Candace Payne, the Texas mother who posted a video of herself wearing a Chewbacca mask and hilariously laughing out loud, has become an overnight sensation. Her infectious personality and ability to bring joy to others has captivated America. The viral star has made several media appearances and she recently spoke at a youth conference about her strong Christian faith.
In a Facebook video of Payne's appearance at the Regional Fine Arts conference 2016, the technical director of the event explained that he was shocked by Candace "Chewbacca Mask" Payne's guest appearance.
"My executive producer Jon Catron says hang on I have a surprise for ya this was right before we go live on our broadcast. The Chewbacca mask video starts to play and I thought that was going to be it so haha funny funny, and then we pull the lights up and this happened...This Lady is TOO COOL and such a great personality," he wrote along with the posted video of Payne giving advice to youths in her town less than 48 hours after shooting to fame.
In the 9-minute video, the Dallas, Texas, native talked about her surprise when she found out that her video went viral, currently over 140 million views. Payne said that her viral video caused a media frenzy and thousands of Facebook requests. In just a day or so, her video had gained national attention and radio and TV station interviews began to line up. She interviewed with BBC in the U.K., Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, and BuzzFeed.
Back in her home church in Dallas, Payne is part of the worship team and is active in ministry. According to Christian Examiner, she and her husband of 15 years met in church and fell in love while in student ministry together. They have two children together, ages 6 and 7-year-old.
Her video was made for her friends as a celebration of the "simple joys" in life, but has now paved a way for her to have an impact on a much wider audience. Speaking to the young crowd at the youth conference, she urged them to follow God's leading.
"When I was 16 I had a vision and a dream from the Lord about my future being used for His glory. I didn't understand the interpretation of it. I still, til this day at 37-years-old, try to figure that dream out. But that dream has never left my heart, or my mind, or the way that I walk and follow Jesus," Payne testified. "I know that God has gifted me in many different areas and sometimes I feel like I wake up and I'm a jack of many trades and master of none because I have that creative buzz in me constantly going."
Before ending her inspirational talk, she wanted the audience to know that fame and gifting is not what truly matters but instead it's all about giving God His rightful glory all while following HIm.
"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 farther and farther in the Kingdom of God is three things, diligence – be diligent in the work of the Lord. Patience – have those moments where you stop and you wait upon the Lord. Don't rush into ministry or a good opportunity because it looks shiny, wait for the voice of God to direct you. And the third thing is the biggest thing... is have obedience. When He tells you move, move. When He tells you stop, stop. When He tells you to indulge in the delights of my table, indulge. But when He tells you that's not yours, you can't have it, step away. Do not try to make a name for yourself, His name will always out-shadow yours," she concluded.