Discovering Your True Identity

Laney Rene

by Laney Rene


I could feel the vibration of the drums. They were so loud, yet I had become used to the pulse and the performing. At 22, I was living my dream of professional backup dancing, traveling the world, and making memories. But it wasn’t as perfect as I imagined. I was confused, anxious, in a toxic relationship, and questioning God’s heart for me. Who was I? What was I doing? Though I’d grown accustomed to the tempo of unrest and self-doubt, Jesus was inviting me into a new rhythm of freedom.

Asking The Three-Word Question

As women, we go through many seasons where we re-ask the question, “Who am I?” This three-word question can feel overwhelming and all-consuming. We can become so crippled by not knowing how to respond that it inhibits the way we think, feel, and act.

We ask ourselves the question, seek affirmation from those around us, or even ask people we don’t know on social media. But it is not the question itself which causes us such confusion and pain — it’s to whom we ask the question. We ask the right question to the wrong person.

In Matthew 16:15–18, Jesus posed a question of identity to His disciples:

“Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood but by my Father in heaven.”

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Peter didn’t come up with this insight on his own. It was revealed to him by God. You too have a good Father who walks with you closely. He wants to show you who He is and how much He loves you all over again — or maybe for the very first time.

Jesus continues in verse 18:

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

Notice that right after Peter acknowledges Jesus as the Son of the living God, Jesus turns around and speaks identity over Peter, calling him by name and speaking about his purpose in life. This is how it works. When we see Jesus rightly for who He is and what He came to do, we begin to see ourselves as Jesus does: for who we truly are and what we were made to do.

Simply Being His

One day, as I sat in my apartment, God reminded me of a video my mom had sent me a couple months earlier. In it, I was three years old, standing in the playroom of my home. I grabbed a karaoke mic and said with great confidence, “I love Jesus.” As I saw myself in that video, God was gently reminding me that the most important title I would ever have is simply being “His,” a daughter.

What does a three-year-old have to offer? What important thing can a three-year-old achieve? Not much. And that was the point. He didn’t want me to achieve anything, be anything, or do anything for Him. God wanted me to know whose I was—I was His. And when we know we are His, we discover our truest self and our deepest purpose.

Your Forever Role and Title

Throughout our lives, we are given many different titles and roles: student, graduate, single, married, executive, grandparent, homemaker, backup dancer. And we can get our roles and titles so twisted up with who we truly are. But not one of these titles can satisfy the deep longings of our soul. Seasons and relationships change. We get new jobs and responsibilities. The only lasting role, title, or position we will ever hold is the same one that we will take with us when we leave this earth. Simply being “His.” Who we are rests on Whose we are, not what we do.

I can’t help but think about my daughter. I never want her to doubt her identity or her value, but because she is human, I know she’ll wonder who she is in many different seasons of her life, just as I did when I was 22. My prayer now is not that she would never ask the question, but that she will always know Who to ask. That’s my prayer for you, too, Daughter. Look to Jesus, and listen to who He says you are. You’re nothing less than His. And you’ll never need to be anything more.



Laney Rene is a wife, mom, and founder of The One He Loves, a ministry which exists so every woman can be refreshed, encouraged, and reminded of Jesus’ loving-kindness toward them. She’s the author of the new book, Daughter: Becoming Who You Already Are. Connect with Laney on Instagram @heylaneyrene.