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"Who Am I? Which Am I?"

Our modern world is living under a major crisis, where every youth is searching for their identity and few seem to be succeeding to the full satisfaction.

The sad thing is that the majority of people from the past would probably laugh at us. "Why do you care who you are?" They might ask. "What does it matter?"

"Easy for you to say," we'd reply. "You don't have to decide what to do with your entire life. It's been decided for you since your great-great grandfather took up from where his father left off. I have choices. Billions of them."

We are in a unique, horrible time. Because not only are we searching for who we are and what we should do with all of our lives we also don't want what we do to define us. Because deep down we feel as if we are much more than our chosen careers.

The thing is we are both right and wrong about this belief. I explain how work is an integral part of our identity in Work Then Rest.

But I'd like to use this post to say that we are so much more than how we make our money.

I think the first step toward finding our identity is to know a few things about God.

[M]an never attains to a true self-knowledge until he has previously contemplated the face of God, and come down after such contemplation to look into himself. ~ John Calvin

Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life's problems fall into place of their own accord. ~ J.I. Packer

Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you will get neither. ~ C. S. Lewis
By looking to God we can learn something about ourselves, not only because we were made in His image, but also because those of us that have decided to follow Him desire to become more like Him.

But don't think I'm about to spat out the cliche answer of, "Our identity is found in God alone."

I do believe that are sole and upmost purpose it to live a life fully for God. Yet, if we are honest, to have someone tell us that our identity is found in Christ alone is sadly unsatisfactory. Because it still tells us nothing about us.

It's like saying identity doesn't matter.
Which, again is true. But that doesn't mean it will satisfy the searcher to give up the quest for self. Because when we are on such a personal mission we desire a stronger answer full of conviction. Empty words, no matter how true they may be, will only cause more harm than help.

Such words will only lead us toward finding our identity amidst the lies of the world, because that sort of answer does not show a path but suffocates our questions with jargon.

Identity can only be found when looking at whom God is.
But we must look at who He is.
And one we do the questions of identity becomes clearer and fascinating.

God is love. 1 John:4:8
Yet he hates. Psalm 5:5

He is mercy. Exodus 34:6-7
Yet, He gives judgement. James 4:12

He's goodness. Psalm 27:13
He's truth. John 14:6
He's our Father. Matthew 23:9
He's our Creator. Genesis
He's light. Psalm 27:1

God is life, Proverbs 14:27
and yet He has helped the righteous defeat their enemies. Deuteronomy 20:1

God is the beginning AND the ending. Revelation 1:8

If we study into the character of God we find God is so much more than what we at first thought. In fact, the study of who God is is so vast and impossible to ever fully finish. Because He is not a small God neither is His personality.

I mean, just look at His names. While He has one personal name, Yahweh, God also has many titles and descriptions. And each of those names/ titles portray pieces of His vastness.

I'm not saying this to say the character of God is a contradiction, but that God is character is not singular in attribute; but who He is, is vast in a plural, unlimited sense.

We who are Created in Yahweh's image are no different.

We are more than the words we use label ourselves.

What we eat,
and love does define who we are.

At the same time, we are more.

We are who we follow or pursue most of all, I believe. Because what or whom we follow we strive to become like. If it's God we choose to serve, it's only natural that many of His attributes will pour down onto us.
In this sense a huge part of our identity will be found in God.

But just like God, no one thing makes us who we are.

It's everything together.

Who we are is vast (in a finite way) as God. And trying to pinpoint who we are, as if we could, will only put us in a place of frustration. And if we believe we can define all of who we are we will find ourselves at stalemate with no room for growth.

We aren't meant to find ourselves and remain in a place of non-growth. We are meant to find and follow Yeshua. Life is meant to be a challenge and a time to learn. We aren't meant to find our place but to follow the path that leads us to Heaven. We aren't meant to discover ourselves but to discover more and more about who He is.

A personality can't be fully understood anymore than God can. And even if it could, why should we desire to?

I believe instead of wasting our energy on "who am I?" we should be devoting our time on "how can I be more like God?"

