With Candace Payne, we talk about life and what happens when the “shoulds” don’t….
Today, we are joined by the joyful Candace Payne. Candace, also known as “Chewbacca Mom,” reached more than 200 million people when her surprise outburst of joy at the simplest pleasure of a Star Wars mask went viral. She went on to publish a memoir detailing her personal journey of discovering joy, called Laugh It Up, and a small group curriculum, Defiant Joy: What Happens When You’re Full of It. Today we are going to talk to Candace about what she has been up to and some challenges she faced after her “suddenly moment”. Her new podcast “Shut the Should Up”, launches November 9, 2019.
Candace is releasing a new book in April of 2020, called You Belong, where we discover joy based on identity. Candace states, “I can tell how joyful of a Christian life you live by how well you know you belong to God.” If being a sheep is all you know then you will be stuck saying I’m a sinner saved by grace. Wow, let us take a moment with this one. If we only focus on being a sinner saved by grace, we can get stuck believing that our actions dictate how much God loves us and will do through us. But Candace goes on to share, “you are an adopted Co-heir of Christ and that means greater things are in store. You are a part of the body which means there is an assignment and calling [on your life]. You belong to God in so many facets, it expands our joy.” When we come as a daughter/son/heir we know that whatever we ask in His name can happen. We see this a little later as we dive more into the “suddenly” moments that happened in Candace’s life.
Reality is fighting for joy. Candace has discovered the importance of having a core group of ladies who pray for her every day. “This is a place to go to for encouragement, hope, or prayer.” You need these people that you can be vulnerable with to help you gain or maintain your joy. Candace shares: “Get actual, tangible people in your life that you connect with to maintain your joy…those are the people you are vulnerable with.” On the other side of being openly vulnerable, Candace has discovered there are also times you need to keep things close that not everyone needs to be let into. “I can still be authentically me and not expose everything that’s happening in my life. Not everyone deserves your vulnerability, not everyone deserves your intimate places.”
Another great reminder we all need about vulnerability: “Y’all need to get this: Social media is not our intimacy gauge with people.” Should we say it again? Ok, ok we won’t but no truer words have been spoken. We should only be sharing highlights from our lives on social media, and realize that others are doing the same. You only see the highlights and glimpses they choose to share. It’s important to remember that broadcasting everything in your life isn’t healthy or safe. It’s ok that people don’t know what you are doing all day. If social media has become your source of validation, you need to realign with the One that truly matters. Seek His validation for your life and every move, I promise, holds more value.
Something that is discussed here that I never truly thought about is that your story involves others. Which is why we need to be respectful of what moments are the triumphs worthy to share. If you are going to do/post anything let it strengthen, encourage, or comfort someone else. Rebecca brings in such a valuable word here. “The word (bible) shows us that Mary hid promises in her heart to preserve them.” God calls us not to talk about everything to preserve relationships and friendships. It was in Mary’s best interest to keep these promises close and hidden. What are things in your life you feel need to remain close or even hidden? A little food for thought.
There’s a subliminal effect when we share stories because even though we are sharing it from our perspective people are still involved and could perceive the same story completely different. First Corinthians 14:3 can be used as a gauge, helping us decide “should we share that triumph, or will it bring sorrow to others?”
In Rebecca’s choosing to share her story, she realized a lot of things. “My childhood impacted my vulnerability for exploitation. How can I share my story with honor and respect for my parents, as well as the women I was trafficked with?” She realized and faced the fact that it’s not just her story.
Candace faced something similar with the release of her book. “I had to tell my parents there is a book coming out and it’s going to expose something that happened under your watch. I sat down with my parents and shared the story in a way that honored everyone. My father’s response was gracious and my mother wanted to know who it was that hurt me. There are ways that we can expose movements of our life that can bring honor and healing.”
What was your hardest mistakes or time of crossroads that didn’t make the Instagram highlight? I have to say, trying to not only preserve the promises of God but to hold onto His timing. I was a stay-at-home mom, anonymous to the world, yet hidden inside of me were promises. Overnight my life turned upside down, which lead me to believe certain promises were on its coattails but they weren’t. There is instead another promise that He has and is saying no, wait.
One of the things I have not done well is trusting the fact that God can do a miracle (the impossible to something that you think shouldn’t be possible) but it doesn’t mean the floodgates of your life are suddenly opened and everything comes to pass at once. He has good works, multiple works prepared in advance. I don’t feel I did that well in the first year following God. Some of the opportunities that I thought would lead to more but they didn’t. I have seen Him do a miracle and I believe that I will see Him do it again but it doesn’t have to be right now. I need to wait on His timing. Just because one door opened doesn’t mean that they are all suddenly opened. The reality is I still have to seek, I still have to knock, I still have to wait. Keep being faithful and trust. “Do not lean on your own understanding. He will lead and direct you.” Prov 3:5-6. This is also Rebecca’s favorite verse.
We hope this podcast leads you into this understanding. God knows our future and this is where you have to trust Him whether it’s a slow process or a “suddenly moment.” We have to stop looking at everyone else’s plan because it’s not about them; it’s not their story. We have to get to the simple fact of do we love Him, trust Him and believe He is worth following. A good day for Candace looks like, “If at the end of the day I have trusted, then I’ve been successful. Nobody is immune to hardship. There is one unifier and equalizer that is Jesus.” Thanks for joining us today we hope you feel challenged yet encouraged.