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The Complicated Heart

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
January 4, 2020 7:03 am

The Complicated Heart

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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January 4, 2020 7:03 am

​Sarah Mae’s story reads like a novel. From an early age she suffered neglect and abuse. On the next Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, you’ll hear her story and the complicated journey she took to forgive her alcoholic mother. She made a promise to her mom that she would share the truth about their story. Don’t miss the conversation on the next Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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Are you struggling with a difficult relationship.

Are you torn up and crazy and confused because of it.

If so, today's Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is for you. Wonder yourself like where now practically there.

I want a guy wanted her hair yelled out, maybe I'll come out. She yelled back welcome to building-related author of the New York Times bestseller the five love today on our first broadcast in 2020 made to his dying mother. You'll hear the story of Sarah and the difficulty she had given her alcoholic mother featured resource today is the complicated heart loving even when it find out more the web daughters Gary this topic of loving and forgiving people with birds is such a needed one to start the new year off with this important conversation roared through the years of appeals hurt my parents recoup your mother could be a father and hurt by them going through experiences growing out of that for a lifetime tend to hold his stuff inside you know and they never come to the place of releasing the past and are releasing it to God.

I'm very excited about yesterday about the book and topic that will be discussing will let me introduce her. Sarah May M. AE is a nationally known speaker of the host of the complicated heart podcast, co-author of the bestseller desperate hope for the mom who needs to breathe. She speaks at conferences around the country and encourages women to walk in freedom. She lives with her husband and three children. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and you'll find her book@ again the title is the complicated heart ceremony welcome to Building Relationships shall were delighted that you're here. We talk about a lot of relational issues but the one you're going to describe is so important as your mother was dying. You made a promise. What was that promise going to tell our story and all through this book is a part of that so many when I made that promise was very simply, I don't know how I'm going to do that. But somehow, I will tell her story until three years after that was the book to her and I'm quoting to all the brokenhearted daughters who dare to hope my heart really for when I'm really struggling very confusing and difficult relationship that I will tell you that very thickly for the brokenhearted daughters tender spot comes around and everybody sharing their mom is appropriate and beautiful that so many women are just so heartbroken about father and tear down here is much about mother was left deeply, deeply hurt from another.

You moved in with your mom when you were 14 story decision, so my parents were divorced before year old so I know many different normal abnormal growing up and actually got me. So I grew up with my dad not my mom that I would see my mom and her I thought she was the coolest mom ever. Like I was not a believer and my standards relate. I want to be just like my mom or Madonna child that she was so fine and so wonderful and so finally after living with my dad for 14 years, I will.

I'm 14 and I should be able to live with my mom, and now here I am girl and I feel like I should be with you now warming care of me mom and my mom agreed with me, the part of that as well and we didn't really get along very, very difficult to be home. So I told my guide my teenage strong headed stubbornness like my mom and you can't stop me throwing Ted because Gail knew the extent to how bad my mom actually was that we did not know she was alcoholic at that time 14 moved in with my mom and my little sister. We had different dad my mom's 20-year-old boyfriend was incredible.

At first, and then it all went down.

What I mean by that is I slowly began to discover my mother why alcoholic. I really didn't realize it because of the drinking I realized at first because of how little she had become. My mom was extremely verbally and emotionally and physically. I had seen her be that way with man my mom was married five times. She had not been that way with me now. It was like she was very stick with me she would agree to bed and it was just so confusing for me this was a woman who I love so much and I thought, why is she talking like this why she thinks of me every time I would try and tell her how much it hurt me.

She would just laugh or roll her eyes. She never took it seriously and I finally confronted her. I had seen some talk show about the family had an alcoholic family stage of intervention. Then everybody cried and the person get help and ever after. And now I 14 and thinking about how the world works. She just doesn't know because by this point and connected the dots lecture, drinking vodka with the morning midnight which is a functional working all of that connecting her meanness with her drinking and so trembling.

