The Complicated Heart
People always ask Sarah how she forgave her alcoholic mother. How do you forgive someone who wounded you so deeply, who carelessly brushed aside your pain, who caused such destruction? How do you forgive them when your wounds are still open, they show no remorse, and you're so tangled up with them you're not sure how to get untangled? These are the questions Sarah Mae has wrestled with since she was fourteen years old--the year she moved in with her mother.The Complicated Heart takes readers on a journey where they will experience Sarah's story with her. Readers will be able to peek behind the curtain into the heart of her mom as well, through journal entries and letters. The story of Sarah and her mom is the story of how light finds a way in, even in the deepest darkness. It is a story that shows victory, hope, and redemption in the midst of trauma and pain. Specifically, The Complicated Heart will help you:Learn how to forgive when your wound is still openHeal even when circumstances don't changeGet out of the cycle of dysfunction that you seem trapped inLove when it feels impossiblePersevere in hope even when you think it's a waste of timeSupport a friend who is dealing with a broken or painful relationship

The Complicated Heart Details

TitleThe Complicated Heart
Author
ReleaseSep 17th, 2019
PublisherB Books
ISBN-139781462796984
Rating
GenreChristian, Christian Living, Nonfiction, Spirituality, Autobiography, Memoir, Self Help

The Complicated Heart Review

  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced review copy from the publisher of this title. The Complicated Heart is a powerful look at the author's complicated and ultimately redemptive relationship with her mother. What I loved about this book was Sarah Mae's honesty about wanting more from her relationship than her mother could offer, and how she was able to continue to love her while also building boundaries. This is not a how to book for fixing a few flaws in a mother daughter relationship. It is instead a testim I received an advanced review copy from the publisher of this title. The Complicated Heart is a powerful look at the author's complicated and ultimately redemptive relationship with her mother. What I loved about this book was Sarah Mae's honesty about wanting more from her relationship than her mother could offer, and how she was able to continue to love her while also building boundaries. This is not a how to book for fixing a few flaws in a mother daughter relationship. It is instead a testimony to the power of trusting that Jesus can heal even the greatest rifts and heartbreak that life is guaranteed to provide. Despite the heavy content, this book was readable and compelling. Excerpts of journal entries and letters written by both the author and her mother were powerful additions to the narrative.Even if you don't have a troubled relationship with a parent, or a history marked by trauma, there is plenty to gain from this story about the ways that loss and sadness can affect our ability to function. Moving on from loss, whatever its source, is a process described here with grace and eloquence. At one point or another, each of us will have to confront the kind of hurt that Sarah Mae describes, and hers is a story that can teach us how to lean on God when it does."It's okay that we will always have a little bit of sadness in our life regarding loss. The goal isn't to never be sad, it's about getting to the point where the pain no longer consumes us or controls us, our perceptions of ourselves, others, God and the world."
    more
  • Joanna Potter
    January 1, 1970
    If you've ever felt your past is too dark or broken to be redeemed, if you've ever felt so much pain you've wondered how you can ever forgive, The Complicated Heart is for you. Sarah Mae allows her readers to follow her in her painful journey growing up with an alcohol mom, divorced parents, a teenage abortion, and finally meeting Jesus. But the story doesn't stop there. Sarah Mae shares her struggles to change her thought-patterns, her actions, and to forgive her mom through journal entries, co If you've ever felt your past is too dark or broken to be redeemed, if you've ever felt so much pain you've wondered how you can ever forgive, The Complicated Heart is for you. Sarah Mae allows her readers to follow her in her painful journey growing up with an alcohol mom, divorced parents, a teenage abortion, and finally meeting Jesus. But the story doesn't stop there. Sarah Mae shares her struggles to change her thought-patterns, her actions, and to forgive her mom through journal entries, conversations with counselors, and her own mistakes and triumphs. There is so much truth tucked into each chapter--truth intended to set the reader free.
    more
  • Maureen Angelino
    January 1, 1970
    I love a good memoir, raw and real. To walk in the shoes of another in such a personal way is an amazing gift, and The Complicated Heart: Loving Even When it Hurts has been that for me. Starting at the age of fourteen, Sarah Mae takes us through the journey of her rocky and dysfunctional relationship with her alcoholic mother, her early experiences with "love" as a young woman, and the resulting consequences of the lack of a mother's care. We're right there with her to experience the seething hu I love a good memoir, raw and real. To walk in the shoes of another in such a personal way is an amazing gift, and The Complicated Heart: Loving Even When it Hurts has been that for me. Starting at the age of fourteen, Sarah Mae takes us through the journey of her rocky and dysfunctional relationship with her alcoholic mother, her early experiences with "love" as a young woman, and the resulting consequences of the lack of a mother's care. We're right there with her to experience the seething hurt she felt and the ways she sought to fill the longing in her heart while fumbling around through early adolescence and into adulthood, seemingly alone. Reading her story, in all of its vulnerability, made me ache for her. I went back and forth between understanding her behaviors and feelings from how fourteen-year-old me would have felt and then from my perspective as a mother now, who just wanted to hug and comfort that girl and tell her she was loved. Along the way, she learned some things about her mom that helped her to understand what caused such deep pain. Her pain was not wasted, and she shares about the hope and healing she continues to experience. This quote touches on what she realized of her mom and herself: "Two broken girls, tangled up with each other, find their only hope not in the love of a mother or a father but in Jesus, who never left either of us." What a gift to experience that realization! But she doesn't stop with telling her own story. She shares with us, the hurting and complicated, what she has gleaned along the way. If you have experienced rejection or betrayal from friends or family, or abusive, toxic relationships that seem impossible, she doesn't shy away from encouraging the hard steps that can ultimately lead to a huge release from the bondage of pain and deep disappointment, past or present. "If we're alive on this earth, it's not too late to bend a knee to the only One who can save us and love us completely and profoundly." Such love! Love through the hurt.I was given an Advanced Reader Copy of this book, and it has been my privilege to read and review it.
