This is a Shout Out to… Someone
I LITERALLY CAN’T GET LITTLE MIX’S SONG OUT OF MY HEAD. SEND HELP.
Honestly, it’s just SO catchy.
In case you’re confused, this isn’t a review of their new tune but I suppose in some ways it’s a response to it. The lyrics have been going round and round in my head the last few days and it’s left me thinking back to my own past relationship experience.
Approximately two and a half years ago I had my heart broken. It was nothing too dramatic, just two teens over coffee, one told the other they didn’t want the relationship to move forward and one was left crying in public (don’t judge me, we’ve all been there!).
That tiny moment was like a miniature bomb going off, practically noiseless, without much of an explosion whatsoever. Yet the collateral damage spanned months. His words followed me around day after day, rejection churned up wounds from the past that I believed had completely healed. Suddenly all the rejections I’d ever faced were tapping me on the shoulder, shouting over one another to get my attention.
Freedom arrived very suddenly, and practically out of nowhere.
It wasn’t until God whispered that the boy who had been plaguing my self-esteem for months wasn’t my ex.
Okay, I was confused too.
But here’s the thing, we love to label people mine; my ‘ex-boyfriend’, my ‘ex-girlfriend’. As if the fact we were close for a time grants us some kind of ownership over them. In very literal terms calling someone an ‘ex’ just indicates a previous relationship but it’s not the word that’s the problem, it’s the lingering sense of attachment it can cause.
The fact that I still saw my teen heartbreaker as ‘my ex’ was damaging my ability to move forward. Physically we may have barely been exchanging more than a few words each time we were faced with an awkward encounter but emotionally I was holding on to all the insecurities surrounding his decision to ‘just be friends’.
I guess it was easier to use his behaviour to explain away my brief confidence blips rather than taking responsibility and really allowing God to step in and heal my young and slightly fractured heart. It felt safer to continue to live in that heartbreak, it was an excuse to have a wobble every so often. However, as is often the case, what felt most comfortable was in fact holding me back the most. As soon as I stopped emotionally viewing him as ‘my ex’ and started to see him as someone I’d once been close with, I was free from my identity being tangled up in his. No longer was I defining him as ‘my ex’ and no longer was I seeing myself as ‘his ex’.
This change of heart was like someone taking a pair of sunglasses from my eyes that I hadn’t even known I was wearing. I’d been living under a dullness and suddenly I could see clearly why our relationship hadn’t worked out and I felt perhaps he’d made the right call after all. Above everything I was so excited for the future because I truly believed God had a plan for me and it was better than I could ever imagine.
The relationship I’m talking about isn’t one I discuss regularly; it was extremely brief after all. Feelings are funny things though (as I’m sure we can all relate?!) and I believe the hurts you gain from any situation, no matter how insignificant they may seem to others, are valid.
I’m writing about this now because whilst humming along to Perrie’s declaration of new found freedom from her previous relationship, it hit me that there is likely to be so many young people singing the same lyrics and thinking about their own personal stories. I want to encourage you that even if you’re singing along with a sassy ‘over-it’ attitude, but secretly still harbouring some pain, God is faithful, and however crushed you’re feeling, He can and will heal you.
As a 20-year-old attempting this whole adulting thing, I now feel freer than ever. Never again will I let myself feel I ‘own’ the hurt someone’s done to me, instead I’ll give in straight to Jesus because He longs to take resentment and heartbreak from our shoulders. Don’t live under the weight of what others have done to you, or what you have done to others. Jesus came to set us free and sometimes, we need to remind ourselves to let Him do just that.
I guess really this is a shout out to my Saviour, who always pursues me and loves me without question and without limits.