I went out onto the front porch where she was sitting one day to do the noble thing was a noble thing and tell her what she didn't know how that talk you when you drink you are really really needs me alcoholic and she just then she said so and I was like, so why worry me know mom you are really mean when you drink and she is laughing at me at this point the rage is like starting to boil up in me because you why does she not love me, why is she laughing at me. The only thing I know was a teenager that I think will hurt her in order to get a response I don't even think I love you really in that moment just did something to my heart. It just did something like you are afraid you don't really love me. I became very very hard on that day and really cement that hardness and devastation. A few nights later I was in here making her drink and he was looking at this now cheap pink baby right on the side of the cabin. I just wonder if you can tell yourself like with plastic razor didn't want to die. Just wanted her to care about.

Maybe I'll just kill myself and she yelled back to me was when the moment that you know you're on your own and I decided 14 like I'm a man, talk shows on TV sold things in your life may turn out okay for the people on TV but for you.

Your stock my heart during that time was a very cynical event. There like that's not the way things happen. Sarah started reading your book.

Late one evening and I didn't stop just you just have to go through it and here's the real powerful thing. You're so real and authentic and raw.

I mean it's it's a hard read in place is just when you're talking about the razor blade there and thinking about that's very difficult to think of a 14-year-old who wants to take her own life but feels like you know this. The only way I get my mom's attention the other redemptive thing about this though, is the you have included journal entries of your mother's harsh things that she just said to you all this, there's one of them early on in the book you say. I wish part of my purpose would be to write to give something to others through my writing.

God is just waiting for the right time for me to begin my new life. That's what your mother had written down. Mind blowing how I learned to love and forgive my alcoholic mother and years of what that looked like looking back after she died in finding her journals. It was as though I met my mom for the first time because I saw what was behind what I saw growing now and to be able to trace a life and say alcoholic. How did somebody get so mean you know what happened and I still reading my mom journals and in reading things like how she wanted to impact people forget that she wanted to do this is why the book is called a complicated heart because it's complicated and it's very very confusing and interesting. Anyway, I really want Ted to give my mom a voice in this book because some people. Most people a lot of people are generally with me some way in my story with a difficult, painful relationship that there are going to be women who are going to relate with my mom and were just so wounded, still broken so hurt that they perhaps in ways that they should not and it's not an excuse for their behavior shaft and explanation, and so I wanted to honor my mom and give her a voice in the story because I felt like it was really important and say yeah when I when I hear you read that specific one and really was like wow, now I might well mom. Your writing is going to impact your mother's drinking your stepfather's drinking this rules. Else that you moved into the age of 14, but I'm struck by the way she abused me with her words you talk about the effect of those words so here I actually learned helped me to really understand what growing up, my mom is like for the three years I lived with her.

I never had words for it and so I just felt crazy and confused, and they can learn the term Lighting which a lot of time with politics. But what that word really needs it.

Just when somebody uses psychological needs to make you question your sanity and looking what I realized was my mom would settle you gaslight me I should get on purpose, but it's just the way that it was and so you know I went she would help me down verbally me hurt my feelings over and over again until finally I would say mom you're so mean and she would turn around on me very calmly right you like you have a problem and it was so confusing to me because I'm terrible to communicate well hell I should talk to my mom just began to question everything you experience everything until the point of no confidence in what you see what you feel you experience anger on yourself. I would get beat myself up like I'm stupid for being I'm so down you know that I can't communicate well to my mom only I could communicate well she wouldn't hurt me anymore and I often tell people who because the more I learned about talk about it the more other people are like oh my gosh this happened to me like this. It's like you're walking down the street and you run into somebody and they punch you right in your nose bleeding and you're like why did you do that. Why did you punch me like getting you punched me, but there's so convincing that you end up walking away thinking I'm so down like that was extremely damaging to me because one word for it. QI was still growing out of 2014 is going to hormones and not understanding things anyway meant to be so put down all the time for it to be turned on me. Is that something was wrong with me was my fault. I guess I was very very insecure variance for lack any confidence at all which was a perfect perfect person just because I just wanted attention. I wanted something some security reminds me of the Hebrew proverb says life. This is in the power of the tongue. Words can words concert deeply impressed. So first explosive teenager or trial.

