I’m sure by now you have all seen the Chewbacca Mum video on Facebook that went viral last weekend (over 148 million views as I type this). Candace Payne is the mum in that video and she has the most infectious laugh. As I watched her unbox her new Chewie mask I just knew we could be mates, she seems like such fun and is absolutely indulging herself and delighting in her new mask. I genuinely felt as I watched the video for the first time that Candace had a twinkle in her eyes and a killer smile.
Just in case you’ve no idea what I’m on about, here is the original video –
It came as absolutely no surprise to me to learn earlier this week that Candace is a committed Christian, often leading worship at her home church The Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak, Texas. Surely no-one can have that amount of joy without knowing Christ’s love?
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13 (ESV)
But how did she come to be in a car just before school pick-up time with a chewie mask? Well Candace had gone into a store to buy some yoga pants (exercise trousers to us Brits) as she realised she needed to be doing some more exercise. As a large lady I know what it feels like to get downhearted as you browse the clothes rails and realise that nothing will look good on your frame or perhaps there are not any of the right size trousers there. Candace found herself in this position and went to buy her kids a toy instead. I think it is a pretty common tactic, to district yourself by buying something safe that does not depend on your weight. For me it is shoes and handbags, for Candace it is obviously something for her kids. But as she looked around she knocked the box and heard the Chewie mask growl and that was it she knew she had to have it. It had been her birthday recently after all!
Her impromptu unboxing video done in her car was live-streamed and as Candace caught a glimpse of herself in the rearview mirror the belly laughs started to roll and then as she saw and heard her viewers reactions to the video she kept on laughing and laughing and setting herself off again and again.
Of course there have been hundreds of viral videos and no-one can quite put their finger on the magic formula that makes them sharable but for me the formula with this one is easy. Candace was full, absolutely full, overflowing in fact with the Lord’s Holy Spirit and it’s well accepted that joy, as one of the fruits of the spirit, manifests when we are filled with the spirit. Our depth of joy can often be a good indicator of our depth of relationship with the Lord at that time.
I watched another video of Candace talking to a group of young Christians at the Regional Fine Arts Conference 2016 in Texas and she makes some superb points, it is only 9 minutes so I suggest you watch it. She starts by sharing that God gave her a dream when she was 16 (21 years ago) that He would use her future for His glory and she said she had no idea what this dream meant but it never left her mind, nor her heart and it has informed her walk for Jesus.
She then spoke about God having plans for us all and that we have to be spiritually fit so we can walk into those plans when He reveals the time is right. Gosh, this spoke to me so deeply as God has been giving me a message for the last few years that I need to be fit for purpose and I’m not sure I’ve fully understood this right before now. I had thought I wasn’t fit as I am overweight and need to exercise more but at the FitFish conference a couple of weeks ago I realised that I needed to find balance between my physical, emotional and spiritual fitness.
Then hearing Candace say that we have to be spiritually fit again gave me that confirmation that not everything is about losing weight for me. It is about being fully fit, balanced fit and yes, thank the Lord I have done so much work (with His help) over the last three years to improve my spiritual walk. I AM on the way to being fully fit.
So I’m really taking on board Candace’s tip to focus on diligence, patience and obedience as the ways to develop spiritual fitness.
Thank you Candace for sharing your joy with the world. First you shone your light and got enough of the world interested that you had a platform and then you used that platform and went on to share in your interviews that you love Jesus and it is the simple joys that excite you. Your witness and different way of thinking and living will have affected many I’m sure.
Be blessed, Mich x