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.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

July 7, 2006 "He Himself bore our sins..."

“He Himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 NIV

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” Psalm 95:7b-8a

Today I have been reminded by the Holy Spirit to lay my burdens down at Jesus’ feet. We have been burdened, but as we look around we understand fully that our situation is small when compared with so many. So many are in situations that are as trying and many who are sagging under the load of harder situations. People dealing with severe physical, mental, emotional, financial, relational, and spiritual needs as well as the loss of loved ones. It is so important to hear and know that Christ knows and understands. He asks us to lay down all these trials and concerns at His feet. He gives strength, He gives hope, and He gives wisdom as we trust His word. There is still a burden but with God they are lighter. Be free of your burden of sin that holds us down. He paid the price on the cross. Come to Him – experience His promises.

Whitney had a long day yesterday, but she was smiling throughout it. Physically, she gets stronger. She walked (hopping still) over 300’ which truly impressed me. Her voice is getting stronger and louder! It does get softer by days end but she is getting better.

After therapies a friend from Olson Hall at TU came by before we loaded up Whitney and took off again for the weekend. Whit enjoys these weekends away – she continues to long for home with Hunter and Taylor (the cat) – but she does like getting away. Some hometown friends brought some needed things to us and visited. It was so much fun to sit and listen to them walk down memory lane with Whitney. She was all smiles and laughs.

She is enjoying herself right now – sleeping in – it is now 11:15 am. Old habits are hard to change, but it is good and she deserves and needs it!

It is another beautiful sunrise here in Grand Rapids with promise of a good day. We count our blessings each day.

In Christ alone, the Ceraks


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope all of you will have a wonderful weekend away...time with family and loved ones is so special.

Your verse serves so well..."He Himself bore our sins" ...what powerful words for me to dwell on...thank you for your faithfulness to us the readers who pray and are loving your family...

love from a mom in mt zion...

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am humbled at your love and faith in Christ.

The Lord has taken such saddness and grief and used it for His good. What an awesome family you are. Whitney is blessed to be in your loving home. The whole world is watching and waiting to see how she is...that is a huge task for her...I just want you to know that many families from Illinois are holding you up in prayer.

May god continue to bless all of you,
a grandma from Mt. Zion

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for these scriptures. I have been feeling such a heavy heart and many burdens. Thank you for reminding me that I do not have to carry them alone. I can't count on those near me to help... but I can and will trust that the Lord will help.

God's blessings to you all for a wonderful, fun and restful weekend!

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Precious Family,
Just a quick note to let you know that I am praying for Whitney's complete recovery. "The blessing of the LORD be upon you" each one.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought of this verse as I read your comments on Friday. I like this interpretation of Roman 12:1 and from reading your daily comments I sense that this is evidenced in the lives of your family. "God helping you: Take your everyday life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around-life-- and place it before God as an offering. Romans 12:1" (The Message)

It is awesome to feel a kindred spirit with you, even though I have never met you, as I read your comments. Prayers continue to be offered up on your behalf from the state of Texas. Thank you for sharing.
Believer in Texas

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

I feel blessed to be able to share in your daily triumphs. Everything you write lifts me up. Your family and most of all your faithful followers are in my prayers. Thank you for bringing us the kindness of knowing GOD is our blessed savior and he will always be there for us.

Karen from Westfield,IN

4:05 PM  
Anonymous jeanette hoeksema said...

How absolutely beautiful! I still can't help but weep at His goodness. We're praying for a great weekend away for you!

Love ya!

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Dianne in Missouri said...

Thanks to the person who posted the VanRyn address. It is appreciated! Prayers of comfort continue for all the families involved in the accident.

6:39 PM  
Blogger ~~angie~~ said...

