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, August 12, 2006

August 11, 2006 "Never will I leave you..."

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” ...Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:5-6; and verse 8 NIV

Hi, everyone reading the blog, this is Whitney!! It feels good to finally be the person who updates you about...me! These past 3 months have been life changing for so many and everyone has had a different experience, including me.

I can clearly remember the past 18 years of my life, even up to the banquet before the accident. The next thing I can remember after that is seeing Carly, Sandra and Mom and crying a lot. I know there is a 5 week period that I do not recall. Hearing about it is weird for me because everyone else has memories about me that I do not. Some people came to visit me at the hospital, and a few of those were the VanRyns. I know they were with me constantly during the first five weeks, but their visit was all I can remember. They are very nice people and it was funny to hear how I acted when I first came out of my coma. When I found out that five other people were killed in the accident I was really sad. I can vaguely remember part of the ride back to Taylor. We were all laughing and having a good time. I feel so badly for the other families. I don’t know why this all happened, but the only good thing about all of this is that the message of God was heard in a powerful way. I know my experience is different from everyone else’s but God has taught me He is FAITHFUL because He is with us every step of the way, even in the hardest times of our lives. And it is clear that He has been with me the last few months. My recovery has been hard work, but I thank God for healing me in every way.

It is strange to find out my family and friends had a funeral for me, but they told me God was faithful even during that time. It is so hard to believe that this story is all over the news and so many people know about me. Even though I don’t know many of you who are reading what I am writing about my life, I am so thankful to have had your prayers.

I am just so excited that I am home and going back to Taylor in a few weeks! I can’t wait to live my normal life again. So consider this the one and only blog entry from me, concluding this season of my life.

I AM FINALLY HOME, Whitney


From the Family: It’s been a privilege for us to share with you this miracle God put into our life’s journey. We know for sure that only with God holding and guiding us could we have made it thus far. We all have been praying for what God wants us to do and learn from this experience. We want to get back into our ‘normal’ routine of life, but we also know that God has allowed this to happen for a reason. We plan to blog two more times; updating our experiences of our return to home and the last to be Whitney’s return and settling back into life at Taylor.
We pray for the families who continue to remain strong under the heartache and strain of their losses. Please keep the VanRyns, the Larsons, the Smiths, the Erbs, the Felvers, Connie, Vicki and Michelle covered in prayer.

Thanks for sharing this journey with us.

With love,
In Christ alone, The Ceraks

429 Comments:

Anonymous Friends in SSM said...

Congratulations on going home. Being home will make a HUGE impact on your recovery. Good luck and keep up the hard work. Have fun in school! I am also heading back to school in a little over two weeks and will be thinking of you as you also return!!

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHITNEY!
***Welcome HOME!!!***
How precious to read that you get to sleep in your own bed tonight.
Wahoo!!! Ü
Our prayers will continue with you as you continue your progress. Your family has become 'our family' as we have read and prayed about your journey.
God is faithful!!!
Perhaps we'll get to meet you when we get Kyle settled in at Taylor in a few weeks.
Hugs and love,
The Norwood family
Jeremiah 29:11

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ceraks,
You have been an inspiration to so many people. Thank you for posting the scriptures and allowing strangers into this personal journey. I hope you find comfort in knowing that this event has brought so many people back to God. It was so nice to start my mornings off with the scriptures you wrote. I hope we all continue to start our days off with scriptures from our own devotions. This story has allowed so many people to see the power of God. I continue to pray for your family, as well as the others involved. I will forever be amazed at the strength and grace that the Van Ryn's and Cerak's have shown. It could only be done through the grace of God. God bless each and every one of you.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney & family,
I will probably never meet you on this side of eternity but one day we will be together prasing God for what he has done for all of you and the way you have responded to this trial in life. Each time I come to my computer my thoughts will most likely be drawn to you and wonder what is happening in the your lives. It is not important that I know but that God is very aware. I feel that sometimes God brings people to our minds at just the time there is a special need. I will always remember you and your story without the blog.
Believer in Texas

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh the joy!!!!! Thank you, Whitney, for sharing with us in your own words. I fully understand that you want to return to a normal level of privacy, but you will find out what an impact your life has had and will continue to have because your family was willing to share with the world your time of trial and overcoming. I look forward to hearing of your return and settling in to your next year at Taylor, which is the natural ending to this story!

Numbers 6:24-26, 2 Thess. 1:11-12

Larry from California
A follower of Jesus

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is still so unreal - the entire experience - even for us who are "6 points removed". I know how happy we are being home after a long weekend and how our children rejoiced when in college and now married and expecting our first grandchild. The bed at home is THE best - there has to be medical proof that healing improves at home. And having a dog is also unbelievably helpful - they ask so little and give so much.

All this rambling to say this - God bless you Whitney and family. Thank you for allowing us to share your remarkable story. We will miss having your daily update. So many times the scriptures you chose became our devotionals for the day and were on the mark with issues that we might be having at the time. That's God's inspiration and direction! We look forward to your next (last) two blogs(possibly more? I'm truly feeling a separation anxiety).

Our love and prayers continue!

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Whitney,

How overjoyed I am, and thousands of people are, on your return home. Know that our prayers continue to go with you daily, and thank you and your family and the VanRyn's for your beautiful blog and witness to your loving faith in God.

Love and continued prayers from Shreveport, La

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Cerak Family:

Following your blog site has given me a renewed faith in God. I wish you all the best that life has to offer. Wishing you all love, luck and laughter from Rhode Island.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome Home Whitney!

I knew you could do it with God's Help. We all will pray for your continued recovery, and back to Taylor. God will Bless you all, and I'm sure that Hunter is glad that everyone is back home where they belong.

We come to live for Jesus, we go to share his LOVE.

A fellow Gaylord Neighbor

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Rick Green, Ballwin, MO said...

What a terrific surprise. I knew and prayed this day would come for you Whitney and your family. I've read the blog everyday and even though it's good news to not have to keep it up, I feel like you and your family have become a part of my family. Best wishes to all of you and I hope you have a long, healthy, and very happy life. God bless you.
Rick Green
Ballwin, Missouri
rgreen7576@aol.com

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iam so Happy to hear you are finally HOME, but yet is saddens me . You have become a very big part of my daily thoughts and Prayers. I will miss your daily blog. I will continue to pray for you and your family, and everyone else envolved in this accident. Have fun at home, and have fun at school. Thank You for allowing me to read about your recovery and your life with God.

4:54 PM  
Blogger dania2004 said...

i couldn`t hold my tears from falling down when i read your name whitney,your wonderful journey was an inspiration for me and for everybody.. your courage made you a legend ..
thank you for sharing your story with us .. wish you all the best..keep going on..many thanks for your family they were heroes..god bless you all

Dania`s mama
Rima

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have followed this blog daily since the news of the mix up was first announced. I can't tell you why I've followed it--except to awaken each morning with hope that you, Whitney, would have a good day. And a good day you have had! Welcome home, Whitney.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous drew said...

Thanks for sharing this journey with us!

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Madeleine said...

Whitney-
I couldn't help but shed a few tears when I saw that you were posting this blog--I'm such a sap! Your words really touched me, and it was great to hear things from your point of view. You'll continue to be in my prayers as you return to the normalcy of being a college student, and contine making progress. From what I've read you've made a wonderful journey thus far, and things can only get better! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. God Bless. And good luck in school! I'm entering my sophomore year at college and I can not WAIT to get back and on with my classes! I can only imagine how you feel!

Ceraks-Thank you SO much for keeping us updated on Whitney's progress. Though I've never met any of you, you've truly inspired me. I complain so much about little things sometimes, like a cramp in my foot or something, haha, but I've realized that there are SO many bigger things out there and I have no room to complain about the little things in my life, and that no matter how big the problem, God will be there. So thank you so much for your words and the words of the Lord. I understand that you must return to the normalcy of your lives, so by all means, DO!! You deserve it. Once again, thank you for the time and updates. May God continue to Bless you as well.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Barbara Bennett said...

Whitney and family, I am a mom of 4 Taylor students '00,'05,07, and '10. Katye Bennett Wood, Abigail Bennett, Jonathan Bennett, and Emily (a freshman beginning this week by going to Ireland) We have closely followed your entire adventure in recovery. We praise our heavenly Father for His care and love for all of the families.
We have prayed for you daily as well as all the precious families. We know that God has done wonders and continues too. Thank you for your updates. We look forward to your last few and then hearing from my kids that are still at Taylor. May God continue to charge you ahead with strength both physically as well as spiritually. Enjoy being at home! All of our loves and prayers, Cory and Barbara Bennett, Knoxville, TN

6:28 PM  
Blogger Southern Girl said...

Whitney, I was hoping I would have the joy of reading a blog entry from YOU! I, of course, heard about the van accident when it happened and the subsequent mix-up, but I just discovered your family's blog about a week ago. Since then I've read every post, praying for you and rejoicing at the way God has blessed you. I'm thrilled and praise God that you will be returning to school. You'll continue to be in my prayers -- I know God is going to continue to use you in a mighty way!