The you you were sexually active as a teenager. Your mom didn't really have many rules for you will like what I thought at first like whatever I why I really don't have any rules but one hell. It wasn't about fine. It was about to head to have something to clean QI needed to be laughed and so I very quickly. At 14 I got a boyfriend. We were with each other all the time his mom was addicted to drugs and he bad around and so we just became each other thinking so we just thought the thing you do if you have sex, I mean that's what you do if your couple or new any different.

There's two things I need to say here that I think are really important for your listeners learned why we have this idea that everybody knows that you waiting for sex until after marriage is a positive good thing.

Never heard that in my entire life like never on my radar and fill in my mind. This is why you do not know any better.

I did not know any different. Never heard any different than any other thing I know will talk about Jesus. Later, back Jesus was a 14 never, ever Avenue and fill these things were concepts in my life and said to me this is what you do. So naturally I became sexually active with my boyfriend and I process so yeah at 16.

The process something like you find that you're pregnant. How do you process that you just go and that's what I did.

I didn't know how to process that information except just do the next thing and so I find out I'm pregnant I know, freaking out inside and I go to the doctor. They confirm that Dr. called me house my mom picks up and she finds out I try to talk to my mom about it and she goes completely numb herself. The other dynamic of the relationship with my mom that I need to mention here is that there is a very whiplash relationship of me being hurt and cowering my mom been dominating forceful and cruel, but then the flip of that was my mom when she was scared would revert to being a little girl and I would have to care for her as the mother and so I would mother her mothering me and said she was very scared when she found pregnant.

She completely shut down little girl said there was no comforting sheet she literally couldn't power you anything she said. Knowing now after reading her journals and knowing my mom when she had been pregnant 22 abortions that she never dealt with the wound that she never that she had never been healed from fishing. It's really did not know what to do with me and so I then called my grandmother who at the time was there very close to she went back in Pennsylvania were made at last she found my baby son, he was so very kind to me and that he said maybe. Maybe it'll be fun to have a little one running around your heart was and he was happy to bring you how scared I life fell. That was really, really, really hard during this time you really still have no awareness of God in your life right. I didn't looking now at an awareness of my life and she and I felt like Clark when he was with me and he would show up in various ways in my life to let me know he was there so I didn't know who he was. Specifically, I did not know Jesus physically by I believe a guy who I just did not now. So one thing was when I was very lit wound around nine, a sister with her dad and my mom had dropped her off for visitation and never come back and so we had no idea where she was for six months to year. I prayed everything only because I did not know that we would find my sister finally found her cement had something in my little girl heart that there was 14 my mom and uncle and he gave me this Christian and I had been The Catholic Church that I had no idea that there is Christian music other than him so I don't know why I was probably because we didn't have phones and Internet all that stuff and it was like something to deal with this man's thing about this Jesus, I don't know my dad praying to God to give me whatever it is about silk. I was so very evidently willing me that now. I did not know you have to say is that same uncle took us to the church and again I don't ever been the Catholic Church. I didn't even know there was other churches.

We want can church and people were smiling and clapping and singing.

I remember having a guy like this.

If you like what is this crazy people are clapping there smiling okay understand hand and it was just such a crazy experience because I'd never seen anything like it and said these were all little yelp places work with just wooing my heart showing up yet become a Christian. I did not know him yet but he was intervening in my life. Your relationship with your good when you moved to live with her mother for your did respond yeah well he my dad is so tenderhearted and he has been such a force of love in my life. I don't know where I'd be without without him letting me so well child, that it was really hard for him. He never really explained to me what my mom was like or you know it wasn't until later that he would tell me things like not come from working. You would being a crab in your crib all day in dirty diapers and bottles around you and explain things to me at 14 and so he just was.

But I think he felt two things one that I was going to a teenage girl and so I think somehow he thought maybe my mom would be okay for me not realizing just how bad she'd gotten what he knew how awful the relationship was between me and I'm at one point, a member telling my dad before I made the decision to move like living with her is how I never sworn from hell like you and them. I think he just felt like he wasn't sure what to do and I really think that even though he was sad and confused. I really think he allowed me to go out of what he thought was love like probably knowing good but maybe now that's what she wants. Maybe it will be good.

