Andi Andrew is a pastor, speaker, author, talk show host, and mom of 4. She’s also an individual with her own unique and transformative recovery journey.
Andi’s latest book, Friendship: It’s Complicated, was birthed out of her own dysfunctional and codependent relationship patterns and the path of healing that she has taken. On this episode of Trevor Talks, she shares about being active in the healing community of Celebrate Recovery and finding closure, forgiveness, and friendship hope. If you’ve ever found yourself spinning in painful relationship cycles, this episode is for you.
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Trevor Tyson 0:01
Thank you for tuning in to Trevor talks podcast where we talk to real people about real topics and real stories. Today, I want to talk about friendship, but I knew I didn't want to do it alone. So we decided to pull in some of the big guns, our guests as a founding pastor of liberty church, in which she started with her husband, Paul, and she's also an author, speaker, talk show host and most importantly, the mother of four beautiful children. Here is my conversation with Miss Andy. Andrew. Andy, thank you so much for being here.
Andi Andrew 0:33
Trevor. Thank you for having me. You forgot to tell everybody, I'm a really great dancer. You missed that part.
Trevor Tyson 0:37
You're such a good dancer. I haven't seen it yet. But I can just tell that it just glows like you light up the dance floor and everyone's watching you. Yeah, that's it. So with your dancing skills, how has that been during the pandemic? You teach in the four kids? Or is that just something you have to?
Andi Andrew 0:55
I'm just embarrassing the four kids at home. That's what I'm doing. So instead of embarrassing them in front of people, I've been embarrassing them at home with my dance moves. A couple of them join in? A couple of them don't. So
Trevor Tyson 1:06
is this a side tick tock venture? Are you just keeping this?
Andi Andrew 1:10
I die a little bit when people my age, I won't reveal my age. I'm just kidding. I can reveal my age. I don't care. When I'm like, Oh, I think I'm too old for that. I think I'm too old for Tiktok I'm gonna Well, I don't know, maybe the dance is maybe not we'll see. Unless I'm making a fool of myself on purpose. What do you think? I don't know.
Trevor Tyson 1:26
I see. Older, you're not even old. Like we'll just knock that out. There are like 90 year old or 90 year old people on Tik Tok just going ham and they're going viral. So like, I have a love hate relationship with the whole viral generation that we're living in. Because at this point, anyone can be a celebrity or influencer. And it's like, is this really healthy? And then I think what if my parents had ticked when I was growing up? And I'm like, how would I you know, we're just gonna leave it at that. We're just gonna leave it right there. anybody listening? This can be like, what if my parents were on there dancing about him? And I'm like, just think about it. Like, is this something you actually want them to do? But at this point, I'm like, Heck, yeah, like go at it, Bob. You can do
Andi Andrew 2:15
it. Right. So Bob, and Linda, isn't it? I love it. So Bob,
Trevor Tyson 2:19
and Linda, we need to see if that handles available and get something move, and there is money to be
Andi Andrew 2:23
made there. Good plan.
Trevor Tyson 2:27
Well, when I was getting ready for this interview, I was searching up obviously, on your brand, and everything that you're doing with the church and your family. And the one thing that really stood out to me was she is free. And where do you find time for all this? Like I am I a sibling, I have three brothers, two sets of twins. So I know how busy my mom was doing that. And she wasn't a pastor of a church, or running a movement and writing books and a talk show. Where did all of this start for you?
Andi Andrew 2:58
Oh my gosh. Well, I mean, it kind of all. It's like the church planting was 11 years ago. And honestly, with that, I have been alongside my husband, but I would say about five years ago, he really took over the helm of the ship. And I really just teach. So I'll be rostered on for that. But he runs most of that because there was a higher need for me to be present with my kids, which means I could drop them off at school come home, right. I could record podcasts in that little window of time. And then we she is free. The she is free movement has been a whole thing. I mean, that was beautiful as birth really out of our church here in New York City. But the last two years, we've had to really, I this word is so overused, but we had to pivot we had to keep changing to the point where even recently, we were supposed to be gathering this last weekend in October while we're when we're recording this, and we actually had to shut it down because of the mandates. We had people that were starting to jump, jump ship, say I can't come into the city, I'm not vaccinated. And we had people that were vaccinated, it was really fun. Because you know, you can't please everyone, everybody's mad at you for making one decision or another. But when she is free, really we're in this rebirth season where we're going to be shifting. And I've got my friend Irene Rollins that I'm now leading it with where we're gonna start doing small retreats and one day events partnered with different churches that are our friends around the United States. So where do I find time for it? There's a lot of ebb and flow. My kids really are a major focus because they're 1614 13 and nine, I have to remember, they all just had their birthdays.
Trevor Tyson 4:32
I don't see how you remember that.
Andi Andrew 4:34
I don't either. I was very impressed with myself to those first three, where I have three kids under the age of three. I don't know if anybody listening did that as well. But that was wild. I mean, two sets of twins. Is that what you said?
Trevor Tyson 4:45
Yeah, my mom and dad. So we were 18 months apart. So she had foreign diapers at one time and oh my gosh, are you a twin? I love you. I am. We're fraternal. My twins name is Travis so it's Trevor and Travis. Yeah, Josh and Jeremy. And I don't like shout out to my mom. She listens more than anyone else. So I love her. And she, she did a killer job like, I'm, I'm so happy to have the parents that I have in the family that I have. And jeez, Louise, I cannot imagine four kids in diapers at one time you had three, so like,
Andi Andrew 5:22
three in diapers at one time. But so I guess to like to answer your question about how do we do it? How do I how do I juggle it, I would just say there's ebb and flow. So really, things centered around how I can do things and still be present to my children. So like with the podcasters, show, what I'll do is I'll batch that all in one week, and they'll come with me, when I go film it, when I record it, there. It's it's a week that they either have off school, or they can be present and come on with me. When it comes to like even traveling, I'm only ever gone like 24 hours or a little bit longer. And if it's too long, I'll bring one of my kids on the journey with me. Like I said, with writing, I'm able to do that while they're at school. I mean, I wrote this book that we're going to talk about a little bit during 2020 While they were all home. So that was a little bit wild. And I wanted to pull my hair out. But we got there. And we did it. So I will just say it's like knowing my season well, and when the grace is lifted to shift things and make sure I'm doing things the right way and being obedient to what I'm supposed to do. That's right in front of me. So I hope that answers that a little bit.
Trevor Tyson 6:24
No, it does. And you say that you're like a 24 hour at the max traveler, I don't see how you do that. Like I'm, I get exhausted and I have to take a nap like and then after my nap, I gotta take a nap and then have a meal. And like, I like to sleep. So I have, I think I've done like three in my whole life of where I just go to the event and come back. I'm not a fan so that yeah, I'm gonna leave that one to you. And maybe when I have kids and a wife and kids, I'll understand that. But right now. I need a nap.
Andi Andrew 6:55
i But yeah,
Trevor Tyson 6:57
it's so much just like, people are like, Oh, you're just sitting on an airplane and doing this. It's meant for a reason, right is, especially with you teaching like, yeah, even doing podcast interviews, and I'm not whining, I promise. I'm just trying to teach everyone what it's like to do these things. When you do a podcast interview like this. You can compare it to your brain after taking like the end of your exams in high school or college. Like you study, you get to know these people on what you feel is a personal level to where you can carry on these conversations. You do the conversation then obviously, like post production, everything happens. It's like, Man, that was a that was a sprint right there. Yeah. So it is so much fun, though. so rewarding. I'm not complaining.