Romans 8:28

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whit:
So happy to hear you are home in beautiful northern MI! We have been praying for this day to come and that you would have some time at home before you return to Taylor. Praise God for all he has done and will continue to do in and through you.

BMill's momma

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallelujah!!!! Welcome back to Gaylord Whitney!!!! God is so faithful!! Thank you Colleen, Newell, and Carly for your updates, scripture verses, and devotionals. The Lord has worked through you in a mighty way and will continue to use your family to impact and advance His kingdom in a huge way. Blessings to you all!!! It was so cool to hear from you Whitney. Home sweet Home!!!!

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW. I, too, am weeping with joy and delight as I read your blog, Whitney! How wonderful for you and an answer to many many prayers offered on your behalf. I don't blame you & your family one bit for discontinuing this blog - it's closure, so to speak, for this part of your life's journey. Just know, as I'm sure you do, that this blog has reached untold hundreds, maybe thousands, of unbelievers and has strengthened the faith of believers like myself. Thank you for sharing your journey, and your good news!

A mom in southwestern Indiana

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YAY!!! I am so glad you are home Whitney! Thank you for your words and for being such a beautiful young woman! My prayers have been with you, your family and all the other families involved in the accident! God is so good and so faithful and what a privelege it hs been to read this blog for the past several weeks!

God Bless You All

Deni!

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Whitney & Cerak Family,
What a joy it has been to observe by your blogs the marvelous miracles that God has performed in your life and health Whitney. we are glad you are home with your family and we will be praying for you as you continue to heal and make preparation for your new school year. Your fellow students will want to do anything they can for you but we realize also that you want to be as independent as possible. God will work it all out for your good and His glory.
In the meantime - Keep looking up!
The future is as bright as the promises of God!
You have all been such a source of blessing and inspiration.
Some are now new believers because of the testimony of your family and the VanRyns.
What an awesome God we serve!
Love & Blessings,
Jim & Edna
Friends of Aryn Linenger

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney, I'm sure you're glad to be home, and I know your family and church family are ecstatic. I don't know any of you - the closest connection is that a singing group from your church sang at our church in Ann Arbor a few times - but I've appreciated following your journey. It is encouraging to read of those who trust so fully in God, when the world would say He isn't present. Blessed be His name!

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Shannon said...

Praise God!!!!!!!!!

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto the comment about separation anxiety! I'm so happy for you, Whitney, that you've come so far and can start living your life again. I'm happy for your family that they get this second chance with you. It is sad the end of the blogs is here because I've received much joy in reading about your family and their faith and trust in God--and, of course, about your recovery process. It is amazing how our body can heal from such trauma. Praise God for doctors and nurses, therapists and all the "tools" that aid in getting well again. Do you think that maybe...just maybe you could do a once a month blog for awhile just to keep us up to date? Kind of a weaning process instead of cold turkey? :) If not then we understand your desire to put this behind you. Thanks again to your entire family for the updates these last few months. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as you continue on thru life. I know every time I go to Gaylord for shopping the thought of you and your family will enter my head (as well as all the families involved) and I'll send up a prayer at that moment.
In Christian love,
your Indian River neighbor

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome home, Whitney! How wonderful to have you and your family back in Gaylord. Can't wait to see your mom around school and your dad around town. Enjoy college and that golf class.

Thank you for letting us share your journey. We'll miss your daily updates of encouragement and faith.

The Enderles

7:36 PM  
Anonymous emily said...

Whitney, I dont know you but have been following your story from the beginning. Normalcy is great! Have a great time at school. I'm sure you will. Congratulations!

--a fellow college sophomore in Ohio

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God's best to you, Whitney, as you start the next leg of your journey! We have been blessed over and over again as the Van Ryns and your family have written of your progress and the fabulous things our great God has done, and continues to do. We will have many brothers and sisters in Christ with us for eternity due to the witness of all involved.

Have a fantastic Sophomore year! My son will not be at Taylor next year as he is tranferring to the University of Minnesota for his last two years. You and the others will continue to be in our prayers. We will continue to check Taylor's website for updates.

I. Corinthians 9:8: "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

May God bless you abundantly, Whitney!

The Foxes
Eden Prairie, Mn.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

As one who has lived through challenges of rehab, I know the "relief" and comfort you must feel to be home. I'm thrilled for you and your family...I know it has not been an easy task to keep your strength and spirits up as you have. Your faith has encouraged many...I've got lots of new readers from your blog as well. It seems that God can shine through our hurts and pain in an unbelievable way.
I will pray for you as you return to "normal". May you all feel God continually holding you close as you transistion into your new routines. Best of luck at home and in school. Sweetly~

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHIT!!!!
yay. i'm SOOOO excited right now for you. like hundreds of others, it is SO cool to see my prayers answered through you!! i am SO excited for you... i seriously wish i could just give you a great big hug!!! i talked to car the other day and it was so great to hear the updates on you! i miss you guys so much. cant wait to come see you in the fall... you'll have to come to the abby when i am in town:) hopefully see you and car SOON!!!! cant wait to continue to hear about the transition to taylor!!! it'll be amazing. you're blessed! i miss that place!! stay strong girl your'e a trooper!! love you:)
-Malee

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Whitney, it's wonderful to hear directly from you. I can't wait to see you back on campus in the fall. I've been praying for you continuously and will keep doing so. You're such a testimony to God's love, mercy, and faithfulness! Keep up the awesome work and see you soon!

Kat McKeon

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to Go Whitney...I am a classmate of Laura VanRyn's brother...I have been watching and praying for your family...I just want to let you know that I have grown in my faith because of seeing your family as well as the VanRyn family...(And I will let the VanRyn know too when I get back to school in a few weeks)..I pray that my future family can be a strong witness for Jesus Christ as your family has been to the world since April...Good luck with your future schooling and your continue recovery.
Love in Christ,
Bekah Nichols

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Julie Engler said...

Thanks to all of you for sharing your story with us and especially, I thank you for your faithfulness to God and His Word. I know that when we all get to Heaven we will see many souls who have been saved through this entire experience.

Whitney, I will keep you on my prayer list and pray that you have a wonderful school year. I am sure you will have many opportunities to share not only your story but what God has done for you and His faithfullness and mercy and goodness. God bless you all.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHIT!! I've been following your blog this whole summer, and it's so good to finally hear from you! I am so SO excited that you'll be returning to TU this fall! Can't wait to see you :-)

~Juli Erickson- 1EO

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Cerak family,

Thank you for your faithful chronicle of Whit's progress through this tremendous trial. Your selfless dedication to Whit has been a real testimony to the fruits of the Spirit in your family life and shown how a Christian family really functions.

Whit, our church prayer group has prayed for you a number of times and I've prayed daily since the news of the accident first hit our papers here in California. Since we will never meet this side of heaven, Whit, I make one last prayer for you- May your mind clear completely, your joints loosen, and your limp disappear as you enjoy your classes this year at Taylor.

We thank God for His steadfast faithfulness as proclaimed in Psalm 136 and praise Him for Whit's rapid healing.

May God watch over you all,
Steve in Pleasanton

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Whitney- You are a blessing!
What healing grace it brings just seeing your name at the end of your blog entry yesterday.
May Jesus, the great shepherd, go before you and gently lead you as you return to your life with your family, and at Taylor. Know that there are countless people all over who rejoice with you and your family and who will continue to whisper prayers for your healing and strength and for comfort for the other families. You deserve your space now. Thank you to you, your dear family and the Van Ryns for having allowed us a "peek" into your journey back from the brink. May you live to love and serve the One who made you and has saved you for Himself. You are "blessed to be a blessing".

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the blog I have been waiting so long to read... I am so happy for you. We love you Whitney! Keep inspiring us...
Lori K

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Marci (Sloat) said...

Welcome Home, Whitney! Your life will continue to touch so many people for the Lord. That is an awesome responsibility God has entrusted you with. Even though I was your first babysitter (it was a wonder you survived that!), I never really got to know you since you guys moved away when you were so young. But, your parents had such a positive impact of my life (even all of Newell's humiliating defeats of Lauri and me at euchre on youth group trips). Your family is a treasure.

Marci

10:21 PM  
Blogger Tasha said...

Praise God!

Psalm 30:1-6
I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the grave;
you spared me from going down into the pit.
Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome home, Whitney!

Good luck at Taylor this fall.

--Michelle Barrett

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad to hear that you are home, you have waited a long time for that.

I will miss reading your blog, it has been the first thing I have done every day when I got on the computer.

I have followed your progress by reading your blog. It is simply a miracle what God has done in your life and in the lives of others.

Good luck with school. I wish you the best forever, you deserve it! My prayers are with you!!

3:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless you sweetheart.
Welcome home.

4:22 AM  
Anonymous a taylor mom said...

This is wonderful news !
CONGRATULATIONS....TO YOU, WHITNEY & to your entire family !

I will certainly miss the daily blogs. It has become a habit; the norm; the usual, to pop onto your site every day, several times a day.

Thank you for sharing. Thank you, Ceraks, for allowing all of us readers, into your lives.

