The+sunset+at+my+family%E2%80%99s+farm+last+Sunday.+I%E2%80%99ve+been+spending+lots+of+time+outside+in+God%E2%80%99s+creation+during+this+quarantine.

Ava Bidner

The sunset at my family’s farm last Sunday. I’ve been spending lots of time outside in God’s creation during this quarantine.

COVID-19 Chronicles: Ava B.

Wow, what a crazy world we live in. I never thought my second semester of senior year would look like this, and honestly, I never thought I would live through a global pandemic that would cause every school in the country to close, along with restaurants, universities, stores, and practically everything else deemed “non-essential business.”

In a sense, I feel as if I almost have to appreciate the craziness of this situation. I never thought in a million years that I would be essentially homeschooling myself during my senior year of high school, that my older brother would be living at home for an extra few months during his college career, that I would be having group FaceTimes with my friends in the middle of a weekday, that I would be having Zoom meetings with my wonderful (as well as crazy and a bit chaotic) extended family, or that I would be quarantined to my house as I choose my college for the next four years.

Obviously, this is a tragic time in our world, and I understand that while I am enjoying plenty of family time with enough food and supplies in the safety of my home, others are struggling from this terrible virus, trying to support their suffering loved ones, or grieving the loss of friends or family members. And of course, others are having to close their beloved businesses that they have worked so hard to build up and make successes. And still others are struggling from having recently lost their jobs due to this pandemic and are concerned about how they will make an income and provide for their families.

So, of course, I am abundantly blessed in this situation, and I know I need to be grateful for this opportunity to grow closer to my family, to learn how to time-manage better so that I am prepared for college, and simply to learn how to navigate a difficult situation — because life sometimes throws things at you that you just aren’t prepared for, and this is a perfect example of that.

However, I also can’t help but feel a little sad. My friends and I were discussing this (over text, of course) the other day, and I thought I’d share what I sent them in this blog post. This isn’t flawlessly written or spoken with the most eloquent words. It’s just my raw emotions and thoughts to my best friends. But, I think one thing the whole world needs to work on during this situation is understanding that everyone is being affected by this (all in different ways) and that we really need to learn to respect each other’s feelings since we are all coming from different perspectives and experiences.

So, here’s what I sent them:

“I think there’s a balance. I get what y’all are saying — there’s a lot more to come in life and high school surely isn’t the best time in our lives. And yes, we can’t control any of this right now. And you’re right, of course it’s not about us. There are people dying, and it’s a much bigger issue than a bunch of high school seniors missing their last few months of school. It’s a global crisis.

But also, it’s okay to be sad about this. It’s kinda crazy that we entered the world during a time of absolute panic and chaos (9/11) and that our senior year seems to be ending on a similar note. I have worked my butt off for the past 12 years (and I know y’all have too), and I’ll be honest – I want to walk across that stage. I want to have that memory. And I don’t think that it’s a bad thing to want it. I want to have our last JSB and our final day of school. I wasn’t done making memories, and it feels like it came to a very abrupt end (and frankly, I hope it’s not entirely the end). I know some of it’s cliche and probably stupid, but I mean we’re high school seniors and some of these things are just rites of passage in my opinion.

It doesn’t mean there isn’t more to come or that this is where we peak. It just means that these are some special moments in our lives, and it’s okay to not want them taken from us. And it’s also obviously about you guys, too. Sure, we can see each other outside of school, and I’m sure (or at least I hope) that we will make tons of memories over the summer. But there’s something about seeing your friends at school everyday that’s just special. And we’re never gonna have that again. We’re all going to different colleges, and we’re all gonna go do amazing things, and that’s absolutely awesome, and I’m so proud of y’all, but I’m also sad that I’m not gonna be able to see you in class and high five you in the hallway and take pictures in our caps and gowns (and again, I still hope this happens). Anyway, I know God is bigger than all of this and that all of this will work out in the end. And I think this is a time for all of us to come together as friends and Christians and seniors to pray for the world and all of those affected by this. Just my thoughts. I love y’all.💕”

So, that’s how I’m feeling about all of this. This situation just shows us how little control we have over our lives. As a perfectionist and someone who definitely enjoys planning and having control over my life, this isn’t easy. But, as a Christian, I also am savoring these moments in a sense. I’m learning to look to my Savior for strength, confidence, and hope. I’m learning that my life is not really up to me; it’s up to Him. And I’m really okay with that. I would way rather put my life in the hands of the Creator of the universe who made the stars and the oceans and knows every intimate detail about my life than in my own shaky, flawed human hands. I’m giving it all to Jesus.

More to come.

— Ava 😉

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” — Philippians 4:6

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