and she told me several years ago when things were reconciled, that she actually didn’t know that answer. She really—when I said to her, “I guess how you’d push any other baby in a stroller,” because she was saying it in the context of her grandchild, she said, “Then I realized, ‘Oh, yes, I guess so.’”

Kim: Wow!

LaMorris: There was a lot healing that needed to take place. I believe growth comes when you’re willing to confront what God reveals. God doesn’t reveal things to embarrass us. God reveals things to heal us.

Megan: Absolutely, and this story was bigger than us. It wasn’t just so we could get married and have our babies.

LaMorris: Absolutely.

Megan: It was for our family

LaMorris: God broke a lot of things. I’m talking about, not only did I have to deal with my father in law, future father in law, I had to deal with three dudes. They were mean. It’s funny because the meanest one is my favorite now. I hope they don’t’ listen to this. [Laughter]

I love you, Tim and Nick, but he was the toughest. I remember coming into their house one time. He didn’t look at me. I went to shake his hand. He didn’t stare. He didn’t respond, nothing—mean mug the whole time.

Megan: Had a rebel flag in his bedroom hanging.

LaMorris: Yes, had a rebel flag in his room. Had one on his truck, her other brother.

But I just wanted to love. I just wanted to really show that I am who I say I am. Everything you heard about me is true, not perfect, but my character and who I am as a man is true.

Megan: In the meantime, he was just shaking everyone up, right. They’re just—but now they’re caused again to confront a situation in their heart, in their minds that they were like, “Wait. Why is Megan who’s never caused a problem…?” I never partied. I never went against what they said. I never had a rebellious stage, so this is like them seeing Megan rebelling and then seeing Megan standing firm in it. Like, “Wait a second.” It caused everyone to stop, which I just think is important because of the end of the story.

LaMorris: Yes, so over those years I had a few encounters, whether they had come to see Megan or I had got hired by the university and her territory is where I recruited. I had to visit churches in their area, so my name is floating. I’m in spaces with them.

Three and a half years later, so her junior—going into her last year of college, I called him. I said, “Mr. Petty, I’m officially asking you if I could date Megan.”

What felt like a hour silence, he said, “Yes,” and then he said, “But—”

I was like, “Aw man!”

He goes, “I want to talk to you first.” So I took the three-and-a-half-hour drive down and her parents live on 12 acres.

Megan: We drove together which was a really big deal.

LaMorris: We did, yes.

Megan: We didn’t even go on dates together. [Laughter]

LaMorris: Yes, we drove down together. It’s a beautiful morning. I come out. Megan’s over there with the horses. I’m walking behind him out the door. He turns around; he has tears in his eyes. He goes, “LaMorris, first, I want to ask you to forgive me for being racist, and two, had I not seen Christ-like character in you, I would’ve never given you permission to date my daughter,” and we hugged.

The only way I can describe what was taking place is the picture when Jesus comes out of the water being baptized, the Holy Spirit descended on Him as a dove. In other words, it was a picture of the presence of God resting on Jesus. I felt the same way with us. You can feel the presence of the Lord resting on us. He’s crying. I’m crying. Kim, you can sense the healing. You can sense it.

To this day, he is my Dad. To this day, I can—right now, Kim—call. Right now, on this podcast, I can call him on speaker phone and say, “Dad, I need A, B, C.” He’ll say “Son, come and get it.” There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for me. He loved my grandbabies well. He loves me well. God just totally redeemed everything.

That was in June—May, June. I proposed that November. We were married the following July. Then three months later we’s pregnant. [Laughter]

Kim: LaMorris, how did you find it in your heart—and I know what the answer is but I’m going to ask you this anyway—how did you find it in your heart to persevere for three and a half years to date Megan when you knew how her family felt about you?

