Who, Not What, Am I

So, what are you?

I was frequently asked this question growing up. As a Filipino-American with an immigrant father and a fair-haired, caucasian mother, I did not really look any one particular ethnicity. Some days I look more Asian, other days I look Hispanic, other days Mediterranean, sometimes Eastern European, and some days, none of the above. Just a mix of who knows what.

Coming to terms with my ethnic identity has always been a struggle. I did not feel part of a particular group growing up and often felt like an outsider in my suburban hometown. But these days, I call myself a typical California girl who loves Filipino food and my large and loud extended family. But it makes me think of my identity—that what am I? tug pulls me in different directions.

What am I?

I’m a Southern California native. I’m a mother and wife. I’m a dentist and professional. I’m a friend and confidant. I’m a nose-wiper and diaper-changer. I’m an ice cream enthusiast and compulsive organizer. I’m an extroverted introvert. I’m a sister, a niece, a daughter, an aunt.

But, who am I?

In his letters, Saint Paul introduces himself not as what he is, but who he is. He doesn’t say, “Hey, I’m Paul, lover of desert foliage and fine wine that was recently water.” He exclaims outright, “Paul, called to be an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:1)

He knows who he is. Every previous identifier has been stripped away, revealing the truest identity of all—Apostle of Christ Jesus! In his very soul, his identity is rooted in the one Who saves. Paul praises the name of God with every breath he takes.

So today, I’m Samantha, daughter of the King, lover of Jesus, still being saved by our Lord, and disciple of God. Nice to meet you.

I’m Samantha, daughter of the King, lover of Jesus, still being saved by our Lord, and disciple of God. Nice to meet you. Click To Tweet

Who are you?

Dr. Samantha Aguinaldo-Wetterholm is a wife to Paul, mom to two little ones, and practices dentistry at a public health community center for low income families in the Bay Area, California. She (unashamedly) thinks ice cream is its own food group, loves anything Harry Potter, does not leave the house without wearing sparkly earrings, and is an enthusiastic proponent of the Oxford comma. Find out more about her here.


  • Reply
    August 30, 2018 at 6:24 am

    I am Debby, lover of Jesus, daughter of the Lord our God, who saves me every day as I try to live in holiness. It’s nice to meet you too. ☺️🙏

  • Reply
    August 30, 2018 at 7:02 am

    I am Rochelle, beloved child of God, enriched in every way by the Grace of God bestowed on me by his Son, Jesus Christ my Lord. It’s nice to meet you too.

  • Reply
    Darinda Dikeman
    August 30, 2018 at 7:23 am

    I love this. It’s something I try to remember every morning. First and foremost, I am a daughter of God. Have a beautiful day.

  • Reply
    Gina Fensterer
    August 30, 2018 at 9:30 am

    WOW. I have never given much thought to that verse, that introduction by Paul of himself. This is so beautiful. Much to ponder now. xo

  • Reply
    Mamie Riyeff
    August 30, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Yes! This is an awesome reflection! Thank you for emphasizing the part of scripture that I usually speed read through because I’ve read it a hundred times and there was seemingly little substance to it. Until now 🙂

  • Reply
    August 30, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Both my parents are Filipino but somehow calling myself Filipino doesn’t feel like such a big part of my identity. Only after I started seeing myself as a daughter of God did I feel like my identity has substance and truth to it. This is a wonderful reflection Samantha, and it’s nice to meet you too!

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