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.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

June 28, 2006 "Great is the Lord..."

"Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works." Psalm 145:3-7

We are praising God continuially. Every time we see Whitney increase in any area we give thanks. Every day we spend with her is a blessing. We can not fathom His greatness but we know He is worthy of all our praise.

Before I start tonight I need to thank some very special people. We want to thank all of the staff at Spectrum Continuing Care Center. We would love to thank you all by name but we dont want to leave anyone out. So the biggest thank you to ALL of you. You all made this part of Whitney's recovery and stay, so great. The way you give...your hearts...your love for all the patients...is so evident and such an encouragement. And to the other patients that Whitney met...thank you for being sweet to her. God bless you as you continue your therapy there. It is an awesome place, you couldnt be treated better. From our hearts...a deeply indebted thankyou. We love you for who you are - extrodinary care givers and therapists. Grand Rapids...you are fortunate to have such a place!!

We, tonight, are coming to you from a new address. Whitney is now under the care of the Hope Network, Grand Rapids Rehabilitation Services. You can look at the Gaylord E. Free Church website to see the address. Whit said her goodbyes yesterday and today...she had a special lunch and loved the entertainment the staff provided. (the milkshake dance was especially loved by Whitney and all of us.) Then today we packed up and left for the next step in her recovery. She is so excited and loves the room she has...she says is so big. In just a very short time here, the staff has made the transition smooth...already working on Whit's ankle...time in speech therapy...and an appointment with the neuropsychologist. The differences from her first meeting to this are huge! We had almost forgotten how she struggled and to see the changes at this time was astounding and so enjoyable. Wecloming back 'files' to the correct 'folders'.

I have gone on too long...I am sorry...but Whitney is excited and so are we! She has that look in her eyes that says I am going to work hard to make home the next step. Your prayers are so uplifting and needed. Thank you so very much. We continue to meld our prayers with yours, for all the other folks; the Erbs, the Smiths, the Larsons, the VanRyns, the Felvers as well as for Whitney. Keep Vickie in your prayers too please.

We are meditating on His wonderful works. His touch goes out to so many. His Holy Spirit is working. Praise God for lives changed!!

In Christ alone, Whitney's dad

49 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you pray for our Alison, daughter-in-law, age 25, who has just found out she has neuroendocrine cancer, Stage 4, and will be starting treatment soon. Thanks so much

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ones,

WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW!!!!!
Less than a month and moving on. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!!
You keep it up Whitney. You do our hearts good. Newell and Colleen, patience and wisdom, promises to you from God are being lavished on you from our Heavenly Father. Carly, so glad you're there, keep the laughter and the love flowing.
With all my love,
Joan

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ones,

WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW!!!!!
Less than a month and moving on. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!!
You keep it up Whitney. You do our hearts good. Newell and Colleen, patience and wisdom, promises to you from God are being lavished on you from our Heavenly Father. Carly, so glad you're there, keep the laughter and the love flowing.
With all my love,
Joan

7:18 PM  
Anonymous The Tucson Ceras said...

Congratulatons Whitney on your next step to "freedom". It is a joy to read about the determination of your spirit. We can be a stubborn and determined group when needs be. Keep up the good fight.

7:19 PM  
Blogger pegmatthews said...

Dear Ones, I usually check this in the morning, but decided to do so tonight. Now I can go to sleep praising our awesome God for the new step in Whit's recovery process!

Thanks for your sweet note, Colleen. Keep up the great thoughts from your heart each day, Newell, and keep praising our Savior for all He is doing in so many lives!

You are loved from Winona Lake by many who are praying here too!

PM

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Autumn said...

My goodness....... two months ago she lay in the hospital bed in a coma.... and now she's strolling down the hallways and slowly coming back to herself. What an amazing journey it has been, huh? God works miracles, and here we've witnessed several JUST in Whitney's life. Thank you for sharing your heart. I continue to pray.......

