We Spoke With One Of YouTube's Christian Vloggers About How Faith Can Change

As of this writing, Becca Eller has 42,421 YouTube subscribers and can garner anywhere between 2,000 and 200,000 views on her videos. She isn’t an unboxer. She doesn't do makeup tutorials. She doesn’t even run an ASMR account. She’s a member of the extremely active, young Christian YouTuber community, who's made a name for herself by speaking from her own religious perspective in over 100 videos.
Eller's videos run the gamut from prepared discussions based on a specific question (Should Christians go to prom? What does a devotional practice look like?) to impromptu, slice-of-life vlogs taken on her kitchen floor or while she's folding laundry. She's been running her channel, FarAwayDistance, since she was in middle school and, now 22, she's basically a pro, tackling complex religious topics with openness, honesty, and, most importantly, levity.
Eller recently spoke with us about how she found God, her hopes for her viewers, and what the name of her channel means to her now.
Interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What role did Christianity play in your childhood?
"I grew up in a Christian home, going to church every Sunday. That was the only time during the week that I really thought about it, you know what I mean? I didn’t do anything with my faith other than on Sunday. Sundays were for God, that’s when I got out my Bible, and other than that I didn’t ever really think about it."
So, what changed? How did Christianity become a bigger part of your life and inspire you to create your YouTube channel?
"Every summer I went to this camp in Michigan called Miracle Camp. It was always a place I knew was really fun and I would go with my friends, but it was a Christian camp, too. So there was all that fun stuff like tubing, but there was also chapel. I would sit in there and I would always be kind of bored. I'd think, Oh man, why do I have to do this? I just want to have the fun parts.But there were some messages that the pastors would say to us that [made me think], Wow, this is actually really cool. I would go back to our cabin and read the parts of the Bible that they talked about. I was like, 'This is really interesting.'
"As I got older, I started figuring out that this is something I want to live for. I feel like it gives me a purpose. The biggest thing that really hit me was when I was in eighth grade and my friend’s sister committed suicide. I had never dealt with anything like that before and that really made me think: What am I living for? If I die tomorrow, what’s going to happen? I started thinking if I didn’t have God I had no hope to live for. I had no purpose. That’s just for me, at least. I wanted to make sure if I die, I’m going to Heaven... All through high school, and now I just graduated college, it’s been all that I’m living for... I think this stuff is legit, so my whole life has changed as a result."
Where did the name of your channel come from?
"FarAwayDistance. Honestly, in eighth grade, when I made my channel, I had no idea what that meant. I literally was just sitting on my computer and it popped in my head. I’m not even joking. When I was a sophomore in college someone commented on my channel. They were like, 'Hey, I feel like your channel name could have been inspired maybe by that passage in the Bible about the prodigal son.' I had never even thought about that. It’s a parable of our relationship with God and how we run away from him, but he still loves us so much. In the story, the son ran away and wanted nothing to do with his father, but the whole time the father was just waiting for him to come home. The son figured out he couldn't go on without his father. He needed him and he had to come back. And the father was standing on a hill waiting for him. It says that while he was still far away, the father saw him and ran to him. This is such a beautiful picture of God... That’s how God sees us. We’re still far away and running away, but he runs to us and pursues us. It’s cool because I’d never realized that that could be the message behind it, but it’s definitely my purpose now."
What does a normal day for you look like now, and how does Christianity and your channel factor into it?
"Every morning, I wake up and the first thing I do is eat breakfast and read my Bible. That just helps me focus, so that’s where I start my day, just on my couch reading my Bible and praying, and then I get ready and go out into the world. I was student teaching this whole past semester, and I worked in a really low-income school. Most of my kids came from super bad homes which is the complete opposite of where I grew up, but God really laid it on my heart to do that. The reason why I wanted to go into that school is to just love those kids and show them compassion, show them grace, show them patience — all that stuff that normal teachers do, but I’m doing it because God first did that all to me, so that’s always in the back of my head. When those kids were driving me crazy, I would be like, 'God’s shown me so much patience, so I need to do that same.'
"And then with the YouTube stuff — I’m normally a planner, so I always try to plan out everything, but YouTube is just very spontaneous. Ideas just come to me and I will sit down and make a video about it. People will email me asking me questions and when I get one enough, maybe from four or five people, I’ll be like, 'Okay, I've got to make a video about this.' Some of them I sit down and plan and write outlines, and other ones I just talk."
How has your view on faith or the way that you practice Christianity changed since you started the channel?
"My faith has grown so much. I’m not afraid to admit that back when I was in eighth grade, I did not have a super duper strong faith. I thought I did. I thought I knew what I believed, but if someone said to me, 'There are so many other religions in the world — why Christianity?' I couldn’t have answered that. If someone said to me, 'Why do you believe in the Bible?' I couldn’t have given you the answers. Over this time, I’ve grown so much in my confidence, in my faith. Talking to other people from around the world over all these years, hearing their testimonies, hearing their struggles, learning what God is doing in their life — it has just strengthened [my faith] so much. It’s really cool to look back at my past insecure self and just see how much I’ve grown in my confidence as a person and in my confidence as a Christian. I’ve figured out my faith for myself. I can actually have those conversations with people who maybe are from other beliefs or maybe don’t believe in anything at all and never in a 'I’m better than you,' or 'I think I know everything,' way."
At this point in the channel’s “life,” what do you hope people take away from watching your videos?
"Just to realize that there’s so much more to life than just this Earth. I don’t make videos about this, but when my friend’s sister committed suicide, I realized I have to figure out what I’m living for and my purpose. That shook me. I want people to [ask themselves], 'What am I living for? Am I living for the now and the things that make me feel good, but I’m continually being disappointed by them?' If you’re feeling that way, reevaluate your life and realize that there is more. Most of my viewers are Christian, but I welcome people who are not Christian, because I want people, even if they come from a different faith, to think, Okay, why do I believe? and to realize there is more, because I think there is. I have that written on my hand right now: 'There is more to life than just this Earth.' I want people to think about that — there is more to life than how they feel right now in this moment. I want people to realize that they have a purpose, that they’re here for a reason, and they have value."
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