This Is How We Overcome: A Christian’s Cognitive Behavior Therapy

cave-

cognitive behavior therapy-

grief and loss-

out of the darkness into the light

This Is How We Overcome: A Christian’s Cognitive Behavior Therapy

I truly didn’t expect my mind/fingers to go in the direction they did with my second power to overcome post, nor did I realize I had so many things to say on the topic after all. When I first began meditating over the “more than conquerors” scripture, I had a friend in mind – a friend going through a low valley. Then my thoughts drifted to other friends, acquaintances, and loved ones experiencing seasons that seem to have more darkness than light.

Have you ever visited any of the caves or caverns? When we lived in Colorado, we toured Cave of the Winds. During one part of the tour, they turn off all the lights. Due to the depth of the cave, you are surrounded by pitch black darkness. You cannot see the person next to you or your own hand in front of your face. Blindness.

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Inside Cave of the Winds, Colorado Springs, CO
For some, that is the feeling of despair walking through the valleys of life brings. Maybe they are grieving the loss of a loved one. Maybe they are struggling as they leave an abusing relationship. Maybe they are wrestling with God, determining if faith is something they want to keep or let go of in favor of the world. Maybe they are dealing with a health crisis. Maybe they feel rejected and abandoned by someone they believed to be a “soulmate”. The blindness in the cave, just like the tough seasons of life is temporary.
Even though the darkness is temporary, its effects can have a lasting impact. Those negative feelings and images can easily take us back to the darkness. The cognitive-behavioral therapy uses techniques that help replace the negative images with positive ones, stopping the negative thoughts and using positive words instead. These simple changes in thinking can go a long way in a person’s coping and healing. Reframing the bad stuff, finding the good memories within the bad times, and moving forward are the keys to developing the power to rise above. Here’s a very recent, real life example of this technique in action. My friend stood by as her mother died two years ago and has lived with the memory of her body being rolled out the room. She can recall the sounds of her mother’s dying breaths. She’s in a dark cave of loss. However, in her efforts to find the light on the way out, another friend gave her this image, “Your mother is worshiping in the presence of Jesus. When you worship, you are still connected.” Suddenly, the powerful hold of the painful images diminished and the new image provided a peace and comfort that has been unattainable for two years.
If you read regularly, you might have noticed by now, I enjoy music, songs of praise and worship especially. In thinking of overcoming darkness, the following song came to mind. I hope my friend can sing it with restored and reframed joy today.

“This Is How We Overcome”
(originally by Reuben Morgan)

Your light broke through my night
Restored exceeding joy
Your grace fell like the rain
And made this desert live

Your hand lifted me up
I stand on higher ground
Your praise rose in my heart
And made this valley sing

You have turned my mourning into dancing
You have turned my sorrow into joy
This is how we overcome