Thursday, August 30, 2012


Today was my busy day, and I was having a great time starting my Old Testament and History of Christian Thought courses. They seem interesting and I know I'll excel in them.  Then I went to my Intro to Pastoral Care class. The professor started talking about the class and it's pretty much everything I dread having to do in a class. We are going to be in small groups every day, helping other small groups learn about the material.  We're going to write deeply reflective papers, do group projects and talk about touchy-feely things. Now, I don't mind talking about touchy-feely things when I'm with my friends, but I don't want to talk about them in a classroom setting.  It just felt like the more the professor described what we would be doing this semester, the more I disliked it.  Finally, some of us started to voice our concerns about all this self reflection and group reflection on very difficult subject matter like depression and family disfunction.  She said something that made the course finally start to make sense.  She said it was designed to help us realize what the people we'll work with might feel like.  They will be coming from many different places, and how are we supposed to care for them if we haven't examined where we come from and what we struggle with? Now, I'm still mad that I have to take this course my first semester of seminary. I feel like I need to have a lot stronger support system in Atlanta before we start diving into all this deep reflection, and I hate having to do this with a group of people I don't know and didn't choose to share this class with, but here I am.  I guess all I can do is pray and trust that I'll get through it. Who knows, maybe after a few weeks it won't seem so scary. I just don't know how to deal with a class like this.


  1. Hang in there first year is always the most exciting and challenging and the toughest. It gets better though every year as you grow in you knowledge of self, others and our creator. Keep the faith

  2. Remember, you don't have to share EVERYTHING. It's a choice. You can usually find a way to give an honest answer that doesn't feel like it's a violation of your privacy.

  3. Zeb, I agree with Sharon. Keep that in mind. And....what your professor says is true. I remember a book I had to read in my undergraduate social work curriculum. It was called giving and taking help. The point of the book was that to be able to give help effectively we must be able and willing to recieve help. It's kind of the same principle. My experience has been that when we are forced into small group situations, many times our support systems are built from these. Think about the disciples. They were some very different people chose by God to live life together in a very close and intimate way. Some of them certainly wouldn't have sought and chose each other for the journey. But God had a plan. Think about Simon the Zealot being paired with Matthew the tax collector. What an unlikely pairing that was! My prayers are with you as I hope yours are with me. Know that you have a support person in me. We haven't talked any yet but I think you will find in me a safe person. Hope in the midst of all your reading this weekend you are finding space to rest and have fun.

    Kelly Dotson