Every Tuesday at 9:00 we start our weekly staff meetings. This past Tuesday we spent the first hour sharing what God was doing in our lives. As I sat listening to everyone else, I was secretly praying that I would make it through the hour without having to share. I was hoping that if I was quiet and looked really engaged, that nobody would notice I hadn't shared. I looked down at my phone and saw it was 9:45. "Yes, we are almost through, " I thought, "I'm going to make it...." But then my boss, Peto, turned right toward me and asked if I had anything to share.
With everybody's eyes on me I immediately started crying. And it wasn't that sweet cry that you can still talk through, it was the ugly cry. The one where your face makes this weird contortion you never knew it could, and you've lost all hope of forming coherent sentences. And once I started, I had no idea how to make it stop. I managed to stumble through the basic ideas of "I really miss home" and "I'm having a hard time right now," but after that Paige had to start communicating for me.
Once I gained some composure, I excused myself and went to the bathroom in hopes of splashing some cold water on my face. But instead the ugly cry reared its head again. For 30 minutes I stood there. Just crying. Aching to go home, to be with friends and family that really knew me. Where I could go shopping and actually be able to confidently ask for help if I couldn't find something. Where I can walk down the street and smile at a stranger, and actually get a smile in return. Where church is more than just a language lesson. Where I am comfortable.
Everyone says around 3 months is the hardest time - in the area of home sickness and culture shock - and they were so right. Each day seems to be a battle. A battle between staying in bed, or rising to face the day ahead of me. Between running away and hiding, or pushing through the tears with the hope that this will pass. Each day I have to remind myself that God hasn't called me to live a life of comfort. That God has called me to a life in Slovakia. And that my God wants nothing but good things for me. So even though right now this is painful, it is good. And that is what is getting me through this battle right now.