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Anjas Story

My first meeting with pastoral care

Anja G. Mathiassen

I had just graduated, I had a nice boyfriend, and was going to start my dreams studies in six months. I had moved to Copenhagen and lived at a dorm while I worked to earn some money. Everything was well but then again not. I had an emptiness in my stomach, I was sad, I couldn’t really find joy and had a constant restlessness in my body. One night, shortly after Christmas, I got desperate and way too sad. I knocked on the door of a stranger in my dorm that I didn’t know, but I knew that she was soon to be a pastor. Luckily, she was home. She opened the door when I knocked and invited me in. I placed myself in a chair, she was in a chair in front of me as she asked me; “How are you?”. I was not well. Because of her involvement I loosened up and was able to find the words to express the thoughts I had struggled with and I hadn’t had the courage to share with anyone. I feared that I would be told that I was sick, weird, stupid or an ungrateful person.

Today, I don’t remember what the pastor said, but I remember the relief I felt by sharing my thoughts with someone. I also remember the relief that I didn’t fell apart, the relief that the pastor didn’t judge me, that she didn’t look frightened, and that she didn’t tell me I was raving mad. I still remember her comfort, that she was there and that I wasn’t alone. She listened and she wasn’t offended by my worries and the thoughts circling in my head. She said that I was always welcome to knock on her door, stop by and have a chat. I never did return, but knowing that I could always come back and talk made all the difference. To be allowed to express what is difficult, to talk to someone who dare meet us where we are in our lives with all the thoughts, problems and worries that comes along, that makes all the difference.