“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you–in God I trust and am not afraid.”  Psalm 56:3-4 

The news is grim: a horrific shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas has stolen dozens of lives, wounded hundreds more, and shaken the nation. In just a few moments, thousands of lives were changed by a traumatic event. Dr. Linda Mintle says how people react to a traumatic event determines the course of their future.

“When people experience some kind of trauma, as a witness of this shooting, a family member, or even some people just watching on TV, the key going forward is not to allow that stress response to turn into a post-traumatic stress reaction.”

“You want to talk to somebody and try to process what happened. This is a great opportunity for the church to come and pray with people, with families, so we don’t allow fear to grip our hearts.”

At a time of trauma, we can easily become overwhelmed by our instinctual fears. Yet, when everything is entirely out of our control, it also reminds us to cry out to a mighty God for help.

“You don’t want this event to let fear grip you in such a way that it paralyzes you and puts you into an anxious state of the future. The very thing people like the shooter want to do is make you feel fearful, hopeless, and helpless in those situations.”

“We can call on a very strong God, who is powerful; He can help us with our fears. We do not walk in a spirit of fear, but trust the Lord, call on His name. He is our help in times of trouble.”

In her own life, Dr. Linda has felt the trauma of losing a brother in a terrorist attack. She says her faith was essential to overcoming such a terrible time.

“If I didn’t have the Lord in my life, I don’t know what it would have done at the point that I lost my brother. It was my relationship with Jesus that really provided the support and the knowledge that even though I don’t understand this, and I’ll never have an answer for why (because everything felt so random), I do know that I have to trust you, God. Otherwise, my option is to live in fear, which I don’t want to do.”

Join us in prayer for those who lost loved ones and for those who will struggle in the wake of this tragedy to not let anxiety grip their hearts.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way, and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46: 1-2, 7

Dr. Linda Mintle is a licensed marriage and family therapist, a licensed clinical social worker and national expert on relationships and the psychology of food, weight and body image. With 30 years of clinical experience working with couples, families and individuals, she brings her common sense approach to people who want to live in positive mental health.

Praying for Las Vegas