Andi Andrew 7:40
But am though. No, I
Trevor Tyson 7:42
totally get it. Yeah. Yeah. And I want to talk about your book friendship. It's complicated. But before we get into the book, I do have a question to kind of piggyback on it. What kind of inspired this whole journey to write this book, because I can understand like with having four kids, and then being a co pastor of a church, there's probably a lot of indirect drama that happens and complicated conversations, and you have to navigate through. He Said, She Said, and all of the things revolved around that. So anything that us normal folk deal with on a daily basis, your pastor in a church, like people are looking to you for guidance, and then having four kids at home that are dealing with the relationships of their own and going through their life experiences and getting into dating and everything else. Like it's all you why Andy Andrews getting the bulk of it. So did this start at home or at church? Or was it something that you've been wanting to birth for a long time? Gosh, that's
Andi Andrew 8:37
a great question. It's kind of both and there was a few things that happened. I mean, you're right, this, this position in and of itself, there are a lot of unspoken expectations that come upon you when you are leading or pastoring to be extremely present for multiple people and then add into that for children that we have chosen to be extremely present to because I want my kids to love the church, love ministry, not hate it and the people, you know what I mean? So that takes a lot of intentionality in and of itself. So what I would say is, there was some of that stuff that really came into play, but I would say five years ago was really, I would say the conception of this book. And it was through a whole bunch of cyclical issues that I was personally having when it came to relationships with other women. I got to a point where I realized there was some cycles that I kept hitting and kept going through and the Holy Spirit said to me, Hey, Andy, because you know, as much as I wanted to point the finger, I felt like the Holy Spirit said to me, Hey, you are the common denominator in every relationship you're in. And so when I realized that that was confronting but also gave me this beautiful ownership where I knew that there was some things that I needed to change and when I really started to examine, you know, my life, I looked at it and saw that I you know, you have to go back with Jesus to heal to move forward in some things. For me, this had to do I mean, chapter one is called the woman wound. And I think a lot of times we talk about the Father wound, and we forget that we all had a mother as well, or lack thereof, depending on what your relationship with her was like she shaped you as well as your father did, and how you view God or the church or people or relationships around you. And so my mother gave me full permission to write and to tell our story. And she even writes part of chapter one, which is really beautiful. But you know, growing up, I know, now I have so much grace for my parents, because I am one now and I'm like, gosh, I was so judgmental of them and blamed them for so much. But they were going through a lot while I was, I was little, and they were doing their best. But because of that, as a young girl, my mom would be what I would call, I was her emotional mother. And so she would unload on me things that at my age, and stage were just way too heavy to carry. And so I learned with her this codependency where I was like, Okay, well, I'll try to carry your stuff, I'll try to fix it, I'll try to be what you need me to be fast forward into adulthood. pastoring a church for kids, life is wild. We all have unmet needs and unspoken expectations, and I am failing miserably at relationships. And I know there are a lot of people out there women in particular that have said, Oh, guys are just way less complicated, you know, but women actually need to write your lat you're
Trevor Tyson 11:23
like, that's sure. That's what people say, yeah,
Andi Andrew 11:27
that is what people say. And honestly, there is when I watched my husband and friendships, he it is less complicated with him in many ways. And I learned a lot. And I glean a lot from the men in my worlds and how to do friendship better. But I realized I needed to heal, I needed to restore, I needed to break the codependency cycle that I'm in. I mean, I'm in recovery. I'm in Celebrate Recovery with a group of other pastors working through my codependency issues, so that I can be a better mother, a better friend, a better pastor or a better leader. So that's a very long explanation as to where the book was birthed. And it just happens to be coming out when people are kind of coming out from isolation and self protection and wondering, Can I do this again, because a lot of us have had relationships that have burned to the ground, we're grieving the loss of friendship, or grieving a lot right now. And so I just really hope it's a tool that helps people heal, and then be intentional.
Trevor Tyson 12:21
Yeah, Ian, thank you so much for sharing that because it was that was in depth, I couldn't have asked for anything better, like you noted, all right on the head. I'm like how we can hang up now, like, whatever, is fine. But we have, but it even in New York City, like I've been to New York City a handful of times. And that's like growing up in a small town in Georgia here. You think about like the big city and the big dreams and everything behind it. But it's a very fast paced city. And when you have friendships out there, it's like you have so many people that you could be interacting with. But sometimes you can feel the most alone. So when the pandemic hit like, still, when you're in a big city like that people were in apartment complexes as such, you've got millions of people surrounding you, but you're isolated, you feel alone, during this pandemic, in particular, with you being a mother, and kind of going off of like your mother would unload all of her baggage onto you like indirectly, what do you think therapy is done, like to our next generation with like, we're not going to have as many parents doing that, because therapy is embraced or paying someone to talk to. And the stigma is kind of breaking behind that. So it's almost as if she was using you as a therapist, which we now know that something that like she had emotional baggage and she needed to unload it. And to a certain extent, that was healthy for her, but it was not healthy for you. So that's why therapy is a whole lot more accepted now. But all of that to say, Do you think that therapy something we should start the conversation with our kids early on and see like, Hey, do you need kind of almost train them to like, Hey, it's okay to get your emotions out. But there's a time and place because if you don't, one day, you're gonna end up saying the wrong thing to your boss, you're gonna end up saying the wrong thing to a co worker to a spouse to your kids. Is this like a healthy shift to the start talking to our kids earlier on about their mental health and unloading their baggage?
