Below is a video from the presentation of “Overcoming Codependency.” For the various counseling options available from this material visit

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

The Toxic Scripts of Dysfunction
LEARN MY SUFFERING STORY which I use to make sense of my experience.

Overcoming Codependency – Step 4 from The Sam James Institute on Vimeo.

Memorize: Psalm 22:1-2 (ESV), “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • Matthew 27:46 – This script also entered Jesus’ story. These words are a common refrain in a fallen world.
  • “Forsaken me” – Pain, conflict, and betrayal make it feel like God has turned His back on us.
  • “So far” – More than merely having his back turned, pain makes it feel like God is walking away from us.
  • “Do not answer” – When God does not end the pain it is easy to believe He is not hearing our prayers.
  • “No rest” – In the midst of pain it easy to think God is a liar for not keeping His promises (i.e., Matt. 11:28-30).

Teaching Notes

“Sometimes the problem isn’t that we didn’t learn a lesson; it’s that we learned the wrong one (p. 168-169).” Melody Beattie in The New Codependency

“Many victims feel that God is punishing them, and they look for causes in themselves. They may think, ‘I haven’t been a good wife or mother, so God is punishing me,’ or ‘I did something wrong when I was a teenager, so God is punishing me,’ or ‘I haven’t been a good enough Christian, so God is punishing me.’ None of these are true. For God is a God of grace, not karma (p. 81).” Justin and Lindsey Holcomb in Is It My Fault?

“If you are a victim of domestic violence, then that is part of your story that you should not deny [Step 2] or minimize [Step 3]. But if you let it become the reigning story, then your identity will be founded on disgrace (p. 84).” Justin and Lindsey Holcomb in Is It My Fault?

“Family members (not only parents) and friends usually come to us believing they can only be as happy as their unhappiest loved one (p. 103).” Foote, Wilkens, Koskane and Higgs in Beyond Addiction

“Children pick up on what makes life work and what’s worth living for through the behaviors they witness at home, including destructive behaviors or attitudes not directed toward them (p. 58)… As long as I believed her words were more true than God’s Words, she had the power to destroy me – because I gave it to her (p. 66).” Leslie Vernick in The Emotionally Destructive Relationship

“The problem is when fear forgets God (p. 60)… With God reduced in our eyes, a fear of people will thrive (p. 85).” Ed Welch in When People Are Big and God Is Small

“Whereas Christ’s suffering may be seen as redemptive, suffering from abusive men does not redeem, indeed it guarantees that the violence will continue (p. 108).” Carol Adams in Woman Battering

“For many of us, lies feel truer than the truth does. It’s easier to believe that God hates us or is angry with us than it is to believe that we are his beloved children and are precious to him. We meditate again and again on some hurtful words someone has said, yet when another person pays us a compliment, we dismiss it or don’t trust it, even if that person is genuine (p. 69).” Leslie Vernick in The Emotionally Destructive Relationship