Candace Payne, better known as Chewbacca Mom from her viral video in 2016, opens up to Simple Grace about past poverty, abuse and depression and how God led her to such contagious joy. Here she shares about the abuse she suffered and how God helped her deal with it:
Although she’s the picture of exuberance today, Candace is no stranger to suffering. When she was in the 4th and 5th grades, her family lived in a van for 8 months, then a hotel for 18 months. When she was 13, she suffered sexual abuse.
“The abuse happened once,” Candace recalls, “but from then on, I thought I could only be loved and accepted if I repeated that act. I felt so wrapped in shame.”
Candace says that although the shame of the abuse cast a shadow over her adolescence and young adulthood, God had faded the memory of the abusive act itself…until just a few years ago.
“I was praying and God revealed the memory as clear as day,” she shares. “It was devastating, but in my gut I knew He was doing it to free me from the pain of it. And by freeing me, He was going to restore passion in my marriage and restore passion in my life that I didn’t have. That’s the moment my journey for joy truly started.”
Read more about Candace's journey to joy in our December issue, on sale now at Walmart, Barnes & Noble, in select grocery stores, and also digitally on Kindle and Nook. And pick up a copy of her new book, Laugh It Up!!