Instead of stressing over "what should I do with my life?" we should be living the life we have now fully.

Instead of worrying about "what I should do?" we could be spending our time actually doing things and building better habits and Godly-characters.

The problem with the identity crisis is it's asking all the wrong questions. Introspection is good only when it doesn't keep us from living a full life of action.

We throw away half of our lives worrying about which job or which car or which thing or person best suits our personalities instead of simply buckling down and doing something, anything of value.

Choices can be paralyzing. But they don't have to be. If you have two equally good choices don't stress over them. Pray, then pick. But don't take too long at it. Because God gave us time to use not squander. Our lives our an investment, so make that investment pay.

It's not about us. We need to step away from ourselves and just live.

Identity should become an obsolete thing, because it helps no one.

It was when I stopped asking "who am I and what do I want to do with my life?" and when I actually started enjoying my life by living it and loving it that I became the most content. Not because I found myself or some magic career that suited me, but because I realized I no longer cared.

Let the world worry about who they were, it no longer matters to me, because I have so many other things to devote my time toward.

I have chosen to live rather than to question my life.

I have chosen to let myself become better rather than to search out who I am.

I have chosen to become like those I admire rather than to strive at becoming my own person.

And by forgetting myself I have become the most confident me possible.

It's hard to forget the question of identity when it surrounds you on every side. But it's so worth it, guys. Just forget and aspire toward a Godly example and put effort behind that aspiration with daily and weekly and monthly goals. 

Be better, don't put yourself in a box.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this and how your own identity journey is coming along? 


  1. I love this post, Keturah, and I think it's essential that we cement its message in our minds! Personally, I'm struggling a lot with my identity at the moment and it's so hard not to become sucked into all the superficial avenues the world presents. I need to remember that I will only find fulfilment when I look to Christ. He has everything I need. It's just something I need to work on accepting ;)

    1. Oh, I'm so glad you think so, Amy! I totally know what you mean though. And saying "to look to Christ and find fulfillment" in him alone is soooo easy to say and not quite as simple to do. It takes time (and yes work/ effort). So don't be worried however long it takes you. I mean, seriously, I think it's a life long process ;)

  2. This was really encouraging. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh, wow. Past Me really needed this post - and Present Me, too, only not as desperately. XD Besides that, I don’t know how to put the rest of my feelings into words. XD *rousing applause*

    1. Well, I'm glad to have suited both you's ;) Thanks so much!!!

  4. I love this and really needed to hear this. I've been struggling with these questions for so long. Sometimes I'm perfectly content with the season of life I'm in now and it brings me peace knowing that my identity is in God. In those times, I don't feel so anxious or stressed because I don't have to worry about the future because I know God's got that covered. But then there are other times when those truths just aren't good enough for me and its in those times that I need reminders like this. I can feel myself starting to get to the that isn't enough feeling and have been working on stopping myself before I go too far down that rabbit hole and this post has definitely helped with that. So thank you for sharing Keturah. This was a wonderful posts and those quotes at the beginning? Those hit me hard in the best way possible haha

    1. I'm so glad it's what you needed :) Don't feel alone, so many of us struggle with these questions, especially at our ages. It's perfectly normal to have those seasons of contentment and those times of anxiety. But hopefully, the more we learn and live the longer the good season's last, even amidst bad circumstances ;) And yes, those quotes are amazing aren't they!?

  5. Wow....this is a *lot.* Great post, Keturah.

    When I started my current job a year or two ago, I was thrown for a loop because all the sudden I was doing something that wasn't my strength. At all. And it *scared* me because--well, I'd always thought I was pretty smart and capable, but I got the feeling that everybody in the office thought I was a total bumbling dunce. And I just kept thinking, "They don't know the real me, this isn't the real me, if they knew the real me they'd respect me." And eventually it hit me: this IS the real me. It's one facet of the real me. This is me as a teller--bumbling and too shy and slow to learn. But it's not *all* of me. This post really made it clear that identity is so much more than any one thing. Thanks, Keturah. :)