I'm not sure but it was very very hard. He used to say to me things like I got my believer and he didn't know how to talk to me about things that he would say things like, if you live I'll give you a new car like a joking way, but I know he was actually serious trying to find ways to have me come home really hard so Sarah what happened then you you know that you're pregnant you're getting conflicted messages internally and externally.

What happened so most lonely time of my entire life and I am getting ready to feeling sick this is 16.

I find I'm pregnant.

My mom checked out of the situation. My boyfriend and I are just planning on like I guess we got married and get a trailer like I guess this is what you do and have all of that I am extremely sick. I am throwing up morning noon and night. I am so frail and so weak. This time it actually coming in the summer time and so I have to move back with my dad. So I'm leaving my mom and leaving the boyfriend. I'm going back to Pennsylvania where my grandmother was my best friend. Now we were so close 20 to look at me wanting to talk to me mom and so I go back my dad to treat me if I torn between Ellie's mom and me and so wanted to tell anybody because they had a prominent family. I had a prominent family, and it had to be at big secret, and everybody idea about what I should do, and nobody wants me.

Sarah what you want, how are you feeling just complete isolation except for you need to have an abortion and I was like I don't want to give back what if I gave me a child up to a couple kids will never be like that idea.

Nobody like that and the only person in my life. You who actually wanted me to keep the baby with my pro-life Catholic mother but she wanted to baby for herself and rated my brother or sister and I was like that's crazy like because we did have a good relationship and I thought that's just I can't and so there is no ideas thrown around like, well, we could send you to New Jersey you're pregnant or not, the baby will figure this out and you know this whole time. Nobody catching the lab I can't talk about it and I'm so sick. Finally, after three months and three months along my other grandmother comes to visit me for Me and my dad and she put her arm around me and she said I really think that you should have an abortion because then you can go to prom this point. Family whenever I think I should tell my family that have agreed in my other grandmother set up the appointment they decide that I can't have an abortion office because I'm too fidgety and so me to the hospital where they can put me out completely before and I just cried and held my belly.

Sorry. I may change my name again. That prominent family had the abortion and then I slept for two days and when I woke up I was in my grandmother when he wouldn't talk to me I was living with her now come and went to the kitchen and she served me toast with a smile and we never so Sarah said was with your mom talk about something she'd laugh at you or she become the child. Now you're in another situation, and everything is shoved under the rug. You can't. You must of felt crazy what just learn to your emotions. Emotions are safe anymore. You yourself for having emotions and because you know myself and not talk about it. I just know in my mind that I was pro-choice and I couldn't talk about it and they would bring up babies or abortion were I member in college like commercial and had to walk away or if I felt like a four-year-old I would care happened and you know you just learn how to try and shut yourself down, shut yourself off extremely devastating there so much to play. Because you also learn that you have no control, no power like you feel absolutely powerless over your body.

That was a pattern for me till I felt very powerless over my body. Because of the way that I felt like me sexual abuse 14 and the abortion which is another case of somebody else doing with my body what they want and so I really felt very powerless, very crazy and made explains my marriage actually and we can talk about that later, but it was very difficult and that thing is it was an unhealed wound for years that would sleep out in other ways Highway write poetry about it where I waited when my grandmother died next your cancer. I can cry. I member thinking she deserved it, and God's punishment to her for making an abortion. That's not true, but that's you know what I felt and nobody can understand everybody was like why are you crying to Daniel close to her like she deserved it. I was angry is a lot of rage and a lot of confusion and I remember the first time telling somebody a total boyfriend abortion a customer crying so it would sleep out like I wanted to talk about know how or when or if it was safe, let's talk about when things begin to turn you became more aware of God starting with so I can got it been willing very tender heart towards the Lord. My first case the Scripture was this book that I got my hands on me and it was it was all the Scriptures like you could look at the topic like alcoholism or facts or no happiness and you can find Scripture on my first case of the Bible and I remember thinking like like this has wisdom now and then when I finally made the decision to move back to Pennsylvania after three years of living with my mom. I broke up at the boyfriend I was so sick of being my mother and I just wanted to get away from her assignment back to Pennsylvania in 11th grade and all of the cool kids go to this thing called life on Wednesday night and so I was like one like you and I began to really start hearing about this man died Jesus somebody who died on a cross for my cancer don't fully grasp I'm beginning to hear about getting it from you begin to read at understanding and I remember thinking I want to be a Christian. I want to be a serious Christian, I used to listen to Dr. Morris lesson.

