Fight... Flight.... Scream... Freeze

According to prominent psychologists and extensive research, the Fight or Flight response is a  "physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival".  

Having raised three daughters, I might offer an additional likely response ... screaming... usually for D.A.D.  He could, after all, save them from anything, fix any problem they had created, and somehow always make them feel that everything would be just fine.

On one especially dark January evening new meaning to the word and the feeling of FEAR came for Katie, Mollie and Clay.  Frank, Kellie and I were attending a High School Youth Retreat in Gatlinburg for the weekend.  Katie was in college and was certainly capable of running the house for that time.  Everything was going great, and as we remember it, our worship time that evening was so meaningful - it was clear that God was working in the lives of several of our students, so we actually had an extended time of worship and prayer.

As we were concluding our time, another adult tapped me on the shoulder whispering, "your children have an emergency and desperately need you to call home.  Visions of disasters filled my head as I quickly retrieved my cell phone... 26 missed called... most from Katie and a couple from my neighbor.  The visions in my mind just intensified as I dialed Katie's number.  Bless her sweet little heart, at the time, Katie was not our "calmest under pressure" child (remember,, this is the young woman who now manages her home with 3 boys born within 3 1/2 years!)  So as she tried to relay to us the events of the evening, her words were anything but clear.  Our pressing questions... are you all okay, is the house still standing, is the car wrecked... were met with yes, yes and no.  We sighed a moment of relief.

We finally managed to hear the story.  They had  just settled down in the den to watch a movie together.  Katie had gone into the kitchen to fix ice cream for everyone, and she saw "HIM"with his face pressed against the window staring into the house... at her.  She screamed, and Mollie turned from her vantage point in the recliner to "HIM" standing there peering at them both.  She screamed, too.  My understanding is that Clay, who was still in the den, just screamed because everyone else did.  The "HE" then disappeared from the window leaving a small hysterical group behind.  Their dilemma was real, what to do, who to call, where to go.  Katie sprang into action calling us (no answer), 911, and our neighbors.  As I think about it now, I shudder... and then I giggle, picturing my brave neighbor, whose husband was out of town.  In order to get my distraught children, she ushered them from our door to hers... carrying a baseball bat, and believe me, she would not have been afraid to use it!!   

It had been snowing, and the police officer discovered footprints leading to our window and then away from it.  That was the last that we knew or heard of our peeping tom... although the fear that he left behind took months to overcome.  Frank was sick that he hadn't been there to protect his babies!

Our instinct in any fearful or difficult moment is to fight it, run from it, or scream about it, right?  Once again in my recent Bible study, God has reminded me that often in my moments of fear, uncertainty and even panic... HE has a different plan for me.  When the Israelites were faced with, in their assessment, the most disastrous moment of their lives.  They were up against the Red Sea on one side and the angry mob led by Pharaoh pressing in on the other side.  God's answer to them, from the Living Bible (Exodus 14:13-14)

 "But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch, and you will see the wonderful way the Lord will rescue you today. The Egyptians you are looking at—you will never see them again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you won’t need to lift a finger!” 

I just wonder... is there something in your life right now - that you have feared, you have fought, you have flown away from, that you've just found yourself screaming about.  I KNOW I hear HIM speaking to my heart...."Stop... just FREEZE, just stand right where you are, I AM fighting for you."

So... just FREEZE with me!

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