D-Fence!! *clap, clap* D-Fence!! *clap, clap* I was never a cheerleader, but I definitely shouted that chant countless times at college football games.
Defensive strategy is all about stopping an unwanted event from happening. In the case of football, the unwanted event is the other team scoring. Sadly, my alma mater's team did not have the best defense skills, but it was still fun to have school spirit! Similarly in life, there’s a lot of unwanted things we don’t want to happen, such as loss, loneliness, being misunderstood, failure, or feeling insecure. We need a “D-Fence”! We either choose to rely on God as our Defender, allowing Him to guide us in wise coping behavior or we choose to rely on our Self to be our defender, engaging in unwise coping that is potentially harmful.
With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can identify which of our coping is healthy and which of our coping are indicators of misplaced trust. Some of my personal examples of misplaced trust have been being a people pleaser, perfectionism, overworking, isolating myself, and numbing out. Those might temporarily “defend” me, but they are incredibly faulty.
Praise God we do not have to rely on our own self-protective measures. Scripture tells us that God is our defender and protector. He is our refuge, rock, strength, and our fortress. When we trust God to be our Defender, He does not magically make our problems disappear. Instead, He walks before us and with us in the valley. He draws near to us and sustains us. He is our steadiness and our strength when we feel unstable and weak.
*Note to you as a Licensed Professional Counselor: Some of our defenses might be trauma responses. Dear sister, if that is the case for you, please know that the Lord is your defender even still. This devo can still be helpful for you, but please reach out to a faith-based mental health professional who can provide a safe space for you to process the trauma. You are not alone and there is Hope.
God, You are my One True Defense. Forgive me for all the times I’ve chosen to defend myself with behaviors that do not glorify you.