LaMorris: The family was the wall that I had to get over for my prize. It really wasn’t about the family. It was about Megan. I mean she is so special and godly. She was literally the first tangible human that I experienced the true love of God in and through, like meeting me in my weaknesses, encouraging me, supporting me. She—there was no way I was fixing to leave this university without her. If the price was willing to be paid to go through a whole bunch of white people then, “Let’s do it. Let’s go.” [Laughter]

Kim, it was worth it because I knew how special she was, and I knew that’s what I wanted as a wife. It was worth the fight. My brother-in-laws are awesome. Like I said, they were the roughest but now seriously, same thing. I could call them right now; they’ll put down everything. They’re my brothers. Just to see what God did, it was worth me fighting for her.

Megan: Yes, even with my grandparents.

LaMorris: Yes,

Megan: No one ever thought they’d change.

LaMorris: Her grandad hugged me—the one that was going to excommunicate her dad—he gave me a hug years later. It was crazy.

Megan: And then began saving seats for him at family functions.

LaMorris: Yes. He wouldn’t let people sit down. He’s like, “This seat is for LaMorris.”

Kim: Oh my goodness.

LaMorris: Yes, it was Kim—I mean God just did a work, a work in their whole family, whole family. Then her grandad on her mom’s side—every single time he would not let me come or leave his house without hugging me. He’s 89. He just turned 89. To this day, I was just at Megan’s parents’ house and same thing. He hugged me. It’s so cool to see what love is and how love can transform. 

Kim: Megan, what was it like the first time LaMorris took you home to visit his family?

Megan: On the way, LaMorris gave me a whole understanding of what to expect because basically he sees this little innocent girl that grew up in the cornfields and little understanding of what his culture might be.

We got to his exact neighborhood and to the house that he was raised in. I was just overwhelmed with how different life could be.

If anything, I felt nervous, but I felt nervous because I thought, “Am I completely out of my element and what is the perception of me here?” Like, “What do I seem to look like?” Because I had heard a lot of things from my family, too, just like what black men could assume of having a white girlfriend or wife or what I could be assumed as for having a black boyfriend. We had just experienced some little things like that that I had no idea, too. I wasn’t privy to at all.

When I was in the household, the first thing we did actually was we went and got Harold’s Chicken which really gave me all that I needed to spend the rest of my life with him. But while we were there, just watching. His grandmother had a candy store. Just watching her interact with the neighborhood kids was really powerful to me because I thought, “They love her, and she has all authority in this place.” There was no way they were going to talk back to her or disrespect her.

It was just a really interesting dynamic that I hadn’t experienced with the strength of the female line in my family. When I’m watching his grandma, I was just really impressed by her strength in who she was.

Then at the same time—I believe it was that same trip—we decided to go to this local shoe store. I don’t know what came over LaMorris. I guess he’d just got paid or something because he wanted to buy me all these shoes.

I was embarrassed. I’m like, “You don’t have to do that.”

He’s like, “No, I want to.” So now I’m walking around. I have three boxes of shoes in my hand. I’m the only white girl in the store and I’m very aware, like very discerning. What were you going to say?

LaMorris: Then, I took the boxes—

Megan: That’s what I was going to say.

LaMorris: —so now she’s looking at shoes. I’m carrying the boxes. The only white girl—

Megan: While’s pointing out like, “Those would look really cute on you. Do you like those?”

I was like, “Yes.”

LaMorris: Then we went from three boxes to five boxes.

Megan: Then it became fun. Now I’m having fun because I’m like, “He’s not going to let me walk out of this store without shoes,” so I’m enjoying it, right?

He had said this statement to me a few times: “Just let me love you.”

That’s what I kind of connected in this moment was like, “This is a way he’s loving me, and I’m not getting out of this store without picking out some shoes.” So I just start enjoying the process.

But as we’re walking around, then I’m pretty sure these two women are talking about me right now. I’m highly uncomfortable because the statements weren’t quiet. Now they’re at a point where they want me to know they’re talking about me and just saying things like, “Who does she think she is?” Of course, just mocking the fact that he’s got all these shoes and I’m—basically I’m making him do this for me.

