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.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Saturday July 29 & Sunday July 30

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” Psalm68:19

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. “Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

It has been a very long week being separated from the rest of the family. But yet at week’s end I was able to return to Grand Rapids to see them and feel the joy that comes from our family times together. God is God Almighty and His blessings are a sweet reward every time we open ourselves to Him.

We sat down on Saturday night…went around our little circle and shared how God’s blessings were uplifting and such an encouragement to us all. Whitney shared too and stated that even though her desire is to be farther along in her recovery…she was very thankful for the distance she has come. And that in itself is absolutely a miracle! She is very much aware of her progress and takes comfort in how she is healing inside and out. She is sometimes impatient (who wouldn’t be?) but knows that it will take time to recover fully. I have to say that after not seeing her for a week I noticed the change in her at once. She is much more mobile than before on her legs. She walks everywhere and the swelling is down from where it had been early last week. She is getting up to help with clearing the table at dinner time as well as other things around the house. Her speech is much more spontaneous and her face shows great expression. Praise God!

Whitney has a lot of things going for her…the love of God Almighty, the prayers that are going up on her behalf, her family, her friends, her church family…just to name a few. But there is another thing that helps her improve each day. It is a character issue. She does what she needs to do so she can make the utmost of her recovery. Her attitude is very positive and very willing to work hard. It is incredible for us to watch. She is in total submission to her situation. She is doing what she needs to do whether or not she likes it or not.

Colossions 3:23-24 says: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” She is a great example for us all, especially me. Her submission is illustration of how I ought to be in my relationship with God. Submitting to Him whether I enjoy it or not. But when can submission to God be anything but enjoyable? Even if it costs us a little or a lot, the end result is awesome blessing…more than our storehouse can hold!

In Christ alone, Whitney’s dad


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"She is in total submission to her situation. She is doing what she needs to do whether or not she likes it."

Whitney, thank you for bringing glory to God even when it doesn't 'feel' good. Today, you ministered to me. How many times recently have I done something in total submission? Thank you for allowing God to speak through you into my life. I needed to hear this today.

Our family continues to pray for you and your family.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Sara Anderson said...

Newell and Colleen,
It has been such a blessing reading of God's faithfulness to Whitney and your family. Billie and I are still in awe at the kindness of God to give Whitney back to you. We thank God for her perservance and trust in her sovereign Lord. We are praying for you guys and will continue to daily.
Because of the Cross,
Sara (Vanryckeghem) Anderson

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful update to read! And, I am struck by how you were able to see that it is Whitney's ability to submit that has helped her come along this far in her recovery. What an astute perspective!

We are praying for your family. Please know that. And I hope The Other families know that they are being prayed for as well. I hope that when they reflect upon this period in their lives, they will be able to see how the Lord carried them, and how their friends and family in Christ were the hands and feet of Jesus.

Sending love to everyone connected to Taylor University!

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading your updates on Whitney for quite a while. It is so encouraging to me to hear how far she has come in her recovery, and how she continues to trust in the Lord. May the Lord bless you and your family as Whitney continues her recovery.

Please tell Whitney to continue her hard work. I became quadriplegic as a junior in college, and thanks to the therapists that pushed me continuously, and our Father, I have almost fully recovered. I know Whitney has not only the will to finish this journey, but also the support of a loving family. Take care.

Heather in Alabama

6:15 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

Newell and family,
I just have to say "You are so right on this post." I have said many times over the past five years that what we have endured is a terrible thing- certainly not something I would have chosen to go through. Yet, Chip and I made the decision to totally trust God in all we would go through in life becaue of our grief and trauma. And I can wholeheartedly agree with you- that God has poured out His blessing in our lives. When we keep our eyes focused on the "prize"- eternity in Heaven, it is an easy task to live each day for Him. No matter what comes our way. I'm so happy that you all continue to grow and experience firsthand that God is true to His promises. Someday this will all be but a distant memory. In the meantime, more prayers, thoughts and care go out to all of you from the Ferlaaks.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous sara said...

Newell and Colleen,
We are so thankful to God for what he is doing in your lives and the lives of others. Billie and I are still in awe at the kindness of God to give your precious whitney back for you and others to enjoy but most importantly to be a witness of the glorious gospel to the lost. We thank God for whitneys trust in her sovereign Lord and will continue to pray for her and you all.
Because of the Cross-
Sara (VanRyckeghem)Anderson

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, I'm just curious...do you think we'll be seeing Whitney at school sometime this year? I know that I am only one of many, many people at Taylor who would love to see her and just give her a hug. Praise God for her progress and will to keep going!
~Charity Smith

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every day... still checking in on Whitney! As always, it is such a joy to hear her progress and such an inspiration to read your testimony.

XO - Chicago

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Cerak family,
I have to thank you for this mornings post on how we should submit to God.
I have often thought about this every since the accident and how strong of Faith that all of you are. I have had to take a back seat and look at my Faith and submission abilities.
I hope that you are staying out of the extreme heat but enjoying the day. Hopefully in the air conditioning.

5:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your uplifting words. We are so thankful that Whitney is steadily making progress each and every day. God hears the prayers of his people. God is so good!

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Jewel Farrier said...

Dear Cerak Family, I have been following your story since I met Andrew Brown at a meeting at our church. He had just found out the day before the meeting that Whitney was alive. He gave me your website and I go to it often to follow Whitney's progress. My family and I were in an auto accident 3 years ago. We had some serious injuries to our lower extremities. My 17 year old daughter lost her right leg. It was not due to the accident, but to a doctor's carelessness. There has been a lot to deal with. But--GOD IS SO GOOD. My daugther Shannon, like Whitney, is an example to me and countless others. Her spirit is one of strength and determination and trust in her Lord! Praise God for his intimate connection with us! I pray for you all often! May God continue to bless you abundantly! In Christ, Jewel Farrier

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Have read about what happened in a magazine but dear god bless her and recover her quickly..

9:17 AM  

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