Written by Selina Almodovar

One of my absolute favorite Disney movies is Moana. Man, does she have some intense lessons dealing with identity. You see, Moana was the daughter of a chief. She was preparing to take over the family business. Yet everything in her kept calling her to sail beyond the reef.  

I can relate. 

In the past I was really confused about the person I had to be and the person I longed to become. Especially when it came to my love life. Coming from a divorced family, I was very skeptical that true love existed. Yet there was still something in me that wanted the Disney dream of one day meeting a suitable prince.

When I started college I began dating an older man. I placed more value in his opinions than my own, hoping he would deem me worthy of becoming his wife.

Slowly I evolved into someone less like myself and more like the man I was dating. I would dress like him, listen to his music and enjoy all the things he enjoyed. When we broke up, I was left feeling very lost in who I was and what life was supposed to be like without him.

Out of desperation I attached myself to the next guy I could find who was worth dating. Within months my thoughts and opinions changed again—only now to match his taste. This breakup hit worse than the previous one. I’d lost myself in the relationship, which made the breakup nearly impossible to handle.

It was in those dark times that I found my identity in Christ. God showed me that it was okay to be myself. Better than okay. It was what He wanted all along.  

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10

While it was very challenging to get to know and accept myself all over again, God loved me through it. He let me know that it was perfectly okay to enjoy coffee houses, ugly cry whenever I watch Disney movies (even as an adult), or want to become a writer, even though my two degrees were in health administration.

Little by little, God was revealing to me that I am loved, no matter what guy came into the picture. I realized that I never needed anyone else to show me that love, nor did I need to change who I am for the sake of being loved by someone else.

Moana was lost because, like me, she was conforming to what she thought she needed to be for the sake of others. Yet, the call wasn’t out there at all – it was inside of her. God has placed that calling within us all, too. 

“As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.”

1 John 2:27

Perhaps this is why I ugly cry every single time I watch this movie. I cry because it’s like the Holy Spirit Himself has placed His message in plain sight for all of us to see, so that we too can learn to become who we really are through Him.

I love the woman I am becoming. It’s easy to love her because God has shown me that to accept myself is to accept His image of me. No relationship can compete with that.

God created you out of love and gave you specific purpose. Christ knew who you were when He chose to die for your sins. Always keep these truths at the forefront of your mind—no matter who or what may come your way. Your identity in God will take you far beyond anything you can ever imagine, because He ordained it so.