Kanika Turrentine's SHE Testimony
Often called, a true visionary leader with a servant’s heart, who has dedicated over a decade to positively impacting the lives of others through gifts and talents; an Entrepreneur, Youth & Family Advocate, and Humanitarian, my passion and purpose has been to uplift, inspire, and empower people to reach their greatest potential through education, training, and personal development.
However success has not come without heartache and tragedy. A large portion of my childhood my father was on drugs and alcohol. Around age 11, I remember seeing my dad shoot drugs in his arms. This caused a great deal of anger and resentment. However his struggle with addiction would soon change, as I got older. I recognized the power of God as an adolescent, and I saw my mother literally pray my father's change. I saw God take away the desire of drugs without withdrawal symptoms from my dad, who is now a pastor and has been in ministry for more then twenty years. If you saw my father today you would never know his story SO I KNEW GOD WAS REAL I JUST HADNT REALIZED IT IN ME YET.
Because of what I was exposed to, I vowed to have a different life. I would be the successful woman, married with two or more children - every little girls dream, right? At the age of 24 that dream changed. I was starting my 1st day of grad school, and received the most shocking news of my life. I was pregnant-though a blessing from God. In that moment I was completely devastated. What would people say about me? I am a preacher’s kid, I'm not married and this was not the plan.
For a sheer moment I contemplated my options- against everything I believed. I remember riding down VA Beach Blvd. in Virginia Beach, VA after leaving the doctor’s office, my normal routine to get home. What I saw that day I had never seen before nor would I see again; there were people of all ages and races lined down the street, some kneeling, some standing holding signs reading JESUS LOVES YOU, CHOOSE LIFE. It was in that moment I connected God's power to my life. He would later continue to show His power through my pregnancy- not one day of morning sickness, no physical/emotional aliments at all. I would get up every morning 6am cook breakfast, pack lunch/snacks; “prepping my six meals a day”, and prepare dinner all before leaving home to get to work by 8:30 after work at 5pm I would take the 20-30 minute drive to campus, get home at 10pm in the evening eat dinner, do homework, go to bed and do it all over again- for the next 9 months. This was my schedule M-F. No physical help, only His help!
I gave birth to my son on May 12, 2004. I left the hospital on May 13th and move back home to Henderson, NC with my parents on May 14th. There was not a second thought at all about the support I needed when it came to my son. Moving back home, it felt like a dream shattered, not deferred. I cried just about every day and became very depressed. There I was a college graduate with no job, no home of my own and no money raising a child alone- I didn’t choose this, but I would later realize God chose me!
A few months after moving home, I got a job teaching in the local school system in an area where over half of the children in the county lived with a single parent, and about 95% of the kids I taught all had “nontraditional households”. Seeing the behaviors, the lack of academic rigor of a lot of the students would further send me into a depressive state because society would say my son too would turn out like this. Three years later I would meet purpose in that place. I had 2 girls in my class both who had children in the 6th grade.
They didn't know it, but God used them to immediately connect my becoming pregnant at 24 to the devastation, shame, and guilt of a teen mom. That year changed my life. It was then God would drop people in my path that started talking about nonprofits, developing programs and writing grants. The pieces of my puzzle of purpose would soon come together. I knew as a mom, that no matter my son’s family dynamics I wanted the same thing any other mother wanted for their child. But I couldn’t be the best parent for him without God, support and being healed from the shame, anger and resentment I held on too from childhood, and bitterness for doing it alone. I realized the same to be true for the children I was teaching, some of their parents were in the same predicament. As I drew closer to God, Matthew 19:26 became very clear and apparent to me, I would internally make declarations that I would raise a successful child- that there's nowhere in scripture that would have exceptions to the statement, With God all things are possible. And there wasn't a disclaimer, which said except if you’re a single mother. I wanted all women who were raising children alone to be released from the shame, the guilt, defy statistical stigma and they too believe there were no limits to what they could accomplish, do, or be for both themselves and their children.
The culmination of everything I experienced in my life became the ministry I used to help other people. I established Infinite Possibilities, Inc. to be a gateway, educational tool, and support for single moms- developing and implementing numerous programs and outreach events. It was as if God Himself stamped his seal of approval. I resigned from teaching, June 17, 2010, and began doing the work and walking in faith, with no money, no mentor, just a word and a confirmed vision from God. Today we are a victims’ services and comprehensive supportive service agency providing domestic violence and sexual assault services for Vance and Warren counties, a Rapid Rehousing program for homelessness individuals and families throughout central and some of Eastern NC; providing school based youth development programs offered as exploratory classes; offering therapeutic counseling, case management, financial literacy education- and God's not finished. We now have 4 sites, and growing most of which are located in county-owned facilities, schools, courthouses, and law enforcement buildings-at no cost to us.
Although I’ve been honored with many awards, and experience immediate gratification when the lives of those I serve are changed through our services; my greatest accomplishment, is being a mother to an intelligent, respectful, and stellar 11 year old and being trusted by God to carry the weight of being a single mom for His Glory! My story is achievable and attainable by every woman rearing children alone that no matter what, WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!