At seven years old, I used to challenge the kids in school and in my neighborhood to arm wrestle, race down the street or fight.
Other times, I didn’t even ask. I’d just say, I’m going to fight you.
I remember my calls to fight vividly and my desires behind the need to compete. I wanted to prove my worth and win the approval of others that I didn’t get at home.
Growing up, I felt that my mother had very high expectations of me that still hold strong to this day. As a little girl, I spent my childhood constantly trying to prove to her that I was “good enough.”
Instead, I felt that I was always being punished for making mistakes. If I knocked over my glass of milk, I was scolded and yelled at as if I’d purposely spilled it. I was punished as if that puddle of milk on the dinner table was just as bad as me hitting my little cousin.
I felt that I was never allowed to make mistakes and that my mother wouldn’t love me if I did. As a result, I spent my early years trying to be perfect so that my mother would accept me and that I would be “good enough” for her to love.
In addition to carrying the heavy weight of never being “good enough,” I took it upon myself to protect and defend kids like me at school who were being bullied.
Starting The Path Toward God
From the age of seven, I physically fought other kids who were mean to my friends. It broke my heart to hear that my classmates had been made fun of because I knew exactly how they felt: sad, rejected and not “good enough.” My natural, God-given leadership instincts told me to help my peers.
It was my neighbor Mrs. Trowbridge who helped open my eyes to God.
As a young child, I used to visit her every day. She was an artist and an illustrator, but she and her husband were empty nesters. She would give me cranberry juice with apple juice (they didn’t sell that combination then) and tell me about the Lord.
I used to tell her stories about how my brothers were picking on me, and she would talk to me about it. I was a lonely kid. However, Mrs. Trowbridge took me to church with her, and she would spend time with me when my mom was working, and my dad had left home.
Later in life, I finally started to help myself.
The Secret Too Many People Never Discover
It took me many pages of journaling and many hours of therapy to say with confidence that I am good enough. Before I could get to that point, though, I had to admit that I felt like I wasn’t.
To become the strong, confident, self-loving woman I am today I had to fight against my insecurities.
I had to:
- Dig deep and understand why it hurt me so much when people disapproved of my actions, didn’t like me or didn’t accept me.
- Look inside my soul and ask myself why other people’s opinions of me were so important and why I tried so hard to please them.
- Uncover the truth about why I was trying to be perfect all the time and why I was afraid of making mistakes.
Everyone wants to feel accepted by others or liked by their classmates because it’s human nature– but not everyone will.
Why did I care so much?
Ultimately, I learned we need to strive to please God and be sure not to hurt ourselves when trying to please others.
We are responsible for our own happiness.
I used to feel like my mistakes made me unlovable. Now, I know God loves us no matter what, and our parents love us even when they don’t know how to show it.
I repeat: I am good enough and so are you.
The Power To Choose
As imperfectly perfect human beings, we have negative thoughts, judgments about ourselves and others and feelings of inadequacy that sabotage us from believing that we are as great as God made us.
Good news, we get to choose our own thoughts.
We have free will to practice a positive mindset, and the power to love ourselves. We can tell the reflection in the mirror that we are good enough and believe it.
I am loved! I am saved by the blood of Jesus! AND I am good enough!
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11)
We all have negative thoughts, bullying self-talk, insecurities and self-doubt, but we don’t all fight to overcome them. Some people are so afraid of being vulnerable that they’d rather stuff all of their feelings and emotions into a black hole and go through life with blinders on.
I chose to fight back then and have committed to fighting for myself every single day since. Somewhere during my path to self-discovery I gave up my seven-year-old playground punch outs in favor of words of affirmation, prayer and God’s guidance. All of which seem to be working out much better for everyone!
Today I Fight With My Heart, And I Challenge You To Be A Fighter Too
- Choose not to give up.
- Fight for your health.
- Commit to self-love and acceptance.
- Live a life that you love and deserve.
If you think you’re too busy to take my challenge or that now isn’t the right time to fight for change, then know I’m speaking directly to YOU at this very moment.
What so many of us often forget is that Jesus did more than fight. He died for our sins so that we may be forgiven and live with Him in Heaven for eternity.
God fights for us every single day, even when we choose not to listen to Him because we’re too busy or too distracted with daily life. Every day, we are all loved and accepted unconditionally by God even when we don’t love ourselves.
Now, it’s your turn to fight for yourself.
It’s going to be difficult but do it anyway. Self-growth is hard, but worth it. It’s never too late to commit to a better life! I promise you that your best life is right in front of you if you really want it.
What do you want to fight for? I’d love to hear from you!
In health & faith,
Christina Grenga is a faith-based Certified Holistic Health Educator who works with Modern Christian women who are ready to quit dieting for good, lose weight naturally, and transform their life. Christina graduated from the world-renowned Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, and is a Certified International Health Coach. She uses a Christ centered approach to guide women to create a balanced, thriving life.