Hi! I am Regina Andrews. I have been married to my husband, Doug, for 30 years, come March. I am a mother to 3 beautiful girls; Esther(20), Miriam(18), and Diane(16).
I am a writer. I haven't had much opportunity to speak, as most of my life I have been very shut down. Over the past few years, I have written a lot. There weren't any open doors, but the Lord kept impressing it upon me, "it will come." When I heard Kristina's invite for guest bloggers, my heart was quickened.

The first 30 years of my life I was sitting in a locked closet, kicking and screaming, emotionally. I am so thankful the Lord set me free. He's taught me everything I know. At 20 years old, I remember not really caring if anyone even celebrated my birthday. At that time, I didn't really know why I felt that way.

I didn't know how to make friends; therefore, I didn't have a lot of friends. My mom tells me that I had friends, but today I realize that even my mom didn't know how to have really good friends or how to get along with people and she couldn't teach me what she didn't know.
I started to open up to people when I moved away from home, but I didn't really have the tools to know how to make anything grow in relationships.

Seven years of marriage, very poor health, no children. People told me that I needed to be happy for people who had children but no one seemed to know or even care how I felt about not having children.
It was in December of 1999 that I remember talking to God and telling Him I wanted to love Him. I wanted to feel better  even if that meant He never gave me children.

I grew up in church. I grew up in a dysfunctional family. I was basically trained to do as I was told. I was criticized for talking, and I eventually shut down severely. The day I realized that I was thinking my own thoughts, I wasn't sure if that was okay. Thankfully, as I moved away from home, I was able to find people where it was safe to share. There were many people like me who didn't know how to help me go beyond the talking point and actually find healing.

I began to search out the word of God. I got some tapes from a loan library through the mail out of Springdale, Arkansas and I would listen to subjects from different preaching. Topics like, how to be a woman; how to be a mother; how to be a wife; even, what it meant to be a friend; and how to understand children.
In my search for God, I didn't realize that's what I was doing, I began to see things in Scripture that I had never seen anybody do and I told God I've never heard anybody talk about this. I had never seen people who live this way. The Holy Spirit said, "Let's start with you."
Today, (1/2/2022) my pastor brought out in his message where Jesus called his disciples to follow Him. There are too many churches filled with people who call themselves Christians, but they are not disciples of Jesus. He explained that a disciple of Jesus is one who imitates Jesus; one who over time begins to look more like Jesus and less like themselves.

I am so thankful where God has brought me in my 50+ years.

If you identify with the struggles of isolation and dysfunction, here are some thoughts that I have learned to cling to.
#1) God loves me the way I am, but he loves me too much to let me stay that way.
#2) God asks for my availability and my willingness to let Him use me.
#3) He only asks me to take the step that He shines the light on.
#4) When I say yes, He teaches me His ways, He shows me His paths.
#5) If I fear Him, He shares His secrets with me.

I am so thankful that God became my father, Jesus my Savior, and my lover. Het gets all of my praise. The Holy Spirit is my best friend and He's opening doors. Over the past 2-1/2 years, He has been putting people in my path so that I may grow in spiritual connection with Him. The thing that I've been longing for all my life.