You're almost home, Whit. I bet Hunter is at the door waiting for you! :-)

7:33 PM  
Anonymous the other tucson cerak said...

YEA!!! Whit I am so glad you made it another HUGE step. I cannot wait to see you...hopefully in the luxury of your own home! ;) I love you all sooo much and wish I was there loving you rather than dealing with crazy politicians! But I am blessed either way because distance doesn't matter when love and the Lord are involved. Keep up the amazing work Whit! Uncle Newell, Aunt Colleen, Carly, Sandra...can't wait to see you either! I'm alaways praying for you and loving you!
Love always,
Kate

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the first poster: So sorry to hear about your daughter-in-law. I will definitely say prayers for your family and for Alison.

Yay Whit! Bet the change of scenery will do her good also.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go Whitney Lets hope next move is to go home!!!!May God Bless You

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just had to let you know that I am one of the many people who have been following her "journey" and praying for Whitney. BUT only since the news of her mistaken identity. Today I went back to the blog that the VanRyn's started right after the accident, and read from the start until the present. . .First, it was hard to read with Whitney being called "Laura." BUT I just had to say "WOW, and Praise the Lord!!" Whitney has come sooooo far. I hope others who have only joined at this part in Whit's story will go back and read the VanRyn blog to really appreciate how truly awesome our God the Great Physician is!!! Praise His name.
My continued Prayers are with you and your family Whitney.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This TU grad is still praying and thinking about Whitney often. Your family and the VanRyn family has led many that know I graduated Taylor last spring to ask more about the people there. I am so proud to speak of the numerous stories of the faithful. I don't claim to know much about the plan, but God really knows what He's doing.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous priscilla said...

go whit!

7:54 PM  
Blogger Amos said...

As I read the comments tonight it is just amazing how when someone says her name as "Whit" how truly purposed by God that name was given. Little did you know that that whit would be so strong in a time like this. My heart just wells with joy to read each post and I don't even know you, but being of like faith makes it possible. I can't wait to see how you have impacted heaven someday. And for the mom in law with Alison, you curse that cancer because the Word says that every name must bow to the name of Jesus. Cancer is a name and it must bow! Take authority over that and all will be well with you. You are in my prayers as well as all involved in the accident. Jesus is Lord!

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May we all be as strong as Whitney ! May people draw stregnth
from her example ! May god continue to bless us ALL !!
A Friend from Wabash

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Matt Rutledge said...

Dear Whit and Family, I am so happy in the way that whit as the determanation and fatih in our lord that she is doing so well. IM PROUD OF YOU WHIT

Yours in christ

Matt Rutledge
Kalamazoo MI

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Precious Ones! God is so Good! We are all very thankful to read of Whit's great progress! And we pray that you will continue to recover and be fully restored in every part of your body, soul and spirit! We also continue to pray for the other Taylor families.

Much love and prayers.... the mother of an 06 Taylor grad.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been looking for the VanRyn's blog and am unable to locate it. Can somebody pass along the address?

Many continued blessings to the Cerak family and all those touched by this event.

In Him.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have always heard the God will meet us where we are at. Whit is a clear example of that statement. she started out in a shattered van, in a deep coma then thought to be someone other than whit and God was still there, he knew who she was and where she was and he touched her and now as she hops he hops. What a blessing the cerak's have been given.
God Bless you

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sadly the Vanryns took there blog off the internet. I do not understand why, however I think that it would be difficult for them to have it riding the wave of the internet, The Vanryn family where so open about their faith in God and counting the blessing of having larua with them after that horrible accident. only to have it play out as it did. they stood strong in their faith in God and his word and His non ending Love.
The Vanryn have been on a rollercoaster of every emotion on could think of. So to stop with the babble the Blog started by the vanryns is gone.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

Just found your updates and read them all and found out I am not a blogger either, Colleen. As I lost what I wrote the first time because I was not logged it. And it is so hard to rewrite something with the same intensity. So I will just say that I have been praying for you and the VanRyns and will continue to do so and know that many will turn to the Lord through all that has happened and so appreciate the time you are devoting to the posting and the Word. To God be the Glory!

