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... Listen...I’ll be honest, I came to a place where I just did not like people anymore! There, I said it! Yep, I was tired of folks, their shenanigans, and all that came with dealing/working with people! But, before you “stone me,” let me give some history.

For starters, my childhood was rough—like really rough!

This is How it Started

  • Raised by a Single Mother

  • Grew up surrounded by drug and alcohol abuse

  • ACE Score (Adverse Childhood Experiences) of 8+

  • Teen Mom (TWICE)

  • High School Dropout

  • Extreme Anxiety as a child (meaning very EXTREME)

  • Anger Issues

  • Identity Issues

  • ...and my list of woes goes on.

By the age of 18 yrs. old, I felt like I had lived 40 years of life. Whewww…ya girl was tired—and I hadn’t even turned 21 yrs. old yet. But thanks be to God, he snatched me out, and saved me at the tender age of 18…and that’s when life took a turn for me. I can clearly remember being so overwhelmed as I always knew there was a God, but I never knew that he was so personable. Meaning, my mom was a “religious” woman, but you know, I just thought he gave out “to-do” and “don’t do” lists, so experiencing him on a personal level was something new to me.

In short, I served on various church committees, auxiliaries, and more for the first 4 years, was married by the age of 22, and was handed the “title” of Women’s Assistant Chair, then “Women’s Chair”—and I served for years, organizing large community events, preaching, running a marriage and family ministry, serving, hosting large conferences and more! I served in multiple capacities for about 15 years…then a major shift happened—and I could not explain it, but I felt this deep calling that there was more. Granted, I appreciated all that I had been blessed with, experienced, and was doing in “the church,” as I was very involved, well connected within my church, and very involved in the organization that the church was under/affiliated with.

Moreover, I could not shake the “pull”! Meaning, the church that I thought I would one day retire from serving when I reached my “old age” would eventually become part of my history, as God was redirecting my family into what he had for us next. It was hard! It took us 3 years to finally have the “hard conversation” with our then leader. We went through pure chaos, as the folks we once served, labored with, hosted in our home, and so forth, suddenly became “strangers.” We were ostracized by many (not all)—and it hurt like crazy to see almost 20 years of my life become a fading memory.

All of that to say, I was livid and done with people. I felt like my gift was what people wanted (both in and out of the church as over the years, I also had some very unpleasant experiences in the community I was raised in/was serving as well). You know, it just felt like they couldn’t care less about the well-being of my family, only what we were able to produce/do for them.

I gave my life, time, resources, finances, gifts, talents and so much more. I asked God WHY? What was the point? What was the purpose? I questioned so many things—and I just did not understand how this made sense—and how people could be so cruel, opportunistic, and self-centered. Meaning, we simply wanted to serve, grow, and put our best foot forward in all that we were doing. We knew and believed that the world was big, and we had a dual, multifaceted calling on our lives/we could not just settle for mediocracy (And let’s be clear, this isn’t “shade” to my hometown or the church, it’s the mere truth, it’s my narrative, and it’s what many have experienced).

Nonetheless, we survived, and we moved on and did even MORE amazing things in the community for several years. We healed and we began to dig deeper. My husband began to advance in his career as an Educator and School Administrator—and I too began to experience God in my career and was blessed with some life-changing speaking opportunities and more! God was moving, and we were growing in other areas of life that also mattered to God.

Hence, I turned that hurt into purpose—and my “hunger” for God and my community became even greater! We even came under another covering/church for a short space of time as we knew that we needed to be connected to some sort of “life-source”—but we also knew that God was not done with our transition.

The journey was tough, but it was CRAZY DOPE and AMAZING as well! And God began to tell me that I had to get rid of my distorted view of things and get back up—and go hard for the other “under dogs”, misfits, used, abused, mishandled and traumatized souls. My childhood and other experiences were not for naught. There was purpose in them! If I could help and push ONE person to see their worth and value, I was confident that I was doing my job and adhering to the call on my life.

So much more happened (there will be a part 2) but the objective of this discussion is this:

If you ever feel tired and completely OVER it…take a break, regroup, regather yourself, reevaluate, heal, process, and listen for God’s directives.

I was also tired! I was over it—but God was stretching me and showing me who HE was! He was healing my heart and developing my character. He was making me ready for whatever came my way/releasing me from “people pleasing” and more! He was giving me true identity in HIM… not what people did and/or didn’t do—but what He thought about me! And until this day, I have a really hard time with “celebrity” status driven folks, as I know that as flawed humans, no one should be worshipped but God (this is not the same thing as “honor” …that’s another topic).

Case in point…through this process, I learned this:

I am unique. And the plans that God had for me were greater than anything I could have ever imagined. I know that my voice matters—and guess what? Your voice is unique! There is none like you! You are needed—and what you have to offer matters too!

How do I know? Oh, it’s personal for me!

And, no….I don’t have 50K plus social media followers; but I do have purpose. I fought hard to break a lot of generational cycles and I know without any doubt that God is the master of plot twists!

For example:

…this is How it’s Going:

  • Mother of 5

  • Wife of 19 + years to an Amazing Man/High School Assistant Principal

  • College Communication Adjunct Professor

  • Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist

  • ACE (adverse childhood experiences) Cycle Breaker

  • Bachelor’s in Social Work

  • Master’s in Communication

  • Researcher/PhD Student

  • Public Speaker (Had the honor of speaking for the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services; also on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC; and I was a Chosen TEDx Speaker (still waiting to check that off/the pandemic postponed things)

  • Preacher

  • Self-Published Author (I know Why I Got Married: Breaking the Cycle of Family Dysfunction and She’s UP: How To Get Your ROAR Back)

  • Writer

  • Small Business Owner (BeYOU Branding & Consulting Services, LLC)

  • Nonprofit Founder & Director (Women of Worth, Inc.)

  • Avid Reader

  • Critical Thinker

  • FB LIVE Talks and more...

Why am I sharing all of this?

Because I was just like YOU! Trying to find my voice in the midst of all of the noise! And I was DONE with people! But now...It’s YOUR turn! It’s your turn to HEAL and GROW and be ALL that God has called YOU to be!

You are more POWERFUL than you realize! Thus, don’t “Kick the Rocks/Don’t Quit! There is MORE! God has MORE! And what you have experienced/went through will help someone else! And check this out…even some of the ones that left you for dead may be the very ones God is calling you to feed! Don’t be bitter. Get better. Be encouraged! The BEST is yet to come!

#WomensEmpowerment #roar #worthit #encourage #riseup #mentor #encouragement #momprenuer #lifecoach #consultant #businessowner #nonprofitfounder #PhDStudent #Grind #BeYou #IAmDifferent #entrepreneur #shesup #ministry #inspiringwomen #inspiring #workingmom#wife #mother #wife #mother


Canena Adams, LLBSW, MA, SRAS

Wife | Mother | Writer | Author | Public Speaker | Social Worker | Business Owner | Nonprofit Founder & Director | Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist | Healthy Family & Relationship Advocate | Adjunct College Prof. | PhD Student

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