"Our country is in a spiritual battle right now that is masquerading as a political battle. I believe that all Christians are "soldiers" in God's army, but I think some of us are His "special ops" being called to the front lines for such a time as this.
Where do we get our SEAL training?
In life's extraordinarily challenging, but defining moments. I've had a few of those.
My brother was a Special Ops Marine in Afghanistan. We lost him to PTSD 6 years ago, just before Christmas.
A couple of years into that healing process, God started tugging heavily on my heart for Public Service.
"Out of the blue", I was offered an early opportunity to serve as the Nashville Political Advocate for the National Association of Women Business Owners.
That led to serving on the Mayor's Minority Business Advisory Board. These were both short-lived seats but helped me get my feet wet in politics.
Then, I felt a much bigger nudging towards elected office. I resisted it at first out of fear and nearly chickened out.
My Life Coach asked me what I was so afraid of?
I said, "I feel like I'm going into the lion's den".
She said, "Oh, you are....but how did that work out for Daniel?"
That immediately settled me down and, although I knew NOTHING about politics, I obeyed the call on trembling knees and ran for Tennessee State House of Representatives.
I took the biggest leap of faith I have ever taken and it was the hardest thing I have ever done.
Diving into the deep end of politics forced me to identify, explore, and study what I believe and why I believe it...and learn to defend it in hostile rooms.
What I didn't expect is that I would encounter hostility within my own family. Politics divided relationships that meant so much to me, but the last straw was when politics came between me and my son.
At that point, I went on a mining expedition for healing gems.
I took government courses from Hillsdale College and graduated from a Political Leadership Academy from the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., which has really helped me put today's controversial issues into context and better understand opposing viewpoints to find common ground.
I spent time in underprivileged schools and areas of town. I had lunch with Democrats. I spent a LOT of time on Capitol Hill sitting in on legislative sessions and hearings and getting to know my legislators. I also spent a lot of time door-knocking and talking to people in my community one-on-one.
My Democrat opponent literally had 10 times the money I was able to raise due to the covid pandemic striking during campaign season, and we still nearly won.
I was the underdog who surprised the regime, finishing with 46% of the vote in a nearly evenly split District of Democrats, Independents & Republicans.
At first, although I was very proud of my race, I couldn't understand why God asked me to run if it wasn't His will for me to win.
I believe now that it was necessary for me to better understand the context of the political division, to experience the division up close and personal so I would be motivated to help heal it, to combine my leadership experience with my newfound political experience, and help us close the massive gaps in our conservative efforts.
I then stumbled upon a major GAME-CHANGER!!! I remember feeling so angry that I hadn't heard about this before or during my campaign!
America has 7 founding values that preceded the Constitution that our entire Republic was built on. They are non-partisan, non-inflammatory, and they are the very IDENTITY of America!!!
I thought to myself, "Why didn't anybody tell me about these?" and "Why isn't anyone talking about them?"
I'm gonna take these and run with them because they are our common ground and could be a major factor in healing our country!
I also believe that women will be instrumental in leading this charge, specifically worried moms!
I can't "unsee" the declining trajectory of our culture, or accept that my Special Ops brother died in vain, or leave our sons to a country heading rapidly for Marxism and do nothing.
My campaign trail deep-dive revealed that I've got a lot of experience in understanding the human spirit, too:
I attended 22 schools before high school and I've lived among nearly all kinds of demographics, so I understand our commonalities more than I realized
My natural dad was a Pastor from a very affluent family, but walked out on our family when I was 8 years old, so I understand the long-term impact of the breakdown of the family, as well as the struggle to still trust God after someone in ministry lets you down
My mom went from being a Pastor's wife and full-time mother to humbling herself as a governess for an affluent family, so I grew up around the mansions and the country clubs, but I wasn't a "member" of the elite ruling class - I saw the stark contrasts between the two social classes up close & personal
I've taught for the last several years in the TN Prison For Women, so I've heard first-hand the cultural challenges minorities face that lead to bad decisions
I'm a professional songwriter, so I understand the power of words; the power of messaging
As an entrepreneurial Business Coach, I spent decades teaching the most highly educated and ambitious leaders how to bring order to chaos, under intense pressure - I understand how to not quit when everything inside of you wants to and when literally everything is on the line
My winding journey is making more sense now.
I'm starting a movement to gracefully reunite our country. I hope you'll join me!" - Diane Canada
I share my whole story and the hard/beautiful lessons I've learned, in my new book Lady Up + Don't Quit.