    more
  • Kristin Smith
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a beautifully written, transparent look at the life of author Sarah Mae and her mother. Alcoholism caused a myriad of problems in their relationship through the years and Sarah shares how this complicated relationship caused much heartache, especially a difficulty to forgive. But woven throughout the pages are God's redemptive story of grace as well. How God was working in Sarah's life and her extended family to bring healing. If you have dealt with addiction in your family, or have This book is a beautifully written, transparent look at the life of author Sarah Mae and her mother. Alcoholism caused a myriad of problems in their relationship through the years and Sarah shares how this complicated relationship caused much heartache, especially a difficulty to forgive. But woven throughout the pages are God's redemptive story of grace as well. How God was working in Sarah's life and her extended family to bring healing. If you have dealt with addiction in your family, or have struggled to forgive someone that has hurt you - this book will be a soothing balm to your soul.
    more
  • Dayna
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a deeply personal account of the author’s experiences and memories in relationship with her alcoholic mother, interspersed with entries from her late mother’s own journal. Although Sarah is in many ways simply telling her own story with striking honesty, she also gently leads her reader with a struggling heart to a place of greater courage, hope and healing.While at times heartbreaking to read, The Complicated Heart is saturated with grace and love that points solely to Christ.*I wa This book is a deeply personal account of the author’s experiences and memories in relationship with her alcoholic mother, interspersed with entries from her late mother’s own journal. Although Sarah is in many ways simply telling her own story with striking honesty, she also gently leads her reader with a struggling heart to a place of greater courage, hope and healing.While at times heartbreaking to read, The Complicated Heart is saturated with grace and love that points solely to Christ.*I was honored to receive an ARC copy for preview from the publisher.
    more
  • Chelsea Collins
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to read the The Complicated Heart because I had been listening to Sarah Mae’s podcast and I enjoyed the narratives she spoke about. I started reading thinking that it was a good story and it was amazing how God restored her relationship with her mom. What I didn’t expect was for God to use it to reveal to me past hurts in myself that I hadn’t forgiven. This book is for everyone. No matter if you feel like you have a squeaky clean past or don’t have any broken relationships. It provides I wanted to read the The Complicated Heart because I had been listening to Sarah Mae’s podcast and I enjoyed the narratives she spoke about. I started reading thinking that it was a good story and it was amazing how God restored her relationship with her mom. What I didn’t expect was for God to use it to reveal to me past hurts in myself that I hadn’t forgiven. This book is for everyone. No matter if you feel like you have a squeaky clean past or don’t have any broken relationships. It provides practical advice through Sarah Mae’s narrative of her story.
    more
  • Rachel Moss
    January 1, 1970
    “Two broken girls, tangled up with each other, find their only hope not in the love of a mother or father but in Jesus, who never left either of us.”Quote from The Complicated Heart by Sarah MaeFor young girls and women who have a bad relationship with their mom and wonder if it will ever get better, The Complicated Heart is a great resource for you. Sarah does not hold back on how bad her relationship with her mother was, no matter how hard she tried to make it work. Despite all the bad stuff t “Two broken girls, tangled up with each other, find their only hope not in the love of a mother or father but in Jesus, who never left either of us.”Quote from The Complicated Heart by Sarah MaeFor young girls and women who have a bad relationship with their mom and wonder if it will ever get better, The Complicated Heart is a great resource for you. Sarah does not hold back on how bad her relationship with her mother was, no matter how hard she tried to make it work. Despite all the bad stuff that happened, Sarah also shares the healing and hopeful moments that happened throughout her story, for both her and her mom. I received an Advanced e-copy from Netgalley for a review. All opinions are my own.