May God continue to richly bless you.

Sincerely,
A Taylor Mom

4:41 AM  
Anonymous JUDY said...

THANK GOD & YOU FOR BEING THE STRONG YOUNG LADY THAT YOU ARE TO GET THROUGH ALL OF THIS. I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU & YOUR FAMILY, BUT I & I'M SURE EVERYONE WHO LOOKS FORWARD TO READING THIS EVERYDAY WILL MISS IT, BUT WE ARE SO HAPPY & OVERJOYED FOR ALL OF YOU! YOU WILL FOREVER BE IN OUR HEARTS & MINDS,& EVEN WHEN WE STOP HEARING FROM YOU ALL, WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU! LOVE & PRAYERS FROM LOUISIANA!

5:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Whitney! We know you're glad to be back to your normal life and we're happy for you and your family.

A big thank you to your mom, dad and Carly for keeping us posted on your progress via this blog.

Good luck with school. Hope to see you around town soon.

Denise, Brad and Melissa Hall

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Cerak Family;

Though I've never met you, in a way I have...through this blog. I am amazed at the strength you have shown, and the graceful way the mix-up has been handled. Most of all, Whitney's courage and strength has been an inspiration for many.

Whitney, I'm glad you are home and going back to school. Good luck to you!

Jen from Howell, MI (soon to be Florida!)

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney, Way to go!

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney, Thank the good Lord you are home and heading back to school! I have read your blog since the beginning and prayed daily for you and the other families involved. The biggest lesson here is to believe and remember who the Great Healer is. I know he has healed my daughter from a brain tumor, which should have taken her life 2 1/2 years ago according to doctors, but our almighty healer had different plans and she too is back in college. God Bless you, your family, and all the other families involved in this. I will continue to pray. In Christs Name Alone. Jill in Michigan

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you to be home at last and I understand your need to get back to a normal life...yet, I will miss hearing about you and your family...it will be a loss to not have this blog to start my day...so I pray somehow your family will think of a way to continue posting...we all love you here in illinois..~

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you to be home at last and I understand your need to get back to a normal life...yet, I will miss hearing about you and your family...it will be a loss to not have this blog to start my day...so I pray somehow your family will think of a way to continue posting...we all love you here in illinois..~

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney,
I was just at Spring Hill this weekend and I couldn't help but think of the summers I was able to share with you Sandra, and Holly. It was always great to see you so happy and bubbly.

I am so excited that you are going back to Taylor!!!! My heart is just overjoyed right now.
Know that I love you and am continuing to pray for you and I may see you this fall.

Love,
Chocolate (Dara)
Your favorite counselor from Spring Hill

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Home! Awesome! Following your progress has been inspiring, surreal, happy, sad, and that is for those of us who don't even know you....I can't imagine what your family has been through...and you! A message from you was wonderful to read...we will miss the daily updates but we celebrate the reason...you are so much better! Keep the faith!

Joanne in PA

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney - Congratulations! Thank you for taking time to share with us today. Though I don't know you, you have been in my thoughts and prayers. I came to read the updates on you, and while I enjoyed hearing about your amazing progress, I've also appreciated the love and scripture your family has shared. You and your family have touched my life and I will miss the inspiration that I receive from the daily blog. Thank you for opening my eyes even more to God. Best of luck! Praise God!
Kellie N.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Whitney and the entire Cerak family, I am so happy to know that so many prayers have been answered. I have been reading this blog everyday since day 1. I was so touched by reading today's entry, that I wanted you all to know that people of all faiths have been praying for this day. Many of us in the Jewish community have prayed daily for a full Refuah Shlema (a renewal of spirit and body) for you. At many synagouges in New York City your name was said Friday nights and Saturday mornings during the Mishaberach (the prayer for healing), and on several trips to Israel over the past three months prayers were placed in the Wailing (Western)Wall for your recovery. Whiteny, you are a true testimony to power of prayer. Thank you for inspiring so many as you shared your journey with us. Best wishes for a continued recovery, and Mazel Tov (congratulations) on all of your accomplishments so far. B"H (Baruch Hashem - Blessed is G-d)

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

Continued Prayers for all the families involved and for Taylor University as a new school year approaches. To Whitney: May the spotlight of all this and all the aftermath continue to be used for His glory. May you be equiped with His strength and Word as you enter a new season of your journey. May you be unwavering in compassion and service for Christ's kingdom.
In Christ, Jessica from IL

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,

I too will never meet you until we are around the throne of God. I just want you to know that you have encouraged me through the daily blogs--the Cerak family, the VanRyn family, and now you, Whitney. It is so good that you have written to us personally, Whitney, making your progress so evident.

Your blog site was the first one I went to after I turned on my computer at the end of my work day. I will miss hearing about your progress and reading the comments from friends and family. While I understand your desire to return to a normal life, I will miss reading the daily progress resports.

The Lord has allowed this to happen to all of you for a reason. May you all continue to be sensitive to His leading in the future, as you have been in the past.

A Grand Rapids believer

10:51 AM  
Blogger anjuba said...

Whitney and the Ceraks,
Your blog has been such a part of my life this summer. It is amazing the work God has done in your lives and all of our lives. The testimony of all involved has been such an inspiration. I am so happy for you and it has been such a pleasure to "know" you! Enjoy going back to your normal life! Thank you so much for continuing what the VanRyns began, it has given me pause each end every day to consider the wonder of our awesome God! Bless you!

11:23 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Whitney, I'm more than happy for you to be home. I can imagine how you feel. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life for this miraculously short time. How's Hunter? For the entire Cerak family, your faith has lifted and encouraged the world. Stupid movie quote: What we do in life echoes in eternity. The Cerak echoes will go on forever in thousands of lives. What a powerful witness for our Lord you have been. Thanks for letting us be a part of your life. All my love!

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Praise God from Whom all blessings flow ..."

What excellent news! My heart is overwhelmed with praise and thankfulness that Whitney is finally HOME with her family! Thank you for being the one to share the news, Whitney!

My daughter will be a freshman at Taylor this Fall - and through our campus visit we caught a glimpse of what a loving, fun, supportive, Christian community it is there. I understand your excitement about returning!

Cerak Family: Thank you for allowing others to share in your lives during this time. May each of us who have been encouraged by this story of God's faithfulness renew our commitment to speak the truth in love, share God's Word with others, and allow His light to shine through our lives - as you have done.

God bless you all.

A Taylor mom ('10)

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has been a huge blessing "getting to know you" through this blog. And it has been an absolute pleasure watching God work in you--physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually--to bring you back, to restore you in every way.

I'm thrilled for you that you are home...you have so much ahead of you, Whitney. I trust that all you will know how to do now is to live to glorify our God, in response to His grace and love.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Elaine
TUU '90

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Whit! We are so happy for you and praise our Powerful, Almighty God for His miraculous healing! He has used your story to change our lives, praise the Lord! We will never forget your story.

Welcome home and God Bless!

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PTL! You truly have been an inspiration to thousands of people. Do know, that as God brings you to mind, we will still continue to lift you to our Father. May you always know the special place you have held in many people's hearts. THANK YOU AND MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU!

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's no place like home...
there's no place like home...
there's no place like home....

you did it whitney- congrats!
+++

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful way to end this remarkable journey--with powerful and articulate words from you, Whitney.

I followed this story from it's beginning--when the mix-up of identity first hit the news. I have been blessed beyond words reading what the VanRyns wrote and then what your family wrote, Whitney.

I have followed your progress prayerfully and rejoice with you in your recovery. As your recovery continues over the next months, my prayer for you is found in Romans 12:12 "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

May the Lord bless you abundantly, Yvonne

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Whitney!!

How good to hear from you!!! I have prayed for you all along, but I do not know you, or your family. I have a friend at Taylor who was friends with Brad Larson and Laura VanRyn, and that is how I becamse connected to your story.

Praise God for your LIFE, and for your RECOVERY!!!

You are a miracle!!

Sarah, a sister in Christ

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear 10:45 a.m.

Thank you for sharing that the Jewish community has also prayed for Whitney. I think it is HUGE for the world to know that, and to see that all of us can come together.

L'Chiam!! (to LIFE!)

Sarah

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ceraks -
Thank you for allowing us the glimpses of your days and sharing your faith. It has truly been an encouragement to us while we pray for you. I am so thrilled that you are all back home - bet the pets are too!

2:32 PM  
Blogger Renee Pray said...

I just walked by your place and Taylor was sunning in the driveway and I saw a few cars and wondered if you were here for a visit but then came home and read you are HOME...Wish I had stopped. I am sooo happy for you and your family to be home again. Corrie is out of town and will be back tomorrow (monday). She said You, Sandra and Matt had called her...she doesn't have service but gets her messages. Take care and we will see you soon before you back to school. Love Renee and family

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Whitney!! We praise God for all He's done in your life. Thank you to you and your family for sharing this walk with us. It has been a blessing to read this blog and see God moving in your lives.

In Christ,
A TU mom (son class of '08)

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is difficult to type with the tears. Although I do not know any of your family, I am honored to have been allowed to share your journey to recovery.
Wishing all of you all the best!

