Have you ever known someone who, every time they laugh, you can’t help but laugh too? Candace Payne, now affectionately called the Chewbacca Mom, is definitely one of those people. Her infectious laugh has spread countless joy all across the Internet after unveiling her newest purchase — a Star Wars Chewbacca mask — in a live video on her Facebook page. Her joy is contagious, causing her video to go crazy viral. And if you’re curious as to where all that joy comes from, it can be summed up in one word — JESUS!
If you’re not part of the 145 million people (to date) who’ve seen Candace’s video, don’t worry — you can watch it below. This video is so viral, it actually set a new record as being the most-watched Facebook Live video EVER.
WATCH: Viral Chewbacca Mom Video
But what’s truly powerful is hearing the story behind the video.
The Truth Behind The Chewbacca Mom
The moments leading up to the merry live stream weren’t exactly joyful. Candace has been trying to work out more in an effort to get more fit, but says it hasn’t been going well. So, she headed to Kohl’s to look for some exercise pants. But the search left her feeling discouraged.
“I thought, ‘Maybe not today. But I can get a toy for my kids.' And I walk through the toy section and I accidentally bump my shoulder into this box. And I had seen this before, but I didn't realize it made sound until that moment,” Candace explained in one interview. “It accidentally started making the growl, and I went, ‘I need to get that. Like, I don't think my kids need that, I think I need that.'"
Knowing her two kids would be all over the mask once she got it home, Candace decided to unveil her special buy to her Facebook friends right there in the parking lot. And after catching a glimpse of herself in the mask in the mirror, her previous discouragement was long gone and joy bubbled up, overtaking her in a fit of belly laughs.
And just like that, Chewbacca Mom was born, reminding us all of the incredible power of pure, simple JOY!
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. ” 1 Peter 1:8-9
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What’s even more incredible is that Candace is using her “15 minutes of fame” to glorify the very source of her profound joy — Jesus!
Glorifying God In All
The Chewbacca Mom video took off overnight, and Candace awoke the next day to 20 million views, countless friend requests and numerous interview requests from major media outlets! It was a complete shock to the stay-at-home mom.
But Candace is grounded by God’s Word, and she has her priorities straight!
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As an active member in her church — The Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak, Texas — Candace was on-stage in less than 48-hours at a Regional Fine Arts conference in Texas, using her newfound fame to point the attention right where it belonged.
And in this time where we live in a culture so captivated by the viral sensation, her words are not just powerful, but so unbelievably important:
“It doesn't matter how talented, how anointed, how gifted, how passionate, or how willing you are if you're not fit to do the things that God has called you to do... And that is spiritually fit,” Candace explains. “The thing that will take you further and farther in the Kingdom of God is three things: diligence, patience, and obedience... Do not try to make a name for yourself. His name will always out shadow yours."
WATCH: Candace Payne’s entire speech
These days, it seems like everyone is looking for that magic recipe for making something “go viral.” Yet, at the end of the day, it’s always something spontaneous and random that no one ever expected — like Chewbacca Mom — that blows the formulated attempts out of the water. You can’t force it. You have to just wait for it to happen.
The thing is, God works a lot like that. When we try to force our will, our agenda — no matter how well-intentioned — it just never seems to work. But when we sit back and let the Holy Spirit to guide us, the results always far exceed our greatest expectations.
God is the original viral phenomenon! You can’t predict what He’s going to do, just how big it’s going to be or just how many people it will touch. Our job is to just open our hearts and follow!
Please share this story with others. May Candace’s powerful words encourage us all to seek HIS name instead of our own!
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“He has to become greater while I become less.” John 3:30
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Featured Image Credit: Candace Payne / WFAA