Whitney Cerak

We, the Cerak family, are elated beyond description at Whitney’s return home. It is so much more than we ever imagined three months ago.We would like to restate our plans of not speaking to the media. There is still much on the road to Whitney’s full recovery. We want to thank the media for the respect they have shown of our privacy in this time. And ask that the same courtesy given us would be extended to our family and friends.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

June 15, 2006 " But encourage one another daily..."

"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first." Hebrews 3:13-14

It is so obvious to us that you encourage us daily. We have through the Holy Spirit been held up in this time in our lives and we owe that to the prayers of God's children...those who have accepted the gift of His son Jesus Christ. We can all share in Christ if we hold firm to the belief that there is only one God and no other. That it is He that has made us and not we ourselves. My prayer for you tonite is that you understand the truth of God and come to know His Son personally.

We continue to be undergirded by your thoughts and prayers. We were discussing tonight with some friends from Mississippi, that with all of the prayers being offered up to God on Whitney's behalf, she is already safe in His care. I am so thankful that she made the decision to accept what Christ did for her, on the cross. That decision is the biggest she has ever made or will ever make. I dont have to pray to God for her safety because I know she is safe in Him forever more. So as you pray know that it is being answered as God gives her more strength for each new day. And as you pray, pray for the safety of those who do not know Christ as their Savior and Lord. Pray that they are safe till one day they make that decision to accept Him.

The day was topped off with a sweet homecoming of sorts. Whit made it back to the Spectrum Continuing Health Center. She had a big smile on her face and was able to relax in her old bed. The leg is doing well. She has some pain still after surgery but is doing so good. She ate well and is drifting off to sleep having had a long day in the Spectrum Butterworth Hospital. We want to thank all the staff there for their care and watching over our daughter.

Tomorrow is back at it day. Back to therapy. We pray she gets a great nights sleep.

In Christ alone, Whitney's dad

34 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing to share the good news of Whitney's recovering with all of us. We are so blessed by your family, and your devotion to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God has been waking me up in the middle of the night to pray for her, and as you've stated, we also know that she is definitely in His hands. Our whole family sends their love--Steve, Karla, Ariane, Dan, Anjuli and Dustin Hawkins

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Newell, As I read your comments for today(both), it is with tears in my eyes praising God for all He has done for Whitney in her recovery. She is truly safe in His arms. Your first entry today reminded me that even though we rejoice in the fact that Whitney is alive, the VanRyns are hurting just as we did for those five long weeks. I said an extra prayer for all of them today and continue to pray for you guys. Hang in there!! CYH(Consider Yourselves Hugged!)

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

Thanks for all the updates on Whitney. I'm sure you all have other more important things to worry about, but I know everyone appreciates being able to keep up with her progress. I'm so glad to hear she had a successful surgery. I continue to be amazed at the amount of comments from all over the country. You guys are definitely reaching people for Christ. Thanks for sharing your love for Christ and your faithfulness in a very difficult situation. You remain in my thoughts and prayers daily. Love you guys!

Sue Jackson

8:52 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Thanks for the updates! You don't know me, but Sue Jackson is a very close friend of mine. We also live in Grand Rapids just a mile from where you all are with Whitney. Just wanted you all to know that prayers are STILL, and will continue to be, lifted up for her each day! You are a true encouragement and testimony to the goodness of our God!

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Autumn said...

"I dont have to pray to God for her safety because I know she is safe in Him forever more." AMEN! What an amazing statement....... so simple yet so meaningful. I think it's amazing that as your child lays in a hospital bed, you count your blessings and want to use this time to pray for others who don't know Christ. Amazing faith. What a great example for us all.

Thank you so much for your continued updates. They're a blessing to all of us!

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kaley O (Washburn Rural High) wrote
at 10:31pm
"I'm a believer now because of your story and my prayers are with you and Laura and her family. Thank you Whitney! Best of luck to you and your future endeavors!"

This is a portion of a post on Whit's facebook wall. I thought you all would like to see it!! God works in mysterious ways and I am convinced the accident and mix up are two of those ways!!!

I am praying for you all, Mr. and Mrs. Cerak, Carly, Sandra, Matt and Whit and I cannot wait to see Whit's beautiful face again!!! We love you all more than you know!!!

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Newell and Colleen,
I've been wanting to write you guys for a long time, but just kept putting it off. Unfortunely, I don't know Whitney very well, but I do know you and the amazing people (parents) that you are. Becoming a parent has taught me many things, but the strength that you show in this situation SHOCKS me. OF COURSE it's GOD pulling your family through all of this. When I heard that Whitney was alive, I had chills for days (and now weeks). I tried to imagine the overwhelming emotions that you must have been feeling when you saw her again. I guess I just can not express in words how happy I am for all of you...Praise God. Okay, before this becomes a novel, I just want to say "Thank you" for giving so much of yourselves to the Lord. Without the 2 of you (and many others...I'm sure), I would not have the relationship with Jesus Christ that I have today. I might not have the husband, or children that I have today. You stood by me in some, or most, of my most difficult times in life...thank you. You have my prayers and my appreciation. I know that heaven is smiling down on your family tonight. I love you
-Lora

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for letting us into your moments. I am happy to hear about Whitney's healing.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YAY Whitney!!!! You are progressing well. Even though I don't know this family personally, I feel a connection, as I read your journal daily and am constantly inspired. It is exciting to see Whitney getting better daily!