3:13 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

As I read this entry I found myself so in awe of how God has used all of this for HIS good. My heart rejoices with you and your family and grieves with the others who do not have this same miracle....but God has it all in HIS hands, doesn't HE?
We have also been connected to
Spring Hill Camps over the past 15 or so years so know of that wonderful support you have been receiving from those precious ones and so many.
Our prayers continue for your family as well as the others.
Because of Christ,
The Wick's in Fort Wayne

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Ed and Jane Sandri said...

Home at last...
Home at last...
Home at last...
Thank God...Home at last.

Welcome back to Gaylord, Whitney.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome Home! And all God's people said......AMEN!!

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whit and family,
It is wonderful that you have finally returned home. You have been an inspiration to so many people. My prayer is that you will be able to adjust to a "normal life". You have been through a lot and with God's unconditional love you have showed the world of non believers Our God Reigns. You will be in my prayers when you go back to Taylor. I am excited to see your smiling face again. God Bless your family.
In Christ's Love

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whitney-
i am so excited you are home for a few weeks before coming back to TU in the fall! thanks for taking time to update today and thank you ceraks for taking time to update during whitney's recovery.
enjoy your time at home with friends and family.. you will continue to be in my prayers :)
-ashley, tu '09

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney:
Congratulations on your progress in rehab. We are so happy you are home and back to the comforts that you treasure. You and your family have been an inspiration through this journey in your life. We are happy that you are able to return to Taylor. Your life story is remarkable, use it to God's Glory.
A fellow College Wesleyan Church Member

4:55 PM  
Blogger Monica's Daughter, Kelly said...

Dearest Whitney and the Entire Cerak Family...
Being a daughter of one of The Chosen 5, I have shed countless tears...Missing my Mom. Life is such a struggle, and I am finding it really hard to cope. But each day I awoke Praised the Lord, for another beautiful day and read your blog. You all are such a BIG part of my family now.Such an inspiration to the world. I NOW am crying tears of happiness for you, Whitney... GOD IS GOOD!! I am going to miss all of you. And Whitney I look forward to meeting you once you get back to Taylor. I think of and pray for you all many times a day. Oh, how the past 3 1/2 months have changed everyone involved, and MANY people not involved but who gathered daily to rejoice with you on Whit's progress. So many people's lives have changed due to the events that happened on April 26th.
Please continue to lift up in prayer the Families of the Chosen 5 : The Erbs, The Larsons, The Smiths and the VanRyns, as they continue down this 'new road'. Also remember Connie, Vicki and Michele..prayers and hugs to them. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!! In Christ's Love, Kelly
http://monicafelver.blogspot.com/

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Whitney, How blessed is the Lord God! He is so great and His care for you and His healing power is beyond description. Praise His Holy Name!

Thank you for sharing your own message today. We all rejoice with you and your family. Thanks to each of you for shining your light to the world. Reading your daily postings has been a great encouragement to me and has reminded me to keep praying for you and the other families also.

Our prayers will continue to go with you as you return to Taylor soon.

Love, from a Taylor 06 Alumni mom.

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Godspeed, Whitney.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Cameron said...

Dear Whitney,

WELCOME HOME! You have traveled a long, hard road. May you continue to feel the love of God, your family, friends, and the world who continues to root for you. Our family will continue to pray for you and all of your healing. You are an inspiration to many. My favorite quote, "What the caterpillar thinks is the end of the world, the butterfly knows is only the beginning." So, spread your wings, dear Whitney and soar high. You will do beautiful things in life.

Love to the entire Cerak Family,

Maryrose, Cary, and Cameron Gill
Herndon, Virginia

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you -- and the VanRyns -- for so willingly sharing your lives over the last several months. I have read every blog and prayed for you all hundreds of time since the night of the accident. May the Lord continue to bless as you seek to return to "normalcy". Ethel

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow".........

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whit....SOOO happy that you are home. Can't wait to see you just down the hall in less than 2 weeks:)

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney,
Sometime before things were known about the misidentification I remember writing on the old blog that I couldn't wait to read a blog signed by you. And now that day is here!! I can't believe it! It's absolutely phenomenal. Praise God!!

I'm so glad that you're able to have several weeks home w/your family and friends before returning to Taylor. What a blessing! I can't even begin to imagine how many lives God has touched through all of this. Thank you, Ceraks, for sharing your life with us and thank you Lisa, for starting this blog so many months ago. You all are still constantly in my prayers. God is good. He is so good. He gives and he takes away and he is so good. Our prayers will continue with you as well as the VanRyns, Felvers, Erbs, Smiths, and Larsons.

To everyone affected by these events: I'm sure you will never forget them, but as you go on, ALWAYS remember what God has done. We are told over and over in the Bible to remember the things that God has done and he has made himeself evident in countless ways these past 3 1/2 months. Praise him all ye earth!

Psalm 105:1-5
"Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced"

**See you back at school Whit!**

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney....I am another stranger who's been touched by this story. Thank you for sharing this journey with the outside world. We so need to see Miracles in this World we live in.
Our continued prayers for all those involved...........

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a stranger all the way from Alabama, but I've been keeping up with your blog since I first heard of your accident. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments!

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Whitney!!! I knew this day would come for you and with God's hand and your hard work it came fast! So glad to hear of your homecoming...hope to see you in Gaylord soon. You and your family are a great inspiration to me. I only hope my children will get to know and understand the love of the Lord as you do. Your strength is inspirational and your faith is undeniable. Thank you for letting us have a peek at a big part of your life. In a world where faith in God seems to be repressed by many it is refreshing to see your faith and many others uninhibited. You are truly a great role model for my children as I share your faith and progress with them...thank you again for selflessly sharing this awe inspiring chapter of your life. My prayers are with you and your family as you open a new chapter. It seems appropriate to say "good luck". However, luck has nothing to do with anything...it's all GOD!

God bless,
Laura Korff

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney-
I am so happy for you and your wonderful recovery. I start every day with your blog and I am thankful for your family's updates, thoughts, and prayers. I wish you the best of luck with your continued recovery and with your upcoming school year!
Chelsea from Camanche

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never sent a comment, but have followed this from the beginning. I rejoice with you and your family for the miracle of healing you are living! Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us. I know you will be surrounded by prayer and support as you return to Taylor.
A Taylor mom

9:02 PM  
Blogger Al B. said...

Newell, Colleen, Carly, Sandra and most of all WHIT,

WOW...I did not expect to see the latest post, well, not yet anyway. I need to work a little through the tears to write this one, but this is indeed the day I have hoped and prayed for for a LONG time!!

Lisa and the Van Ryn Family, and Aryn,

Thank you for sharing your lives with us in the "Early Blog" You truly inspired me as well as thousands and Laura will certainly be remembered as will all of the "Chosen Five" and the injured. All of you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers daily.

Newell,

Thank you for being such a wonderfully strong Father and being able to share all you did with us at such a difficult time. I very much enjoyed reading your posts. You inspired me so much when actually it should have been the other way around. I wish I lived closer and could come visit E Free and meet all of you. YOu have an AWESOME Family!!

Colleen,

I remember when you first posted on the blog. For someone who seemed nervous about it, you have done a great job!! Thank you also for letting us into your life, sharing your thoughts, fears and staying strong through one of the most difficult experiences any mother could possibly face. You are a true testiment of what a mother should be. You have such an incredible family and it's because of the person you are. Thank you for inspiring me also. I cannot believe how strong you and Newell have been through all this.

Carly,

Although we didn't hear from you that much in Posts, we did hear so much about you from you parents. There is such a special bond that brothers and sisters have and Whit needed you so much....and you were there....you were there for her in a BIG WAY and that is so awesome!!! I watched you and your dad at the first "memorial service" video and your strength impressed so much. What a sister you are!!

Sandra,

Only got to see one post from you but really enjoyed it. Having the Cerek's for your "second family" must be so fantastic and they obvoiusly have the same feelings for you. You also came through like a "sister" should and should take so much pride in that.

MISS WHITNEY,

You are a walking miracle!! I have followed this since the accident through the original blog as well as on the news.

I hoped and prayed for so long to see you finally post on the blog and more so go home!!! I ended all my prior comments on here with "GO WHIT!" Well you did it!!! And I am in tears again...I am so happy for you.

I have been so inspired with what you have been through and how you fought, and worked to regain your health...you have come SO FAR and that is so so awesome!!! You and your wonderful family have inspired me so much, and thousands of others as well.

I had a little something made for you and was going to send it a few weeks ago but decided to wait until you got home. Guess I need to run to the Post Office first thing tomorrow. (Will send it to E-Free in your name)

I truly am going to miss the updates about you every morning with my first cup of coffee. I too will suffer withdrawl with no daily updates but my prayers for you have been almost completely answered...I couldn't possibly ask for more.

Thank you so much for being so strong and to your family for sharing a part of your life.

Whitney Cerek...You ARE my hero!!! God Bless You and I hope that someday I have the honor to meet you and your family. Good Luck at TAylor and with the next chapter of your life. Thank you for making me a stronger person!!

