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My Personal Statement

The truth is that from an early age I have wanted a few things. First and foremost was love: to be loved. To really be loved. I mean really loved. Not that I wasn’t – but that I wanted more – a whole lot more. The second thing I wanted was experience: to experience as much of life as I could possibly experience. To try new things. To do things that have never been tried. To find out how far possibility goes. To suck the marrow out of life like Henry David Thoreau once said. And thirdly, I wanted my life to matter. I wanted the time I was given on earth to be spent meaningfully. That whatever I produced while I was here on earth that it would have significance. That the impact I made was a good one – whether for the world but most importantly for people – that the result was good.

These wants have led to the very best and the very worst moments of my life. I have done things for love that I regret. I have done things for the sake of experience that have been destructive to others and myself. And I have falsely placed my personal worth on what I have or have not been able to achieve. And yet, my longing for love has also led me to some wonderful relationships – some for the ages. Friendships whose beauty cannot be described in words. And grace. Grace that comes when you are loved at your very worst – and that has happened to me. And when it comes to adventure and experience – to put it mildly, I have had more than my fair share of adventure. My willingness to go for it has led to some amazing moments, and a lot of good stories. And as for what matters and the impact that comes with doing what matters: Yes. I can honestly say, I have made an impact. And I could die today with the knowledge I have done well with this life.

In conclusion, I can say with a strong degree of confidence that these three desires will continue to remain with me. And my hope is that they will become more and more based on the truth that the love I really want is the love that Jesus has for me. And the wildness of life I really long for is the life eternal that is both here today and in the everlasting life that is to come. And that I am significant. I am significant. Not for what I have done. Or will do. But simply because Jesus made me. And I matter to him. And what matters to him is the thing that matters most.

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Ned Erickson

Ned is the Founder and Executive Director of the Winston-Salem Fellows, a non-profit dedicated to equipping people to live seamless lives as they grow into the men and women they were created to be. He is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed novel Clay. He, his wife, two children, dogs, rabbit, guinea pig, turtle, and chickens live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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