It all started with her laugh – and not just any laugh, but a great-big-laugh-till-you-cry belly kind of laughter. By now many of you have probably seen the video of the Texas mom, Candace Payne, who bought a Star Wars Chewbacca mask and took a video of herself in her car trying on the mask and then laughing hysterically because she thought it was so funny.
They say her video “blew up the internet” with the millions of views and shares it received. This young mom is now enjoying her “15 minutes of fame” and has appeared on numerous television shows, including late night and early morning national programs. Ms. Payne was introduced to J.J. Abrams who is a famous Hollywood director, writer, producer and coincidentally, one of the co-writers of the latest Star Wars films. Ms. Payne was also gifted with several thousand dollars worth of fabulous gift cards and merchandise from Kohl’s, the department store where she purchased the mask.
Within 48 hours of her video fame she was asked to speak to art students at an Arts Conference in Texas. During her talk she shared that “at the age of 16 she had a vision and a dream from the Lord about her future and being used by God for His glory.” She confessed that she didn’t completely understand the interpretation of the vision and throughout her life (she is currently 37) she struggled with how exactly that would look since she felt God had gifted her in many areas but yet she didn’t really feel as though she’d mastered anything. She says she never forgot that vision and dream though and it affected her walk with Jesus throughout her life.
When Ms. Payne spoke at the Texas conference, one of the takeaway points for the students was so profound that it must be shared. She said: “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. 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.” ~ Candace Payne
It took 21 years for Ms. Payne to see her dream come to fruition, proving that she was indeed obedient and patient as she waited on God. In this day and age, we read stories of people wanting to make a name for themselves in the music industry or in movies or in the sports arena and they’re willing to take dangerous shortcuts in order to achieve success. So many of those pursing fame have been sold a bill of goods that make it seem as though fame and wealth equal happiness and success.
Those of us who’ve been around for any length of time know for a fact that fame and wealth are not a guarantee of happiness — and success doesn’t necessarily mean financial freedom. There are countless stories of those who’ve achieved fame and stardom only to discover that fame, notoriety and success come at a very high price and can actually make life lonelier, yet many are willing to compromise their beliefs and their integrity in order to achieve fame.
God waited 21 years to bring about the fulfillment of the vision and dream this young woman received at the age of 16. Rather than chasing her dream trying to make something happen under her own steam or just sitting around doing nothing as she waited for some big platform to magically appear, Candace was doing what she knew to do. She got up every day and went about doing good; being a good wife and mom, loving Jesus and finding joy in the little things while she cherished that vision and dream hidden in her heart and mind. And suddenly what started as a little thing … laughter, God stepped in and turned her laughter into a big, giant platform for sharing the gospel of Christ – and that is nothing to laugh about!
A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22 (AMP)
Are you harboring a dream or vision from God that feels like it’s never going to happen? Candace Payne’s story is a reminder to us all to never give up – as when you least expect it … suddenly God moves!
LORD, there is no one like you! For you are great, and your name is full of power. Jeremiah 10:6 (NLT)
Blessings in Christ and as always … happy reading!