Carey McNamara

Carey McNamara

I am a wife to Bob, a mom to Connor, and a physician assistant who is passionate about beating heart disease. As a devoted lover of Jesus, I am on an unending quest for more truth, love, and wholeness through Him. I have come to a place in my life where I realize God is not afraid of my questions, and I have learned the joy of pursuing Him until I discover His heart. As a result, I created a blog to encourage others in their own journey towards Life, Liberty, and Love in Christ. I am passionate about doing life authentically in community, and am thrilled to share a bit of that with you here.

In my 16 years as a physician assistant, I have treated hundreds of patients for different forms of mental illness, from simple cases of mild anxiety and depression, to unstable bipolar or schizophrenic patients (including suicidal patients that required involuntarily admission for treatment). Some patients came to me begging for help, while others wore their symptoms with shame, hesitant to admit they were struggling. I have found that some people, Christians in particular, resist treatment for mental illness because they believe taking medication is a sign of weakness (or lack of faith in God). But if this were the case . . . 

“Can you take my kids to school for me,” my friend asks, “I woke up late.” I had invited my friend and her kids to spend the weekend at my house because I enjoyed hanging out with her. It was now Monday morning and she needed a favor . . . but she seemed to expect me to solve her problem. I had gotten up early because I wanted to spend some time with the Lord before I went to work, and if I helped her out I would not have time for that or a shower. I did not want to do it, but I wondered if I was being selfish. Doesn’t the Bible say we are to put others first? When someone asks, aren’t we supposed to go the extra mile, to give others the shirt off our back? Doesn’t Scripture admonish us to pick up our cross and die daily? So, I reluctantly agreed to bring her kids to school . . . in attempt to “do the right thing.” Normally doing the right thing felt good – but doing this favor made me feel lousy inside . . . 

We know that God is love, and that as Christians, love is our highest calling. Most believers even know the Bible teaches us to love our enemies and bless those who curse us. (Matthew 5:43-48, Luke 6:28). However, recent events in my life have aroused a further question in my mind; am I called to respect everyone too?

Bob and I have been trying to figure out how to best address the disrespectful talk, tone, and behavior we get at times from Connor. A part of me believes that my son should respect me simply because I am his mother. So, when he is rude or defiant, something within me wants to . . .

I recently vacationed in Colorado, where marijuana is legal. While there, conversations came up about its use and whether it is really any different from alcohol. If it is legal, is it wrong to use in moderation? And what about its medicinal use – wouldn’t it be better to use marijuana than to use prescription medications like OxyContin (which tops the list of most abused prescription drugs)? I have always believed that any drug use was bad, but these were valid questions.  So . . . 

I know of two individuals who participated in “Christian yoga,” and no other form of it, who ended up needing prayers of deliverance afterwards. These women were well-respected members of the community, but were overcome by the Kundalini spirit during a prayer session (to the point that it started controlling their body). Somehow their unknowing participation with the Hindu aspects of the practice had opened a spiritual door to the enemy. Because of this potential danger, I know many Christians who shun participation with any form of yoga. But this is not the experience or belief of every Christian. If yoga is wrong, why does it not affect everyone that way?

A few years ago I experienced oppression from an unknown exposure to evil. I had gone to my chiropractor for an adjustment. She was a good friend of mine, and even claimed to be a Christian. I walked into her office feeling fine, but I left feeling awful. I felt heavy and . . .

My son came home from school telling me about the Star Wars yoga class he did in PE. Though I was well aware of the Christian controversy about yoga, it had not personally affected me until now. I believe God can protect Connor through the activity, and that he has the freedom to do any stretch he wants, but was he vulnerable to the spiritually ambiguous messages taught during the process? Connor told me the Star Wars yoga video told them to “open the door and let the force in.” I guarantee you they weren’t directing the children to let in the power of Jesus Christ, so what force are they referring to? I am pretty sure ancient yoga didn’t have a millennium falcon pose, so is this just innocent fun, or is Satan targeting our children by appealing to their interests and making Hindu and New Age practices relevant? Is this one way he . . .

Last year, Bob and I noticed a pattern of troubling behavior from our son Connor. He is normally a sweet and joyful child, so his outbursts of anger and defiance were out of character. We tried disciplining him in different ways, but no matter what we did, nothing seemed to work. I wanted to write his behavior off as a normal stage of development, just a facet of his emerging independence . . . but it almost appeared as if something else was taking over and driving him. Something didn’t feel right, and I was concerned about what was going on in my sweet boy’s heart. I truly did not know what to do . . . so I got on my knees in prayer. I asked God to form a kind and obedient heart in Connor, to deliver him from any evil, and to give me wisdom to know how to best address the problem.

A month or two later, I woke up in the middle of the night from a disturbing dream. In this vivid dream, evil had . . .

My whole life, everyone taught me that prayer was always the right response. Even Scripture says we are to “pray without ceasing,” and though this directive felt a bit daunting, I fully believed God designed us to be people of prayer. I believed we were to pray with faith and boldness, and to persist in our petitions until we got a breakthrough. Isn’t that what the parable about the unjust judge teaches, that we are to “always pray and never give up?” (Luke 18:1-8) However, there are two distinct times in my life when I am certain God told me not to pray. They both surprised me, and they both redefined my understanding of Him.

The first time was at my work. As a physician assistant, I often have opportunities to pray with my patients. It is a privilege and a joy every time I connect someone with the love of God through prayer. I believe my heart was right in doing this, and it often brought peace and encouragement to the patients.  However, one day . . .

When my son Connor was four, we bought him a Lego Star Wars book. He loved to just sit and look at all the pictures. One day I found him frantically turning the pages. When I asked him what he was doing, he replied “I’m trying to find the page with Princess Leah in a bikini!” I giggled, thinking God must just wire boys that way.

Two years later, Connor was headed on field trip to the beach and I was going as a chaperone. Connor asked me, “Mommy, can you please wear that two piece bathing suit?” I told him I was not going to wear that suit on a school field trip, but I asked him why he wanted me to wear it. He said, “I just think it looks pretty on you.” At the time, I thought this was sweet, especially for him to think about his Mommy. About a month later, Connor . . .

It has been a rough week.

What are we supposed to do when our dreams are crushed and our heart’s deepest desires left unfulfilled? Life doesn’t always hand us what we want.  It can leave us grieving, longing for something untouchable.

God graciously granted us a child in 2008 after years of trying to conceive, including five rounds of fertility treatments.  Connor brings great joy into our lives so I do not mean to minimize the gift he is by sharing our recent struggles . . . but we really wanted another child.  I had vivid dreams about positive pregnancy tests and nursing my newborn in the hospital, but now after five more fertility treatments and a miscarriage, we are heartbroken.  Hundreds of shots and thousands of dollars later, still no baby.

Since this round of fertility treatments did not work, I found myself questioning . . .

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