Savanna DiStefano
SG Member
October 19, 2021

I’ve seemed to have lost my identity, and I’m still trying to find it.

I realized my identity was lost toward the beginning of COVID in March 2020 when I was invited to participate in a Bible study through Live Salted with some friends. It was a virtual event, where I would Zoom with young women from across the globe and discuss each week of the Bible study book we were given.

The meeting gave me a social event to look forward to every week and some new beautiful souls to follow on Instagram, but it also gave me something I didn’t expect: a nice smack in the face.

You see, the Bible study given to us was about identity: who we are. There’s no coincidence that I was invited to this, because I had no idea who I was, what my purpose was or how I should even identify myself.

At that time in March 2020, I was getting an itch to do something more with my life,  I just didn’t know what that was. I was in year two of being a nanny to my baby-cousin-turned-best-friend and working part-time at Shepherd’s Gate as the Social Media Coordinator, loving every second of creating social media posts and analyzing digital data. But ever since I was a child, I never felt like I could authentically hold a specific label — something that says yeah, she’s a __________.

Have you ever tried reshaping or recreating your own identity? I’ve tried creating my identity by testing out different careers, social groups and even changing my appearance (which led me to a cycle of disordered eating that was at its worst at this very same time in 2020).

I’ve always had a hard time working less than two jobs. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I quite literally want to do everything and don’t want to turn down any experiences. Maybe it’s because I like burning myself out and find worth in being a workaholic. Or, maybe it’s because I am hoping that in every job I take on, I can get a better sense of who I am and what I am meant to do.

my identity today

Currently, I’m a teacher (I went to school for journalism so this was unexpected) and freelance for a few different agencies and local companies doing what I love to do best: creating. Did you catch what I just said? I am a ______. I just gave myself that label, that identity. 

Labels are easy. They are clean, clear-cut, and give us a sense of control over who we are and how we want people to perceive us. When I meet someone, I could tell them I am a teacher, or, I can tell them I am a freelance marketer. I could even tell them I am a photographer. I could even introduce myself as a writer, a coffee addict or an eating disorder survivor.

But, what if, when people ask who I am or what I do, I just tell them that I am Savanna? Because the truth is, none of those things that are part of me are me. My career, hobbies, or experiences do not fully tell my identity. My identity is a name, a person.

When we identify ourselves as a person instead of a title, we are instantly more human, a creation of God. 

my identity in God

During that Bible study in March 2020, I was smacked in the face with one simple realization: I am not who I created myself to be, I am who God has created me to be. God has created me to be a person who is unconditionally loved and accepted by Him to unconditionally love and accept other people. 

And while that is a truth that I know, that my identity is found in Christ, I still struggle to believe it and fully know it. I think we all do. I think if more people understood and truly believed where their identity was found, more people would value and love themselves as Christ values and loves His people.

That Bible says that we are forgiven, chosen and loved (1 Peter 2:9). God calls us to be peaceful, understanding and loving people. I think sometimes we forget that: we forget we don’t have to create our own identity because God already did that for us.

So today think about who you are and who you are trying to be. Do you know what God says about you? Do you know how He identifies you? I challenge you today to examine what you believe to be true of yourself and what the Bible says is true. Read the Bible, use Google or phone a friend. 

And when you find your identity, write it down so you never forget.