The Longest Lifetime of My Life One Year

10 years ago this month I started my vicarage. For those outside the pale of the Lutheran Church, a vicarage is an internship. Your seminary formation happens in a congregation. The vicar has very little say where he is going. He only knows that for one year he is apart from family, friends, and classmates.

Vicarages are hard for married guys. In some respects, vicarages are even harder for single guys. I lived in a mostly empty three bedroom home about two blocks from church. It was a quiet house in a quiet neighborhood in a community of about 15,000. Instead of coming home to a wife and children, I came home to a quiet house with cable TV and Internet. Most of my furniture was borrowed. I could pack my possessions in my pickup truck and go. Ah, those crazy bachelor days!

Living alone, far from school and family and friends, stinks. My day off consisted of either visiting a major city about 75 minutes away or visiting a small college about 45 minutes away. The small college library was a godsend! Lots of books to read, especially Lutheran books even though the college was not Lutheran. The major city was a blast if I had money.

The hardest part for me was getting along with my vicarage pastor. He’s a nice man. I had a lot of fun with him if we didn’t talk theology. I had to swallow hard a lot of times. I had to do as I was told and get through the year. That I did, but it was not easy.

Sad to say, but I have blocked much of that year from my memory. I survived, passed vicarage, and moved home for a few weeks only to move back to seminary shortly after for my final year. My final year of seminary was a blast because I could appreciate my studies even more than before. I could appreciate renewing friendships and not being alone. It was, in many ways, one of my best years on this earth.

I wonder if my vicarage experience (good vicarages far outweigh bad ones) was part of what drove me to the point of getting help a couple years ago? I wish I would have asked for help then. God knows I needed it.

Though it’s been ten years it seems as if it’s been ten thousand years. I’ve thought about going back to where I served for a visit, but it’s still far too soon. Too many memories. Too many reminders of pain and sadness. I’m grateful for the experience, but I’m glad it’s over.

– KT


One Response to “The Longest Lifetime of My Life One Year”

  1. Hi pastor, I’m just stopping in to tell you how much I appreciate your blog. Especially this post. I remember ministry ideals being stuffed into do what you are told boxes. Those are hard to swallow at times. I like this post.


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