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the person inquiring about the Laura VanRyn posts, you can find them now at http://laurajvr.blogspot.com/

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

about the blog for Laura...I cannot pull it up...it has been removed...thanks.

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laura blog-- up as 6:48 CST Thursday June 29, 2006
http://laurajvr.blogspot.com/

4:52 AM  
Anonymous Marla said...

To this extraordinary family that has helped bring the knowledge and love of God to so many people....

I had a dream last night. I dreamt that I met Whitney. She was completely healed with just a few scars. At first my family did not recognize her, then all of the sudden, I stared at her, and i said 'you must get this a lot' (insinuating the stare we gave her)...she said yes she did! ha In some way she is famous! :)

To share with you what I thought when I woke up was that I really wanted to meet your daughter! My cousin is Kara Gearhardt and I know Whitney are her are friends from TU. Since this story has hit the airwaves I have had the strongest desire to meet not only your family as a whole, but your daughter. What she has endeavored is something that I would wish on no one, however, I do see this as something that will be a huge testimony, as it already has been. I do hope this comment reaches you as I know you receive hundreds. We continue to pray for you as a church and a community here in Ft. Wayne, In where Whitney was first taken at Parkview Hospital.

All love and support to you and yours,

Please share this verse with Whitney as you can....Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know that plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans not to harm you, but to give you a HOPE and a FUTURE." God sure had this promise in mind throughout all of this situation.

Toodles.

5:14 AM  
Anonymous Marla said...

To this extraordinary family that has helped bring the knowledge and love of God to so many people....

I had a dream last night. I dreamt that I met Whitney. She was completely healed with just a few scars. At first my family did not recognize her, then all of the sudden, I stared at her, and i said 'you must get this a lot' (insinuating the stare we gave her)...she said yes she did! ha In some way she is famous! :)

To share with you what I thought when I woke up was that I really wanted to meet your daughter! My cousin is Kara Gearhardt and I know Whitney are her are friends from TU. Since this story has hit the airwaves I have had the strongest desire to meet not only your family as a whole, but your daughter. What she has endeavored is something that I would wish on no one, however, I do see this as something that will be a huge testimony, as it already has been. I do hope this comment reaches you as I know you receive hundreds. We continue to pray for you as a church and a community here in Ft. Wayne, In where Whitney was first taken at Parkview Hospital.

All love and support to you and yours,

Please share this verse with Whitney as you can....Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know that plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans not to harm you, but to give you a HOPE and a FUTURE." God sure had this promise in mind throughout all of this situation.

Toodles.

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney,

You are amazing! The love of God flows through you and anyone that is a part of you. You have such a great, driven personality and you definitely light up a room. I am sure the staff in Grand Rapids was sad to see you go because you are an inspiration to us all. On the other hand, I am sure they are happy to see you progress to yet another stage to get you closer to home.

I have always admired your drive and will to accomplish what is ahead of you. I also admire your drive and will in the love of God. Your testimony amazes me each and every day! My prayers continue to be with you and the VanRyn's. God Bless!

5:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for the info on Laura's blog...I had failed to put the / after the com
maybe this will help others who like me are new with this blogging.

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Jeanette Hoeksema said...

Rejoicing with you guys! Whitney, we're so proud of you! :)

Your nine-fingered friend

6:21 AM  
Blogger Regan said...

We are celbrating with you on Whitney's "homecoming." We continue to pray for her healing, as well as the grieving of the other families. Thank you for your faithfulness to God, the creator of your beloved daughter. We still love reading the updates, so keep them up!

