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Reflections 1.11.23

Initially, I was going to give the typical, “Thanks for all of the texts, FB messages, etc.,” but then I felt compelled to give a heart-felt reflection in hopes that it would seriously help someone. This birthday felt/feels different. No, it’s not the big “40” (I’m a tad bit past that…ha), but God did something extraordinary in my heart over this last year when I relocated.

A few of you know me, some of you have known me, and some of you just met me—and really don’t know much outside of the little pieces of my life I share on social media.

While I could certainly elaborate on every single detail of my journey (scroll through my pages’, google, etc., and you will find snippets of my testimony, books, and some of the fantastic things I have been blessed to partake in {publicly and some assignments privately}, etc.) –but I feel most compelled to share the POWER of TRANSFORMATION and what it means to truly/fully trust God with your entire life. My life has been filled with miracles, signs, and wonders from start to finish. And to give some context, and give you ‘something’ to ponder for the imagination, here’s a short recap:

𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐢𝐭 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐝

  • Raised by a Single Mother

  • Grew up surrounded by drugs 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.

𝗛𝗼𝘄𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿, 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝘀 𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗜𝘁 𝗪𝗲𝗻𝘁/𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗶𝘁’𝘀 𝗚𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴:

  • Mother of 5

  • Wife of 20 + yrs. to an Amazing Man/the BEST High School Administrator I know

  • Preacher and Teacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for Life

  • Internal Communications Coordinator for the University of Tennessee #GBO

  • College Communication Adjunct Professor

  • Worked with some DOPE Women/People in general, on some pretty significant projects (publicly and privately)

  • 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 (It was put-off, but keep watching…)

  • Self-Published Author (more to come)

  • Writer

  • Small Business Owner

  • Nonprofit Founder & Director

  • Avid Reader

But through a lot of that, I was a very wounded, fragile being at times. And though those accomplishments and achievements sound phenomenal (and they were/are), NONE of them transformed my heart. They felt great—and they were indeed cycle breaking moments, however, my true peace, joy, and total fulfilment came through my “WHY”—and my relationship with God.

And honestly speaking, I’ve been making life-changing strides for a while; but at times it was from a place to prove to whomever that I would NOT be a statistic—or simply the lil’ chick from Chicago and/or the teen mom from the South Side of Jackson, MI. And I did just that. I worked my tail off to become what society said I could never be. I did it all. Nevertheless, nothing I achieved or accomplished could match the love and inner healing God gave me—and continues to give me as I intentionally put him first and draw closer and closer to him.

All of my life, I heard, “Only what you do for Christ will last,” and that scripture has proven over and over again to be accurate and so real to me. All of that to say, God answered ALL of my prayers (not quite the way I envisioned some of them being answered…Ha!)—and he made ‘good’ on his word. He owes me nothing.

But what I realized more than ever after we transitioned from what was familiar, and honestly, all I knew was this: When you ask God for MORE, it’s not for YOU. It’s for His Glory, and it’s for His Kingdom. Granted, people can and do ‘prosper,’ according to worldly standards, but it’s empty, temporal, and it’s a never-ending rat race.

This BIG MOVE gave me time to reflect, repent (yes, there were some mindsets that I held that God wasn’t in, so I had to give them up), and to HEAL from things that I didn’t even realize I needed to release.

𝘚𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘦: “𝘙𝘦𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦” 𝘪𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘢 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥…𝘪𝘵 𝘴𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘺 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯, 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦, 𝘦𝘵𝘤. 𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘺 𝘋𝘖𝘗𝘌 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦-𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨.

So my “thank you” isn’t so much about gifts, messages, and shout-outs (although I genuinely appreciate them )—it’s to GOD for caring so much about me that he would shift my entire family into something completely NEW and give me the time to reset, regroup, rebuild, and genuinely be ok with it not looking like it did before.

And let me be clear: “Before” was pretty dope. But, God had MORE! And when I say I am in total AWE…I am completely outdone! Granted, life will always be “Lifen,” …but as the old timers say, “It’s a fixed fight.”

Anywho… I had one of the BEST prayer times on my birthday—and I felt GOD in my room like I felt him the day I was filled with the Holy Spirit. I felt a B-Day refreshing and a ROAR in my belly! But I had to keep it down or I would have woken up the whole house! Ha!

Nevertheless, moving on…because I am a writer, so this could go on…Ha! But I will leave y’all with this: TRUE Success is found in the Will of God. There’s no amount of money, accolades, achievements, or anything that this broken world can offer that can come close to what God has in store for US! AND HERE’S THE KICKER: You don’t even have to worry about the “stuff,” because when you SEEK His Kingdom, “All These Things” will be ADDED!! But y’all don’t hear me! Ha!

Moreover, I love y’all and genuinely appreciate all the love! When I got to work yesterday morning, my team showered me with so much love!!! I woke up to personal messages (online and via private messenger) …I have met some of the most AMAZING people, and my heart is OPEN to ALL that God has for US!

And come what may… “WE WIN” -Bishop Wallace

Thanks for rocking with my radical, often deemed “crazy out-the-box thinker” self! Ya Girl is just rebooting and gearing up…and moving at the pace of “God’s Will” for my life (yes, that’s a pace of its own)! Let’s get it!! #reflections

Canena Adams, MA, BSW, SRAS

Communications Coordinator at

The University of Tennessee

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

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