Human Interest

Life is a Beautiful Mess

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My beautiful friend Carmen Kennedy-Rogers has worked in five diverse public school districts in Michigan for over 15 years.  She has been a basketball coach, teacher and educational administrator.  She currently is the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for Avondale Schools (Auburn Hills, MI).   Carmen is a proud graduate of Detroit Public Schools, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse.  She completed three degrees from Wayne State University including a Master of Arts in Sports Administration, School Counseling and an Education Specialist Degree.  She is currently a student in the Educational Leadership doctoral program at University of Michigan – Flint.

Her motto is “Life is a Beautiful Mess”.

 

At the age of 34, she was diagnosed with breast cancer on July 18, 2011. She proclaims, “Conquered that”.  July 18, 2015 she became engaged to a wonderful and loving man, Alexander Rogers, Jr. on. Carmen blushes, “grateful for him”.  Approximately a year after their nuptials they celebrated the birth their son, Alexander L. Rogers, III on February 11, 2017, 5 days after her 40thbirthday. Carmen exclaimed, “embraced by God’s grace”.

In Carmen’s words; I am here today living the life God intended for me to live.  I know this.   This life has been a beautiful mess – heartbreaks, joys, sadness, happiness, challenges and victories. Breast cancer could have potentially impacted my fertility.  Chemo did it’s job with the tumor, but how chemo impacted my fertility was unknown.  My marriage to Alex and the birth of our son assured me that holding onto God’s hands during the best and worst of times in life, is the only choice. We cannot always “fix” life.  The most powerful actions we can take is to pray and speak life and light into our circumstances. That is not always easy.  It is a battle. Releasing control is an uncomfortable, gut wrenching and exhausting journey.   

Through my experiences, I am embracing that holding onto God’s hands through prayer is about two essential ingredients – vulnerability and evolving.   My prayer talks with God include statements such as “God, I do not know the pathway.”   “I am lost.”   “Push me to grow through this pain.”  “May I become the person I am meant to be through this.”   “Allow the outcome to be as it may.”   As women, we have to dig deep to discover the spiritual, emotional and mental space that allows us to become vulnerable so that we can evolve.   It is empowering.  It is freedom.   The goal is not to “be strong” and “to fix it”.   My goal is to claim I am vulnerable.   My prayer talks with God are centered on continuing to evolve into a person that can find peace among all circumstances, knowing I am not powerful enough “to fix it” all.  Only God has that power.  

Motherhood is a definite challenge to being vulnerable and evolving.   There are so many aspects of being a mother I am absolutely clueless about.   The freedom of saying, “I just don’t know what I don’t know” has helped me.  But there are times when I do beat myself up because I don’t know or I should have known.  There are times I just want to “fix it”.  There are times I am not comfortable asking for help or advice.  There are times when I get stuck. There are times when I do forget about those nourishing prayer talks with God.  Entering into the space of prayer talks with God, returns me back to the essential ingredients of vulnerability and evolving. I know that when I can gift myself with being vulnerable, I experience my growth and evolution as a mother. 

Life is a beautiful mess.   May you find the ingredients that allow you to be all you deserve to be in your life.

University of Michigan Alumni. Master’s in Business Administration and Health Care Management. Currently working on a Doctoral Degree in Health Administration. Samira is happily married, living in Texas with her husband and two beautiful twin daughters.

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