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The Living Well sessions at the Hospice offer patients the opportunity to live well by empowering them to take control. With access to the specialist clinical team, gym, complementary therapists, creative sessions and group discussions their physical, emotional and spiritual needs are addressed and more recently, patients and their carers have been invited to record or write their life or Faith story.
Sue is married to Rick Nelms and they are regular faces at the Charity as they love to give back. Rick was diagnosed with a life-limiting condition – a rare Motor Neurone Disease (MND) but continues to lead an active and varied life. He is a former academic and international trainer of teachers and is well known for his iPad art. For both Sue and Rick, Faith is a big part of their life and we are very grateful to Sue for taking the time to share what this means to her.
What does Faith mean to you?
My Faith is a key part of my life and what makes me me. I am a Lay Minister which has come as a bit of a surprise to me and I love it. I love learning about the gospels and I love putting together worship services. During the pandemic I was part of an on-line Zoom church and we learned just how many people were ‘out of sight, out of mind’ because they could not get to a physical church service. It is vital to serve them, to connect with them and help them on their life journey.
How did you feel when you were writing your life story?
It was remarkably refreshing and fun because it helped me to remember events and things that had been important to me but that had slipped from the front of my memory. Telling my story also made me think about where I am now and what I could be doing to support other people.
What chapters or themes did you include in your life story?
My story included turning points in my Faith journey, the events which took me in new directions. There have been moments when perhaps I have been struggling and my Faith has helped me to deal with various situations. I also find that in preparing worship, I learn so much. Studying and researching for a sermon is so rewarding because I learn so much and in sharing what I have learned, other people have the opportunity to be challenged too. Making connections with people is important to me because it gives both of us the opportunity to learn and grow.
What advice would you give to others, who would like to write their life story?
Don’t panic! The interviewer asks questions which are designed to help you focus your thinking on what you would like to talk about. Talk about what is important to you. Your Faith is personal to you – no-one else has your Faith and they can’t make your choices for you – so enjoy the process of telling your story.
Don’t be afraid if you don’t feel ‘faith-full’. All people have stories to tell and it is important to tell yours even if you feel that you don’t have a Faith. You will still have things that you feel strongly about and that you want to share with others. You may find that if you are not certain of your Faith, taking the opportunity to talk about what you think will help you to clarify your thinking and may lead to calming any fears you may have about the future.