Daily Devotional

November 14, 2019

Flight, Fight, Fawn, and Freeze

Psalm 31:8-9
I will rejoice and be glad in your grace, for you see my affliction, you know how distressed I am. You did not hand me over to the enemy; you set my feet where I can move freely.


Written by: Chris Moss

You feel stuck—frozen. You can’t move. The world could crash down around you, and if that happened you might stand in the middle of it, paralyzed with fear.

Most of us know that fight or flight are our responses to fear. But do you know their lesser-known siblings: fawn and freeze?

When under distress, fawn tries to make everything better—she’s a real people pleaser! But when you, and others around you, are in distress, pleasing yourself and everyone else is an exhausting, impossible task. Fawn, as much as she tries, is not helpful with fear.

But freeze! Freeze stands in the middle of distress and keeps taking the hits—one after another. When you are in distress and you freeze, it feels like you have been handed over to the enemy. The chaos, the pain, and the affliction rise to the point of feeling like you are experiencing hell on earth. Freeze isn’t helpful; in fact, she’s lying to you.

Psalm 17:7 says, “Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.”

If we seek refuge from God in our distress, He, in His mercy and grace will help us find a place to move freely, to seek answers, to find miracles, to be healed, to re-build, and to experience transformation.

Our Heavenly Father wants us to live in joy and be glad in His grace. Isn’t that what we all want?

ITP-Devo11.14Thought of the day: God does not hand us over to the enemy. Our fear does not have to make us victims of flight, fight, freeze, or fawn. God’s refuge promises us mercy and joy.

Prayer: Father we come to you with our distress, our anxiety, our fears, our losses, and our disappointments. We offer you all our life circumstances that cause us pain, anguish, or grief. You don’t send us catastrophes, but when they happen, you provide us refuge if we seek it. We reject flight and fight, and their lesser-known sisters fawn and freeze. Instead, we seek Your refuge. We lay our distress at your feet and ask You to provide us with a place to move freely. Save us by Your right hand. Show us how we can fully experience Your mercy and respond in joy—because joy is elusive when we are in distress and we need Your refuge and joy now. In fact, we needed it yesterday. Please hear our prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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