faith, talk
You Need To Hear This.

You need to hear this. || A response.

If there are two things you need to know about me before I start this it’s these:

  1. I am an avid youtube watcher
  2. I am a hopeless romantic

I started watching this on YouTuber’s videos a few years back, after I saw one of her vlogs about young life. I’ve been following her ever since.

I don’t know her; I do know girls like her, though. Girls who have been through what she is going through—so desperate to find someone who will love them so fully and recklessly. And they all have their ways of searching for that—through “serial dating,” through one night stands, through leading guys on. It’s all about feeling that intimacy. Feeling some sort of control over the situation and over how you will end up feeling in the end.

When I watched her newest video my heart hurt for her and for all of the girls who are in the same boat as she is. This post isn’t meant to come across as judgment. As I said before, I don’t know her, but I do know that she is hurting, like so many of us are, and I wanted to make this post with the intention of it reaching even one person out there who is struggling with this.

She started her video talking about the future—particularly future spouses. She listed off a few of the things that would make up her dream spouse. (Here are mine: he makes me laugh, loves me even when I’m a mess, loves kids and wants a family, and so much more). We all have these lists of things we want in our future spouses, and this isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, these can be great.

When I was 13 I went through a class on sexual purity. I had never even heard of half of the things that we talked about prior to the class. But one of the things that we did talk about was making these lists. We all wrote down what we wanted in our future spouses and we prayed about it. To this day, I still pray about it. 

But here’s what we do need to realize and accept about these lists. Sure, someone could meet every single quality that we are looking for—but they still won’t be perfect. We’re humans. We’re sinners. We’re flawed. Nothing that any of us do is ever going to be perfect. It’s just not possible.   And when we can’t find our perfect, that is when we often start to, in Katy’s words, “accept what we know we don’t deserve.” We accept less than we deserve because we submit to never being able to achieve perfect. 

So why do we do that? 

The answer: we crave intimacy.

For this YouTuber, she talks about one night stands and how occasionally, she’ll use those to fulfill her need for intimacy. She talks about the feeling that she gets just by being in someone’s arms, and how it feels like finally getting it right. 

Until they leave. 

I’ve been there. 

For me, personally, it wasn’t one night stands. My tactic was to just avoid guys at all costs because I’d convinced myself that no one was ever going to love me anyway, so why try? 

I have friends who have been there. 

Sipping on alcohol until they can’t feel their limbs anymore and they finally feel free, lovable, unreserved. 

Going back to boys who had wrecked their hearts over and over and over because they thought that no one else would ever love them the same way—that they would never love anyone the same way.

We all crave love. 

We all crave intimacy. 

So here’s my proposal: what if we don’t find our intimacy and fulfillment inside of our significant others?

What if there’s someone out there who could love us even better than any other human can? 

In the last few years I’ve learned a lot about the God shaped hole in my heart. The one that I thought could be filled with friendships and love and acceptance, when in reality, could only be filled by the creator of my soul. 

I remember it like it was yesterday: I was laying in bed one night in tears, because I felt like so much of an outcast. I had my phone playing random music, and “Beloved” by Tenth Avenue North came on. (If you’ve never heard it, please take a few minutes and listen to it). In that moment I physically felt the arms of Jesus wrap around my body and just hold me. 

It was probably the most comforting thing I’ve ever felt. 

And it was so, so real. 

I honestly don’t know what else to say. Just, God’s love is so much deeper and surer than anything I’ve ever felt on this earth. He’s held me every time I’ve ever felt like I was falling apart; every time I would run away, He’s been waiting with arms stretched open for my return. 

Do I want a marriage with an awesome guy who will love me fully? Of course!

But do I need that someday so desperately that I’ll do anything possible to fill that hole now? No. 

My God’s got me; I’m going to focus fully on him and live in peace and satisfaction and wholeness because that’s who he is.

Love of my life
Deep in my eyes
There you will find what you need
I’m the giver of life
I’ll clothe you in white
My immaculate bride you will be
Oh come running home to me

you’re chasing lovers that won’t satisfy

won’t you let me make you my bride

you will drink of my lips and you’ll taste new life”


Shi xx

Disclaimer: names have been left out for privacy reasons. If you know who I’m talking about, please do not mention their name. Thanks.
also: this wasn’t originally meant to be posted for my The One On Singleness series, but it definitely relates so I’m categorizing it as such! Companionship in singleness is still coming out on Tuesday! 🙂
I’ve Never Been Kissed (And That’s Okay)

never been kissed
Toa Heftiba

As I sat down to start writing this series, The One on Singleness, I had a lot of thoughts racing through my head. (Mostly thoughts about how I am totally unqualified to talk about relationships at all!) The thing that kept running through my mind was that I’ve never even been kissed, so how can I talk to other people about it? 

But God’s been really pushing me to do this—to step out of my comfort zone and be really real with you all. Sure, I haven’t been kissed yet, but you know what I know a lot about? Being single. Who better to write a series on singleness than someone who has been single for their entire life. 

So I’m doing it. And we’re starting at the beginning. 

I’ve Never Been Kissed (And That’s Okay). 

Almost a year ago now, I wrote a post titled “The Misconception of Modern Romance.” To this day, this is one of my favorite posts that I’ve ever written. (If you haven’t read it, you can do so here). When I first thought about writing a series on singleness, I was drawn back to this post. 

