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January 4, 2019

It's been a grand total of 5 weeks since I've been on social media, which may seem like nothing to some and maybe even dreadful for others. I've been asked many questions since I've been on this fast. From, "why are you doing that?" to "Isn't your job to be on social media?" and even to "What are some realizations that you've made?" Here's the truth, it hasn't been hard...at all. SERIOUSLY! Isn't that crazy? It hasn't been hard. But, it has been many other things. And, I just thought, "Why not share with the people that have supported me, followed me, watched me and maybe even need a social media break (or fast if you're into Christian slang 🙂) themselves. My journey isn't special or big, but the changes that happened on the inside of me? Pretty freaking amazing, actually.

When asked the question "Isn't your job to be on social media?" I was kind of taken back and felt this overwhelming sense of guilt and shame. For those of you that don't know me, I'm what some would call a "Professional Christian". I host and speak to women and teens about this super cool guy named Jesus and the incredible redemptive power that we have access to through Him, even in our most broken places. I scream from the rooftops that "In a world that says we have to be perfect to be used, the truth is God will use us right in the middle of our mess." So, when I was asked about social media being my job I felt guilty. I asked myself, "Do the things that I post and say on my social platforms make it seem like I'm more concerned with high res images than I am with telling people that there's a really big God that can provide more clarity than any HD camera?" I mean, I know, I'm dramatic. But that's how it made me feel! And, I want to be more than that. I want people to end up on my pages and say three things, "That girl loves Jesus, she loves her husband and daughter and her reason for everything is to bring people closer to Jesus." (If they want to add some other flattering things in there, hey, totally on them. 🙂 )

I know that social media actually IS a place where ministry can happen, lives can be changed, relationships can be built and Jesus truly can be found. But, I just wanted to make sure that I am a part of that effort, in a big, intentional way.

*Inserts social media fast

So people, I started the fast! I wanted to take some time to just focus on rebuilding my heart for people. I wanted to create moments for no other reason, but to just exist in them. I wanted to break up the patterns in my life in hopes that I would discover something greater, access something deeper and come back with the intent to lead more people to Jesus.

Here's what happened:

I realized that the moments I was creating had a short life span.

I fell in love with my solitude.

Existing became enough for me. Because, I became enough for me.


I found the best parts of me.

I did more community service.

I deepened my well.

Spiritual well of truth. That now holds verses memorized for every storm.


I found more capacity for my daughter.

I found a waterfall of truth.

That poured affirmations of security, boldness and sureness into me.


I became less directionally challenged.

I actually looked at the road more when I was driving. I use my GPS way less now.


My pinky became pretty again.

You know that little top part of your right pinky that you use to hold up your phone? Yep, that thing.


My heart grew more for the lost.

I dreamed more.

Literally. I had more dreams at night. I think it’s because my brain had more space for imagination.


My eyes became more innocent.

We don’t need to unpack all that we’re exposed to on social media, right?


I read more in 5 weeks than I had in 5 years.

Specifically these books; Love Does, I Have a New Name, Milk + Honey & The Utter Relief of Holiness.


I became happier.

I saw my husband more.

We were sitting next to each other all along. But at moments, my eyes were locked on my screen.


I didn't want to go back to social media.


I know what you're thinking guys, "Woah girl, a lot happened in just 5 weeks? It did and I'm honestly tearing up reading and reflecting over all of these things. One of the most impactful moments I had, was when I realized that the moments I was creating was more for others than it was for me and the people I was experiencing them with. I would find myself wanting to go to THAT place, with THAT lighting, for THAT great picture so that I could post it for those people. It was as if I would be in this amazing moment and I would only enjoy it for as long as it took to post about it. I went looking for another moment before this moment was even done.

Going on a social media fast changed me. It changed my relationships. It changed my perspectives. And, it gave me a desire for just more life. Now, I am by no means saying that you should take a social media fast. This isn't one of those self-help blog posts where I'm subliminally nudging you to change or to do something different. I'm simply sharing. And if I'm being completely honest, I'm sharing for me. I want to look back on this blog and smile again. I want to look back on it and cry again. I want to feel the humble pride of knowing that I did something for me that will ultimately change the way I view the world, the way I interact with God and the way I spread the love of Jesus.

One second...tearing up here.

I'm back.

I want to remember this when I'm tempted to scroll for hours admiring someone on social media for what they have that I don't. I want to remember this when I'm tempted to shush my daughter saying her 52nd "mom" because she wants my attention while I'm trying to draft the perfect caption for the perfect post. I want to remember this when I'm reading my bible and have the urge to tweet that amazing scripture instead of letting it sink deep into my heart. I want to remember this when I'm planning out posts that should be more about leading the broken person reading them to a God that can heal them from the inside out.

I want to hold onto this deep in my heart. So that my social media platforms can be a place where ministry can happen, lives can be changed, relationships can be built and Jesus truly can be found. Because I know that I am a part of that effort, in a big, intentional way.

