She’s a fighter that’s for sure. This wife and mother has truly become an inspiration to all of us here at Sheen and we’re most certain she’s about to one to you as well. Without sharing too much, join us as we got to know Sana Cotten, the empowering woman who got through her struggles with one word: GRACE.
Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
My name is Sana. I am a 35 year old. For the past 10 years, I have been married to the man that God used to save my life, Joshua Cotten. I have had the opportunity to be called mom by two life changers, Jamir, 15 and Janai, 9. I was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, but have become a resident of Middletown, Connecticut. In 2016, I resigned from my career of eight years as a Regional Property Manager, to focus on my family and ministry. Alongside my husband, we own a photobooth and character rental company. Through our church, we operate and manage, a State of Connecticut licensed summer camp and before and after school enrichment program. I am an advocate for children of foster care and those that have had to experience life with incarcerated parents. I am a servant, healing coach, an author, philanthropist, an excellence freak, a husband cheerleader and a lover of Christ.
You’re open about the challenges life has thrown your way. Do you mind sharing your story?
I was removed from my drug addicted mother at the age of five years old. When we were removed from the crack house that we knew as home, I had been molested, had an STD, was malnutritioned and abused to the point of being unrecognizable. Eventually, I was placed into foster care where the molestation continued. The next years of life consisted of me visiting my incarcerated mother in prison, being adopted, searching for love in all the wrong places, becoming a teen mother, being in a verbally and sometimes mentally abusive relationship, becoming the victim of a home invasion, almost went to jail for murder, pain, pain and more pain, BUT I have persevered through it all.
Sheen Magazine is the Ultimate Beauty Guide, can you tell us about your apparel line?
I am so excited about this apparel line! After enduring a very grueling inner-self healing process, God began to show me how everything that had endured was not meant to break me, but rather to build me. It was not meant to shame me, but rather to empower me, because the journey is much bigger than me, in fact, It wasn’t about me. It was about the woman that would be attached to me. My apparel line is called “UNAshamed.” It started as my truth but has erupted into a revolution of truths. The front of the tshirt states, “I have a Story that will make you believe in God”, the back of the shirt is the story. The story may be that the person wearing it was molested, adopted, abused, a single mother, depressed, incarcerated, abandoned, broken, whatever it is that the enemy has used to hold you in shame and bondage, this shirt represents the chains and shackles being removed and the power being taken back. It is not only a way to loose the shame, but it is also a conversation starter, no matter which way you read the shirt in passing, it causes a conversation and forces people to get uncomfortable with the things that have been swept under the rug in so many generations.
How were you able to find the inspiration to push through these challenges?
My entire life, absolutely all of it has empowered me instead of breaking me. Every experience that I thought would, could or should have broken me, God always shows me the necessity in it. I am honored every time I get to go through an experience good or bad, because I know that on the other side of it is going to be something that is so big and important to the body of Christ that truth be told, I don’t even deserve the opportunity to experience it. On a daily basis in my present reality, I am most inspired by every woman who has not allowed her worst days to paint the picture of her future days. I am influenced by that woman that says with boldness and confidence, “Every time my feet hits the floor, Devil you better be good and ready because I’m coming to take back every, single thing that you stole from me!” Those woman make my spirit jump. They make me stand to my feet and applaud, they make my heart weep, they bring me unspeakable joy.
You just received the opportunity to co-author an inspirational book, sharing your story as a teen mom. Congratulations! Is there anything you can share with us? What can we expect?
I have the opportunity to co-author alongside six other woman from across the country on a book entitled “There’s a Jewel In You: The Power of Resiliency.” In this anthology, we share our stories of how we became teen mothers and the struggles we faced and had to overcome as we fought to beat the odds. Although the books focus is about our teen mom journey, it also touches on so many other issues that we as woman deal with from domestic violence to learning to love ourselves in order to love our children better. This is a book that almost every woman will be able to find an author that she identifies with. There is a Jewel in You will be released on May 1, 2018, but pre orders will be available on April 2, 2018 on my website
What advice would you have for those who may be struggling to find the motivation to push through?
My first piece of advice would be to seek inner healing. Now a days you can find a motivation and empowerment conferences, YouTube videos, and social media messages, everywhere, and it’s great to experience all of those opportunities, but when the motivational moment is over, when you go back to your reality, that thing that is really holding you back, is still there. If you don’t discover the root of your pain, you will never grow into your full potential and purpose. Healing hurts, but pain hurts more. Fight for your healing like your life depends on it, because ultimately, it does.
For more on Sana Cotten, be sure to visit her official website TODAY!
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All images provided by Sana Cotten