Karena Washington

by Terry Watson | March 22nd, 2021
Karena Washington (Photos by Xmedia360)

Karena Washington (Photos by Xmedia360)

Who is Karena Washington? “I am an educator, author, and someone who enjoys the serene moments life has to offer,” she says.

A native of West Helena, AR, she graduated from Central High School in 2000. Next she enrolled at Central Arkansas, and received her undergraduate degree in business in 2007. With her academic accomplishments taken care of, she then worked with kids with special needs. “This had nothing to do with my degree in business, however caring for kids truly pulled at my heart, so much so that I decided to make a career of it,” she says.

She then moved to Missouri in 2007, settling in the area of St Louis where she eventually learns of a school district whose sole purpose is to provide education and inclusion opportunities for kids with special needs. She got a job as a paraprofessional and the rest is history. She began working on her masters during the Fall of 2009 and graduated December 2012. Three months after receiving her Masters of Arts in Teaching, she was hired as a Special Education teacher.

The Lost Coin is the first book that she has authored, to be specific she actually has co-authored this book along with others. The book makes reference to how women have lost something, who instead of seeking God, relied on their institution and direction for self fulfillment. Karena shares this decision didn’t make her situation any better, it actually made it worse.

The other part of the book talks about losing her parents. “When you lose your parents, both of them, it makes you feel empty,” she says. While enduring this loss, someone came along, making her feel loved again, and provided her with a sense of family. This was far from what was about to happen. The person she thought was her saving grace would turn out to be a nightmare. She lost emotionally, financially, and physically. “All of this happened because I wanted to be a part of something. I wanted to belong,” she says.

Relief came in the form of absence. The person she relied on was removed from her life. Things weren’t totally in order. She was living in a hotel. She was working three jobs, and going to school. In March 2013, she began to feel things were getting back in order.

“The biggest message that I want to convey in the book is to let others know who may find themselves in a similar situation, they’re not alone. There has been so many who have traveled this path and survived. I survived and so can you,” she says.

Karena says she is inspired by the impact of her life and testimony. “All that I endured happened for a reason. My pain was not in vain. I believe that others can be helped by learning of my struggle and my journey,” she says.

“My testimony is I learned that I am not out of reach. I don’t care how low you may feel, God will come and pull you out of it. God had tried to pull me out so many times, but I refused to come along. Things didn’t change in my life until I decided to make a change,” she says. “It was a covering that protected me from going down the wrong path. It was nothing but His grace and His mercy that protected me from going down the wrong path,” she says.

With all that Karena has endured, the loss of her parents and being trapped in an unhealthy relationship for years, she still smiles. It’s hard to take the joy from a person who has seen life at its darkest levels, losing on all fronts, and still hanging in the fight long enough to see God move. Her joy has been validated.

The advice she offers to others who may follow in her footsteps as an author is to follow your heart. “Be authentic. Speak from your heart. Listen to your inner voice so that you are following the path that needs to be followed. This will ensure that you reach the people who need you the most. Stay real to yourself and understand that no one cares more for you than you do for yourself,” she says.

It hasn’t been a smooth ride, but its the road that God prepared for her to travel. “Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything. Every part of this journey has taught me lessons that have not only been beneficial to me, but has helped others who I’ve crossed paths with,” she says.

In the future, Karena plans to speak more rather than write, about her life experiences. However, she understands that it’s ultimately up to what God says. She understands this all to well, and as fate would have it, she is currently writing a children’s book.

To learn more about Karena Washington, please purchase a copy of the book, The Lost Coin by visiting her website.

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