Andi Andrew 14:14
I love this question. Two things I would say to parents out there I'm going to answer that question. One thing I would say one of the healthiest things that I've learned and I don't even remember what book it was that I read, so sorry to the author, but this is not my you know, intellectual property. So it was about having a healthy heart connection with your children and continually building trust so that they will you know, not go somewhere else or need something else but tell you if they need help. And so that's been one of the most important things that I have found as a mother is keeping that healthy trust in heart connection, apologizing a lot when I need to as a parent not being stubborn, teaching repentance teaching apology doing it in the family unit. But as for therapy, yes, like my children have watched me So So eight months ago, I had a major crash. And one of my closest friends who I'm in recovery with said, here's what I want you to do, we're gonna have a game plan. And the game plan is that you're gonna go away to this place. That's phenomenal in Colorado, and you're gonna go for a couple of weeks, and then you're gonna come home, and we're going to do recovery with a group of pastors together, it has changed my life. I'm so proud every Wednesday night, when I have to make dinner early. And I'm like, Alright, I'm going to recovery. My kids just think it's the coolest thing. And so yes, we've had those conversations where even if I'm emotional, because my kids are so tender hearted, all four of them in their own way. If they see that I'm walking through something, even they'll be like, Hey, Mom, what do you need? And I'll be like, Ah, no, no, no, my issues are my issues. They're not for you to fix. And they're not for you to carry. Thank you for caring. But I've got Jesus, I've got daddy, and I've got a support network, and what's appropriate, I'll share with you. So I'm trying to we're trying to model it. But I do think there's a healthy shift, where there is teaching our kids like healthy community and relationship is important. You're as accountable as you want to be kids like you, I can't force you to talk to me about your issues. You have to open that up. And so it's all these sorts of things. And, and yes, with my own children, saying, Hey, do you want to talk to somebody else about that? Some of my kids are like, No, that's weird. I'll talk to you about it. Others, they're like, Yeah, I would love that. And so I think it's really beautiful, actually.
Trevor Tyson 16:21
Yeah. And I want to talk about writing the first chapter with your mom, that had to be a huge step, because you had to open up some conversations that maybe never been opened up before, like, Hey, do you remember doing this? And can we talk about it in a mature manner? Because a lot of parents will get kind of defensive, like, while I was doing what I could, you know, yeah. But that's a conversation to navigate around. And I think it's very healthy for parents and their children to be like, hey, like this happen. I'm not going to do this with my children. But there's a lot of things that parents did not know then that they do know now. Yeah. And especially with canceled culture, it's so easy to be like, Well, you did this wrong, and we shouldn't have went through that. But that's, that's, that's really stupid, just to call it out, like, these your parents, the people that brought you into this world that not that it's a monetary thing, but they invested a lot of money into raising you to who you are today. So whether you had a healthy like relationship mentally with your parents, or not, like, we've got to show some grace, especially if we're going to be followers of Christ, like show your parents on Grace, they showed you so much grace, like, can you imagine how many weapons or things that they wanted to say to you and you were being? Yes, that whole thing? And like, they bite their tongue so many times? Because they understood like, forget, I'm gonna forgive them. Just like the Lord forgives me, because they do not know what they're trying me with right now. But how did that conversation go with your mom? How did you open it up? And how could that be a healthy thing for us to do with our parents?