She was the Jewish radio talkshow host and she would say I'm a serious Jew and so I would start saying I'm a serious Christian for me and black and white living come from such dysfunctions that chaos that I graphed on to sort of like the rules aspect and sort of like the wisdom that I saw but once I hit my freshman year of college and I got involved with the navigators ministry.

This is where Jesus really show that my life in a way that changed me and help me understand grace and that was that a retreat with the navigator ministry Mama speaking, Jesus walked in the room right now.

What would you deal my very first thought was, why would I want to see me to tell me I knew I knew my shame. I knew the things I have done and I knew that Jesus would not want me and I learned that night that Jesus knew everything that everything everything everything he left me anyway, and from then on, surrendered my whole life to Jesus. Well, it's always amazing to hear stories of people like going through some of things we talked about and see how God reaches out and touches their lives and brings them to himself so exciting to know God's tremendous love this book up a minute and let me ask you this, when you were younger you fear that maybe you might become an alcoholic. Also in your life like your mother told in your mind. Why I was so angry at my mom that I remember making a vow that God has since helped me to break. I remember making a valve that I would never be like my mother and I would never treat my kids the way that she did and I would never become alcoholic and even now is me trusting myself and not in the Lord.

There were many aspects of that without it protected me for a long time, until the Lord needed me to trust him more.

I was not worried about that because I had seen the devastation and I went the complete opposite way. Now, with that I didn't become alcoholic by as we often do without me try and protect ourselves. It doesn't really work because were human in the family of wounds and all these things and so I know I become addicted to a substance, but I still escaped my pain in other ways for me to help alcoholic my mom is her escaping her pain and a lot of father wounds and there was a lot of other things that happened that caused her to escape her her payment. You can read about the book. Very devastating activations and things happened that for me. I escaped into being guy I could not be alone.

The anxiety and the pain and depression were so overwhelming that I cannot be alone and so I would forfeit my own body in order to not have to deal with the pain and felt my mom dealt with her pain to alcoholism. I dealt with my pain through having to be with a guy and so different, but still both escaping into some kind of an addiction and said no but the Lord has been so very kind and for the difference between my mom and I is that this is where we get to be generational bondage breakers because I surrendered to the Lord because of his great mercy and kindness choosing me doing he was able to break over time those sinful addictions and patterns. My mom surrendered earlier. I believe that he would've broken her as well and all of us have the opportunity to surrender to the Lord and he will. He can change us.

He can change our life is not easy doesn't happen quickly, but he can. He can certainly stories very moving and how you would come to ultimately for deals.

Mother brought so much pain to you through the years talk talk a little bit about the hell did you go to the place where you are able to forgive her and one of the key questions I thought you forgive when the wound is still open. I became a Christian course in writing the Bible and sing a lot of PMs on forgiveness and love. At this point my mom and I really don't want anything to do with her and so I'm you know what word you want me to forgive her and let me show me how I can't do this to try to reach out to her and she would just continue to be so cool. Three really major things that the Lord is kind of took me through an order to be able to forgive her and love her.

The first one had to learn how to deal with my own life that believed about myself about God, about others deeply ingrained belief and because of the cellophane down confidence because I didn't know what to believe. I wasn't sure what was true was untrue.

God led me to stick life mentor who sat me down one day after I told her I felt crazy. My emotions out of control and she walked me through a process of discovering what she calls for life and she did this by getting a piece of paper and I'll be brief here but basically she wrote things on the paper like ugly, stupid. I'm sure the whole lesson. She said you circle any that stand out to you and ensured another left and it was must be smart must be beautiful must be in control of a bunch of other things in a circle and she explained to me how we all have the belief that we come up with damaging life and family make these goals based on those life and that is what we without a really selfish because were self protecting them or not.