We get to the front of the store and I tried—when I’m uncomfortable any way I try to make a little joke. It’s my way out of that uncomfortable situation. The girl that was checking me out—I had just made a joke about it must be really difficult for you to work here because I had just spent all of my paycheck, right. She didn’t respond to me at all, didn’t look at me, and I was like—so then I look at LaMorris. I’m ready to get out.

He says, “She’ll take that purse too to match those shoes.” [Laughter]

I was like, “Oh my!”

LaMorris: When I saw her attitude, I was like, “Actually let me get that purse too.” She was just so rude, and it was evident. It was so evident.

Megan: Inside I’m like, “Shoot, I wish I could tell you everything that’s happened in my family and in our life. I want to love you. I want to be your friend.” When we left, we’re laughing about it but it was a big deal because he had said to me in the car like, “I understand if you never want to come back here.”

I was like, “What?” I was like “No. It’s not about the store. It’s not about how I felt or how I was uncomfortable. I want to be here because this is a part of who you are and how you were raised. I want to know this part of you.”

LaMorris: We go by my auntie house. My auntie—I hate to say it—stereotypical auntie. She crazy, right.

Megan: I love her. She’s great.

LaMorris: She’s a shoe fanatic. My auntie, she is a shoe fanatic. She’s like, “Girl, these shoes. Where you get these from?”

Megan: Oh, and she loves me, loves me.

LaMorris: Yes, she loves Megan. She was like, “Where did you get these from?” I couldn’t even get the name off my tongue and she was like, “Blah, blah, blah. I’m going to get these.”

It was like, “Auntie, you wouldn’t believe what just happened.” We told her the story.

She said, “What? I know everybody work there.” Got in her car. Kim, do you hear me—and went to that store and snapped on that girl.

It’s like, “Auntie—

Kim: On the one behind the cash register?

LaMorris: Yes, yes.

Megan: I was like, “You don’t have to do that.”

LaMorris: She shopped there all the time so she knows everyone there.

Megan: The perception—I’m telling those stories because the perception of his family for me became “We’re just doing this together. We don’t look alike. We don’t sound alike. We don’t even act alike in a lot of situations, but we have the same common thing and that’s we love LaMorris,” right?

I wanted to enter those spaces of feeling uncomfortable because, like I said, we understand that in order to get to the reconciliation and to look different and live a different lifestyle, it’s going to take hard, weird moments where I feel uncomfortable, where I might say something that sounds stupid because it was unintentional, but because I want to be present and a part of those conversations.

Kim: That’s good.

Megan: So that—leaving in that moment, I was “What just happened?” For sure that was like my initial—just a little bit relieved because I’m going back to a place that I know which was our campus. But at the same time being so grateful.

I remember tearing up when he said, “I understand if you never want to go back there.” Because I had met his family and the whole and just like every family there’s a lot of people that your like, “That’s my family, like us or not.”

I remember him saying that and I teared up because I was like, “Yes, I definitely want to go back, and I want to know them more.” It was a sweet time. I felt they welcomed me well. I’m not exactly sure what they said when I left but I know that to my face they were great. [Laughter] That’s all I needed to know.

Kim: How are you and your family experiencing the current tension in our country right now revolving around race?

LaMorris: I think the two words we’ve probably been using the most is “praying” and “processing.” Then we’ve just decided we’re going to use this season to serve.

We’ve been walking through with a lot of pastors across the country, my white brothers and sisters, and just serving them, whether it me speaking with them, doing counseling type fills and then just dialoging—having a place where people can come to the table and “Let’s dialogue. Let’s process.” But also bringing into light even being in an interracial marriage.

We have four children who the world would say is black. For us, we lived this since day one. We’ve counseled interracial couples, so for us this is a lifestyle. This isn’t a moment. This is who we are.