    Also, everything you said about needing to know God before we know ourselves made me think of St. Augustine's Confessions. I'm trying to read it all the way to the end, and I just got to the "here-the-going-gets-rough" point: Augustine stops telling his conversion story and starts reflecting on the nature of man. But it's kinda REALLY COOL because he's just gone through this whole process of getting to know God, and now he can finally turn inward and study himself as a man. So yeah. You strike me as very Augustinian right about now. ;)

    1. I'm so glad you realized that you are more than who you are in your comfort zone: a complex, beautiful, diverse personality ;) That's something that not many realize on their own ;) I really love your story, though ;0

      I discovered St. Augustine a few months back and LOVE HIM. So that's like the greatest honor that you could bestow upon me ;D I really need to read Confessions ... I'm still on "City of God" and I have no idea why it's taking me so long ;/

  6. This is just... wow. This is amazing. O_O

    I'm very self-aware sometimes, but now I realize the same thing - when I choose to stop trying to look at my life and myself the "right way," and instead choose to just LIVE LIFE while seeking God and who HE is... life is a lot more fun and fulfilling. :))

    Thanks for this, Keturah!!

    1. It's good to be self-aware ... the point where you don't have to think about yourself so much. You're so right, life is more fun and fulfilling when we just life life under God ;D

      You're welcome, Lila. Thanks!!!!

  7. This post is amazing! Thank you so much for writing this <33

  8. J+M+J
    Have you ever listened to any talks by Archbishop Fulton Sheen? I know he was a Catholic priest, but he's really quite intelligent and came up with quite some profound and inspiring talks, and I would heartily suggest looking him up some time.
    Anyway, the reason why I mention this is because in one of his talks "Knowing and Loving," He explains the difference between the intellect and the will. The intellect takes what ever knowledge, and move the knowledge to your level/understanding. So the knowledge is either brought down or raised up from its former place for your understanding of it. The will however, and this is were it connects to your post, brings your soul to the level of the thing. So if you love a person who is more virtuous then you, your will goes out to them and raises your own-self up. However, if you love something like... gambling, your will goes out to it and pulls yourself down to its level to meet it.
    And yes, as our purpose of creation is to learn to know, love, and serve God, why should we not be most content in just living out His will and trying our best to make His choice ours? It fulfills our very purpose or duty. It completes the very core of human existence.
    Though I must say I have a very slight squabble/warning on one of your later points, you said to pick a role model and try to be like them; while this is very true, and is very much a good idea, just keep into mind that besides the ultimate role models of Jesus and Mary, no role-model is going to be perfect. And also, that though the person you follow may be doing our Lords will to the full, our Lord is bound to have a different purpose for you, which you must pray on and discern. So go and do that, pick a role model (I have many many role models myself) but be cautious in doing so, don't imitate the errors in them, and realize that your life is bound to be different as God intended it and wills it, despite its apparent similarities to others.
    Anyway, just thought I'd mention it, sorry.
    Overall, yes, great post! :)

    The Doorman.

    1. I haven't listened to him, but you better believe I'm going to be looking him up. Despite not being Catholic, I love a lot of Catholic authors ;) So I'm sure I'll agree with you on him.
      And I sooo agree with that "will to love" thing. So well put ;)
      As to the part where you have a squabble with me ... I looked everywhere, and can't find + remember saying to pick a role model? Of course, I probably missed it ... But even so I totally don't believe it however you took it. I do believe it's good to have godly influences to aspire to but that even then we need to always be careful to not follow man so closely that we become embittered by their imperfections and turn to hating God. Because that is what happens very often when one idolizes another. Someone once told me "we should be living lives for others to follow" and I had to disagree with that. Yes, Paul did say "Be as I am" but he meant, "Follow God as I am following him". He didn't mean for us to follow him (Paul) but follow God just as he also did. I believe we should be living lives that point others to follow God, but not us. Because we will disappoint and betray, but God won't. I have been hurt by many people I once looked up to. There are a few that I still admire, but I don't look to their every move and word as I once did because I remember they are imperfect, and only a shard of my greater example: Yeshua. So yeah ... I'm sorry you got the wrong message from my article ...
      Thank you for your nice long comment!