Trust in the Lord and at the root of all of it. We just want to be loved and secure and I going to that much more deeply in the book, but the bottom line was I had a lot of life time needed to sort out in my heart I could believe the truth about myself and about him and nobody authority me who I was So when I struggled with. Now I'm not good enough. It will Jesus never he died for us so that we don't have to be our righteousness to be smart or pretty or in control were taken seriously or any of those things because man is in Christ.

That was huge for me to begin to learn the truth and begin to replace the lies with the truth and a lot of different aspects there. The second thing that the Lord did was letter comes to living out of my life right Christ fully be able to be in relationship with her.

The Lord did last time I was studying human development and family studies in college classmate guest lecture with diction counselor since the class is over. I ran over to him and I said you know my mom is alcoholic, what do I don't know you know when we talk on the phone. We get into this terrible cycle never and always ends badly when we get Sarah. I have a ball and throw it to you. What are you going to deal one minute throw it back and he said you decided to play the game. If you don't want to play the game, don't throw the ball back and that was my first taste of what about boundaries had to learn how to set boundaries and so at that time with my mom through QA set to the effect the first wise woman would speak on the phone if things start to go downhill.

I would say Oman.

Some of the door that double-click, but I would just hang up the phone, which sounds cool, except that if you're anybody in any kind of a manipulative or tangled up relationship. You never Think about it doesn't work so I think I must've probably first explained to her like mom if things go south after that initial explaining I wouldn't explain. I would literally go mobile and not wait for it was the only way for me with her. Secondly, that effect was.

I realize that I needed to get away from her for a significant amount of time not to visit her at all is a lesson I visited her in college. It got so bad I lashed out physically another person in my anger and rage against my mother and I knew I needed help and so I wrote my mom a letter that I need to take time away from you see or talk to you for six months because I needed to get my head clear during that time.

The Lord really began to help me get clarity away from my mom and she hated me for it. She brought it up practically to the day she died that I did that to her, but I needed I needed them during that time, the third most significant thing I would tell anybody who's going to forgive and let families is hurt deeply and specially when enough. Sorry is underneath all my rage. I realize there is actually conflict myself to counselor God provided, as he does and I told her how my mom did send me a birthday card and I was actually really really bad and I didn't have a mom and I was hoping she would take care you can have a mom and she and Sandy. She looked at me and she said Sarah you need to mourn the loss of the matter is that she because grief or mourning the process of facing reality and letting go of expectations. Reality was I did not matter here is that we never mourn what got me yet restore. We don't want in the future, but I needed to mourn the reality as though my mother had died because I didn't have a mom what that allowed me to do very difficult was it allowed me to let go of the expectation that she would be a mother that she would treat me like a mother when I was still holding hope that my mom would treat me like a daughter that she would be kind to me that I could talk to her about boys that I could crack in her shoulder, things I could do and so I had a lick of expectations and my counselor had to forgive her for what she should have been so because I let go my expectation that should be mother that allowed me to love her as a human made in the image of God in need of lots like spinning relationship with her because now based on the three things that God had taken the thrill I was learning the truth about myself and God. I was set boundaries, so I knew how long I could be with her how I could talk to her all of his things and I knew that was not going to expect her to be mother no longer get packages left her as a person and do three things for the most for can't things that the Lord did in helping me to stay in relationship because not everybody is called in relationship with people who hurt you. But God did call me to do that and it's because we only see mention of the picture that God's self story.

Neil, my mom's heart by me staying in a relationship with her one day was going to lead her bending craft so much more that we could talk about but if anyone ever questions whether one can receive God's love and live fully whole life being productive.

After going through tremendous pain and hurt should be no question. Your month after the storm, referred to the believe serve that this book is going to help a lot of people are listening to us today, and others who go discover this book and find healing with God, thank you for meeting with us and thank you for writing this book. May God continue to use to touch the laws of what the conversation to start the new year is not an easy topic, but I was feeling so will find out more about her future resource for serum lay LAE five love title is the complicated hard loving even when it hurts.

Five love life If you're thinking of schooling your whole don't miss our conversation with Jamie Erickson homeschooling that's coming up in one hi, thanks today to our team and Janice taught Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is the production of Moody radio in his creation would publish a ministry of Moody Bible and

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