KEEP Going Whit!!!!!!!!!

Al from Pittsburgh

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Whitney and family,
What a miracle of God's power and grace! We praise the Lord with you that you have finally returned to your home. We will certainly continue praying for all of you, especially as you return to Taylor. Truly, we have all learned many, many lessons about God's all-sufficient grace, perfect plan for each of our lives, and His unfailing love. I do not think that any of the Taylor family, both on campus, and in all parts of the world, will ever forget May 2006! It has been such a privilege to see the spiritual growth in so many lives. Whitney, it brought tears to our eyes to read your own message. God bless and keep you as you continue to see God's work in your life. "Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness!" (Lamentations 3:22-23).
In the great love of our sovereign Lord,
Roger, Janet, Andrew (TU 04) and Elizabeth (TU 06) Burgess

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God for His FAITHFULNESS!
Whitney you are such a blessing!
-fellow '09 TU student-

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God for His FAITHFULNESS!
Whitney you are such a blessing!
-fellow '09 TU student-

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Whitney and Cerak family,
I have 2 daughters at Taylor ('08 and '09) who lived above you in English last year. I have felt such a bonding to you and your family, as well as to the families who lost loved ones in the accident. We will probably never understand in this lifetime all of the ramifications of this event. God's ways are not ours, are they? Life is a vapor, and it is so fragile. But I know that your story has made so many people aware of the power of God's grace, love, and mercy. Our local newspaper still continues to write updates on your recovery. I will continue to pray for you, as well as for the Felver, Smith, Larson, Erb, and VanRyn families. I hope to meet you in person when I visit Taylor and my daughters this year. So if an unknown woman with a crazy big smile on her face comes up and gives you a big hug... relax, it'll be me. May the Lord continue to bless and strengthen you in all areas of your life. Wait on His timing. I am so very happy for you! A Taylor Mom in York, PA.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Whitney.... what a wonderful surprise to log on and hear directly from you. Every day... I faithfully check in on your progress. There is a part of me that feels a sense of loss and sadness that the time has come to detatch myself and give you the space and privacy you need and deserve. how selfish of me I know.... but I also rejoice with you and your family for this time has been a long one awaited. I have traveled along every step of your journey ... although not in presence but in the deepest of prayer. You have impacted my life in a way that I could never explain. I feel like I want to say "call me" or "write"... lol. How silly can that be. You do not know me.... but yet I feel like I know all of you =) This is hard... to say goodbye. Forever inprinted on my heart. I wish I could reach out and do something for you...

Good luck with going back to school and settling into your old routines. There will be new challenges ahead. All of us who have followed along with you... will keep this in mind and keep you in prayer forever more. Love to you always.

XO Chicago

crysmytty@comcast.net

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow God is amazing I couldn't believe whit was updating! God I Good all the time through the darkest night his light will shine
! I'm so happy to know your story. If someone doesn't believe in miricales they will when they read this! Does this mean this blog is finished?!? please say no I would love to have whit update again! I thought whit updating was impressive! YOUR AMAZING and I'm glad i came across yuor story! KEPP PRESSING on! Good luck at taylor! =)
love,
Auora Hills Baptist Church, CO

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you all for sharing this story and showing a needed world the difference Christ can make any a tough situation. I have cried so many days with joy for you and your family Whitney and cried in agony for the others who will have to wait for their family reunion with their loved ones and a few tears shed for my self and the loved ones I have lost too soon it felt like. But God is in control and in Him there is peace and joy and strength for another day. I am so going to miss reading your blog to have a little bit of God's word at work every day and to get to read about your progess towards returning to a college kid on her way back for her second year at school!!!! Praise God for you and your family's example to the world of Christ centered life.
In Christ,
Still praying for you and the other families and survivors!!!!

4:12 AM  
Anonymous M said...

Really glad to hear that this journey has come to an end and a new one is beginning.
Thank you for giving me a renewed sense of faith – you have inspired me strive to continue this closeness to God and for that I am grateful.
You have set many people on a journey of their own with your postings and your faith and I wish you all the very best in the future.
Best wishes
M
x

4:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on going home Whitney!
As many of the others posting on this blog, I do not know you or your family, but feel I have come to know you. Your whole famliy seems amazing to me. Reading this blog has become part of my daily routine and I will truely miss getting these updates regarding your recovery and finding out how well you are doing. I wish you the best in everything you do.

Take care Whitney and God Bless!

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome home Whitney. So happy and glad to hear from you and that your home and ready for a "normal" life again, enjoy it!

Have loved reading about your recovery and have been facinated with the story from day one.

Good luck at school and in your life!!!

Mom in New Jesey

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't commented before but wanted you to know my heart is overflowing with joy for you. As I write through my tears, I want you to know that by sharing your faith you have made a difference in my life and I'm sure in the lives of others.

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God!

Thank you for sharing this journey of the Lord's faithfulness with all of us.

5:50 AM  
Blogger Kenny said...

Great job on going home Whitney.
Keep up the excellent work and Welcome Home. God Bless.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Whitney,
Thank you for the update we have all been waiting for! My eyes welled with tears of joy to hear that you have finally made it back home and can begin the next big chapter in your life.

May God continue to bless you all the days of your life.

Sincerely,
Elaine

5:58 AM  
Blogger inspired said...

Dear Whitney and family. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with the world through your blog. Each day I waited to read your update and was inspired at your strength and faith and how you inspired the world through your tragedy. I know that if I ever face such a time in my life, you will have inspired me to keep the faith because He is faithful. You have been such a blessing to me these past few months. Happy recovery!!!

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful blessing you have all been to me. I was drawn to this story from day 1...because I have a son at a small college and they travel in vans, because I have friends who have children at Taylor and most of all because those involved were my family in Christ. Our paths may never cross this side of eternity..but thank you for sharing this most difficult and private time. You have given me hope and encouraged me with your daily scriptures and stories. God is truly faithful. Bless you Whitney as you return to school and bless you Cerak family and the witness you have been and will continue to be for our Lord and Savior.

In Christ's Love,
Gail (a "friend" from Ohio)

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad you are home, but sad to know we won't be hearing from you or your family much longer.
Your experience has brought me closer to God, and I never want to lose that.

Be well, enjoy life to the fullest, and continue to live by the grace of God and his ever lasting love!

6:29 AM  
Anonymous lmarkott@aol.com said...

Your journey has been a glowing candle in the light of God's power...

Shine on!

the Markott's

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this difficult journey with us all. You don't know how many lives you have touched.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney, I can't wait to meet you in Heaven someday...what an amazing story you have to tell! God IS Faithful...blessings to you as you prepare to go back to Taylor.
Amanda, MI

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rejoicing along with you and your family. We have been praying and trusting for God to be so real to all of you. He always gives above whatever we could ask or think! Have a wonderful soph. year! Blessings and love, from a Taylor alumni's mom

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Whitney! :-)

6:59 AM  
Anonymous ohio mom said...

Whitney,
I have watched the story with great interest from our corner of the world (near Akron, OH).
Thanks be to God for sparing you, and allowing you to give testimony of His goodness.
I applaud both you and your family for your sensitivity regarding the other families. You are wonderful examples of Christ's love.
God bless you richly!

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome Home Whitney!!

I have read your blog almost everyday since that terrible accident. I want you to know that you have touched the world in a powerful way. It is so refreshing to read the word of Jesus and see what He can do in our lives!! I will continue to pray for you and your family as you recover, now from your home and your home at Taylor.

Welcome Back.....You are an inspiration to so many! God is so GOOD!!!!

Love,

Kelly Findley
Millbrook, Alabama

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Dan M. said...

To keep the discussion entirely honest (as Jesus would do), shouldn't we acknowledge and discuss that many people have an issue of faith about this tragedy?

A "message of God" is mentioned in the original post. Frankly, I and many others are still deeply puzzled as to what that message might be. Several people were killed in a violent accident and there was a mistake in identity which led to further extreme hurt. God certainly sends messages, but also there exist tragic and senseless accidents which are not on God's agenda and God has nothing to do with. Many of us believe what happened is in the latter category, and our prayers are not for us to understand God's will, because God has no part in it, but for everyone to simply have strength and move on.

I know comments are moderated, and I hope you let this one through because it brings a different perspective which should be honestly considered. We continue to pray for you, everyone else involved, and all others who are questioning their faith at this moment.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Cerak family,
You don't need to publish this. Just wanted you to know that my daughters just informed me that Whitney was in Olson, not English last year. What do Mom's know anyway... :) That isn't relevant anyway. Enjoy your special time being all home together as a family before Whitney goes off to school. Lorraine Hartshorn, Taylor Mom in York, PA

7:40 AM  
Blogger Gina Darlage said...

What a wonderful surprise to see the blog today was actually from you, Whitney. I have tears in my eyes knowing you are finally well enough to go home. You have so many people that love you & you have impacted so many lives. Good Luck going back to school and as you continue to heal. We will miss hearing from you & your family, but will continue to pray for you all !

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Julie Halverson, Marion said...