Andi Andrew 17:54
Well, I love what you're saying, first of all, yes, I think even in stepping out and writing this this first chapter, I think I was really nervous to write it. When I got this book, and I know it sounds crazy. But the way kind of books hit me are I know that sounds wild, but like, the Lord will give me the chapter names in order. And even my editors usually leave them. So I knew the first one was called The Woman wound. That's where I was supposed to start with my relationship with my mom. And I started to try to write it. And I wanted to honor her, I wanted to give grace to her. But I just I couldn't go there because I felt like I need her permission to really say some stuff. Long story short, I have this moment where there's a betrayal that happens with a friend actually, and and she gave me permission to write about this too. And I just broke, but the first person I wanted to call was my mom and I, I picked up the phone or FaceTime each other, and I'm sobbing like a five year old. Like, it's embarrassing. I'm too I feel like I am too old to be doing this. But I, I can't help this. And I was like, I don't understand what I did wrong. Like, I wanted to come and see them. And they're making sure to leave before I get there. Like it was this whole thing. And I felt like why am I being rejected by this friend. And then I say through my crying, I'm like, Mom, I feel like this is all your fault. She, she she kind of laughs and she goes I said, because when I was younger, how you would unload on me and I just could not carry it. And now I do this with adult women in my life. And even if nothing is wrong, or they haven't told me I'm making up scenarios in my head, and it's so unhealthy. And she just looks me in the eyes and she she doesn't cry. She doesn't manipulate. She doesn't make excuses. She goes you know what, Andy, you're right. And I am so sorry. Will you forgive me? I was boundaryless and I hurt you. And then I just started wailing like, like I was delivered and I just could not believe what that apology did. And I said, Mom, I feel like I have to write about this. I just don't want to dishonor dishonor you and she goes So Ed, I trust you, like you can write whatever you want. And I'm like, Whoa. So I think it was like that moment there. And I realize some of the people listening, maybe you're never gonna have that moment with your mother or father, maybe they've passed away, maybe they're not willing to talk. But the truth that I have learned in any relationship is that you can reconcile things with God, you can forgive people, you can let people go, even though it's painful, you have to walk through a grieving process, but you can move forward. And that's really where it started. And I said, Mom, I feel like I would love for you to write something. And so she just wrote a few pages. And it's just so tender and beautiful and humble, and I think shows away for mothers and fathers, and all of us who have made mistakes in our lives. And again, being a mother of four and like, oh, my gosh, I will pay for my kids therapy and healing in the future if they need it. Because I know, I have been less than perfect. And I have a lot more grace now. Being in this role as a mother to
Trevor Tyson 20:57
wow, that's, that's beautiful, especially talking about your mom, like, come on now. Going into the conversation of boundaries, whether it's with a friend with your parents, how do we go into that?
Andi Andrew 21:09
Well, I think first understanding the the power of boundaries. I mean, hello, we've all heard this word. It's almost become this buzzword since Gosh, what is it the late 90s. With Townson and cloud, those guys are phenomenal
Trevor Tyson 21:20
when I was born. When Yes, when you were born, and
Andi Andrew 21:24
I was laughing, I was like I was born in the late 1900s. Guys, we can say that.
Trevor Tyson 21:30
Yes, we can. It's beautiful.
Andi Andrew 21:32
So I think with boundaries, understanding what they are first, I think a lot of times we use that word without truly understanding it. So go and read the boundaries, books, or safe people or necessary endings, those three books alone are game changers. So dig, dig deeper into that I just touch on it a little bit relationally throughout the book. But what we have to understand is picture it like this, you have a neighbor, you have a fence in between the two of you, however their lawn looks or their yard or the junk that they have in it, they own that. And whatever you have in yours and how you tend to your lawn, your garden, you own that. Now to understand boundaries, we all have people in our life that maybe are next to us, they're in our world, but they're constantly breaking down your fence, dragging their stuff their junk, their garbage into your yard and saying you fix it for me, or they're saying you take care of this for me or I want to stand on your property and do whatever I want. Well, that right there is not a safe person. That's not somebody who is owning their stuff. So you may have parents who may have friends that refuse to take ownership of their heart of their life of their baggage of doing recovery, whatever that looks like. And that's when you have to understand, Okay, well you can be in my world. But there is there are limitations to that, to have a healthy relationship. And so we've got to understand what that looks like. And let boundaries in a way be the thing that are like a light on your dashboard. If someone like is knocking down your fence all the time, it doesn't mean that you have to be like a cancel you you just go, Hey, we are not going to hang out probably that often because you are not in a time or place in your life where you are owning your stuff. But we all know that at one point of our lives, we're going to breathe our last we're going to stand before the living God. And he's going to ask us how we steward it our heart, not our neighbor, we're not I'm not gonna be able to blame my mom and dad for not for not forgiving for not letting go for not getting healed and hold when I have complete and total access to Jesus, the whole Trinity to walk in healing. So I think that there is a maturity and an ownership that comes but when it comes to a mother or father and wanting to step in, maybe have a hard conversation, you've got to see if they're even willing to a friend, whether that's a friend or a loved one, I'd really love to talk about a few things with you and I just want to walk in healing, some people may not be willing, that's okay. You can still walk in healing on your side of the fence, if you will, and still love them and wave at them in their yard that's messy, fluffy junk in it.