    more
  • Kendra
    January 1, 1970
    I was invested in the concept of this book before it was even available as a book. I’ve been listening to author Sarah Mae’s podcast, The Complicated Heart, for the last year. She does such an excellent job of meeting professionals and subject matter experts who live and work at the intersection of mental health and faith. When Sarah Mae mentioned that she was writing a book on the theme that inspired the podcast, I knew I had to read it. In the introduction to her book, Sarah Mae writes: This i I was invested in the concept of this book before it was even available as a book. I’ve been listening to author Sarah Mae’s podcast, The Complicated Heart, for the last year. She does such an excellent job of meeting professionals and subject matter experts who live and work at the intersection of mental health and faith. When Sarah Mae mentioned that she was writing a book on the theme that inspired the podcast, I knew I had to read it. In the introduction to her book, Sarah Mae writes: This is our story, the story of Mom and me, but it’s also your story, and how even in great darkness light finds a way in, comforts us when we can’t see, and leads us out into the fullness of day where redemption and freedom and healing are waiting for us. I think this is an accurate and beautiful lead thought to share her aim and what she delivers on in the spiritual memoir. She explores, through her own memories and letters and diaries written by her mom, a difficult relationship, compounded by her mother’s own brokenness and alcoholism that manifests in abuse and neglect of Sarah Mae. The glory story in all of this is a true reconciliation of hearts. Not a perfect redemption of them as we know we will not experience perfect wholeness this side of Heaven. Sarah Mae is an excellent writer, that should be of great importance to anyone buying a book. This one was written and organized with care. Some of the stories throughout could have been given a little more texture (more on this later) but on the whole, I think the book is very complete. The stories in the book are certainly difficult to read in terms of what this young woman experienced with very little support at the time she was going through it all, e.g. an abortion, molestation, etc. But they are not written gratuitously, and all are part of the ultimate story of redemption. The recollections Sarah Mae shares are written often from her point of view at that particular time in her life. So when she recalls being molested by an ex-stepbrother, it’s from her POV as a young teen. This aspect of the book did not work for me. I think there was too much to unpack; it felt like a missed opportunity to delve deeply into how these events shaped the author, rather than glossing over difficult episodes and treating them only as if the wisdom of time had not been granted. Others may find it’s actually a virtue of the book because the author is faithful in all the ways to being a reliable narrator. She didn’t know then what she knows now. The biblical wisdom in the book is not heavy-handed but helpful, I think, in offering context for how the author wants to frame her own healing and what she believes is possible for others. The most compelling part of the book for me was at the very end. The author includes an entire chapter on tactical approaches to identifying and rooting out the core lies and core fears that plague our own complicated hearts. She offers spiritual insight on the symptoms and hazards of clinging to these core lies. Many of her podcast episodes have addressed these in different forms but I was very grateful to see the full material in written form, almost like a psycho-spiritual instruction manual. I would especially recommend this book to anyone who has fought to have a healthy relationship with a parent or felt enmeshed and unable to establish firm boundaries with a family member. Sarah Mae’s willingness to share her story in a vulnerable, accountable way is as inspiring as it is instructive to all who want to explore the complexity of our hearts. I received this book as a digital edition courtesy B&H Publishing in exchange for my honest review of the book.
    more
  • Kendra Roehl
    January 1, 1970
    The Complicated Heart is a very raw and honest account of the relationship between a mother and daughter. Sarah doesn't sugarcoat her or her mother's words or actions, but she doesn't leave you in a place of hurt and pain. Through her story, she offers real hope from her own life on practical ways to handle challenging relationships that you are facing as well. Personally, I found her story deeply moving. Growing up in the church where a lot of difficult family or relationship issues weren't tal The Complicated Heart is a very raw and honest account of the relationship between a mother and daughter. Sarah doesn't sugarcoat her or her mother's words or actions, but she doesn't leave you in a place of hurt and pain. Through her story, she offers real hope from her own life on practical ways to handle challenging relationships that you are facing as well. Personally, I found her story deeply moving. Growing up in the church where a lot of difficult family or relationship issues weren't talked about publicly, I am encouraged by people like Sarah who are willing to not just show their shiny parts, but will talk about the harder side of life too. It reminds me that we aren't alone in our struggles, whatever they may be. I received an ARC of the book from the publisher and here is my honest review.
    more
  • Misty Keith
    January 1, 1970
    The Complicated Heart: Loving When It Hurts is a wonderfully written book. I was immediately attracted to reading this story from the author's childhood because I could relate to her story in so many ways on my own. The story-line is intense but heartfelt. There’s a raw but loving compassion for those in her story who hurt her so much. This book is a great read for anyone trying to learn how to forgive while going through the grieving process as well as heal from painful circumstances, especiall The Complicated Heart: Loving When It Hurts is a wonderfully written book. I was immediately attracted to reading this story from the author's childhood because I could relate to her story in so many ways on my own. The story-line is intense but heartfelt. There’s a raw but loving compassion for those in her story who hurt her so much. This book is a great read for anyone trying to learn how to forgive while going through the grieving process as well as heal from painful circumstances, especially those within childhood trauma.
    more
  • Hayley
    January 1, 1970
    Sarah Mae has written a book for healing. She writes of her own experience of hurts and heartbreaks and the struggles she endured throughout hed early years and how she overcame it all and is still working through it. I received an advanced ebook copy from the publisher and these are my own thoughts and opinions. This beautiful message is one for many to hear - did you struggle with parental support - read this book. Abuse, addiction, neglect - read this book.
    more
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this book! Sarah truly opened up her heart and let you into how she grew to forgiveness with her mom. She was open and honest in her life and feelings. I have similarities in relationships and it helps me see what I am doing right. The first half of the book is really hard. It was hard to put down. I read it in 3 hours. God loves us even when we are a hot mess.
    more
  • Angie Welch
    January 1, 1970
    This book is amazing!!! For anyone that has trouble with forgiveness, this will point you in the right direction.
  • Elise Klicko
    January 1, 1970
    Heartfelt, deep, full of real lived out faith in action Encouraging.I love reading about others lives. Sarah really lays it all bare for us to get a good picture of her irl testimony.
