Editor’s note: In Perfectly Unfinished, Andrea Logan White shares the story of her faith — a journey which took her from the Playboy mansion to finding God at a stop light on Hollywood Boulevard. Along the way, she battled the need to be “perfect”, to be accepted by herself, by others, and by God and discovered that God loves us just as we are, where we are. Enjoy this excerpt from Perfectly Unfinished.
Soul hunger or not, a girl — especially a wannabe actor — can’t live in Los Angeles without getting her nails done. So I religiously took my place in a chair at the nail salon. Since I was earning nothing and trying to live on a shoestring, that tells you where my priorities were for how I spent my money.
One day as I sat in the black faux leather chair letting my nails dry, I picked up a well-read Ladies’ Home Journal. (I would have rather read People, but couldn’t find one on the rack.) There was a teaser on the cover, something about a diet that really works. Always conscious of every pound and inch, I was curious and flipped directly to the article and read it.
Then I read it again. Carefully.
It spoke about a diet that used prayer to tap into weight control. “God made your body, and God can help you win the battle against overeating.” I read on to see how the diet combined healthy eating with a spiritual understanding of our bodies and our innermost person. The program incorporated daily prayer, confession, and, of all things, Bible reading. Something stirred in me. It was almost as if the article had pulled back the curtain to peer into that deep place in my soul, the place from which my hunger was coming. I knew I was reading truth.
There was a link between my soul and food.
The article contained a reference to a website, so I left the salon, went back to my lonely apartment, and ordered the CDs and daily devotions so I could start the daily practices the article had recommended. I began to keep a journal and read the prayers and Bible verses daily — a practice that was new to me. As I did, I felt a stirring of excitement deep inside. The more I prayed and the more Bible verses I read, the more I sensed that not only was my own heart awakened, but somehow, a power from outside me — something I did not understand — was beginning to flow into me. I didn’t know how to describe it: mystical, supernatural, spiritual? I wasn’t sure. My obsession with controlling food began to ease as I replaced my recurring thoughts of food with Bible verses and prayers. I actually began to see progress.
One day I was sitting in my apartment paying bills, and I started to panic about my upcoming car payment. My first instinct kicked in: I bolted for the kitchen to grab something sweet. Suddenly, I stopped and said, “God, if this prayer stuff really works, I’m coming to You first.” The urge to eat passed, and I went back to my task. Within a day, a check arrived for a small job I’d recently done. Car payment covered!
Whoa, this was so awesome! Maybe this was what religious people meant when they talked about “getting in touch with God.” I thought of the many musicians and actors over the years known for their experimentation with Eastern mysticism, meditation, Scientology, and being born again. Like Bobby, my acting coach, whose faith was a huge part of his family’s life. There really was something to this spiritual stuff. I went to a local bookstore and bought my very first Bible. A pink one!
Through prayer and Bible reading, for the first time in my life I began to understand how empty my heart felt. Hollow.
And I was beginning to grasp that I wasn’t hungry for food; I was hungry for this emptiness to be filled. I longed for freedom from my food issues and my own dark emotions, and it seemed that spiritual truth just might be the pathway toward healing I was looking for.
On the website for the weight program, I noticed that a church in Burbank hosted a study group. I got up the nerve and just showed up one evening. I liked it. Most of the women in the group were older than me, and some certainly knew a lot more about God and the Bible than I did, but to my amazement, they welcomed me like a new friend. I knew then and there I’d be back the following week.
The women were kind to me. I’d never sat in a circle and had people pray to God for me. As they prayed, tears ran down my cheeks, though I wasn’t sure exactly why. Their prayers made me feel cared for and encouraged as if I, Andrea Logan, mattered personally to them and to God. While they all enjoyed discussing passages of the Bible, I usually had no understanding of what they were discussing. And because I wanted to belong and contribute, I started to read my Bible more.
It’s fascinating now to look back and see so clearly what I totally missed at the time.
Without even realizing it, I had taken several significant steps to remove a multitude of distracting, confusing, and unhealthy voices in my life. By quitting the bikini bar, I’d removed the disgusting, often vile messages (spoken and unspoken) from the men eyeing my dancing body on the stage. By moving into my own apartment, I’d removed the values of my roommates that seemed to conflict with mine. Now in the silence inhabiting the space those voices had occupied,
I was hearing the whispers of God.
Even so, at this point my spiritual exploration was a means to an end. I saw it as self-help to make my life happier, healthier, and more satisfying. Fortunately, God isn’t limited by our naïveté, nor is he thwarted by our self-centered purposes. He was accomplishing his purposes though the power of His Word, no matter what my purposes were.
Watch the Perfectly Unfinished Video
Excerpted with permission from Perfectly Unfinished by Andrea Logan White, copyright Andrea Logan White.
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The Lord can use anything to get our attention, to turn our hearts and minds from the world to Him. Food, money, relationships, loss, crisis, unexpected joy… anything at all! Are you hearing His whispers? I am! Come share with us on our blog. We would love to hear from you! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full
Andrea Logan White
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