“And now, entering the ring at 5 feet, 1 inch tall, all the way from New York City, she’s the famous underdog, it’s Charity Lombardo!” yells the ring announcer.

I enter the ring and jump around, stretching my head from side to side. I take a few deep breaths while the crowd goes wild. 

I’ve got this, I tell myself. 

The ring announcer continues: “Going up against Charity is a fierce opponent also from New York City, also 5 feet, 1 inch tall, she’s just coming off a five-win streak, let’s see if she can get another win, it’s Charity Lombardo!”

Wait. Ugh. Not again. Me? I just fought Me last week. I’m tired of fighting Me. Me is always getting in my head. Whipping out moves I’m never prepared for. But fine, if she keeps showing up, I won’t back down. 

I pause for a second. I’ve been here before. I need a new strategy. The old one won’t work.

Knowing I’ve tried everything in my own power to beat Me, I call in some backup. And just in the nick of time, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit enter the ring, joining me, surrounding me. Suddenly I feel a rush of strength course through my body. I stand taller. I feel capable. I’m ready. 

“3! 2! 1! Ding, ding, ding! And the winner is, the underdog!” yells the announcer. “Charity Lombardo gets her first win in the ring, ladies and gents! It’s a miracle!” 

“I’m confused,” I tell the announcer. “I won before we even began?” 

“Your opponent could feel the power coming from your side of the ring and surrendered. You win!”

This is the scene I play out in my head every time I look at the piece of paper on my desk that reads, “YOU VS. YOU,” a phrase I wrote down years ago to remind myself that I’m my biggest competition. Not the model on social media or the person at work who always gets the praise from our boss. It’s me. 

It’s the version of me that stands in my way. The one that doubts and fears and fumbles. Lacks confidence and motivation. Feeds my stubborn insecurities and plays a highlight reel of my weaknesses on repeat. My real competition isn’t an external force. It’s all the parts of me that hold me back. All the parts that prevent me from reaching my fullest potential, from pursuing the life God prepared, from feeling victorious and feeling strong. 

The first time I really understood the concept of fighting myself was in my college modern dance class. I was 20 years old and not where I pictured I’d be in my life. Our teacher said we’d be performing a piece called “Me, Myself, and I” but its meaning didn’t quite hit me until the middle section where two dancers run toward each other, stopping just before they crash. They continue dancing in opposition to each other, pushing, pulling, resisting. 

She explained that the two dancers represent you and yourself. They represent you getting in your own way. The voices in your head saying you’re not good enough. The internal battles you have with yourself. 

Sitting there listening, I knew God was speaking directly to me. It had been a couple years of feeling like I wasn’t moving forward. Like the battles I was facing were getting bigger. I was simply tired of fighting. And I knew God was showing me that if I didn’t genuinely involve Him and let Him in the ring, there’s no way I’d come out on top.

See, when God enters the ring, it’s no longer one vs. one. It’s one vs. four: Me, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. So every time I’d start fighting myself again, I’d envision them in the ring with me, helping me get a W.  

God knows our mortal minds and bodies can only fight so hard. It’s why He designed us to need Him, because HE knows how to win. In fact, He already has. He has already won every battle we will ever face. So we can trust Him to fight the ones we can’t. He knows exactly the moves that lead to victory. 

So when you’re tired of fighting yourself—your anxiety, your fear, your addiction, your insecurities, a past version of yourself, or those pestering voices in your head, just remember you’re never in the ring alone. 

“The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:14)

“Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee: yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10)

“For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” (Deuteronomy 20:4)

“And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.” (Jeremiah 1:19)

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.

Author

3 Comments

  1. Paulette Key

    I really like this article, can I use it in one of my group sessions? I work at a Substance Abuse treatment center and this is exactly what I have been trying to instill in my clients. The knowledge that God is needed in their lives in order to overcome their addictions, fears and anxieties.

    Reply
    • Sister Charity Lombardo

      Certainly! God bless you in your work!

      Reply
  2. Daniel

    After nearly 40 years of inactivity I have really been struggling with myself now that I am committed to remaining active. I wrote those verses down in my book of remembrance for future study. I have blamed others for my misery and still try to even though I have only my self to blame for nearly losing the fight. After two back surgeries it is painful to kneel but I felt prompted to kneel last night for prayer. I caught myself saying what my dad would always say when there was a fight between siblings. “Accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative” I even felt his presence. It is comforting to know we receive help from beyond the veil in addition to help from God. I feel I am under attack daily by Satan trying to destroy my testimony but I am back in the ring these past seven weeks and determined to win the fight.

    Reply

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