6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading this blog everyday! I am so happy for Whitney. Keep up the good work.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO GOD BE THE GLORY GREAT THINGS HE HATH DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been following your story from the start and have been inspired by your faith and strength! TU holds a very special place in my heart since we have very dear friends whose children went there and we have taken high schoolers from our church there for the youth conference for many years! It has been such a joy to read about Whitney's progress and I hope you continue to keep us updated! I am praying for you and will continue to do so!

An Illinois sister

7:33 AM  
Blogger Ms. Charlea said...

http://laurajvr.blogspot.com/...

This is the most amazing story we have ever witnessed.. praise god and these two families...

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I received the following "Upper Room" daily devotional email which I'd like to share with Whitney and her family.

THERAPY
_________________________

Romans 5:1-11 (NRSV)

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with
God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained
access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope
of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also
boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces
endurance, and endurance produces character, and character
produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's
love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit
that has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the
right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will
anyone die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good
person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his
love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for
us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by
his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God.
For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through
the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled,
will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast
in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now
received reconciliation.

_________________________

You need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God,
you may receive what was promised.
- Hebrews 10:36 (NRSV)
_________________________


I suffered injuries to my right ankle and leg in an accident. A
lengthy recovery period followed. In the healing process,
physical therapy returned me to a sense of normalcy.

I remember the first therapy sessions. Without the leg cast, I
felt apprehensive about putting weight on my leg. At each step,
I moved more slowly than a child learning to walk. At times I
felt desperate and useless. I questioned whether I would ever
walk with the same agility I had prior to the accident. Even
though I doubted them, the therapists encouraged me and praised
each little victory along the way to recovery.

Upon reflection, I compared this experience to my relationship
with the Lord. Sin can hold us captive and paralyze us. But
when the "cast" of sin is removed, we may be frightened about
moving forward. This is when we need therapy sessions with God.
Slowly, we begin to pray, to read God's word, to serve others.
Though we may not think our efforts amount to much, the Lord
celebrates each small step we take. If we remain steadfast and
continue with the spiritual therapy sessions, we will become
strong and able to walk with strength and confidence.

Prayer: God, guide our steps on the path that leads to you, and
grant us strength through the Holy Spirit. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
God works with us to help us become stronger.

-- Nancy Gomez Rosario (Puerto Rico)

PRAYER FOCUS: Physical therapists (And Whitney!!)
............................

Keep up the good work, Whitney. We're all cheering for you!

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Thursday Whitney! Hope you are getting settled into your new place. :)
To the Cerak family - thank you for your updates. You are such an encouragement to my family.
Sincerely,
Amy (TU '04)

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Barb said...

I have been following the blogs - first the Van Ryn's and then the Ceraks - since the accident. It all hit very close to home for me, because my daughter went to Taylor, graduated in 2003, and worked on the catering staff with Vickie during her time there.

I praise God for "giving you back" your daughter, and grieve with the Van Ryn's. The faith and testimony of both families has been life changing to countless numbers of people. I pray that Whitney will continue to make progress and be home with you soon!

I have a prayer request for a wonderful Christian family in Newburgh, Indiana, whose 4 year old girl drowned last Sunday afternoon. Little Ann Elyse's grandparents are close friends of ours. They have been so influential in our area through Young Life - a Christian organization that works with Jr. High and High School kids through "club", contact work, and friendship, to introduce them to Christ. It was such a tragedy, but the faith of Ann Elyse's parents gave them both the strengh to speak at the service through their tears, testifying to God's divine plan and purpose for their daughter.

Your family has shown this same strength in your faith and I'm confident many lives have been changed because of your testimony, as well as that of our friends.

You remain in our prayers.

May God continue to bless you

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YAY WHITNEY!!!!!! What amazing progress you are making and what a wonderful example you are to the world. God Bless You Cerak Family!

From a 23 yr. old who looks up to you!