Kim: As I think about identity, both of you talked briefly about that, your children and their identity. I remember being in the hospital with a friend of mine who is biracial—her father’s black—mother is white—and the doctor gave her a form to fill out where she had to choose African American or White or Hispanic. She held the paper up to me and she said, “Kim, what should I check?” It never dawned on me that she would question that part of her ethnicity. How do you counsel your kids? What do you say to them?

Megan: For us, we show them where their identity is and that is through Jesus. That’s where we start. We want them to be extremely proud of both heritages—that you are black and you’re white and why that’s so powerful. We also want to share the ugly details of history and what the truth is because we want them to understand and we want them to hear it from us.

But at the end of the day, no matter what the wrestle is, no matter—even at their ages now, they’re young—but from five years old to ten to hear them say certain things. Like for instance, my daughter said the other day—our nine year old, she said, “Mama, I was just thinking.” She said, “White girls say, ‘Mm-hmm,’ and black girls say, ‘Mmm-hmmm.’” 

I was like, “They do. What made you think of that?”

She’s like, “I don’t know.”

I said, “Well, what do you say?”

She said, “I say both.”

Kim: Wow.

Megan: It was just such a sweet moment because I was like, “That is the point.” I don’t want them to be confused.

Back to your point of your friend in the hospital, we’ve talked about those things many times and watched documentaries. The thing we always go back to is we need them to know who their Father is, the One that created them, and the One that knit them together in their mother’s womb.

LaMorris: Yes.

Megan: We need them to know who that is because that is their number one identity above anything else.

This—we’re their earthly parents, right. We’re the ones taking care of you now and wanting to shepherd their hearts and love them well, but it’s not about our skin. We want them to know that; which is such a fine line, because we also want them to be proud of both.

Kim: I’m sure that there are a lot of people who are listening who can understand where you are or maybe they had no clue that issues like this are prevalent in our country and in Christianity.

I think we have this impression that, like what you said, LaMorris. You said you were able to be exposed to an environment where there were black people, there were white people as Christians and there were white people who actually fed into your life. They helped you, kind of like a father figure in a sense.

But sometimes we think naively that because someone professes to be a follower of Jesus that they would automatically not have those types of biases.

LaMorris: Right, right.

Kim: When, as Megan said, sometimes you don’t realize you have those biases until you have to confront them directly yourself, until it involves your son or your daughter, right?

Megan: Right.

LaMorris: Then you’ve got a choice to make. That’s what I love about God giving us free will. He’s not surprised that you’re faced with this thing. The question is “How are you going to respond?” If you’re my child, if you say you look like me, you love like me, let’s see it. That’s the test of growth is willing to step in those spaces that are uncomfortable, because that’s where you grow the most.

Yes, the cross was traumatic, but He rose again. He faced it and was rewarded by being raised from the dead. He’d never died before but yet He faced it and God rewarded him by raising him from the dead.

As we face things, God rewards us through healing us, through revealing more of His character to us, by mending relationships. That’s the beautiful part of it.

Megan: Yes.

Kim: It’s like doing surgery. You have to open up those wounds, so to speak, so that you can see those things that are bad inside of us. Then He can come in and clean all those things out and perform surgery on our hearts.

Now earlier this year in 2020, the coronavirus began to spread through the nation. Some people really didn’t know what to do about it. There’s some who thought, “Ah, is this for real?” Others were afraid of it. But tell me, what were the circumstances leading up to you becoming aware that this indeed is a real issue?

LaMorris: I tested positive. [Laughter] It’s probably the scariest, one of the scariest things if not the scariest thing, I’ve ever faced.

I had gotten up at around 3:45 in the morning. Megan had just been doing everything—all the meals, kids. I think we were still homeschooling at the time, taking care of me.

When I woke up I didn’t turn any lights on because I really, in my mind—this is the only thing that happened in my mind—I wanted to let Megan rest. I don’t want to wake her up, so I got out of the bed really slow. I walked around to the bathroom. I have to go to the bathroom, you know what I’m saying. I sit down. It’s dark and it felt like—

Megan: He didn’t even turn the light on.