  • Barbara Smith
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced reader copy of The Complicated Heart by Sarah Mae from B&H Publishing. This book? It is raw...vulnerable...honest...transformational...hope-filled. The Complicated Heart is an “easy read” in the sense that you can devour it in a day, if you’d like. It isn’t so easy in that the author tackles the difficult issues prominent in complicated, dysfunctional relationships. In this book, the dysfunction is shown between a mother and a daughter. Reading through for yourself, it I received an advanced reader copy of The Complicated Heart by Sarah Mae from B&H Publishing. This book? It is raw...vulnerable...honest...transformational...hope-filled. The Complicated Heart is an “easy read” in the sense that you can devour it in a day, if you’d like. It isn’t so easy in that the author tackles the difficult issues prominent in complicated, dysfunctional relationships. In this book, the dysfunction is shown between a mother and a daughter. Reading through for yourself, it may speak to that same relationship dynamic in your life, but it doesn’t have to. You might find that you can relate it to your relationship with your sibling, spouse, friend, neighbor...you name it. That’s just it. We all have had, or are currently experiencing, a difficult, tenuous relationship. Sarah Mae tackles the issue-fraught terrain of dysfunction in a remarkable way. The best example of this is that it’s not just her story. Sarah Mae includes excerpts from her mother’s journal along the way, giving you a glance into her mom’s thought life, what she was experiencing, and how she was processing it. Though I relate with the author’s experience as a daughter, it amazed me that I also related with her mom. There are certain excerpts from her mother’s journal I could have easily written myself. This book has helped to show me a truth I didn’t really want to see, especially in myself. God is using it to show me that we are all broken, fallen creatures. We all, in one way or another, at one time or another, have epitomized Romans 7...we know what we ought to do, but we don’t do it. Or we know what we shouldn’t do, but we can’t help but do it. That person who has hurt you irreparably? They may be doing the best they can with the tools they’ve got. If that person belongs to Christ, any sin committed against you by them has been nailed to the cross. If they don’t, vengeance is God’s. It’s all in His hands. God’s got it. He is sovereign. And, He is so good. Lastly, in one of the most amazing conclusions ever, the story doesn’t end with Sarah Mae and her mom. The author moves on to give you instructions for your own life, your own relationships, your own healing. Sarah Mae leaves you with the hope that you and I have the power to stop the dysfunction. Because with Christ, “victory is always on the table.” I can see the healing, redemptive work God is beginning in my life and my relationships because of this book. I can see the potential it has to do the same in the life of every reader. I believe it to be a timely, necessary read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I am hopeful it will be spread far and wide, and that God would use it to heal the hearts of so many of us hurt little girls.
    more
  • Nikki Ghezzi
    January 1, 1970
    The Complicated Heart is a precious and practical book about love, loss, and restoration between a mother and a daughter. So many emotions are woven throughout their story, and it feels just like real life: complicated. But beneath the tapestry of hurt and anger lies the golden thread of hope.Sarah Mae uses the story of her childhood to show us how far her relationship with her mother seemed gone. So much loss and so many unmet needs resurface at different points in Sarah's life. She traces thos The Complicated Heart is a precious and practical book about love, loss, and restoration between a mother and a daughter. So many emotions are woven throughout their story, and it feels just like real life: complicated. But beneath the tapestry of hurt and anger lies the golden thread of hope.Sarah Mae uses the story of her childhood to show us how far her relationship with her mother seemed gone. So much loss and so many unmet needs resurface at different points in Sarah's life. She traces those difficulties back to certain points in her life and explores all the pain to get to the root cause of why their relationship just didn't work.Juxtaposed with Sarah's memories from those times, we can read her mother's journal entries and see where her heart was. It seems that all along, she wanted to give Sarah the love she craved but just didn't know how. Instead, she gave Sarah Mae lessons in sarcasm, the words of a sharp tongue and sharper words cutting at her heart, destroying their relationship even as she craved that relationship to grow (as stated in her own journal entries).Into the narrative of their tangled, destructive relationship, Sarah pours the wisdom she has gathered over years of talking to therapists and relationship experts. She describes what exactly was happening within the relationship (verbal abuse, manipulation), gives it a name (names can have such power!), and then reveals the steps she was able to take to overcome her past. She talks about establishing healthy boundaries and the ways she was able to use those boundaries when interacting with her mom as an adult.This is not a feel-good romantic comedy of a book where you're going to love the ending. It doesn't have the airbrushed touch of a Hollywood screenwriter's conflict resolution. Just like real life (because it is real life), there is a burden that Sarah carries in the telling; and there is a burden that we (the reader) carry in the knowing. However, throughout the book, there is the theme of hope. Like Sarah says in the beginning: "Dysfunction does not have to be your legacy. . . Victory is always on the table."If you or someone you know have a complicated relationship, this book is for you. Sarah Mae shares steps for enduring the grieving process (for what your relationship will never be), forgiving even when it's hard (so you can move on), and recognizing the lies you believe and overcoming them (to see God's truth instead of your own).
    more
  • Susan Bricker
    January 1, 1970
    Sarah Mae bares her soul and writes with guttural honesty throughout the pages of The Complicated Heart. She takes the reader alongside her journey of struggles to have a healthy relationship with her alcoholic mother and then finds forgiveness even while her heart was still broken. I love Sarah Mae’s unique style of writing in the viewpoint and voice of the various ages of specific memories as she walks the reader through the years of struggle, heartbreak, awareness, healing, hope, faith, and f Sarah Mae bares her soul and writes with guttural honesty throughout the pages of The Complicated Heart. She takes the reader alongside her journey of struggles to have a healthy relationship with her alcoholic mother and then finds forgiveness even while her heart was still broken. I love Sarah Mae’s unique style of writing in the viewpoint and voice of the various ages of specific memories as she walks the reader through the years of struggle, heartbreak, awareness, healing, hope, faith, and forgiveness. I feel it has the essence of a fiction overlay on a nonfiction book, which I really enjoyed. I loved the multi-layered, powerful messages of The Complicated Heart and how the relatable topics reach a broad range of people. It touches on struggles with addiction, rejection, abortion, trauma, forgiveness, self-awareness, healing, grief, faith, redemption, surrender, and obedience. I believe Sarah’s book will stir the soul of the reader and perhaps provide avenues to awaken dormant emotions to bring forth healing and forgiveness through faith. I appreciate Sarah Mae’s genuine approach and authentic voice by honoring and incorporating her mother’s letters into the book, which I feel added beautiful layers to The Complicated Heart. I found Sarah’s stories relatable to some of my own life struggles and feel my eyes were opened to the strained relationship I have with my own mother. Our relationship has also been one of wounds and the need for forgiveness. I loved this quote in The Complicated Heart by Sarah Mae, “The fire is long gone, and by God’s grace and kindness and unwavering pursuit of my heart, the ashes that were left, have turned to a garland of beauty and joy and hope and redemption. I am not the scared and helpless little girl I once was.” There were several parts of the book that tore at my heart strings and I definitely felt the impact of her passionate words. I’m grateful to Sarah Mae for baring her innermost self to share a wounded, yet beautiful story, to help lead others to Jesus, and the other side of their own struggles and unhealthy relationships. I loved The Complicated Heart and feel blessed by the powerful messages woven throughout the pages.