    2. J+M+J
      You should, everyone should, though I understand if some people won't like him I still think everyone should at least try! Really? Well good for you then!
      Yes, it is very profound (hence me liking him ;) )!
      Hmmm, ok then, I apologize I think I must have saw this line and took it wrongly then: "I have chosen to become like those I admire rather than to strive at becoming my own person." And I must say if you don't mean that, then I'm not quite sure what that line is supposed to mean, sorry. I didn't get the wrong message from most of it, just that one line! :)
      (Wow, I wrote that big long comment on just one line? *realizes significance*... I'm soooo sorrrry......)
      Well yes, but I still do think it is important to have a role model of a kind... whether it be in days-gone-by or in the present. When the storm of life weighs down upon you, it is good to have someone to look to who, despite the darkness of sin, and their fallen human nature, is still standing by God's good grace. Without such examples life would be *very* hard, or impossible. And yes, someone telling me that would drive me insane... NO! We should not live our lives for others to follow, but we should live our lives for God. And if He wills to have someone follow in your footsteps, let it be so, but it is not for us to even think ourselves worthy, us who have sinned. For such thoughts can easily lead to pride. Such thoughts as "I'm holy, so I hope someone follows in my footsteps" Indeed, that is as the Pharisee said, but we must humble ourselves as the publican, and count ourselves not worthy, but still in desperation plea for mercy, for it is under humility that God will exalt us with Himself. We must follow our Lord, and not hope that one follows us, but that if one does look to us (because God so wills it), that our Lord will give us the grace to point such a one to Him and not ourselves, and so go unrewarded.
      Ugh... sorry again, I tend to go on rants don't I? I will stop, no worries....
      Sorry for the misunderstanding.

      The Doorman.

    3. haha, you know sometimes it's the little things (lines) that hold the most power. So I see nothing wrong on a long comment for a short line ;)
      I have a confession to make ... I keep my blog 1-3 months scheduled out, so this post was written MONTHS ago, and hence I have a poor memory of everything I write ;p But going back I see that line now, and yeah I see why you thought what you thought. I believe what I meant, simply put, is that we aren't to strive toward becoming more "me" but more "others" focused when it comes to identity. Sometimes the way to be less self-aware is to take example from someone you admire instead of always looking inward. This is a murky idea that needs to be tread in caution though. Yes, I need to be less focused on me and more focused on other. Yes, it's good to take note from godly influences and strive such a life as such people that are placed in your life. But we should never take that so far as to idolize that individual or follow their ways before and above God's ways. As you say, role-models are important, but they are very dangerous too. Because we humans idolize others too easily and when we do that we set ourselves up for both betrayal and bitterness.
      Love long ranty comments!
      Hope my answer clarifies things satisfactorily in your mind ;D

  9. Awesome! Such great things to think about. :)

  10. Keturah, this post resonates with me so much!! I have struggled so much with the whole "identity game". People ask me, "Who are you? What kind of a person do you want to be?" and I just didn't know. I had a couple of really hard months where all of the stress was taking over my whole life. I worried about it non-stop, until finally one day after praying I realized that worrying about the future and who I am was preventing me from enjoying the present. I still think about it every once in a while, but I just try to live in each day that God has created. <3 Beautiful post!!!

    1. Oh, I'm so glad it's what you needed and that you've come to some of these answers on your own. It's funny, isn't it, that when life gets stressful these big questions always come to plague us all the more, isn't it? It doesn't help that others seem to think that we should be 100% focused on our identity either. Good for you, trying to live each day is the BEST way to live ;D

  11. At the moment, I'm making a lot of decisions, and it's extremely refreshing to be reminded that I'm more than a career or a grade <3 thank you, what a beautiful post.

    1. I'm glad you found this refreshing and encouraging! Thank you! Good luck to all of your decisions ;)


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