Why Am I Feeling Lost? I Don’t Know Who I Am Anymore

Life has a way of rearranging things. Change is inevitable and with it often comes the thought, “I don’t know who I am anymore“.

My guess is that up until recently your identity has been wrapped up in things or people and those connections have changed. Otherwise, you would not be reading this today.

You may be thinking, “How do I become myself?”

Let’s explore how you can have a rock-solid identity that does not change when life changes.

Are you ready? Let’s do it.

What does it mean “I don’t know who I am anymore? “

Human beings tend to find their identity in all the wrong places.

We play certain roles:

  • Mother
  • Wife
  • Nurse, teacher, or some other occupation
  • Trialthalonist
  • Millionaire

However, these roles are not who we are. They are simply what we do.

Even our abilities are not who we are:

  • Musician
  • Artist
  • Chef
  • Author
  • Public speaker
  • Some other ability

Loss of important roles can easily make us think, “I don’t know who I am anymore.

We may lose our sense of purpose and experience low self-esteem. It can become a vicious cycle with negative thinking leading to more low self-esteem. 

I don’t know who I am anymore after losing a child

A mother’s role can easily replace our own identity.

I remember watching my daughter get on a plane to go off to college. Though I knew it was coming, she was my whole life.

My identity was totally wrapped up in being a mom. I had gone to all her volleyball games and made cupcakes for the team’s bake sales.

Then there was the graduation trip to the beach where I helped chaperone. And the school play? I helped her memorize her lines. You name it and I did it.

What was I to do now that she was gone? Yes, I was still her mom, but she didn’t need me like she used to.

But an empty nest is not the only reason for losing a child.

Some of you have lost children for other reasons. Miscarriages, the death of a child, and infertility can be terribly painful and make you think, “I don’t know who I am anymore.”

I don’t know who I am anymore since I am no longer married

Maybe you have gone through a divorce, or the death of a spouse. Many women find their identity in being a wife.  

They love keeping a home and going places as a couple. Vacations, holidays, birthdays, and promotions were always celebrated together.

Then when our relationship status changes, it often leads to feeling like a completely different person, though that is not the truth.

Losing a partner leads to lifestyle changes that remind us constantly that we are no longer a couple. 

Being a wife can easily replace our own identity. Unfortunatlely, it is easily reinforced by social pressure, social media, and even family members. 

I don’t know who I am anymore because of how others treated me

Maybe you had a manipulative or abusive spouse who gradually and systematically separated you from all other sources of support: family, friends, and church.

In situations like these, a woman’s identity is often an extension of the one who abuses her. So she sees herself as unloveable, unworthy, and incapable.

Likewise, if you were abandoned or abused growing up, you may have the same feelings about yourself because of your childhood experiences.

What others think of us can easily become our identity.

I don’t know who I am anymore since the loss of a career

There are women who are married to a career and suddenly it disappears for a variety of reasons.

An occupation can easily become our identity, though it is not a healthy sense of self.

I don’t know who I am anymore since the loss of health or wealth

I have friends that work out regularly and are quite proud of their healthy bodies. But as we have learned so well during the pandemic, we can be healthy today and deathly ill tomorrow.

Then there are those who have attained a certain amount of wealth and are devastated when that all disappears. Their financial standing was their identity.

Health or wealth can easily become our sense of self-worth. 

A word of caution if you are in an identity crisis

There is a difference between feeling like you don’t know who you are and being in a crisis.

If you feel like your emotions and negative thoughts are out of control, and that you might hurt yourself, you may be in an identity crisis.

Don’t try to sort this out alone. There are some free helplines where you can bounce your thoughts off of a trained professional.

The 24-Hour Crisis Line provides immediate help. We can help you determine if you or your loved one needs professional consultation or emergency services. 866-427-4747

Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 support via text message. We’re here for everything: anxiety, depression, suicide, school. Text HOME to 741741.

National Suicide Prevention Helpline – If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7. 1-800-273-8255. (Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio, 1-888-628-9454)

How do I find myself when I don’t know who I am anymore?

So how do we really know who we are? How can we have a true sense of identity?

We must look to the most important thing that will never change.

Our core beliefs must be centered on what God says about us. That is where we will find our true selves. Trying to find it in other places is detrimental to our emotional well-being.

So while we each have different struggles, God has great answers for understanding who we are. He gives us the right tools to move forward.

God created each of us unique in different ways

The Bible says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Yes, even with that mole on our nose or the scar from surgery is part of who we are.

DNA studies of even identical twins find variations from each other. We are God’s craftsmanship and He loves us just the way we are. We don’t need external validation.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret … “ Psalm 139:13-15

But our physical appearance is only part of who we are. More importantly, our personality traits, shaped by personal growth from our life experiences and the Word of God are really who we are. 

“Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7B ESV

God loves to give us gifts

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (God), with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17 (explanation added)

Because of God’s gifts, we can boldly say that we are:

When we love God, these things will never change.

Photo of a jeweled crown and the caption, "I am the child of the King".
“I am a child of the King” Scripture card

It is important to realize that these promises are reserved only for those who have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

If you don’t know Jesus, you probably have questions. The people at Chat About Jesus have answers. You can text, call, or chat with them online any time of the day or night.

God has a perfect plan for our entire life

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

The Bible says that every day of our lives was recorded in God’s book before we were born.

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:116

So where do divorce, death, and other tragedies fit into that plan? How are we to cope with a complete change in our daily routine?

God says that He will work everything out for good if we love Him.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

God also says that He will give us something good to do with the painful scars of life. We can use them to encourage others.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

A Prayer for when I don’t know who I am anymore

Dear Heavenly Father,

The Bible says that you know everything about me so you already know ______________ (the major life event that changed your life). I feel a bit lost right now, because of it.

I am not sure what my role in life is right now. But how I thank you that In your eyes, I am still me and nothing has changed.

Lord, remind me often that I am your child and heir to your kingdom. Therefore I am royalty.

Help me never forget that I am loved and forgiven because I have put my trust in you.

I ask you to help me to see and appreciate the many blessings you have given to me because I belong to you.

Thank you that you are always with me, and you give me the power and strength to do all that you want me to do.

Lord, help me to use your gifts and blessings to bless others. Thank you for this awesome responsibility.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

Photo of the prayer , with a flower background. This is for those who are thinking, "I don't know who I am anymore."
Prayer for when I don’t know who I am anymore

You can download this prayer here. No email is required.

Final thoughts and a gift

Life changes. Feelings change. It is normal to have self-doubts in these moments. But we never have to say, “I don’t know who I am anymore.”

Our roles in life and our abilities do not define who we are. We simply can’t afford to let the outside world shape us with its wrong core values.

Our identity needs to be found in a deeper connection with God who never changes. His words are the truth. This is where true happiness and a solid sense of self come from. 

While changes will attack our comfort zone, God cares deeply and offers real help. What is going on in the present moment will not last forever. 

Even a tiny step each day toward God’s definition of who you are will make a huge difference. 

I pray that you know who you are through a relationship with Jesus. And to remind you of that relationship, I want you to have this Scripture Card and the following coloring page. They are free to download. No email is required

Photo of a tiara and the caption, "I am a child of the King." This is for those who question, "I don't know who I am anymore."
Free Scripture card for those thinking, “I don’t know who I am anymore”
Photo of a coloring page with Scripture from 2 Corinthians 5:17. It is for those thinking, "I don't know who I am anymore."
Free coloring page for those thinking, “I don’t know who I am anymore.”

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