    more
  • Emily P
    January 1, 1970
    Sarah Mae has penned an intimate, powerful book about processing her difficult relationship with her abusive alcoholic mother. The book is honest, refusing to sugar coat their struggles. The author shares how hard it was to watch her mother deteriorate over the years, eventually losing her to cirrhosis of the liver in 2016. Mae shares her personal recollections, along with portions of her mother's journals, to give the reader perspective from both women. This is not a light hearted read, but it Sarah Mae has penned an intimate, powerful book about processing her difficult relationship with her abusive alcoholic mother. The book is honest, refusing to sugar coat their struggles. The author shares how hard it was to watch her mother deteriorate over the years, eventually losing her to cirrhosis of the liver in 2016. Mae shares her personal recollections, along with portions of her mother's journals, to give the reader perspective from both women. This is not a light hearted read, but it is worth the investment of emotion. The author continues to decompartmentalize her youth and young adult years, as painful and joyous as they could be while gaining the understanding that the same God that loved her also loved her broken mother. The author encourages the reader to examine the relationships that cause pain and heartache in their own lives by enforcing boundaries, expressing emotions and attempting reconciliation. I think this book would be a useful tool for those who have experienced a close relationship that causes heartache. It would also be a helpful resource for those who counsel or work with others who struggle with familial relationships fraught with abuse of any kind. While "The Complicated Heart" was a difficult memoir to read, it was a beautiful example of how God takes the ruined parts of our lives and makes them glorious. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:"It is a rare gift to be able to trace a life, to see what makes us fall and what makes us stand again.""Light has stepped into the pit, quietly sitting down next to me.""Our worth and value is only dependent on how Christ sees us, and he sees us as righteous. He loves us. We are secure in Him.""He loves me. And when I turn from Him and go my own way, escaping my pain with whatever my addiction, trying to fix the broken places with false fixtures, He comes for me."I was an early reviewer, thanks to B&H Publishing group. All opinions are my own and I chose to review the book.
    more
  • Lesa Brackbill
    January 1, 1970
    The Complicated Heart: Loving Even When It HurtsThe Complicated Heart: Loving When It Hurts by Sarah Mae is a powerful retelling of a complicated mother-daughter relationship and a story of unforeseen redemption that only God could accomplish.Sarah masterfully and vulnerably weaves together a picture of her childhood struggles with her alcoholic mother while also showing how God was working the entire time and how He healed her soul, and ultimately their relationship.More than that, she offers s The Complicated Heart: Loving Even When It HurtsThe Complicated Heart: Loving When It Hurts by Sarah Mae is a powerful retelling of a complicated mother-daughter relationship and a story of unforeseen redemption that only God could accomplish.Sarah masterfully and vulnerably weaves together a picture of her childhood struggles with her alcoholic mother while also showing how God was working the entire time and how He healed her soul, and ultimately their relationship.More than that, she offers such wisdom about how to set yourself free from toxic relationships and how to love those who have hurt you.  Sarah gives a refreshing take on grief and how sometimes you have to grieve your unmet expectations of relationships with living people in order to heal."Pain is not shameful, and neither is the vulnerability that comes with it." - Sarah MaeThere are two sides to every story, and Sarah Mae does a beautiful job of incorporating the words of her mother, words she didn't discover until her mother had passed away. It was incredible to see her mother's thoughts and feelings about the same situations Sarah addressed.Though I do not have a complicated relationship with my own mother, I have had difficult relationship issues in my life (even recently with a friend), and this book spoke to me in many ways. I highlighted many quotes and will continue to ponder them."It's okay that we will always have a little bit of sadness in our life regarding loss. The goal isn't to never be sad, it's about getting to the point where the pain no longer consumes us or controls our perceptions of ourselves, others, God, and the world."Check out The Complicated Heart - it just may be what your soul needs.I received an ARC from the publisher and this is my honest review. 
