Fear of Naming
My husband and sons came home from a trash haul jabbering a mile a minute.
“Oh my gosh, Mama. You should have seen the kitten that lives at the dump.”
“Yeah, you would love her. Bobbed tail. Calico.”
I listened, knowing the ask was coming.
“You should come with us next time. She even has a sister. And we already have names picked out.”
So, they weren’t going to ask, just set me up to fall in love with these dump kittens and then sucker me into bringing them home.
This nonsense continued for several weeks. On each trip to the dump, these two sweet boys of mine talked in high-pitched, cutesy-woodsy voices about how adorable these little kittens were and how they needed a good home.
Finally, I said my piece. “Listen here, you sneaky boogers. I’m all about a cat. Or kittens. But we can’t get them right now. We will be gone for ten days, and who knows what would eat them while we’re gone. But, after we return, I’m open to finding a couple of kittens. So, yes, we will get kittens. Maybe not those at the dump, but we will find some.”
Cheers resonated through my living room.
“But listen here. Hold off on the names. We need to wait on those until we own them.”
If we named those cats, they would be our cats, and we would have to figure out what to do with them.
The same scenario is true in life. Once you name it, it’s time to own it and figure out what to do with it.
I rejoice in the way revealed by your decrees as much as in all riches.
~Psalm 119:14 CSB
Naming and Owning
An old friend breezed through town this weekend. She told me she had always suspected her son was on the autism spectrum, but two weeks prior, they finally received the official diagnosis. Speculation is one thing, but putting a label on it changed everything. Made it real. Focused on how they moved forward.
Such as when we stop saying we’re unmotivated and call it depression. Or we realize our pattern of saying no to invitations from friends is actually fear, and we call it anxiety. Or maybe we stop excusing someone else’s bad behavior and stand up and call it what it is: manipulation.
Once we hang a nameplate on the door, the title suddenly becomes official. CEO. Chairman. Executive. Cancer. Diabetes. Infertile. Shame. Guilt. Lonely.
And with each new name, we finally know what we are dealing with. No more speculation. No more assuming. Solid answers. Known directions and responsibilities. Ownership. Dealing.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; I wait for you all day long.
~Psalm 25:5 CSB
There’s just something about naming an animal that suddenly makes it a pet. A pet that must be cared for, fed, protected, and loved. We can’t pretend we don’t have a pet. We can’t call it a stray anymore. The evidence is sitting right in our lap.
So, let me ask. Are we looking at excuses in our lives that are finally adding up to pieces of evidence? Are we denying the truth, hoping it will just disappear?
Take a few minutes and call it what it is. If it’s anger, say it. Sadness, acknowledge it. Depression, own it. Fear, name it. But whatever you do, stop speculating and move into reality. Once you name it, you finally know what you’re dealing with.
What things in your life need to be given a name and addressed?
Jesus, open my eyes to areas that I don’t want to acknowledge. Help me see the truth of each situation. And give me the courage to name it. Amen.
Copyright 2024: Once You Name It: Christy Bass Adams: All Rights Reserved