I have followed this blog from the begining but only recently started posting. I just want you to know that I still haven't totally accepted the death of my boyfriend Scott, whom I lost in a very tragic automobile accident. But, since I have been reading your inspirational words, I feel I am starting to come closer to terms with it. Your teachings and Gods word are awesome and my faith is strengthing daily. So Whitney, weather you know it or not, you are reaching thousands and thousands of people from every walk of life. We laugh with you and cry with you and worship with you and long for the day you go through your door, greeted by your "best friend"... "Hunter" Thanks Ceraks for a hundred reasons. You are in my prayers.
~~angie~~ and "Lucky" my dog and my "best friend."

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still praying and following Whitney's progress. Keep pressing on!

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pray that when the time comes- when I lose a loved one- or watch a loved one fight to live- that mmy faith- will hold up like yours is.
The Bible tells us- that He giveth more grace as the burdens get bigger- and I know God is able to do far more than we can imagine.

Thank you for being a blessing to so many people- you will always stand out when we are in a difficult situation.

Our God is so strong- so Mighty- there is nothing that He can't do for us !!!

Praise Him !!!

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good morning Cerak family from the Harms family in Illinois!

We just want you to know that you are constantly on our minds and in our prayers. We're excited to hear Whiney's healing process is improving more and more each day. YOU GO GIRL! Before you know it you'll be home in your own comfy bed.

The love of Christ shines through you and your family everyday. What an awesome God we have, full of mercy and love. I for one am so thankful for that.

Please say hi to everyone for us. Our Gaylord church family will forever be a part of us.

Love In Christ,
The Harms Family

2:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many are lifting your family up in prayer and support. Here you are again - encouraging us. Thank you. He works.

3:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stand in awe of the faith your family has. I go to church, sing in the choir, and believe in God yet, I do not have this faith of yours. Is there an easy way to explain 'how to get it?"

Thank you for allowing the world to watch your family so closly.

6:48 AM  
Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

I find myself going to your blog following the Our Daily Bread Web site each morning to start my day. Your posts read like devotionals and I am fed.

I'm still praying.


8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good afternoon to all who may be reading this. I am growing closer to my Lord through the reading of this blog- I read through this several times a day. I find power for my beliefs and it helps me to value my prayer time.

Whit is so awesome and yet we need to remember that for five weeks she was Laura. I know it is still impossible to imagine the depth of this switch of these two girls- so we perhaps need to also add Laura's family and loved ones to our daily prayer life.

God is so good to all who believe.
Praise His name.
a friend in illinois

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On this lord's day I am once again brought to my knees in prayer for your sweet Whiney. It does not matter if we have never met- what matters is that we are all God's children and through His love we find 'our' love for one another.

Today , in Illinois it is a bright sunny day-yet for some it may seem gloomy to them-depends on where our heart is at the moment. I trust it is sunny each day for Whit and her family.

Enjoy each moment, soak in all of the love you can, and reach out to those you love for nothing is more important than 'love'.

Sweet dreams to all and may God's peace be with you.

a mom from mt zion who loves the Lord.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 6:48 said, "I do not have this faith of yours. Is there an easy way to explain 'how to get it?"

Tragically lose your child to death for 5 weeks and then have her returned to you. That would increase anyone's faith.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God is good. no matter where our families may be or what our need, God is there and God is good. Our prayers and thoughts are with you, too!

4:01 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

Hi Ceraks,
I wanted to let you know that I prayed for your family as I sat in church this Sunday morning, feeling God's presence and the love the many of your dear friends. Chip & I were able to attend church at Gaylord E.Free- my thoughts and prayers turned to you- I know your hearts long to be where we were. I will continue to pray for Whitney's rehab and therapy to go well. I hope that you will find comfort and contentment no matter how long and hard this time in your life may feel. I hope that you continue to be amazed and blessed by all that God is doing in and through you. Thoughtfully~

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Danielle Paulson said...

Dear Ceraks,
It is interesting that the verses that you shared in this entry are exactly what I heard about in church today! Thank you for the reminder and for your continuous strength throughout hardship.
Much Love,
A fellow Taylor student, Danielle Paulson

p.s.: My fiance's name is Chris Linehan who was in a small group with Whitney this past semester and has said many times that she is a wonderful person. He sends his love and well wishes as well.