    more
  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    This is a very raw and real look at Sarah Mae's life with her alcoholic mother and how their relationship shaped and molded the path of Sarah's life. I cannot really relate to her story as I didn't have these issues at all in my childhood or adulthood, but many of the overarching concepts are relevant to me and will be relevant to all readers. Anyone who has a toxic relationship, especially with a parent or other relative will find much food for thought and prayer in this book, as it clearly sho This is a very raw and real look at Sarah Mae's life with her alcoholic mother and how their relationship shaped and molded the path of Sarah's life. I cannot really relate to her story as I didn't have these issues at all in my childhood or adulthood, but many of the overarching concepts are relevant to me and will be relevant to all readers. Anyone who has a toxic relationship, especially with a parent or other relative will find much food for thought and prayer in this book, as it clearly shows how generational behaviors manifest themselves deeply. Yet the book also shows how a relationship with God and truly embracing God's forgiveness can help one to stop these behaviors from continuing.Sarah intertwines journal entries of both herself and her mother over the years she was growing up and into the present. She documents the pushes and pulls of their relationship, and lays everything on the table. Sarah doesn't sugar coat her own failings, yet she also brings light and redemption into every dark corner. I especially appreciated that she did not portray herself as perfect and blame everything on her mother--she fully owns up to her own poor choices and shows how she overcame even the worst things with God's help.The topics of overcoming the core lies that you tell yourself and the results of those lies really resonated with me. We all have issues that we need to explore and give up, and there are many applications to Sarah's transparency. This book is a difficult read. If you are easily triggered by things, this book might not be for you, because like I said, she paints a full, real, raw picture and at times it hit me very hard. If you can muster the courage to confront those trigger issues, The Complicated Heart can help you to move toward healing and wholeness.I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
    more
  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    Forgiveness can be so difficult at times. We know that Jesus forgives us for our sins, and that we are to forgive others. But, when we have been deeply hurt, especially by one that we love, forgiveness does not come easily. Forgiving and loving someone, even when it hurts, is the central message of the book The Complicated Heart by: Sarah Mae.Sarah Mae grew up with an alcoholic mother, who would lash out at her verbally when drunk. She loved her daughter, but did not give her the nurturing and f Forgiveness can be so difficult at times. We know that Jesus forgives us for our sins, and that we are to forgive others. But, when we have been deeply hurt, especially by one that we love, forgiveness does not come easily. Forgiving and loving someone, even when it hurts, is the central message of the book The Complicated Heart by: Sarah Mae.Sarah Mae grew up with an alcoholic mother, who would lash out at her verbally when drunk. She loved her daughter, but did not give her the nurturing and feeling of unconditional love that any daughter longs for from their mother. This and abuse that Sarah faced at the hands of others, caused her to begin to follow a darker path in her life. A path that led her to have an abortion, have physical relationships with men outside of marriage, and drink.Despite all of this, the best part of this book was seeing how Sarah was able to find Jesus and turn her life around. She was even able to forgive and love her mother, and have a relationship with her. Her mother changed as well, thanks to the unconditional love of Jesus and her strong faith. I loved how her mother’s journal entries were included in the book, showing that she was not just a “bad person” but a hurting and suffering child of God, who made some bad decisions in her life. This book is a tear jerker, that will show you how much God loves us all, and that forgiveness and redemption is always possible. It will make you appreciate the love that you have in your life, and is a guidebook on how to forgive someone who has hurt you.I received a copy of this book from the B and H Blogger Program in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.Sarah Mae also has a podcast, which you can find here: https://www.sarahmae.com/thecomplicat...
    more
  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    "Hope. Healing. Grace. Forgiveness. Repeat. You will find this and much more in Sarah Mae's new book, The Complicated Heart. Sarah wrote this story starting in the voice of her teenage self, so the reader feels as if they are right there with her in those teenage years. She tells the story of the abuse and trauma she endured from many different people - some physical, some sexual, some emotional, some mental - and how she overcame it by allowing God to show her how to heal and putting the right "Hope. Healing. Grace. Forgiveness. Repeat. You will find this and much more in Sarah Mae's new book, The Complicated Heart. Sarah wrote this story starting in the voice of her teenage self, so the reader feels as if they are right there with her in those teenage years. She tells the story of the abuse and trauma she endured from many different people - some physical, some sexual, some emotional, some mental - and how she overcame it by allowing God to show her how to heal and putting the right people in her path to help her. As an avid reader, I enjoy reading a variety of genres. Sarah Mae’s books have always hit home for me and I’ve always found a piece of myself through her books. She writes like you are sitting in her living room just having some girl time; like she’s the best friend you’ve known your whole life. She writes of true struggles but also of true grace, healing, forgiveness, and truth. In The Complicated Heart, I love how Sarah is open & honest about her struggles and how she overcame through Christ. She allowed herself to be vulnerable while writing her story but she also kept it respectful to those in her life that are mentioned in her book. I love the hope and grace that is shared and the joy that she finds now because she was obedient to God and followed His will in sharing her story. Read The Complicated Heart. Learn her story of abuse & trauma and how she let God heal her from it and draw her closer to Him. Find a piece of yourself as you discover what God can do in your life through any circumstances you have faced in your past or even in the present. What a touching true story of heartbreak and healing through the grace and forgiveness only Christ can give. "
    more
  • Kristin Trezza
    January 1, 1970
    I was fortunate to receive an advanced reader copy of The Complicated Heart by Sarah Mae from B&H Publishing, and I ordered another one. Because it's that good, and I need to share it. Sarah is extremely open and honest in this book about the story of her broken relationship with her mother. It is both heartbreaking and refreshing, and shows the solid truth that God can make beauty from what seems like the most hopeless of ashes.I get chills thinking about the outcome of their story. So much I was fortunate to receive an advanced reader copy of The Complicated Heart by Sarah Mae from B&H Publishing, and I ordered another one. Because it's that good, and I need to share it. Sarah is extremely open and honest in this book about the story of her broken relationship with her mother. It is both heartbreaking and refreshing, and shows the solid truth that God can make beauty from what seems like the most hopeless of ashes.I get chills thinking about the outcome of their story. So much of it seemed utterly hopeless as I read through it. But God. Sarah never gave up on her abusive alcoholic mother, but also shows the importance of drawing boundaries and removing herself from their unhealthy relationship. And even in the midst of it all, even in the times that may seem like walking away and giving up hope is the only good option for her, she held on to her hope in Jesus and never gave up faith that things would change.We are all somewhat broken, we are all so very complicated, and we all have a story that nobody knows. Sarah does a beautiful job uncovering the truth in this, by sharing both her perspective and experiences, as well as her mother's. She shows how the struggles we face affect those around us. She reveals the importance of getting help when needed, of taking care of our own hurts in order to not only help ourselves, but also our loved ones. I have been inspired by her story to look for the changes I need to make in myself in order to bless my family. I know there are other people in my life that I need to share this book with, if only to let them know they are not alone in their painful experiences, and to give them hope that God can turn it all around for good. He is so faithful to answer our prayers, even when it feels like our prayers are going unheard.This book isn't only for people with a story like hers, it's for everyone. Because we all know broken people. We all ARE broken people. We all have complicated hearts. And we are all called to love, even when it hurts.