Deni, NY

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read about Whitney's recovery every day. I pray for your family and for Laura's family as they grieve.

You really made me think with this comment you made: "I don't have to pray to God for her safety because I know she is safe in Him forever more....And as you pray, pray for the safety of those who do not know Christ as their Savior and Lord. Pray that they are safe till one day they make that decision to accept Him."

What a blessing that perspective is--that those who know the Lord are eternally safe, regardless of what happens to their bodies here on earth. I was challenged with a different way to pray for those I love who do not yet know Christ. Thank you so much for that new insight.

You are an incredible family--I are praying for a complete recovery for Whitney and for encouragment for your family as you support Whitney and each other.

6:20 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Praise God for He is good ALL THE TIME! I will continue to pray.

Amanda, NJ

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ceraks... Thanks so much for the updates. Our family conitnues to keep you on our hearts and in our prayers! Each step forward Whitney makes is so encouraging and brings the feeling of hope... it reminds me of our own lives... no matter the condition of our lives God gives us the ability to take steps forward and have eternal hope! I also have become aware of a situation I wanted to bring attention to. My boss at the Grand Haven Area Public Schools, John Thatcher, has a young daughter who is about 9 who has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor called a glioma. At this point it appears inoperable... the odds do not "look good"... but I know that you know, with God, anything is possible. Her name is Grace and she is at Devos Childrens Hospital here in Grand Rapids. The Thatchers are followers of Christ and strong in their faith. They, like you, are inspite of their situation, choosing to draw close to God and proclaim His goodness and are touching many lives with His love as they go through this very difficult time. They also have a blog.... you can go to the "carepages" website and her account is "graceelizabeth". It's just a reminder that we are all in this earthly life together and as believers we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ to eachother. Love to you and prayers for continued healing for Whit!!!

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Sara D. said...

I am so thankful in Christ that your famly was able to experience this miracle. So many car accidents are the reason for taking alot of our children.. and I am SO happy that Whitney has the chance to live her life and to prove to us that God is Real and God is Great.

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Diane said...

I have been following this story and I have prayed for both families fervently. I am truly amazed by Whitney's courage and strength and the strength of the VanRyns is something to be honored. I, personally, know the loss one feels when losing someone so dear and I am fervently praying for peace for the VanRyns and for Whitney's complete and full recovery. Miracles do happen!!! Thank you Jesus!!!

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are an inspiration to all of us parents. You help us realize that the family strength not only comes from within the soul but the support and lifeline with Jesus. A tradegy and heartwrenching experience such as this event leaves you no other option than to just convert all unanswered questions into your faith of Christ. To Whitney; You are the highlight of my day and my inspiration that I need. I have a daughter that I realize that I have taken for granted. Your story has made an impact in my life for the better and I thank you and your family for writing in the blog. You, your family, your friends that have moved on are in my prayers each day. I look forward to reading about your progress as well as to reading your father's inspirational words (your mother's too when she writes). It keeps my faith high and renews my awareness in needing Christ in my life. God Bless each of you, and to your mom and dad; know that your sharing of Whitney's experience it just what I think your plan in life may have been: To instill the faith and love of Christ in each of us. From a single parent to you, thank you and God Bless.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Amy Burton said...

Today I was reading the Indy Star and came across an article about Whitney and her recovery. Our small group has been praying for everyone since day one. It's so encouraging to see how the Lord can turn something so horrible in our sight into something beautiful in His. My best friend's family was in a huge car accident about 2 months ago so I know what you are all going through. Hang in there, we will keep praying for you! I'm glad to hear she is recovering well!

8:23 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Isn't the circle of God's love and our relationship with Him amazing? You talk about how the prayers and comments encourage you, and the comments and prayers are saying how much the Ceraks are encouraging them. I love it! God is so phenomenal that it blows your mind when you think of how intricately connected everything is in the body of Christ. Keep it up! Love much!
Carrie in Seattle

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from Grand Rapids, attending school in Ann Arbor, and have read about Whitney since the accident. I don't know you or your family, but your story has touched my heart. I get teary everytime I read about it, anywhere, and I'm so happy that Whitney is progressing well! My prayers and thoughts are with you daily and your family inspires me. GO Whitney!

8:33 AM  
Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

I am getting 300-400 hits a day on my blog still searching for updates on Whitney. I am praying for you all and Praise God for his loving care--and your testimony to Him through all of this...

Hh

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello to the Ceraks from Betty Hamilton. You continue to be in my thoughts so many times each day and in my every prayer. Sometimes I get frustrated that you are not home, so I can only imagine how much you are waiting on the Lord in the circumstances there at Spectrum. He is weaving quite a beautiful cloth for al of us to see. He is the Weaver and knows what He is doing. I am simply sending my love to each of you. In His Spirit, Betty of Naples in Gaylord

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so thankful for all of you and the place you have in my life. I want you to know that through all of this, I've grown to trust God more and more. It's no longer an idea that he sees the big picture, but a fact. I've always believed this but He has proven it to me once again that he is in control and I can trust in him fully. Praying for whitney daily! I can't wait to see all of you again. I love you!