To all the Ceraks,

I began reading the blog back when Laura and Whitney's identities were discovered. Since then I have not missed a day. It became the start of my daily devotions and now I will miss it terribly. I am the one who sent the prayer box bracelets and key chains. Colleen, I appreciated your note so much! (Sorry the prayer for Matt was for a brother, I will correct that!) I couldn't be happier for you, Whitney and all of your family that you are now home and planning to return to Taylor. God is so good, as you all know! My belief is that we are to learn something positive and good from a difficult situation. I believe God wants us to do that. I know your family will use the experience of the past few months to witness to others as they face trials. God bless all of you, and maybe someday we can meet. You will be in my prayers as you head back to Upland. Fondly, Julie Halverson

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I have been reading your blog updates for the past few months, my day didn't feel right without checking in. We will continue to pray for all families and wish you well on your journey

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Hey Whitney. Just wanted to stop by your blog and say congratulations on you and your family. Im from Denmark, and read about it in a national paper and was amazed how lucky someone can be.

Best of luck from Michael, Denmark.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney, you being here, and the strength of your family are yet another reason to give all praise and thanks to our Lord. Take care, I will continue to pray for the other families in this very difficult time for them.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your lives with us. From the outside looking in, it's been quite a journey. Bless you all as you get back to "a normal life". We know God will be with you.
God is so good!!!!!!!!!

7:58 AM  
Blogger Helen:) said...

thank you for sharing this journey with us. I`m from Norway and I don`t know you..I just saw the article in the norwegian newspaper, and I am so happy to hear that your home. I will pray for you, your family and all the other families involved in the terrible accident.

I wish you the best forever, I`m sure you deserve it!
Have a great time at school..

-helen in Norway

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless you. Take heart and call upon the Lord. :) Congrats.
God bless,
Yet another God-lover. :)

8:17 AM  
Blogger Brett said...

Praise God, and welcome home. I join you in your prayers for the other families...

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the next segment of your precious life! Peace, Love, & Blessings;)

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Whitney

Your tragedy made it all the way to Denmark in Northern Europe. I feel glad for you and your family, that you are finaly home. Must be incredible to survive such a thing. I wont say much more, keep safe and get 100 % back to life.

Kind regards

Per Jørgensen, Denmark

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will truly miss my now daily routine of checking on you and your progress, however am SO happy for you to get on with your life. I feel like i know you and you were my inspiration not to complain about stupid little things everyday. Good luck in school and the future.

Love from New Jersey

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an '06 TU graduate, the thought of going back to TU is bittersweet but I am SO excited for you Whitney! Taylor is such an amazing place and you have three more years to make some amazing friends and great memories. I looking forward to hearing more abotu your recover from friends still at TU.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney,

Your story has touched my heart.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Whitney, I can't wait to meet you in Heaven someday...what an amazing story you have to tell! God IS Faithful...blessings to you as you prepare to go back to Taylor.
Amanda, MI"

What!? Meet her in Heaven?! You don't need to wait that long. She's alive and well on Earth! Go up to Taylor and meet her in person or something. Bring her a box of Twinkies or something. :-D

Hey, maybe she's alive now because God wanted you to go up there and meet her. Maybe that is His plan for you. After all, He isn't wrong.

Go for it. HE has sent you a message, and that message is: ROAD TRIP!

8:33 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Whitney, you and your family are just amazing. I am in awe of the depth of your love for each other and the depth of your reliance on God.
I wish you all the peace and beauty and comfort your hearts can hold.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Dianne said...

Dear Cerak family ~ While some have said they started their mornings with your bible verses and entries, I ended my day with them, saying prayers for your family, as well as the other Taylor families. And I also prayed for some of those who left comments, those who requested prayer, and sometimes those who simply stated they needed the particular verse posted that day. And the comments also led me to other blogs, some of which I read regularly. Jody in Michigan, Teagan's mom, yours I really enjoy! So this blog and your writings have left imprints on the lives of many other people. You may never know the extent of this but God does, and someday He will reveal it all when we see Him face to face. I almost want to cry to hear you will only blog a few more times. You don't know those of us who faithfully read your updates every day but we know you, and it will be a void for awhile not to have you in our daily lives. But we send you off to normal everyday life with gladness and joy, knowing that you can resume this again. Whitney, I have to tell you that you are a brave girl to want to go back to school right away. I think of me at your age and know I'd probably want to just go home and stay for days, to the comfort of my room. God be with you. My youngest daughter returns to the University of Missouri for her senior year next week so I am also sending forth a child to fall classes. God be with all of us. We will miss you but know someday we will all meet in eternity. Praise the Lord for this promise! Blessings and Love from Missouri.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Cygnus said...

It's great that you are home and all and it is fantastic that you survived this horrible accident, but... I personally don't understand all of the talk of your god being faithful.

An all-loving god would never have allowed this accident to happen. An all-loving god would not have allowed the families of five of your classmates to suffer the way that they did - ESPECIALLY the Van Ryns. And, from my point of view, an all-loving, all-knowing god who allows the Van Ryns to believe that their daughter survived only to learn the cruel truth 5 weeks later is either some sort of cruel hoaxter or... more likely... just a figment of human invention.

I think that it is great that you are home and healthy... but it is little more than LUCK that brought you home. As you rejoice your god... if you continue to believe that it was your god that brought you through this... remember that that same god failed others, grievously... if it exists, in the first place.

Good luck and a speedy recovery.
-Cygnus

8:51 AM  
Anonymous A Mississippi Girl said...

Our journey with God brings us through valleys with a climb to the mountain top. We know that when we walk through these valleys we must continue to praise God and worship him as if we were on the top of the mountain. I think of the verses in James 1 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." It is often very hard to find joy in the midst of trials and we sometimes go around the mountain several times before we start our climb.

You and your family have modeled the verses in James to an entire world of people reading this daily. You have continually blessed all of us with your devotions. Only God could take your situation, His words that minister to you, and use those scriptures to be the one thing that so many people needed to hear that day.

We are all priviledged to have been a part of your journey and thank you for sharing Jesus first daily, along with Whitney's progress.

Congratulations to you,Whitney, and may God continue to grant you wisdom and strength as you walk with Him.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's great that Whitney will be going home and back to school. God is sooo good! I understand your need for privacy, but was wondering if you would reconsider your decision to blog only twice more. I am concerned at how comcast news totally edited out all the comments about Christ when reporting on your blog. Please don't give up, they can't censor it all the time! If you stop letting anyone report on Whitney's story, there will be no glory given to God in the media. Her daily and total recovery will be a chance to spread the gospel. Are you going to allow any stories at all about her progress anywhere? Publishing a book in the secular world would be of great interest to all and would get non-Christians buying the book, not knowing how much of the gospel you'll share! Going on 20/20, Oprah or Dateline would reach a vast audience!
Please reconsider...Perhaps you could allow something now and then.....

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney:
So glad to hear you are back home and preparing to go back to school. You have come a long way these last few months. I will miss the daily posts by your family but, I am thrilled for you to get back to a normal life without the world watching you.
Good luck in all you do in life.
Louisville, KY

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney, at some point, probably long after the Lord has totally healed your parent's grief over thinking they lost you, and after healing the VanRyn's grief, you're going to tell your grandchildren the story of already having had a funeral, and they are going to think it's so cool.

When you are old, you might someday tease your children when they are grown, by saying "You don't have to have a funeral for me when I'm gone, I already had one when I was 19."

I'm middle-aged, but I have a friend in her 80's, and her health is declining. I'm going to get a video-camera and help her make a tape to be played after she's gone. Maybe one tape for the funeral, and one tape just for family.

My next-door neighbor was in the hospital, and he passed away before I got around to visiting him and telling him how much I respected his family because he and his wife had good kids, and they are such good neighbors.

Your story reminds us of a couple things. One, to not leave good things unsaid. And, two, screw-ups happen.

9:07 AM  
Blogger derek&megan said...

hi whitney and family. like many taylor alum's, i have been following your story since april. i haven't posted yet, but have thought and prayed for you and the other families often.

my biggest prayer for whitney has been that she would progress quickly enough to get back to school in the fall, and i cannot tell you how overjoyed i am that God has answered this prayer!

whitney, as you continue your life, it seems there is NO DOUBT that God wants you on this earth for a reason. He has an amazing purpose in store for you -- even beyond how your story and recovery have touched those who heard it.

you and your family are an amazing example of love, grace and compassion. you are wonderful ambassadors for God. thank you for sharing your story.

i'm so excited for you! have a wonderful fall semester!

megan
tuu '98

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad you are able to go for a couple of weeks before classes start at TU! I pray your time at home will be one of peace and rest. Hopefully, the news media will not be too intrusive upon your return home and later at Taylor. I have been blessed by the entries on your blog by your family. You are truly blessed to be part of such a loving, Christian family.

Mom of a TU 3EOer

9:15 AM  
Anonymous sharon said...

God bless you! May you continue a wonderful life that God has chosen for you. You and your family are very blessed!