    more
  • Peggy
    January 1, 1970
    The Complicated Heart by Sarah Mae is a very easy read about some very hard things. Sarah Mae shares her journey of breaking as a kid and into young adulthood, being found by Jesus, and seeking healing. Her healing involved staying in a relationship with her mom who struggled with addiction as she processed events. Sarah shares in a simple way that makes this memoir very attainable even for older teens. There are trigger topics in this book but I feel like she handled them gently and with tact. The Complicated Heart by Sarah Mae is a very easy read about some very hard things. Sarah Mae shares her journey of breaking as a kid and into young adulthood, being found by Jesus, and seeking healing. Her healing involved staying in a relationship with her mom who struggled with addiction as she processed events. Sarah shares in a simple way that makes this memoir very attainable even for older teens. There are trigger topics in this book but I feel like she handled them gently and with tact. I did want more processing but Sarah Mae has said she wanted to be able to hand this book to anyone. There are many nuggets of value in this story. The added dimension of some of her mom’s journal entries being added at each step made this book very helpful as someone who loves many that struggle with addiction or mental illness. Getting to peak into her heart and mind was helpful along with watching Sarah Mae’s journeying through untangling the parts that had become deeply rooted in herself also. I appreciate the heads up in the beginning of the book about some of the events that were mentioned. I do think that many who are walking this journey would benefit from it and I will be sharing it them, but I also felt that it was inciteful for me as a person who journeys with both recovering addicts and with kids and teens that have parents who struggle. As a reader I wanted more of the story and more processing, but I think there is enough value in this book that warrants a reading. (Advanced Reader Copy)
    more
  • Crystal Aguilera
    January 1, 1970
    The Complicated Heart is the book I didn't know that I needed.  Intrigued intially by her podcast by the same name which highlights Sarah Mae's personal story of healing, I knew I needed more.  I needed to hear the details of just how Sarah Mae took such a difficult and dark situation and turned it into an act of light and forgiveness. The Complicated Heart is an easy read, largely in part because Sarah Mae draws the reader into the story as if she is speaking to a close friend.  Sarah Mae is re The Complicated Heart is the book I didn't know that I needed.  Intrigued intially by her podcast by the same name which highlights Sarah Mae's personal story of healing, I knew I needed more.  I needed to hear the details of just how Sarah Mae took such a difficult and dark situation and turned it into an act of light and forgiveness. The Complicated Heart is an easy read, largely in part because Sarah Mae draws the reader into the story as if she is speaking to a close friend.  Sarah Mae is relatable, encouraging, insightful and a light of hope.  I truly felt at points that I knew the author, I knew someone like her or have personally experienced similar emotional strife when dealing with difficult relationships in my life.What started as an act of reading an intriguing story, quickly turned into a personal, reflective and emotional lesson on the way I personally cope with the difficult relationships in my own life. The short answer is, 'not well.'  The truth is, this book opened my eyes and heart to the fact that I have been living in acceptance of my own dysfunction.   Sarah Mae not only shares the dark details of a difficult time in her life, she also provides a practical guide and easy applicable points on how to even begin to formulate a plan to begin your own personal journey toward healing. If you struggle with difficult relationships you NEED this book. Get this book, read it, absorb it then share it with someone in need of hope and healing too.   
    more
  • Paige Clark
    January 1, 1970
    This is the kind of book you want to read with a journal and a pen next to you. Not to annotate the complexity of the book, but to pour out the revelations and reflections that get stirred in your heart by Holy Spirit. The kind of book you read in the peak of the morning or in the restless hours of the night. In quiet and in stillness to drink up every last bit of wisdom found in between the binding.The Complicated Heart is a bold, honest, and beautiful memoir of the author Sarah Mae and her lat This is the kind of book you want to read with a journal and a pen next to you. Not to annotate the complexity of the book, but to pour out the revelations and reflections that get stirred in your heart by Holy Spirit. The kind of book you read in the peak of the morning or in the restless hours of the night. In quiet and in stillness to drink up every last bit of wisdom found in between the binding.The Complicated Heart is a bold, honest, and beautiful memoir of the author Sarah Mae and her late mother whose strained relationship could only be united and healed by the great Healer. The story walks through the pieces of brokenness that is incredibly relatable to the trauma and shattered relationships that plague our lives. The author was able to accurately articulate what these relationships can look like. Her words gave flesh to the wounds that plagued my soul for so many years. Revealing that trauma and manipulation, while unique in situation can present in the same way. The enemy lacks creativity in that regard. The Complicated Heart is not only a story but is a guide to what a journey of reconciliation can look like and has brilliant takeaways you’ll need that pen and paper for. This book is a holy space to examine a long asked question, what is God doing when life is messy. I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher.
