“All is vanity.”
Those are the words 22-year-old Christina Grimmie, the late YouTube sensation and singer from “The Voice,” had tattooed on her forearm. The words are taken from the book of Ecclesiastes—a constant reminder, she said in an interview, for her to keep God first.
“My mom’s advice to me has always been keep God first, and I’m with her on that,” she said. “To never let the ego of doing well or being successful, never letting that get to you, and I’m huge on that. And that’s why I got my tattoo ‘All is vanity,’ so yeah, keep God first.”
Grimmie, who was murdered in Orlando on June 10 when a gunman opened fire as she was signing autographs after a concert, was outspoken about her faith. For example, this tweet about trusting God despite circumstances, which now has more than 86,000 retweets:
Sometimes God allows terrible things to happen in your life and you don't know why. But that doesn't mean you should stop trusting Him.
— Christina Grimmie (@TheRealGrimmie) February 21, 2013
Grimmie also posted videos in which she sung hymns like “In Christ Alone” and “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” The caption under her “In Christ Alone” video read: “JESUS CHRIST IS MY LORD AND SAVIOR and i’m not at all ashamed of it.”
In the wake of her death, those close to her are remembering Grimmie for her faith. Pastor Marty Berglund of Fellowship Alliance Chapel, where Grimmie and her family worshiped until moving to California, told The Daily Beast:
“When something happens like Christina Grimmie getting shot by a murderer, we have to remember that we are part of an unshakeable kingdom that Christina sang about…this is the faith Christina Grimmie had.”
In a memorial video Grimmie’s family recently released, the singer describes her desires for her career, saying, “My goal in my career is to inspire people, is to get my music out there and have people enjoy it and really think of me as an inspirational artist.”
Selena Gomez, whose stepfather discovered Grimmie when she was 14 through her YouTube videos, paid tribute to her at a recent concert, mentioning Grimmie’s closely held faith and singing a cover of Hillsong Worship’s “Transfiguration.”
“Transfiguration” ends with these words:
“The only song my soul can find to sing
Is Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah my King.”