28 Comments

  1. Tony Wright says:

    I’m inspired! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and I may just do that! Good job friend!

  2. Jemeka says:

    Well said, well done😍 Also, thank you. You took a moment to be kind to me and my daughter after the Kidstuf show at Northpoint a few weeks ago. (She was in the show). It meant a lot to her and me as well as you literally stopped chasing your daughter to look into my daughters eyes and greet her warmly. I will spare you the back story but it meant a lot! Love, Jemeka

    • tonijcollier says:

      Omg. I’ve literally got the chills reading your comment. Thank you for sharing. She was absolutely INCREDIBLE in the show. Your love and support for her will and probably already has created such affirmation for her. I loved getting to chat!

  3. Laura G says:

    Absolutely wonderful. I love this for you. 🥰

  4. Love every bit of this! The Lord has placed on my heart to do a social media fast and this just confirmed it. All of the things you spoke about taking place during the fast are the same things that I have conviction about. Thank you for your transparency.

  5. Liz Lewis says:

    Love this sis! Love the fact that you were bold enough to step away and bold enough to address how you felt about it being tied to your profession. Your love for people and Jesus are definitely apparent. Thanks for always being an inspiration and cheers to 2019!

  6. Brooklynn says:

    So encouraged by this. Love your heart and appreciate you sharing your learnings!

  7. Laura Spencer says:

    Beautiful and touching. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Gaby Matos says:

    Toni,

    Thank you for sharing. I follow you and your husband on Instagram because I started following the Orange group which blesses us (CDA Youth leaders) every year during Big Stuf. On January 11th, I will begin the 21 day fast and I want to include social media. I don’t post things like you, I’m not even artistic, but I do find myself embedded in others’ lives thinking I’m missing out when I know it’s not true. I was glad to read your 16 realizations or changes throughout your 5-week break. I guess, I’d just like you to know that I’m glad you wrote this because it’s motivated me to do the same. Many blessings to you and your family.

    Gaby:)

    • tonijcollier says:

      Wow. Makes my heart so very happy to know that my words have inspired you. I believe in you and I know you’ve got this. You’re not missing out on anything! God will always have everything that He has for you available and ready!

  9. Angelica says:

    That was beautiful. I have been debating a social media break for a while and think this just solidified it for me. Especially the part about tell your daughter to hold on to finish a caption. I find myself doing that with my children more than I’d like to admit. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Wishing your family a blessed and prosperous 2019!

  10. Melissa says:

    Love this. Oh that 2019 be the year we get our priorities straight and give God all that He is due. Precious.

  11. Oh wow Toni. I adore this fully. When my pastor here in Cincy said we would be starting a new series this first Sunday in the new year , but also doing a 21 day fast, he said something that will cause you some grief, some pain.. I instantly thought of social media. I too, use social media for my business and so therefore I am on many outlets of it, everyday, all day. I was thinking about how drastically hard it will be for me, not to share a new listing, or new sold. Or news about my son, and the house I’m about to hold open. And all of the goodness and changes I’m making this year. But your blog has given me real excitement about it. The challenge to put down the media and focus on God for the next 21 days, I believe will deepen my relationship with Him and also be super revealing. At least, this is my prayer. Thank you for sharing this experience, God’s word, and yourself with us. Happy New Year, Kingdom Woman.

    • tonijcollier says:

      Thanks for Sharing!! I just love that your Pastor is pushing you guys in this area and honored that my post would inspire you in some way. God will most definitely fill those spaces for you and do incredible things through your sacrifice and dependence on him. You got this!!

  12. Kira says:

    So many things about this post resonated with me, including what I believe is God admonishing me to take on a similar challenge. At the heart of it all, I stopped craving Him in a way that I used to, and am finding my way back to His dependency…without many distractions that have seeped into our daily living.

    • tonijcollier says:

      Thanks for sharing that. I really love that you’re in tuned with what your heart is saying and hope for nothing but clarity and guidance in this space!

  13. Hope Ewing says:

    I’m sooooo proud of you! I actually found u on ur husband’s page, after he committed on sumthg I posted and I’m now following u both! U guys INSPIRE my husband and I, thank u for sharing ur honesty! We hv bn in ministry for almost 20 yrs together & hv recently embraced the “Call” to start our own church…@urbanlightministies (here in downtown HouTx).. I often take SM Breaks bcuz SM can be so unhealthy, at times. Keep up the GREAT wk, praying for u! From My Heart to yours!!! @mylifeashope_ewing

    • tonijcollier says:

      Wow! Thank you so much for commenting and your kind words. I’m originally from Houston Texas and just miss it so very much. Praying for your new ministry and hoping that God’s grace will be all over it!

  14. LaToya Christian says:

    Wonderful! You are doing great things. inspiring many people, including myself. I am also on this great journey of self-exploration and have been amazed by how I’m beginning to get bored with social media and know that it can be a major distraction. Continue being great! Wonderful blog!

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