D.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hooray for you, Whit! Keep going! You can do it! It sure sounds like you'll all be home before too long. We can't wait to hear that news. Colleen, I'm still countig on riding the pedal boat with you this summer.
Thanks Newelly for keeping us all updated. Don't worry that you're writing too much; it doesn't seem too long to us!
Carly, keep on doing what you're doing. Sisters always know just what to say and do. Or what NOT to say and do... I'm so glad you can be there with her.
We love you all and continue to pray for you daily.
Ann and Will

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow.... I am continually AMAZED by how the Great Physician works! I am so happy for your family and for Whitney as you continue to make HUGE strides in the healing process! As important as it is to heal physically it is MORE important to be healed emotionally... i cannot imagine the feelings Whitney has been going througha nd will go through... I am praying for your family and for Whit as you continue down this road! I can't wait to see Whit back at TU! <3 Ashley Gross

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been following this blog from the beginning. Our daughter is a student at TU and worked for the catering service this past year. We spent a few anxious hours wondering if she had been involved in this accident. She had planned to work set-up for the Ft. Wayne inauguration celebrations. There are no words for the mixture of emotions we felt when we learned she was safe and spoke with her the next morning!! While we praise God our child is safe, we also realize how uncertain our days are on earth. Only God knows the exact number of our days. We must live each day as if it were our last and make be to His glory. We are so pleased at the progress Whitney has made in the last several weeks and continue to keep her in our thoughts and prayers – along with the other families involved in this tragedy.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congradulations Whit on the new move. I sent you a card today but to the Spectrum address so I hope that they forward it to you.

Congradulations on also finishing that first year in collage. What an uplift for you.

I do not know anything about this new step for your recovery nor the necklace issue. Is the necklace issue a private thing between the VanRyn's and you or can you share?

Take care and get your much needed rest. It helps to heal.

There is really nothing new that thousands have not already posted so I am just going to say "DITTO".

Much love and prayers,
Beth

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if the necklace was a private issue they probably wouldn't have posted it on a very public board. ha. I'm wondering what the necklaces are also.

The milkshake dance sounds hilarious. Whit will have to demonstrate that one soon as her leg is better. ;-)

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney, I have followed your story in the news and I thought about sharing about 6 year old who had a sudden tumor on her spine. The day of the surgery she became paralyzed, could not talk, and ate through a feeding tube. This happened in early December. Today she is now at home using a walker and getting stronger everyday. Her story is a beautiful story of God's grace. Your injuries and Morgan's were very different but you both come from very faithful and loving families. It is very motivating. I hope you don't mind, www.zebray.com Enjoy the story and watch as God's plan for you unfolds.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Sarah Scott said...

I have been reading with you since the beginning. You are included in my prayers daily, both for recovery and in thankfulness for the awesome testimony that your life and family provide.

If you would like to see another person that has been saved and healed through the power of prayer, go to www.carepages.com and log into the page updateongina. She was paralyzed in March, and walked out of the rehab center last week.

God is good, all the time!~!

5:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree that Whit will have many times to deminstrate that milk shake dance.

Beth

5:05 AM  
Anonymous Susan said...

Whitney you are an angel!! You are so lucky to have a family with such strength! May god bless you and your family!

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can anyone tell me which bible is being used for the verses that accompany the daily blog?
fellow prayer warriors- please pray for a 22 year old girl named kelsey who is fighting brain cancer...
in His service and with love and prayer..

8:04 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Yay Ceraks! This board is amazing. People are sharing prayers around the world--as it should be. Way to be the change you wish to see in the world. Much love!

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer (Campbell) Hess said...

Hi Ceraks,
This is Jennifer (Campbell) Hess (Walt and Mary's daughter, and Jon's sister! :)) I've been reading your blog all along, and I am so glad to hear of your new move. I thought I'd let you know that I worked at Hope Network for a couple of years and loved every minute. I hope things go well there and we will continue to follow your progress. Tim and I have you all in our prayers! Congratulations on the move! :)

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Erin Maguire said...

So glad that things are going well for Whitney and your family...what a great testimony of how God uses the prayers of others!

8:55 AM  

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