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My Best Rock

Note from Ned: A friend of mine wrote this on her birthday and gave me permission to share it with you all. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

So I turned 40 yesterday. It was a great day filled with so much love from so many friends. My family loved me well- gifts, dinner made by my unbelievably talented husband, and a family dance party. And maybe [my husband and I] singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” as a duet. I’m sure my kids will discuss this with their future therapists. 

My favorite gift was from [my son] and it was so dear to me I thought I would share. [My son] collects rocks. Lots of rocks. All the rocks. It’s a weird little eight year old boy thing. Yesterday for my birthday, he gave me his “best rock”. Now to the world, this rock is worth nothing. It’s just a rock. To [my son], it was his best. All he had to offer and he gave it to me with open hands, tears in his eyes, and a full heart. This little rock brought me to my knees because as I faced 40, I realized that this is the thing. God wants my best rock.

It’s pretty clear to me at this point that I will never cure cancer. My kids may or may not be successful (they aren’t really mine- they actually belong to God). I probably won’t do much that, to the world, looks like tremendous success. However, I’m realizing that all God wants is my best rock. In my little life that can look like just showing up, loving people well, doing the work placed in front of me to the best of my ability, valuing mercy and justice, and letting go of the pressure of perfection and the illusion of having it together. My best rock indeed.

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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