Listening to the story of our latest intern brought emotions to the surface as we sat around a table over coffee at one of our partnering coffee shops. We both responded with tears at different points while hearing her story. When “Monica” shared her childhood of neglect, it brought tears both to her and us. While she didn’t label it as neglect, that is what it was. At the age of 14, a young girl should be playing innocently with friends, laughing at the day and be welcomed back home by a loving parent, with a hug and a cookie. A faith-based family dynamic especially should mimic the life of Jesus who was compassionate and loving, living out what is true, not just pretending to be. The scars of that conflicting dynamic in childhood caries into adulthood and spills out in tears over coffee years later. We keep a lot of tissue nearby.
When ‘Monica’ shared that as a child she was labeled as ‘defiant’, I heard ‘bold and discerning’. A young child knows when something isn’t right, and even at that young age when she couldn’t define it, she knew she wanted a different life for herself.
These brave women that come to Omega, chose to open up their soul and share with us a bit of their story. We are trusted to be a listening ear and given the opportunity of pointing them back to the truth of their enormous value. Many of the women that come to Omega are escaping a life of abuse. It can be mental or physical. It usually comes from the hand of others but if it is from their own choices, there is always a story behind it. Our mentors take the time to listen, not judge and often share a tear now and then. We believe nothing in their story is wasted.
We believe the mentoring aspect of Omega’s internship program is equally important to the life skill training they receive. And we love the front row seat in watching these women journey through their bravery, from ashes to beauty. We then get to offer a hug over coffee, and sometimes a cookie!