Alysha

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing to share the GREAT news about Whitney's recovery. It is so wonderful to hear that she is doing so well. My thoughts and prayers are with you. May God bless your family.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing to share the GREAT news about Whitney's recovery. Its a blessing to hear how good she is doing. My thoughts and prayers are with you. May God bless your family.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Susan LaGassa, San Jose said...

Dear Ceraks,
I continue to pray for all of the families affected by this accident. I have come to two realizations since praying over this. One is that God has an incredible plan, not only for Whitney but for all of us! It's just that most of the time we're too preoccupied to see it. Sometimes people blame God for things that people do. God is not a puppetmaster! He takes the circumstances people make with their free will and then makes something beautiful out if it. I believe Laura's identity wasn't discovered through human error. God used the VanRyns to care for Whitney until the mess was straightened out. I'm sure that if God had personally asked the VanRyn's to care for an injured girl in the hospital until her family could be there, they would have said, "of course!". The fact that they didn't know Laura was already in Heaven didn't change the fact that she was. Every tender word spoken, every time they held Whitney, the VanRyns were fulfulling God's Will! What an honor for God to trust you that much!
I heard a song on KLOVE today that spoke to me. "with every act of mercy I will testify to love" The VanRyn's are a testimony to God's love.

Whitney, God has been with you every step of the way. Your life will be testimony to God's love and mercy. Praise be to God!

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Barb said...

Hello Cerak family,
I,like everyone else at home was both astonished and elated at the same time to hear of God's wonderful miracle for you, at the same time sad for the VanRyn family. Colleen, you have been my mentor in my spiritual growth and I can not thank you enough for that. We are praying that Whitney have a speedy recovery so that she can come back to her Gaylord family. Keep the updates coming so we can rejoice in your accomplishments with you -
God's speed Whit,
Barb and Sarah

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Holly Sharp said...

Newell and Colleen,

I remember telling you at the funeral how inspiring your famiy has been to me in the strength that you were able to show toward a mourning town, and how you had nothing more to say than it wasn't your strength holding you together. Your family has been such a blessing in my life, and I truely don't know if I would have come to know the Lord if not for the love you showed me through the youth group. God knew what he was doing bringing me to you. I am astounded at how faithful a servant you are. Daily I'm coming to trust the Lord more and more, and your example has been such a positive influence. Thank you for loving the Lord and showing his character 24/7. I absolutely love you guys!!

Your sister/daughter in Christ,
Holly

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We will never know this side of Heaven just how many people have come to know the Lord as a result of this situation. I'm sure a lot of believers have had their faith strengthened also. Just one second in Heaven will make it worth it all.
Mr Cerak, this Father's day will no doubt be your best one ever!

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Precious Whitney,
You are truly a miracle of God. I praise Him for each little improvement that you experience on your road to recovery.
I was totally devastated when I first heard that Laura was the one in glory, but it is good to know she is safe for evermore. May our Lord bless you abundantly and also your dear family as they watch and help. I will continue to pray for you and hope to meet all of you some day, if not in this life, then surely in the next.
With love, M.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Precious Whitney,
You are truly a miracle of God. I praise Him for each little improvement that you experience on your road to recovery.
I was totally devastated when I first heard that Laura was the one in glory, but it is good to know she is safe for evermore. May our Lord bless you abundantly and also your dear family as they watch and help. I will continue to pray for you and hope to meet all of you some day, if not in this life, then surely in the next.
With love, M.
P.S. I continue to pray for all the Van Ryn family too. They are all so dear.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your continued updates on Whit, and for the bold testimony for Christ that you continue to portray to the world. God conintues to use this story to bring Him the glory which He is due, and you are faithful servants to this part of plan. Please continue to reflect Him so beautifully. May more people find Him through this!

Whit, Carly, Matt, and the rest of your family and friends continue to be in our prayers. As well as the VanRyn's, Smith's, Larson's, Erb's, and Flever's. Our love is sent to you all.

To God be the Glory! He is faithful!

~ TU grad '06

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Traci said...

Thank you for the updates and the continued information. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. I know that this is an extremely difficult time, and I admire your faith and your committment to Christ. Your committment to what is important in life is to be admired. I cannot imagine the trauma that your family has been through.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Hi Cerak Family!
My name is Mike Tokarski and I am good friends with Whit. We had 2 classes together first semester and would walk to class together every day. I have been following every minute of this story and I am in awe of how God is working through this and you to be a witness to our country. Your faith has been an inspiration to everyone who has heard about this and through your faith your are changing lives across America. I truly look up to you and respect you and I hope to meet you soon! Please tell Whit that I say hi and I miss her terribly. She is in my thoughts and prayers daily. God bless.
-Mike

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for all of the wonderful updates....I live but an hour south of you folks, and Whitney's progress inspires me everyday.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Maria said...

I continue to pray for you and your family each and every day. Thank you for keeping us all posted on Whitney's progress.

8:59 PM  

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