Photo of candle in latern with woman’s hands

All is bright.

December is here. Carols are being played endlessly and hummed mindlessly.

And yet, this is a beautiful season of festivity. There is the anticipation of gatherings with family and friends. Some of us prepare for Christmas early by ordering well-thought-out gifts for those we love.

We wrap carefully. We pen Christmas cards. We meticulously deck our halls.

There are financial sacrifices with budgets in mind. Sometimes, those budgets fly out the window, to be figured out later. This season brings a fully-scheduled calendar, loud celebrations, and the days are full of sentiment.

There is much to do to in order to enjoy every moment. We try to soak up each second of the anticipated joy, not wanting to miss a thing.

The desire is to have everything perfect: balsam scented candles, fresh greens with the classic holly berries placed just so, a row of matching stockings hung, and not one dead pine needle on the floor.

Oh, what joy!

Yet, real beauty is not like that perfect scene just described. It looks a bit different, doesn’t it?

For so many, the nights really are silent. There are no family celebrations, no mantles to decorate, and the scent isn’t balsam.

It does not matter the reason why. It just is.

On this side of those silent nights lies hope for a bright future. This anticipation is the space Omega journeys through with our interns. They are working so hard to live a life that is not so hard.

Their family doesn’t look like a photo on a Christmas card. The family tree is messy and confusing. Their home might not have a holly-decorated mantle, but it has something magical. And it is gorgeous because there is love, hope, and celebration of each achievement.

After their silent nights there are now whispers of true hope.

Each day, they reach for the strength to change. Each woman’s story is different, but their joyful tears all come from the same place: the heart.

For some of us, hearing words of love is normal. But for many, it is unexpected and unheard of. When our interns read a card letting them know they are loved, they receive that expression of love with humble surprise. Thanks to so many of you, these women are accepting the truth of being lovable and also having a safe place to work. What sweet gifts!

We are humbled by these courageous women who have survived their silent nights. Things might not always be calm, but the hope is bright.