Thanks for the updates!
-Chris and Danielle in Upland

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am amazed each and every time i read your updated blog. you are such and inspirational family who truly knows and loves the Lord. the messages and scriptures you share are so powerful. thank you all for being such positive, Christian role models.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Cerak, i really liked the bible verses you put in this blog, but i do have a question. I just dont understand this one thing "He asks us to lay down all these trials and concerns at His feet" so maybe you can let me know when you get back and see you in church. Cant wait to see you all:) GOOD JOB WHITNEY!

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the scriptures and updates on Whitneys progress. My prayers are with you all. I know God will continue to heal Whitney and continue to give her all the strength she needs to get through this. To God be the glory. And please continue to post the scriptures. They help me and others in so many ways. God Bless!

Also, I know how hard this can be when your child is recovering from an automobile accident, so I pray that God also gives you (the family) the strength you are needing also. With God all things are possible. In Jesus name we pray......... Amen.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A big posting from Texas (cause you know the saying, "everything is bigger in Texas!).......... To GOD be the Glory for your healing Whitney! Y'all know that you are in our prayers daily. And keep the scriptures and updates coming. God bless y'all.

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ceraks, we pray daily for you and all the families who lost loved ones in this accident- the Felvers,Smiths, Larsons, VanRyns,, and Erbs, as well as Vickie, Connie and Michelle.

May God Bless you all, and give you strength. And most of all hold you in his loving arms.

5:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know Whit's new address has been posted on an earlier post, but I couldn't find it. Would someone who has it please post it for me? Thank you so much!!!

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anonymous 3:32 and 6:48 I must say that I have known the Cerak's for several years now and I've always known their faith to be strong. I think God has perhaps increased their faith through this situation but it was just as strong when they thought Whitney was dead as it has been since she found out she was alive. How did they obtain such a great faith? I'm sure they would say that it is a gift from God. It has been His blessing as the result of studying, knowing, and practicing the Word of God in their lives as well as continually seeking after Him for His strength.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous jan glass said...

Love reading your daily comments and am so thrilled Whitney is progressing so fast. What a witness you are all being and your testimony is reaching multitudes! We pray for you daily.

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Whitney and Cerak family,
I have been following your story ever since the accident. My Aunt and Uncle are good friends of the VanRyns so initially I was updated by them and now by your website. I pray for your family and Whitney everyday and wish there was some way I could do more.

Over the fourth of July, my husband and I and our two young girls drove to the U.P. and passed through Gaylord on the way there and on the way home. I wished there was a way I could have bottled up some of that wonderful small town and bring it back for all of you!!!

I would like to pass along a verse to the posters who wondered about your faith and how to get it. This is a special verse to our family. It was the inheritance left behind by my great-grandfather rather than leaving behind material posessions. He was a great man of faith. Ephesians 2:8-10 "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Love, prayers, and hugs,
C in Grand Rapids

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

post the pictures!!!!!!!

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Cerak family:

I would like to personally thank yo fro the scriptures you put at the beginning of each blog. I am a mom of four children in Ontario Canada, and my husband and I are struggling financially right now due to past health issues in our family. Every morning I wake up and have a pit in my stomach and many times feel defeated. However, we are Christians, who know that our Lord and Saviour understands our situation, we continue on being thankful each day. I pick myself up and trudge forward. We have so much to be thankful for. Your scripture verses have brought me encouragment and hope, especially today on my 41st birthday. I am looking forward to the day where all worries and pain will be wiped away. Thank you for you testimony of faith. I followed all the stories of each of the families in this tragedy, and I am in awe of their love for our Lord and trust in Him desite the circumstances. I am humbled. God has used your story to touch a broken heart in Ontario. God Bless.

8:55 AM  

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