Testimony of my mother Catherine Westerfield, March 7, 1950 – June 28, 2001
I can remember my conversion at the age of five so very well. It was a Sunday evening worship service. It’s remarkable, as I look back at how God revealed Himself so clearly – His infinite love for me. I was both in a state of bliss and crying at the same time. He revealed how He chose me, yes me, to be His own from all eternity; always in His love – I would never be without Him. I believed in His death on the cross for me personally, Catherine, and His resurrection and ascension into Heaven to be with His Father. I came to these revelations by the intense drawing of the Holy Spirit. He knew the difficulties that lay ahead in my life. Through all of the abuse and mental problems I never doubted my security of salvation or His infinite love for me. I did question, but never doubted that this was His eternal plan for me.
I won’t go into all the pain and problems I’ve had. God says He will give us trials. They came one right after another except for the period of time when I was first married in 1977 until December of 1983.
But we do not look at our trials as do unbelievers. We do not depend on status among our peers, acquiring possessions or position in life as a way of escaping our true need to simply lean on Christ’s breast and know He is refining us.
Many people at Christ Chapel have helped me tremendously in dealing with my trials and pain: Kathy Petry, Deb Hagood, Ted and Lynn Kitchens, Ken and Julie Miller, and Kyle and Teresa Scarborough to name a few. Many kind and caring people try to encourage me by saying things will get better; but God does not tell us life will bring happiness and joy in a worldly sense.
My depressions at times have been so severe that I truly know what David means in the Psalms when he says that he is so overcome with depression and sorrow that his bones ache. There have been long periods of time I could only sit because my sorrow was so great. My bones hurt so, I could barely move around. But even then I had the peace of God, knowing that He endured infinitely more pain and sorrow when He was on the cross and bore the sins of the world. God loves us with a love so great we cannot even understand.
For so long because of the abuse I somehow felt dirty. But God gave me a visual image of how He sees me: white as snow, Christ over me shedding His blood for my sin. He purified me! Can you imagine what a sense of resolution and peace it was to have this image in my mind and heart? I can truly thank Him for my trials; they have enlarged my heart.
What more can I say about such a wonderful Savior. Everything that comes along in life – look to Christ; He is the only one to depend on.
God works differently in everyone’s life. This is some of my testimony. I rejoice that He is drawing you to Himself right now. He doesn’t wish for any to perish.