Trevor Tyson 23:57
That is this conversation alone makes me want like even though like it's geared towards women, like I, I would recommend it to guys as well. Like whether you want to look at it like you can even preparing for your spouse or your future spouse, like get to understanding from a female, like, learn, grow. But even for yourself, like if you want to read it and say you're reading it for your future wife, that's a great excuse me, my permission to use that. But these are all tips and tricks and just the knowledge that we can use in everyday relationships. And I really want to just wrap this conversation up with a call to action. And you've talked so much about Celebrate Recovery. I feel like we would be doing it a lot of injustice just to not tell people how they can get connected locally with Celebrate Recovery how they can find a local group or how they can just get involved virtually gosh I love that
Andi Andrew 24:54
so much. I've like got my Celebrate Recovery books like right here. Look at this So, so basically, yeah, the best way that you could do that is go to celebrate recovery, the website, and they do have a tab that you can go on to see what the local groups are. And I would really encourage people to look for a step study. So that's like, super simple. And I know it sounds funny, because some of the stuff you're like, Oh, I know this, or maybe this is for someone that's not following Jesus. But I'm like, excuse me know, something on a regular basis, where you are accountable. You're choosing to be accountable to other people, walking through steps that cause you to open up your heart, repent, forgive people make amends. I mean, you can't go wrong. So I would just say go on to celebrate recovery, go on their website. And you can look up a local step study in your area, and they're constantly having people come in. And I would say this, too. And even my friend, Jenny Baker, who her and her husband headed up, they had up the whole thing of Celebrate Recovery. We just last John Yeah, John Baker, who just passed away. Now his son and daughter in law, who have become wonderful friends are heading heading it up. And it's kind of like growing and shifting, and they're really wanting to bring in the next generation as well. I would say to you, if you start a step study, and you feel like this doesn't, this doesn't jive with me, or I'm not connecting with these people, don't be disappointed. Maybe try another one or see if there's a virtual one that you could do mines virtual with pastors that live all in different cities around the world, but it's just as highly accountable. We have a text group. And it's called we do the work because we remind ourselves that we choose to do the work with Christ to recover. And so that's what I would do to encourage you. Yeah,
Trevor Tyson 26:39
I love that so much. And we're gonna put the link in the description below for all of your social media, your website, and obviously the link to get friendship. It's complicated on Amazon, and everywhere else sold because it's everywhere right now. But Andy, thank you so much for being here. This has been a healing for me. And I know it's going to be healing for so many more people. So thank you. Again, I can't thank you enough. This has been so fun. And I'm serious. It's been refreshing and healing.
Andi Andrew 27:05
Oh, thank you, Trevor. Like I, I get excited, because I think for me, I just know that healing is genuinely attainable for every single one of us. So that's my hope for people. So thank you for having me. Yes.
Trevor Tyson 27:18
Yes. Thank you again. And for everyone listening. Thank you so much for staying this long with us. It's been such a refreshing conversation. And it's fun to know that like every single week, we have new guests, new conversations, they all have different topics, but they're all unique in their own way. And I hope that you walk away with this episode with a fresh perspective and maybe even go join a celebrate recovery group. You don't have to be addicted to drugs, alcohol, pornography, you don't. Everybody has different walks like find a group get connected, even if it's just a small group, take the baby steps and so the 12 step like whatever you need to do, but yeah, this episode has been brought to you by new release today, and we will talk to you guys next week. Bye now.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Andi Andrew is the author of She Is Free, Fake or Follower, and her newest book which is coming out October 2021, Friendship–It's Complicated. She is also the founding Pastor of Liberty Church, a multisite church she pioneered with her husband Paul in 2010. In 2015 she launched She Is Free, a movement that exists to engage and equip women to encounter God and expand the Kingdom. Currently, Andi's life is focused on raising her four kids in Brooklyn, writing books, creating for her show and podcast Coffee With Andi, building Liberty Church, and traveling to invest in churches and lives all around the world