LaMorris: It felt like it was about to come out of both ends. The only way that I can describe what was happening in my body, this is the only picture that I can try and articulate. I don’t know if you ever put your tongue on a nine volt battery.

Kim: Yes. [Laughter]

LaMorris: We used to do it as dares as a kid, right. It felt like that times a hundred starting in my core. I could feel it rising up all the way to the top of my head and all the way to the souls of my feet. I knew I was about to die. If that what death felt like, that was it.

In my mind, I’m not even in fear. I’m like, “I’m about to see Jesus.” The only time fear kicked in is when I thought about Megan with no husband and my kids with no father. That’s when I got afraid. To think everything that I wanted to see, to be a father to my kids that I never had, to have a marriage that I’ve never seen, it’s all about to go.

Kim, no kidding you, as I know I’m about to die I hear this voice, “Ghost, are you okay?” It was Megan. She woke up out of a dead sleep. It’s dark now. I can’t see her. It’s literally pitch-black dark in our room. I can’t see her, but I hear her voice. Because also in my mind I’m thinking, “She’s going to wake up and find me dead on the floor.” When I heard her voice it brought peace.

She said, “Are you okay?”

I said “No.” She hops up, turns the light on, and that’s when I fell off the toilet and I couldn’t get up. I start profusely sweating like someone just poured a gallon—

Megan: Yes, it looked like a bowl of water.

LaMorris: —yes, over my head. I don’t know how I got up, but when I stood up, the room is leaning. Like my bedroom is leaning to the side. I’m like, “Why is my room leaning?” Megan, now that I know I was standing on one foot. I thought I was standing up straight, but I was standing on one foot leaning about to fall in the bathtub.

Kim: Oh, my goodness.

LaMorris: But I didn’t know that. I thought I was just standing up. I get to the bed. I profusely sweat on the bed. Megan gets me a new t-shirt, helps me get dressed, and we bee line it to the emergency room. That feeling happened three times. Each time I just thought I was going to go. We took the test and it wasn’t until 11 days later that we got our results back that I tested positive for COVID. God brought us through.

Kim: LaMorris, I’ve heard you talk about the importance of changing the legacy of the Crawford name. But then as I listen to Megan’s story, even though she’s not, maybe she is too, changing the legacy of her maiden name in terms of the racism that’s involved. For both of you, your lives are so different than they were when you were growing up.

Will you close us out by sharing with us what you think the secret is to breaking generational cycles, whether it’s poverty, violence, victimhood, racism?

LaMorris: I would say that the promises of God are only to the overcomer. The promises of God are only to the overcomer.

The key I believe in building legacy, overcoming generational curses, is that you can’t quit. If the Bible says clearly that God watches over His word to perform it, that he cannot lie—the scripture says it’s impossible for God to lie. Numbers 23:19, “For God is not a man that he should lie.

Megan: Right.

La Morris: He will bring to pass everything He’s promised you as a son.” [Paraphrase]

For me, I just knew that I encountered a living God who changed my life. I knew if I continued to walk with Him, that I wouldn’t quit, I wouldn’t draw back, I wouldn’t take my hands off the plow, I wouldn’t give up, I wouldn’t throw in the towel; that He would do for me what I never dreamed of or imagined.

It wasn’t to seek Him because of what He could do. I sought Him for who He was and a byproduct of who He is, is just to bless you.

We tell people all the time, “Don’t seek his hand. Seek His face,” because if you get His face, you get all of Him. If you just go after His hands, you get some of Him. I want all of Him.

Kim, if you have a wallet in your purse and Megan asks for five bucks, you can give her five bucks. But if she walks with you, she gets all of you.

Kim: That’s good.

