Living Fully: Lessons from a Terminal Diagnosis

For the past 16 months, Sue Lamb has been facing terminal illness with courage and determination. This Sunday, Sue shares how she refused to be defined by a diagnosis, choosing instead to live each day with intention and gratitude. Sue explores the complex emotions of grappling with a terminal illness, from fear and grief to acceptance and hope. And, ultimately, how she redefined her understanding of a quality life, embracing new practices and deepening relationships. This sermon is a moving reflection on the universal truths of human existence, the power of community support, and the beauty of living a life aligned with one’s values and joys, even in the most challenging times.

Sue’s sermon can be viewed on Youtube here.

Sue Ries Lamb’s Ten “Life Wisdoms”

I have been challenging myself to come up with the ten things that I think have been the most important influences to help me live my best possible life in right relationship with myself, the people I love, my community and this poor beleaguered world. What I’ve come up with thus far:

  1. Do whatever you have to do – through therapy, journaling, reading, talking with friends, spending time alone in nature, meditating, whatever – to get to the point where you truly love yourself … Only then can you truly love others
  2. Truly loving yourself and others does not mean that you or they have no faults, fears or rough edges to work on…. Rather, it means that you can acknowledge these human imperfections with feelings of compassion and forgiveness for yourself as well as others
  3. Remind yourself every day that there is no such thing as the one real truth/right perspective on anything … For reinforcement, watch Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s The Danger of a Single Story on Ted Talks
  4. Live with a sense of purpose and joy, and find something to be kind about every day
  5. We have the capacity to grow and change literally every day of our lives; take the time to know who you and your friend/loved one/neighbor/ adversary/etc. truly are today – not who you or they were yesterday – and interact with them from this point of understanding
  6. To do this, know that we need to be fully present and listen deeply so that we are experiencing what we and others are thinking, saying and doing in the moment
  7. See if you can find the “Cosmic Giggle” – that bit of humor or irony that exists in almost every situation – and try not to take yourself too seriously
  8. Never go to sleep without identifying everything you appreciate from the day you have just lived
  9. Take the time to know what it is you truly need and then ask for it … People are always free to say yes or no in response
  10. Spirit is real; there is a force that guides this universe … Call It what you will but know that there is something that connects all living things in purposeful ways

As we welcome 2024 into our lives I invite each of you to consider the questions and life wisdoms that make sense to you as you live each precious day of this New Year.

Blessed be!