Faith and Fame

Former 'Housewife' Lydia McLaughlin: I'm a Christian because I'm so messed up

Lydia McLaughlin on why she left 'Real Housewives of Orange County' after one season

 

Leaving "The Real Housewives of Orange County" was one of the hardest decisions Lydia McLaughlin had to make. At the end of the day, the mother-of-three chose her family and faith over reality stardom. 

FOX411 spoke with the 34-year-old about the difficult decision and how it led her to write a book in hopes of inspiring others to follow God.

FOX411: How did you find your faith?
Lydia McLaughlin:
My family's super spiritual so we were always encouraged to ask questions about God, but I didn't grow up in a quote-on-quote typical Christian home. When I was in high school I became a Christian through a young life trip that I took and I was really involved in that growing up.

FOX411: What inspired you to write your book "Beyond Orange County: A Housewives Guide to Faith & Happiness?"
McLaughlin: I think because I was on the "Real Housewives of Orange County," I've experienced a lot, especially younger girls, will get nervous around me and maybe get teary eyed around me, which is a very bizarre feeling. So I just knew I wanted to take that platform, which is a kind of the fact that I've already won the right to be heard in their eyes and use that to send a positive message. So because I became a Christian in high school and my older mentor meant so much to me, I knew how much of a difference I could make to other people too. And so I wanted to tell people about my faith and how it's shaped me into who I am and how important that is. And so it was just a natural overflow of my heart.

FOX411: What do you hope people take away after reading your book?
McLaughlin: I would love them to just make their faith a reality in their lives and to be set free from the chains of this world. To know that scripture is alive and active and it can make a difference in their lives and it matters.

FOX411: You write about your decision to leave the "Real Housewives."
McLaughlin: It was a really hard decision and I compare it a lot of times to a boyfriend that you know you're not going to marry and so you know you need to break up with him and that's hard. And definitely there are days that I question it and may be sad about it, but I know it was the right decision for me and my family. There were a lot of red flags along the way that I received so at the end I did the chart of all the reasons why I wanted to do it, which were kind of worldly and selfish kind of things, and the all the reasons to leave were of kingdom value.

FOX411: Do you find it difficult to be in the spotlight and stay true to yourself and your values?
McLaughlin: Yeah, I mean I think I was set up to fail because people think if you're a Christian and you mess up that means you're a hypocrite. But I'm a Christian because I'm so messed up and that's why I believe in Jesus and so I think definitely it was hard and the show is based on drama and gossip and clothes and fashion. It's a lot of things that you're definitely told not to go after if you're a believer but I thought I could. It's naturally who I am, I'm an editor for a magazine so we deal with luxury things anyway, so it seemed like a perfect fit in my life to take on that role and to try and be a light using kind of the megaphone that I got.

Faith & Fame is a regular column exploring how a strong belief system helps some performers navigate the pitfalls of the entertainment industry.

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You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.