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WELCOME HOME WHITNEY!!!! MAY GOD'S GRACE AND HEALING CONTINUE WITH YOU IN THE DAYS AHEAD. I WILL MISS THE DAILY DEVOTION AND REPORTS BUT, AM SO HAPPY TO HEAR YOU ARE HOME! YOUR FAMILY'S WORDS HAVE UPLIFTED ME EACH DAY. WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST AT SCHOOL AND TO THE OTHER FAMILIES AND FRIENDS, MAY GODS STRENTH CONTINUE TO HOLD THEM AND COMFORT THEM EACH DAY.......

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Carol M said...

Whitney,
WELCOME HOME :) :) :)
God is good.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

My greatest hope is that you tour the world and tell your story. You are a living testament to God, a true miracle.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GOD SAVED YOU FOR A SPECIAL CALLING IN LIFE ,NOW YOU MUST SERVE HIM TO LEARN YOUR CALLING AND USE THIS GIFT TO THE FULLNESS SO ALL INVOLVED WILL BE BLESSED

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Cerak Family...Thank you for sharing your incredible journey!! I will miss having updates.
Whitney, I wish you many happy "thoughts" ("luck" just didn't seem to fit here, you have that on your side already, honey!!) in your upcoming years at TU!! You will rock the house sister!!
Will miss your blog, but for all excellent reasons......You are back and ready to go!
Take time to relax and enjoy what He has given us....

9:31 AM  
Blogger fugitivepoet said...

Welcome home, Whitney!!! You truly are a miracle!

Jennifer in Traverse City

9:31 AM  
Anonymous gypsyfam@sbcglobal.net said...

We have followed your journey through your generosity of sharing through the blog. We knew that soon you would be able to end the updates as the Lord so graciouly has brought you to the step being back to normalacy. I personally will miss the Bible verses. Your daily "sermonettes" have helped me to personally grow a lot these last months. We ;will miss that touch we felt we had with you. Thank you and God bless you and I know I will continue to pray for you all. We have so wondered if there were others seriously injured as Whitney.

In Christian love from the Tracy family in Marionville, Missouri.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous gypsyfam@sbcglobal.net said...

We have followed your journey through your generosity of sharing through the blog. We knew that soon you would be able to end the updates as the Lord so graciouly has brought you to the step being back to normalacy. I personally will miss the Bible verses. Your daily "sermonettes" have helped me to personally grow a lot these last months. We ;will miss that touch we felt we had with you. Thank you and God bless you and I know I will continue to pray for you all. We have so wondered if there were others seriously injured as Whitney.

In Christian love from the Tracy family in Marionville, Missouri.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I notice your blog thanks God many times. I'm pretty sure there is no God, and you are here by chance. While many naive and weak people rely on "God" to help them through tough times, it is sad that so many are so weak that they have to believe in a myth. You are obviously a strong willed person as you made it through your terrible accident. I hope you have a long and prosperous life, and rethink as to why you are still here, and that it had nothing to do with anything other than chance.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome home Whitney! God bless you and your family. Stay strong and live strong. You have taught us to be brave.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your recovery. It must have been a tough time. Hope you will get completely well.

I just don't understand why you all think it's such a miracle, but I'm also not a religious person. I mean - the other girl who was thought to be Whitney died, so to her family it must be the opposite of a miracle? Where is God in that case? I don't mean that Whitney should feel guilty, but I just think she was lucky to survive.

Religion brings so much sadness to the world, like in the Middle East. Why do people need a God - can't you just belive in the good in people?

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney - As a fellow living miracle, I am happy that you have semi-returned to a semi-normal life (it'll probably never be normal again). Please know that you are a woman who has to answer to God alone, not to all the people here on the blog, nor to your family, nor to your church - no matter how much people urge you to do something, you still have to do what's right for you - I hope you have exercised your ability to say "no" cuz you're gonna have to use it a lot... Now go live YOUR life, in the way that seems best to you (keeping your sights on God & trying to stay within His will, of course) and please know that our prayers will be answered if you can be a blessing in this world - and being the "perfect Christian" is not what we mean. Nor should you think that you have to make up for the loss of Laura or the others; that was not your fault. Thanks to you & your family for your dedication to the blog - it's certainly not something you had to do...

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God! Your uplifting words and scripture are being read here in France, and daily we have been encouraged as we share the gospel with Europeans. Havea wonderful school year. May God continue His richest blessings...

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless as you return to normal life. I am keeping all families involved in my prayers.

Be well!

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WAY TO GO WHITNEY,

Have A Great Life, thanks for sharing your story with everyone it was changed my life.

Continued success,
Bev from NJ

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Jack Little said...

Jeremiah 29:11. I probably don't need to tell you about this scripture. You seem well versed. But here it is in case you can't recall from memory....
It says " For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

When I heard of your situation I remember saying a prayer for you, your family, and the other family. I can't imagine how this experience will change everyone's lives. Just remember God gives us a mess to make our message....a test to form our testimony. Use this experience to spread the word of God....he has blessed you with the amazing opportunity to share his word. God bless you and your family. I will pray for your continued recovery.

Jack Little
www.johnhjacobsnextgenerationpowerforce.com

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney,
You don't know me but I've followed your journey since reading about it on the internet months ago. I live in the Chicago area but am originally from Grand Rapids. I regularly check the Grand Rapids ABC and NBC websites for area news which is how I came across your story.

You should know that your story is making it's way across the country as just today the Chicago NBC webiste has you on the front story ticker. Life is precious and I hope that others can gain strength, encouragement and faith in God from your journey as I have.

I never considered myself a very religious person but do believe in God. After following your story, I began to talk a lot more to God and really start to strengthen my relationship with Him. As a result, my 2 boys, ages 7 and 5, are impacted as well.

Thank you for making such a positive difference in the life of my family.

Hugs to you,
Amy McGreal

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 19 year old daughter just left for college yesterday and I am tearful as I read this post by Whitney. This could happen to anyone's child! How wonderful that this tragedy can be used to reach so many others with the love of Christ! I am so glad Whitney is doing well and will continue to pray for her and the other families involved. Take care, Whitney. --- A Mom in Savannah

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So happy you are home with your precious family. God is so good.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous RIkke said...

Welcome Home Whitney :D

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney,

Your faith, and that of your family, has truly inspired me. I am thrilled to know you are feeling better and heading back to school soon.

Take care!

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohhh!!!! WHITNEY, PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!! I HAVE READ YOUR BLOGS EVERYDAY. I HAVE CRIED AND PRAYED. I LOST MY NIECE IN A CAR ACCIDENT 4 YEARS AGO. WHEN MY FAMILY HEARD THE NEWS OF THE MIX-UP, MY 13 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER ASKED IF IF WAS POSSIBLE FOR THAT TO HAVE HAPPENED TO HER BELOVED COUSIN. I TOLD HER "NO". I HAD TO EXPLAIN TO HER THE JOYS AND SORROWS OF THIS MIX-UP. HOW ONE FAMILY WAS NOW HAPPY AND YET THE OTHER SAD. SO, VERY HARD, FOR ANYONE TO EVER UNDERSTAND. NOW THAT YOU ARE ON A UPHILL ROAD TO RECOVERY, WE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, AS WELL AS THE VANRYNS. GOD BLESS ALL!!!!! I WILL MISS YOUR BLOG, AS I AM SURE MOST OF US FEEL LIKE WE KNOW YOU. HAVE A HAPPY LIFE AND A GREAT SCHOOL YEAR. LOVE IN CHRIST.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Autumn Tagert said...

Praise the Lord!!!!!! I'm so happy to hear that you are safely home. You can eat all the wings you want and play with Hunter. I've kept track of your journey, faithfully praying since I got the horrible phone call back in April from Alysha. You've got a great man of God by your side Whitney. Matt loves you so much. You know that, I'm sure. Even though I haven't met you, you've changed my life. You've taught me to pray faithfully for others. To pray fervently, knowing that God is great and He will answer prayers. I will continue to pray for your transition back to school, and for your family, as I can imagine seeing you off to school is going to be more difficult this year. God bless you and your family. You mean so much to me.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Whitney and family. I'm happy to see you're moving on and up!!

To those who question whether God has His hand in this or even if He exists... I tell you this... I'd rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't than to live life as if there isn't a God and die to find out there is!!

From a sister in Jesus Christ in Jacksonville, FL!

God's blessings to you Whitney as well as your entire family as you start your Sophomore year!

GOD IS GOOD!

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Sleeping in your own bed is a joy after being away for so long.

Events of the past, people that I have met, and stories such as yours has strengthened and reaffirmed my faith. I hope you know that your faith and strength has inspired many. Our Lord DOES work in mysterious ways. God Bless you and your family!

A Believer in Colorado

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Reto from Switzerland said...

Hello Whitney,
Dear Cerak Family

Today i have read about this amazing Story here on the newspaper in SWITZERLAND! Even here, your Story is known. I have no words what went thru my mind when i heard about this.
Whitney you are amazing! I am very glad you found your way back to life! god bless you and your family.

sending some love
reto

r.deflorin@yahoo.com

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Kelly B said...