LaMorris: For me, I said I know I want to be a father to my kids that I never had. There’s only one way to learn that characteristic and that’s to walk with God which means I can’t quit. I want to build something long-lasting for the kingdom. I know if that’s going to happen, I can’t quit. I want to have a marriage that’s never been seen before. I know if I’m going to do that, I can’t quit.

It’s very clear in Revelation that the promise is only to “he who overcomes,” “to he who overcomes,” “to he who overcomes.” That’s the walk of Christianity. It’s not about the stuff. It’s not what He can do. The question is, “Do you trust Him enough to stay with Him?”

Kim: That’s good.

LaMorris: I would say that would be the key for legacy, for purpose, destiny; for it all.

Megan: Yes.

LaMorris: “For He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” [Paraphrase] “For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross.” He saw something and He overcame.

Megan: That’s good.

Kim: One of the things that comes to mind when I look back at LaMorris and Megan’s story is that, whatever your background is, we all at some point are in search for our identity. I mean we are trying to figure out who we are and what our purpose is in life. It’s only when we enter into a relationship with our Creator that we learn what His intentions were when he formed us in our mother’s womb.

I always find it interesting how God uses even those broken experiences in our lives to help shape us into who He desires us to be. He even uses those experiences to help us impact other people in a way that we would not be able to do had they not been a part of our lives.

It can seem like unfavorable circumstances we encounter, especially those that are out of our control, have stolen precious years from our lives, years that we could never get back. Like LaMorris losing his mother at an early age or Megan having to deal with abuse as a child.

Have you ever felt that way, like those years have been stolen from you? I know I have. But I find comfort in Joel 2:25, that says that God can restore those years. I’ve seen him do it in my own life.

Something else from LaMorris and Megan’s story that spoke volumes to me, it was how LaMorris persevered in his pursuit of Megan. Out of respect for her father’s wishes, he waited to get his permission before he took her out. I mean a brother may wait for a few months but three years. [Laughter] That’s some supernatural love right there. His love did not insist on its own way, but his love bore all things, believed all things, hoped all things, and endured all things.

As LaMorris continued to demonstrate his love for Megan and in humility honor and respect her father, the Lord used his Christ-like example to soften the hearts of racial prejudice. This is a couple who has been through some serious challenges. Yet as I walk away from the conversation, I walk away feeling that there is just this calm confidence in both of them that Jesus is on the throne and He can be trusted with whatever comes our way.

Thanks for listening. If you want to find out more about the Crawford’s, check out our show notes on the Unfavorable Odds page at FamilyLife.com/podcasts. There you’ll also be able to listen to the other podcasts on the FamilyLife Podcast Network.

If you enjoyed today’s conversation, I hope you’ll subscribe. You can search for Unfavorable Odds wherever you get your podcasts. You can also try asking your smart speaker or digital assistant to play the latest episode of Unfavorable Odds.

If I could ask you for a favor, would you take a few minutes and leave a review of Unfavorable Odds on Apple Podcasts? It helps others to find the show. If you think someone you know would enjoy todays episode, consider texting them the link or posting it on social media.

Next time on Unfavorable Odds:

Molly: I was fighting to come to and kept saying, “How are my babies?” and the doctor and pediatrician came in and told me the bad news—that two of them were stillborn.

Kim: That’s Molly S. White, next time.

I’m Kim Anthony. Thanks for listening to this episode of Unfavorable Odds.

Unfavorable Odds is produced by FamilyLife® and is a part of the FamilyLife Podcast Network.

 

We are so happy to provide these transcripts to you. However, there is a cost to produce them for our website. If you’ve benefited from the broadcast transcripts, would you consider donating today to help defray the costs? 

Copyright © 2020 FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

www.FamilyLife.com 

1

Unfavorable Odds with Kim Anthony

Four time national champion gymnast Kim Anthony introduces us to men and women who have faced trials, tragedies and suffering and who have found that when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God is with you every step of the way.

Subscribe

Give

Recent Episodes

LISTENER FAVORITES