To encourage you, here is slightly edited email we recently received:
“Our son is diagnosed with a mood disorder and struggles greatly with it. His (literal) ups and downs have cost him jobs, contact with his children, estrangement from his own siblings, financial independence, self-esteem, a normal parental relationship with us, and so much more. And yet he goes on.
He has been working for a company at a job he really loves for almost a year. Throughout, he has missed work for hospitalizations related to physical issues, physical illness and debilitating depressive episodes. The latter most recently occurred and has been his most challenging one yet—we have never seen him this low for so long—and though his manager assured him he was not being terminated, she did say that when he returned to work this time, they would need to meet to “come to an arrangement.” We all had the same thought—one more absence and he would be terminated, which for all practical purposes meant certain termination, as mood or weather or physical illness would almost certainly cause an absence.
The Reset series we are in, and the one before, have thrown a lifeline to my prayer life. Though I have a morning time of prayer and Bible study most every morning, in recent months it had become rather rote and a duty. The series presented an opportunity to do it differently and relit my determination to make that time meaningful. I have been praying specifically for about two weeks—that he would come out of this depressive episode unscathed, have a job when he did, and that his heart would soften so that he could again enlist God to head up the skills at his disposal to deal with his disease.
Our small group prays for him, and we shared this most current struggle with them. He had his meeting yesterday—his first real day back at work in about a week. Our son sent me this email.
‘So, it went about as close to 180 degrees from what I thought was going to happen, as it possibly could. I was fully expecting to not be fired, but at the same time being told that if I essentially breathe wrong, I would be.
My supervisor said that I was one of the hardest working people here, that she knows I’m smart and don’t often need direction and that they want to accommodate me as much as possible because they do not want to lose me.
They have authorized FMLA for me. They also are going to allow me to work 3 of my 4 days per week from home, for a 4-month period to start out with. HR has said that I will have 480 hours of FMLA to use and that even if it’s a work from home day, if I have a day that I feel that I just can't cope, I need to text that, and they will mark me out as a FMLA day.’
Does God answer prayer or what?”