By Karli Olsen — Spirit Lake High School
Today brings my last "Life of a Quaran-teen" blog post.
This pandemic has truly affected everyone. It flipped our world upside down and kinda put life on hold. For me, some days are easier than others. It is easier to trust in the Lord’s plan when everything is going the way I want, but it's ever more important to trust in Him when things aren’t going according to my plan. I’ve had plenty of moments of sadness, thinking about all the memories and activities I have missed out, but I have had way more moments of good.
From things like receiving letters back from residents in the nursing home, golfing with my mom and brother, card nights, catching fish and so many more! I have been blessed with so many amazing people that have helped me deal with my struggles through conversations over the phone or Facetimes.
Most of my friends are starting their summer jobs, but we all are now faced with the question of what school will look like in the fall? Some of my friends are playing fall collegiate sports. Will they be able to report early for practices and workouts? Will we all be online? All of these questions remain unknown for the time being. One thing I do know is that, when it comes to people's health and lives being in jeopardy, all of the things we have missed and all of the things that remain unknown are minimal.
It is crazy to see how one virus can completely change life as we know. Just the other night, I watched the newer “Footloose” movie. There was a scene where a large group of students were close together dancing, hanging out and talking. I found myself thinking about how those once “normal” things, things most of us took for granted, are now things we can’t wait for the day to have them back.
Going forward, I know I won’t be living life the same. I will be enjoying the small things — conversations with strangers, hugs, high-fives, eating out, spending time with friends, etc. — to the fullest. This slowness that the pandemic has provided has changed my life. It has helped me focus on the Lord and surrender my life to Him. All of these things were things I guess I told myself I was “too busy” to do before, when really I just didn’t have my priorities straight.
My goal for when things open up is to go meet the residents I have written cards to, continue our conversations even if it's from my college dorm, and continue to take time to slow down and enjoy some of these quarantine hobbies I have found. My list of COVID takeaways hangs in my room where I see it every day.
To those of you that have continued to work at the service of others, thank you. To all of you who have reached out and/or supported the Class of 2020 in any way, thank you. To this amazing community, thank you for all of your support personally. There is no other place I would want to call home. To all of the people at the Dickinson County News, especially Matt Heinrichs who made this blog happen, thank you.
Before signing off, I want to leave you all with a couple of things.
First, I want to restate one of my favorite Bible verses, Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I think, especially for the Class of 2020, this is a great reminder of our Heavenly Father's love for us and a reminder that He has a great plan for each and everyone one of us. All we need to do is trust in Him.
I also want to say that, although this virus has stolen many events, it doesn’t have to steal our future. We have the ability to let this help make us stronger as a whole and for it to allow for personal growth — or we can succumb to the feeling of fear, helplessness and sadness. God calls us to love one another as He has loved us, so I encourage you all to reach out to someone who may be struggling. Pray for those in decision-making roles and those working on the front lines. We can hear the knocking for help. I encourage all of us to answer the knock in whichever means it fits our lives.
If you need to find me, check the softball field. I’m beyond grateful to be able to spend countless more hours on the field, and I’m looking forward to wearing that Spirit Lake jersey for one last season. Thank you to all who have followed along with my journey the last couple of weeks! I hope to see you soon. I wish you all the best! God bless.