    more
  • Charleigh
    January 1, 1970
    **I received a copy of this book on Netgalley in exchange for a honest review** The Complicated Heart tells the story of Sarah and her alcoholic mother. The story shows the hope within the darkness and how difficult but possible it is to forgive someone who has hurt you. A beautiful, challenging and emotional read. It showed how alcoholism affects not only the person suffering but also the loved ones. How mental illness can affect the lives of everyone involved - not only in the moment but for y **I received a copy of this book on Netgalley in exchange for a honest review** The Complicated Heart tells the story of Sarah and her alcoholic mother. The story shows the hope within the darkness and how difficult but possible it is to forgive someone who has hurt you. A beautiful, challenging and emotional read. It showed how alcoholism affects not only the person suffering but also the loved ones. How mental illness can affect the lives of everyone involved - not only in the moment but for years to come. I have an alcoholic parent and this allowed me to connect with the author in ways I didn’t imagine I would. The author let her emotions sink into the pages and the pain and fear showed right through. The fear, sadness, loneliness and despair when someone you love has a problem is something I think many can relate to. Especially when they refuse to acknowledge, or quite frankly just don’t care about the problem or how it’s affecting others around them. The message and meaning of the book is beautiful - that even with open wounds, you can still forgive someone even after everything they’ve done to you.It was interesting to read her mom’s journal and discover how she was feeling and coping during her alcoholism. We got to see the story from both sides and that is something unique. I truly hope this writer continues to write as she is something very special.
    more
  • Rachel Lundy
    January 1, 1970
    In this compelling memoir, Sarah Mae shares her story of growing up with an alcoholic mother. She shares her pain and struggles, as well as her path to healing. This is a the story of a mother and daughter that is filled with hurt, abuse, and difficulty. But it is a story that ends with redemption, love, and reconciliation. Before her mother passed away, Sarah promised her that she would tell their story. This book is the fulfillment of that promise. Sarah tells her side of the story, and throug In this compelling memoir, Sarah Mae shares her story of growing up with an alcoholic mother. She shares her pain and struggles, as well as her path to healing. This is a the story of a mother and daughter that is filled with hurt, abuse, and difficulty. But it is a story that ends with redemption, love, and reconciliation. Before her mother passed away, Sarah promised her that she would tell their story. This book is the fulfillment of that promise. Sarah tells her side of the story, and throughout the book she also weaves in selections from her mother's journals, giving us a peek into her mom's side of the story too.It is a hard book to read at times because of the pain, but at the same time it is easy to read. You feel like you are right there with Sarah, listening to her heart as she shares so honestly about her past. There was reconciliation found in the end, and that was a beautiful thing to see.This is a great book for anyone who is struggling to love and to forgive those who are close to them who have hurt them. And it is a great book for those who need help understanding the depth of pain and suffering that is present in some families.Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
    more
  • Mary McGrath
    January 1, 1970
    The Complicate Heart undid me! I too have/had a complicated relationship with my mother. My mother passed away when I was eighteen. I didn't fully realize that healing still needed to take place until I became a mother. I share that personal information to now explain how impactful this book has been. While reading this book I felt like the author Sarah Mae had a scanner and could just read me, read me better than I can read me! The way she shared her and her mom's story was captivating. I could The Complicate Heart undid me! I too have/had a complicated relationship with my mother. My mother passed away when I was eighteen. I didn't fully realize that healing still needed to take place until I became a mother. I share that personal information to now explain how impactful this book has been. While reading this book I felt like the author Sarah Mae had a scanner and could just read me, read me better than I can read me! The way she shared her and her mom's story was captivating. I could not put the book down, I read it in a day. Then she shares what to do with your pain and your grief and dysfunction. I so appreciate that she doesn't leave us hanging. She shares what worked for her and others. I finished the book feeling encouraged in the work and progress I have made so far, and I feel equipped to know what to do to continue the work. Sarah Mae shares about her relationship with her mother, but this book isn't a tool/resource for mother daughter relationships, this book is a tool & resource for any relationship. Sarah Mae's The Complicated Heart has marked my life for the better.
    more
  • Jenifer Metzger
    January 1, 1970
    Have you ever struggled with a difficult relationship? Someone you were, or should have been, close to hurt you deeply. You hold on to this pain, or perhaps anger, as it eats away at your heart and robs you of joy. You hear that forgiveness is necessary and would even free you. But the thought of forgiving is inconceivable. You finally get to a moment when you think maybe, just maybe, it will all be okay then suddenly you feel slammed with more heartache.Author Sarah Mae gets it. She's been ther Have you ever struggled with a difficult relationship? Someone you were, or should have been, close to hurt you deeply. You hold on to this pain, or perhaps anger, as it eats away at your heart and robs you of joy. You hear that forgiveness is necessary and would even free you. But the thought of forgiving is inconceivable. You finally get to a moment when you think maybe, just maybe, it will all be okay then suddenly you feel slammed with more heartache.Author Sarah Mae gets it. She's been there. She knows the pain, the anger, the confusion, the torment, the hopelessness. In her brand new book, The Complicated Heart, she shares personal stories of her relationship with her mom. Sarah is transparent as she tells of all she went through and all she overcame. As you read you will feel like you are sitting down having a deep and open conversation with a friend.You will not only learn of Sarah's struggles, you’ll travel with her mom as well as you read her mom’s journal entries and letters. You’ll get a rare peek into that mind and heart the person who hurts us.The Complicated Heart is a must read for anyone who has walked through the pain of a complicated relationship.
    more
Write a review