Nathaniel, our youngest, is independant, strong-willed and has no hesitation about what he wants. Life in Africa was hard on him. First was the accident that left him with two broken legs and a dislocated arm and a long recovery. Of course, we praise God because he was healed but it was still tough for a little boy to go through. But besides the physical challenges I would say he struggled the most emotionally. He was home sick for America. He was intimidated by the harsh, loud culture of Mozambique. He was afraid of having to deal with the crime surrounding us. He was overwhelmed with the constant needs around us.
Honestly, when we decided to stay in the US he was relieved and quite content. I was sad to see him feeling unattached, almost bitter about Mozambique and our life we had left there.
I wondered if I had been blind to it while we were there.
As part of MY re-adjustment back to life in the US I have been reading a book about reverse culture shock and identifying so many of my feelings and struggles from it's pages. It has been healing and reassuring that I am not crazy and that I am somewhat normal for all I am thinking and feeling. As I was reading this past week I prayed for Nate and that his heart would not be bitter towards God from our time in Mozambique but that his heart would be softened and he would get to a place that he appreciated his experiences.
I was praying that God would touch his heart because I was concerned and knew I couldn't change it.
Yesterday, while driving in the car with the boys we began talking about our adjustment to life here in the US and how they thought they were doing and how they were feeling about it all. Nate spoke up and shared these words, "Mom, I feel like my mind is here in America but my heart is back in Africa." When I asked what he meant by that he went on to tell me that he is happy to be here in America but he feels like his life was in Africa with his friends and things he was used to and he misses it.
God had touched him and changed his bitterness into appreciation.
I was brought to tears and so thankful for my boy's soft heart.