If case you’ve missed it, Candace Cameron Bure’s newest book, “Dancing Through Life: Steps of Courage and Conviction“, released August 1st! This book is centered around her journey with DWTS (She took home 3rd place. Holla!) but draws many parallels about her life as an actress and public figure, and how she manages the tension between her faith and her career. I think I say it every time she comes out with a book, but I just LOVE it! Granted, I might have another motive as to why since this is the first published book that I’ve ever been in, BUT she is so relatable and real…and I can say that because I actually know her. What she writes about is true, real, and raw. She knew she couldn’t handle the DWTS journey without a team (that’s humility, right there!) and my role as her prayer group lead is the exact experience that I’m going to share with you now!
The Excitement….and fear.
I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I found out that Candace was going on Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). It was one of pure excitement, then fear. It was this interesting two-sided coin of emotions that I was feeling. She finally got on a show that she’d been dreaming of doing for years and for that, I was thrilled! I knew that God would use this platform to further His kingdom and that Candace would bring honor to Him. She’s such a hard, diligent worker and I knew that she would shine.
But the other side–Satan.
I knew that Candace would be walking around with an even bigger target on her than before. A public spotlight, a lengthy duration, hours and hours of physical and emotional exhaustion. I knew that this was going to be a battle of epic proportions, and we had to round up the troops.
Rallying the Troops
Over the past 2 years, God has really impressed on my heart (and my hubby’s!) the importance of prayer. There’s been a few situations we’ve encountered and books we’ve read that enforced the fact that the battles before us needed to be fought with prayer. While we still have so much room to grow, we’ve really made more of an attempt to make this a personal practice, so it was a natural reaction of mine to start the prayer team. I was on a group voxer with my friends Summer and Mandy (also friends of Candace!) and asked them if they thought a prayer team would be a good idea? Would they be willing to be a part of it and should we ask Candace if she wanted to be a part of it or make it any larger? The answer to all these were, “YES.” We knew it needed to happen, and we needed consistency and numbers, so two prayer teams were formed.
After a couple emails with Candace, we decided that she would update me via email or text during the day. We would get a weekly update as she knew exactly what dance she was doing and costumes she was considering. I’d also get random mid-week updates because things would pop up here and there. I would pray over the emails and ask God to give me scriptures that might encourage both of our prayer teams and Candace, then shoot emails out as needed.
Read more about this experience and my advice I gave her when she was trying to figure out how to handle the “Little Mermaid” costume when you pick up your copy of “Dancing Through Life”!
The honest truth was, I could’ve cared less if Candace won the show. I mean, don’t get me wrong, of course I was cheering for her to win. I wanted her to stay healthy. I wanted her to have fun, but deep down, I cared about 3 main things:
1) that her walk with God would stay vibrant
2) that her marriage would be protected
3) that her children would feel loved, protected and that they would experience a blessing through this.
These are 2 graphics/phone wallpapers I created for our team as a visual reminder to pray for her during this time!
Looking at DWTS through another lens
I’m not gonna lie, the 2 months Candace was on DWTS was just as much of a race for me as it was for her. I was on the front lines of communication with her and since she and I jive so well, I FELT her pain. I really felt like I physically carried her burdens, and I was doing this thousands of miles away. I can remember one night wanting to just reach through the TV and hug her. I knew what she was carrying on her shoulders, and I wanted to just touch my friend in some way to physically release the weight.
Candace and I in Nashville 2 weeks after DWTS finale! You can read more about that trip here!
I remember another afternoon towards the end of the season. I was out for an afternoon run and I got a text from her that jolted me so much that I stopped running and cried. I prayed and cried out to God on behalf of her as she was literally crossing the DWTS finish line, beaten up, broken, and exhausted. It was all I could do to pray scripture over her, round up the troops, and fast over her.
But really Clare, did you just lead this up because she’s famous?
People are often curious about a friendship with someone who is as famous as Candace. Do you speak straight with her? Do you try to be someone else you aren’t? Are you the same way with her as you are with everyone else? Is she down to earth?
I am just not going to be anyone else than who I am! In fact, there was one time when I texted her something (I can’t even remember what it was about), but it was sort of a “tough love” kind of thing towards the end of DWTS. I went to bed that night feeling like I came on a little strong considering everything she was going through. I sent her an email the next day apologizing for my words. Her response? “Oh goodness, It never crossed my mind! Thanks for being there for me with a last minute text!”
WHEW. I need to come with a warning label or something (haha). I’m pretty serious about my friendships. You might want to think twice to become mine because I take Tim Keller’s quote pretty seriously.
So to answer the question, do I lead this up because she’s famous? No. Is it fun to be in her book? Sure! It’s a first for me, but truly, the honor was mine to help bring a sister along in her walk with Christ to present her perfect in Him (Colossians 1:28)! I consider our friendship just a part of God’s divine plan. I don’t understand it, but I don’t have to!
Have you ever carried the burdens for a friend? Candace isn’t the first one, nor will she be the last in my life. There will be people who God places in your life that He will uniquely tie your hearts together. You won’t quite understand why it was THIS person with THIS situation, you just know that THIS is the time to act. It can be heavy to be in this place. It’s so much easier to checkout and to allow someone else to be on the front lines. The front lines of a war are messy. There’s blood, loud noises, fear, loss. But there has to be a front line. There has to be a group of people who are resilient in the face of destruction. There has to be Christians who say, “I know this will be tough, but I am willing to fight it out.”
Before I sent the first email out to our prayer teams, I prayed over which verses I wanted our team to pray over. I wanted scripture to pray when I didn’t know how to pray. I came upon Colossians 1:9-12 and this passage was foundational to MY journey alongside her.
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”
So this post is not meant to just be an additional insight into Candace’s book (although I want you to grab the book because it’s awesome!), but also a challenge to you. Is God calling you to be that support person for someone else? Is He asking you to round up a team of people and pray consistently on behalf of them? Is there someone that God keeps placing on your heart all the time that you just can’t shake? Friends, you are on the front line. Don’t shirk from this responsibility. Be bold. Be strong. The Lord your God is with you.
Order your copy of “Dancing Through Life”, here!