We, as a generation, have fallen for so many of these misconceptions about dating and relationships. So to start this series off, I would like to point out some of these misconceptions for you. 

  1. You don’t have to have your first kiss by a certain point in your life (i.e. sixteen) to reach adulthood. I’ve gone 21 years without being kissed and I don’t think I’m any less of a person because of it. In fact, it is special that whoever does get to be my first kiss will know how much they mean to me. 
  2. You don’t have to sleep with someone to get them to like you. This is one that I see so much from my dearest friends. They have this deep rooted belief that if they don’t have sex with their significant other, that they suddenly become undesirable. And this simply isn’t true—and if your s/o does become uninterested with you if you don’t have sex with them, than you know what they really wanted anyway. 
  3. Dating for fun. What even is “dating for fun?” Quite honestly, you’re dating for one of two things: a breakup or marriage. I’ve chosen to be intentional in who I do decide to date, because I am dating for marriage. I’m a marriage minded person, and this scares a lot of people. There is a fear of commitment among our generation. 
  4. College isn’t a time for experimenting. Just please. Be careful. 
  5. There is something to be said for dating someone who has the same belief system as you do. It makes a relationship really hard when you have two very different world views. 

And there are so many more that I’m sure will come up as this series continues. My original plan was for this series to last for four weeks. It may be longer or shorter than that at this point—I’m not sure. I just wanted to give you all a little taste at what is to come.

Next week we will be talking about companionship and where we can find that in our singleness. 


Shi xx


The One On Singleness

The other day I started a poll on twitter to see what you all would like to see first on this revamped version of The Grace Collective. Unsurprisingly, singleness won and so that’s what we are going to jump in on first. (Follow me on twitter if you’d like to be a part of future polls).

The One On Singleness

So you want love advice from a perpetually single twenty-something? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Except, this isn’t going to be your typical love advice. In fact, if you’re looking for someone to tell you to “just do it” and that your boyfriend is great even though he treats you like poo, you should probably go somewhere else.

No, I’m starting off this series to show you that being single is okay and that God has someone out there for you who is going to treat you the way that you deserve to be treated.

Imagine a God who loves you enough to send his only son down to take the burden of your sins. That’s a lot of love. Imagine all of the good he has in store for you in your relationships as well, as long as you have the patience to wait.

The One On Singleness series will start tomorrow, Friday 5/12 and run for four weeks. I will be posting a new entry to it every Friday.

I hope you are all as excited about this series as I am!

I’ll talk to you tomorrow,

Shi xx

A New Season

The Lord likes to stretch us, that’s for sure.

So, long time, no real, solid post. I could sit here and try to explain why it happened and why I haven’t been writing, but that would take a long time when the simple answer is this:

God has been changing my heart on what this blog is supposed to be and how I am supposed to use it.

It has been kind of a fight in my spirit because, let’s face it, I’m selfish. We all are. When God decides He wants us to use something that’s been soley ours for so long and make it about Him, we don’t want to do it. I know for myself, at least, I like attention. I think that it is in our human nature to like attention.

And now God wants the attention. And that’s been hard to give up.

But I have finally stepped into a place where I’m saying, “okay, God, use me,” because I’m ready to be stretched. I want to be stretched.

So, we’re starting a new season here at the grace collective. This is a season of ministry. It’s a season of pouring something into the Lord so abundantly and fully that there’s no way I’ll be able to do it in my own flesh and blood. It’s going to have to be through him.

A New Season

So here is what this new season is going to look like.

  1. This is going to be ministry. I’m not completely sure what that will look like, but it will be faith-based. I know a lot of you who read this blog, read it for lifestyle content. That is going to change some. That’s not to say I’ll never post lifestyle posts, but they will be more rare.
  2. I’m going to get really real with you. I’m not perfect; I’m a mess at least 32% of the time. But that’s okay, because my God is perfect and He’s forgiven me.
  3. I want it to be a discussion. My desire is for open communication between me and my readers. I want to talk to you all about what the Lord is doing in your lives. That would make my heart so, so happy.
  4. I want to challenge myself to dig deeper into the word, and to trust that the Lord will reveal new truths for me as I am working on this blog.

I am planning on doing this big, guys. I feel it in my spirit to really have multiple avenues and ways to really speak to you all about the Lord. So with that being said, I am considering making a YouTube channel for The Grace Collective as well. If you would be interested in ministry style videos, please let me know in the comments below.

I hope you will all stick around for this new season that I’m walking in, and I appreciate your support as I go into this.


Shi xx


faith, music
No Longer // A Playlist

2017 has started off rough, to say the least. Between January and today, May 7, so much has happened to my family that it would be tedious and a bit redundant to sit here and write about all of it. Through all of the rough, Jesus has been there holding my heart. 
This year, although it’s been the hardest of my life so far, has taught me so incredibly much about my faith and the Lord. I have a lot I want to talk to you guys about, and a post will be coming really soon about it all, but for now I wanted to leave you with this. 
We are no longer tied down to the bad days, the mistakes, the fear, the heartache. We are no longer. 
“it is no longer I who lives, but Christ Jesus who lives inside me.” 
Shi xx