Robia LaMorte: When Excess Leaves You Empty
By Renelle Richardson
The 700 Club
The 700 Club’s Renelle Richardson interviews Robia LaMorte:
For former dancer and actress Robia LaMorte, her teen years were filled with hope and excitement. At 16, she landed her first job - dancing backup for Teen Pop diva, Debbie Gibson!
Robia LaMorte: It was really exciting to know that all the years I had been training - and I really did train seriously, five hours plus a day; so, when finally I broke through and was a working dancer, it was really exciting. I felt like, “Ok, this is happening for me!”
But it wasn’t growing up in Tinsel Town that made Robia get into show biz; it was a smash hit movie she saw in the ‘80s.
Robia: When I was about 12-years-old I saw the movie Flashdance, and that was it. I realized, “Oh my gosh! This is an actual career! Like, I didn’t know that you could do that.” So I saw that movie; I was mesmerized, and the next day I went out, got a big perm like Jennifer Beal’s, cut off all the sweatshirts and had a million pairs of legwarmers that I wore everyday to school. And I was like, “This is it. That’s what I’m going to do for my career!”
Robia went on to dance in more than 30 music videos, then came her big break.
Renelle Richardson: You danced with Prince and toured with him. What was that like?
Robia: That was a phenomenal experience. One video turned into three, then four, then all the songs on the video, then the album cover, then we toured.
When the tour ended, Robia tried her hand at acting. Once again, she was a huge success, landing roles on Beverly Hills 90210, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Pretender. Although she enjoyed the luxuries that came with stardom, Robia was searching for something she couldn’t find at any boutique or Hollywood party.
Robia: The one thing money can’t buy, and success can’t buy and all those things cannot buy is that deep peace and that deep sense of rest.
A life of excess was weighing her down.
Robia: I’m still smoking a million cigarettes a day. I’m still shopping above my means, still feeling that torment - the mind can’t rest; still feeling uncomfortable in myself, feeling self conscious, eating issue and body image issues. So, I got very drawn into the new age movement: yoga, meditating. I was always trying to look for that thing that would make me feel at rest inside of myself. I’d feel tormented, where my mind would be racing and I couldn’t quiet it, couldn’t still it.
Around that time, one of Robia’s new age friends became a Christian and challenged her to read the New Testament.
Robia: My friend made a lot of sense to me. She was like, “You’re reading every book on the planet about God, spiritual books - but you’ve never read the Bible.” And I don’t think an intelligent person can refute that logic. I thought, “OK. I need to at least read the Bible.”
So driving in her car one day, she made a deal with God.
Robia: I said, “Alright God. You know I believe in you. That’s not a question. But I don’t get the whole Jesus deal. If Jesus is the only Way, if Jesus is the Truth, then You need to show me. You need to make it clear to me in a way that I will understand.” All of a sudden, my car is in the middle of like Hell’s Angels bikers. My little car is in the middle and I’ve got then in front of me; I’ve got them on the sides of me. And I’m thinking, “How ironic. Here I am praying and I’ve got the Hell’s Angels all around me.” And I look a little closer to the bikes in front of me and on their leather jackets there’s a big cross and it says, “We ride for Jesus.”
Renelle: There was your sign.
Robia: There was my sign - as I’m praying, “God show me a sign.” So I just laughed and said, “Alright, God. You’re funny! You’re personal! You’re real!”
Robia spent months pouring over the Bible and decided it was time to visit a church. She went to a few services and she knew she had a decision to make.
Robia: “God, You are God; and Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to You but through Him. And I want to come to You. I want to be with You.” I prayed the prayer. It doesn’t have to be an eloquent prayer, “Jesus, I believe Who You are. I believe that You’re the Son of God. Come into my heart. Be the Lord of my life instead of me being the main decision maker, and take me on the journey.”
After becoming a Christian, she felt that the show biz part of her life was coming to an end.
Robia: When I started to get strong in God, I was saying no to certain roles. I didn’t want to go to work everyday and say things that were so contrary. These were all the things that I was trying to kill in myself, so they’re so contrary to where my heart is and what I believe. So it got to the point where there was a divide.
In 1999, Robia walked away from her acting career and into full time ministry.
Robia: God was starting to teach me, when I was feeling uncomfortable to come to Him - talk to Him, like David did in the Psalms. He wasn’t trying to be perfect before God and say these beautiful lovely prayers. He was coming before God venting, “Ahh, I hate this person, that person - I feel like this!” He was honest and he let God into those places. So the Lord started to show me how to let Him into those feelings.
Robia takes the lessons she says the Lord has taught her and shares them with audiences across the country. She specifically teaches about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Robia: People are searching and seeking for that sense of rest. And I would say that’s the main thing God has given me. There’s nothing like it. There’s nothing like a life in God.
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