Mary Coulter-Bianchi walked across the stage as part of the graduating class of 2013, Rescue the Children. Like many new believers, she is still learning and growing in Christ -- on fire for Jesus, enjoying restored relationships with family and cultivating new relationships through her employment and through activities at her church. Mary shared, “I learned that I need to stay connected to ministry. The role I play as House Manager for Breaking the Chains, a ministry that helps victims of human trafficking, makes it possible for me to keep learning more and more about my own struggles and victories.”
Mary’s first victories were centered around addiction and codependency. Now she is working on the issues that led her to those vices - - fear and pain. Everyone deals with fear. It’s a normal emotion we experience when presented with an unknown factor, requiring a decision or step we are uncertain we are ready to make. Mary’s fear requires more attention. She is diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder. “I developed my AD dealing with issues of abandonment -- adding to that, I struggled with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) following an assault that took place in my home when I was in my early fifties.”
Anxiety disorders can cause distress, where feelings can cause physical symptoms so debilitating, they lead to an inability to lead a normal life. This type of disorder is characterized as a mental illness, where worry and fear are constant and overwhelming. With treatment, many people can manage these feelings and get back to a fulfilling life. Mary is managing her AD through a licensed counselor and daily practices that keep her grounded and confident.
“God never gives me more than I can handle. I’m still learning this. When I experience moments that overwhelm me, He helps me recite verses from Scripture in my head, over and over. The words comfort me, even if the experiences and my responses to them are not yet perfected. I know I can keep moving forward”
“...Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT