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HerStory: All Things Together for Good, Featuring Cathy Lerch

Tell us about yourself! 
I live in San Antonio, Texas with my husband. We have been married for more than a year and recently bought our first home! I work full-time in marketing for a home care agency. In my free time, I love working out at Orange Theory, reading, and listening to praise and worship music. I also model for fun and am working on a new blog that I plan to launch later this year!

What is your God story? How did you come to faith in Christ, and how did that transform you?
I was raised Catholic and have always had a good foundation in Christ. It wasn’t until I was 21, however, that I began to really rely on His promises to keep me going. In September of 2014, I was having a fun night out with friends when I started drinking more than I could handle. I thought I was OK to drive but ended up driving my car off an exit ramp and rolling into a ditch. I lost my left hand in the accident and added a DUI to my record. The days that followed that night were dark. I was confused, embarrassed, and angry at myself, but I constantly sought out God during my healing, asking Him to help get me through it and thanking Him for sparing my life. Once I began strengthening my relationship with Him, I saw that the experience was no accident. I felt a huge sense of peace in realizing this was part of His plan for my life. I knew my pain would not be wasted and that He would use me to help others believe in Him.

What are some challenges you have faced as a young woman and how have you persevered through them? 
After my accident, I really struggled with emotional stability. Prior to my limb loss, I had no issues keeping a job or my confidence. But after becoming an amputee, I was a wreck—I didn’t know how to go about my life. It was a huge learning experience. My family helped a lot, but the biggest thing that helped was doing things that scared me—like going out in public and not hiding my hand, or sharing a piece of my story online. They may seem small, but those actions were big stepping stones for me. I knew if I didn’t face my new reality, my hand would cripple me for the rest of my life. I knew God wanted me to thrive from this, and I couldn’t do that if I constantly took the easy way out. Every time I faced a new fear, I witnessed another blessing. Little by little I grew stronger and started feeling more solid than ever.

How do you live out and grow in your faith each day? 
I talk to God throughout my day and live out what I believe is His plan for my life. I strive to be the woman He’s called me to be and to do things that serve Him and others. Whether I’m sending a gift to someone or encouraging those around me, I try to be a kind person.

I grow my faith by trusting God when things don’t go my way, and  remembering that His way will always be better than mine! Since my accident, I’ve shared my testimony with others and helped them see they’re meant to live in victory.

What is your favorite verse right now?
Romans 8:28 is my go-to verse right now. It reassures me that through ALL things God can bring about good. It keeps my mind seeking the positive and stretches me to think of what blessings can come from a hard situation. When adversity hits, this verse helps me rest easy, knowing that God is going to bring something great from it.

What was your experience like reading through “Wonderfully Made”?
It was a moving experience. The entire book is full of love and guidance on how to live as a godly woman. Each chapter is not only inspiring but motivating, too. You can immediately apply what Allie recommends and pray alongside her. I had a lot of mental clicks while reading it—my book is covered with writing and highlights! Allie shares so much faith and depth in her writing; it made me dig deep and ask hard questions I was putting off!

What message of encouragement do you have for other young women struggling with similar experiences as you?
Be patient with yourself and proud of how far you’ve come already. When I became an amputee I knew I had a long road ahead of me, but I wanted the pain to go away quickly. I hated hurting, but I now realize my pain was the thing that brought me closer to God. My desire to overcome my struggle drove me to take bold steps, and with each one my faith grew significantly. Recognize how strong you are and cast down negative thoughts by speaking positive affirmations. It is not enough to just think good thoughts; you have to hear yourself say it out loud until you start to believe it!

Cathy Lerch is a happily married Texas native. At the age of 21, she lost her hand in a rollover car accident after a night of drinking and driving. Since becoming an amputee, she’s dedicated her time to helping women who are struggling with shame and insecurity. Cathy has been a speaker at multiple retreats sharing her testimony of faith. She encourages those around her to face their fears with the help of Jesus Christ.

Connect with Cathy on Instagram.