Whitney, I rejoice that you are alive and at home.

Kelly B.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney and family:

Wow!! What a story...I agree with many of the comments made already -- so I will not repeat them.

I do have some thoughts, however, that you may not have heard before.

I can definately relate, personally, to waking up from a month-long coma, being very confused about what happened, where I was, and was I dreaming or not..... In my case, I had not had my own funeral -- although one was being planned, I am sure. I had endured a virulent cancerous tumor, and many were sure I had died. Now is the time instead of "What happened?" to ask "What do I do now?"

Like you, my strength was the three "f's" -- faith, family, and friends; who hung in there to help me when it seemed others, even some medical personnel, did not know what to do. All who helped are to be commended for their faith and commitment.

I remember, when going back to school in the fall, my friends all "catching up" with each other, and asking "Well, what did YOU do during the summer?" Thankfully, you will not have to endure that at all. At Taylor, absolutely everyone will know about you, and they will not have to ask nor will you have to answer. Face it -- you are now a "celebrity". (Make sure a friend regularly measures your head so it does not become too big!)

Taylor can help, too. Just tell the good people there that you spent the summer in a practicum titled "Recovery from a near-death injury or illness." Maybe, if you contribute this blog, and speak in chapel, they can give you academic credit for this special "class". At least you may not have to write a paper on "What missions work I did last summer -- and how many people I affected". (Oh yea, I think that there has already been at least one chapel about you -- and besides, I am not sure if it is in the school rules to have a dead person speak at chapel - nor has it been done before.)

You also will never, for the rest of your life, wherever you are, have a "boring testimony". You will never, when asked to speak, bite your lip and say to yourself "Oh no -- I do not have much of a testimony to give. Just what could I possibbly say that would inspire someone else?" You will not have to wait until you are over 40, and have enough life experinces to talk about inspiring things.

Look out world -- Whitney is alive and well, and as the Bible says, you faith has been "sharpened by the fires of trial". (I am sure some reference to revival by fire can be found in Scripture.) You are already stronger by the experience.

Just hold on to your family and friends that you had prior to you being "famous" -- for you may not be aware of any "new friend's" agenda after all of the attention comes your way.

All my best to you and family.


A Fellow Survivor

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney, i am sorry about what happened have a great day!

12:17 PM  
Blogger jlybn123 said...

So glad that all is now well and you are on the road to recovery! And I wouldn't fret over missing out on those few weeks...I'm sure there are divine reasons for it and you are better off.

Take care and hope that you really do start resuming your "normal" life once again!

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Jamie Curisian said...

It's not god that got you through this...it was your ability to heal. You were lucky because of where you were seated and might have had the seatbelt correctly on. If god was so just why would he save you and let the others die? It was luck and you were in the wrong place at the right time. It was our incompetent law enforcement that screwed up your identification. It's wonderful that it worked out for you but have faith in yourself and your bodies ability to heal. Welcome back have a wonderful life!

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome home, you're in my thoughts and prayers.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Laura Jean said...

How wonderful for you and your family that you're able to continue on with your life. To your family it must seem like you've been born once again. After so long of not being home it will be great to sleep in your own bed and get back to what you were doing before this terrible accident happened. I wish you a complete recovery from your accident.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So happy for you and your family!May the Lord bless you as you continue to heal and start another school year. God is so awesome!!! We will continue to pray for the other families, that they will claim God's many promises for comfort and strength.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on being home. I first heard of you from a friend that grew up in Gaylord. I have followed your story since. Your family is an inspiration to all. Glad to see that you are on the road to recovery and that you will be returning to school. Good luck in all that you achieve.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Minton said...

Welcome home Whitney. I am happy to hear you are getting things back to normal, even after such a surreal life-changing thing.

Mintons
Augusta
Maine

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You haave demonstrated how God's grace can strenthen us through times of trial such as this. I hope you can continue growing in him so that others can learn from you.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome home Whitney! Hope to see you around town before we all leave for school!!

~ Former Gaylord High Classmate

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whit - just have to add my words of congratulations to the hundreds now posted on this page. What we've all prayed for has finally come to pass - you're home and ready to get back to college - AMAZING!

I guess many of us didn't realize that once our prayers were answered we would have to let you go. I'm one of the many who looked forward each morning to seeing 'what's new with Whitney.' Today "Today" beat the blog by telling of your return home. It took my breathe away when I heard the news and to see the post from you personally was indeed so special. I'm looking forward already to the final two posts your family promised and secretly hoping there will be more.

Now a couple words to Newell and Colleen. I've been in total agreement with your request for privacy during these months of recovery; but perhaps now you should think about allowing the media in.

I say this for a couple reasons: first, you and Whitney have been such an incredible witness on the blog, imagine how many people you could reach via the media. And secondly, I worry about Whitney's college life being constantly invaded by people trying to 'get the story' or 'get the photo.' Perhaps if you put it out there in a situation that you can control the need to doggedly trail her would no longer exist.

Whatever you choose to do, you have become a part of our lives and you will all remain in out thoughts and prayers forever.

a mom from Clare

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome Home to Taylor, Whitney. Way to go. Our prayers will continue with you this year.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you Whitney. You and your family have been an inspiration to me. While I am a believer in Christ, reading this blog has made me an even stronger one. God bless you and all of those involved in this amazing tale of hope, courage and God's love.
Melissa

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great story for you and your family. I hope your recovery goes well. It must be great to be home. I do not know what else to say. I think your life will be dramatically changed by this whole experience for the better.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow!!!!!

Congratulations on being home and entire your life!!!!

Happy for you all!!

1:08 PM  
Blogger janette said...

Whitney-
What an insperation you and your family are. God Bless all of you. You are always in my thoughts and prayers..
Thank you for all you have done for all of us..
Janette Moser and family

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome home, Whitney! It is nothing short of a miracle that you have come so far in such a short time, that's for sure. However, the miracle did not "just happen". Your hard work and determination MADE it happen. You've had to overcome so much to get this far. You are fortunate to have had such strong family support, and an expert medical team, all whom have been an extension of God's hands. You've made it! Now as you continue on life's path, I pray that you will always be blessed with much happiness and many blessings, and very little pain, because you, sweetie, deserve it.
From Gaylord,
With love and admiration!

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Patrick D Linton said...

Hey I read about you on the news and found this blog and i just wanted to say that it's totally awesome that God is such a big part of your life and I hope you have a great sophomore year.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Whitney and the Cerak Family,
You are truly an inspiration to us all. God Bless you on your future journeys along Life's Path. Your story will inspire God's followers for years to come.
God Bless You!

1:35 PM  
Blogger Al B. said...

If anyone wants to see both blogs combined:http://whitneysstory.blogspot.com/

I did not do this for any personal gradification. It's simply a tribute to the Cerek Family, the other families involved, and especially to Whitney.

What an amazing story and thanks to the Cerek's and VanRyns for sharing it with all of us!!

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Whitney,
WELCOME HOME!!!!!!!!

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, God was there for the Van Ryn's. But perhaps if they see this, they can answer in their own words. To those questioning the existance of God, and his Hand in all of this, I can only say that the decision is up to you, to believe or not to believe. After hearing the scripture and ministry of this blog- only you can make that choice. To argue with, or challenge your opinion, or further try to convince you, is not my intention. It has been said, and the Word of God has been spoken- it's up to you.

1:42 PM  
Blogger annette said...

I too am sad to be losing you and your family...you have become a part of our family and watching your progess was awesome...I also hope you will write a book..allow a movie or in some way see fit to share all of this April 26th accident with the world...I see the need for privacy but I also see the needs of this world to see Jesus shining through you...with much prayer~

1:48 PM  
Anonymous In memory of Sam and others. said...

Whitney, Welcome back and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. God is a Holy Mystery and he is with us as he has been since time began. I can tell you things I have learned about friendships that have come and gone. About loved ones who have crossed the threshold into that Holy Mystery.
It seem to me that we cross many thresholds throughout our lives, each one a growing experience. The group of friends in grade school will not be the same in high school and certainly not in college. Througout your professional life you will also cross thresholds with each new experience bringing you close to understanding how it all holds together. I have crossed many, have left many behind and even today in later years can name friends in each group that were left behind as we moved on to new lives through education, work, religion and social groups. I have come to find out that while the mind goes back, time goes on and goodbyes are generally forever. I totally enjoy the people around me today but painfully miss those yesterfriends. Through all this, we find out, at least I did that your belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and his love for you will be your only constant companion. All the people you know now will go on their way, new people will replace them as your companions whether family or newly found friends. Through your parents you will learn love and laughter, from your grandparents you will learn that the world is a wonderous place, all your loved ones will sprinkle stardust into you eyes and all will give you pure joy.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Tina Lucchetti said...

Dear Whitney,
I am happy to hear of your remarkable recovery. My 18 year old niece was in a car accident in March and was also in a coma for 5 weeks. She is home now after months of rehab and has returned to college today. I understand how hard it is to come back from something like this after living through it personally with my sisters child. You are awsome. The power of love and prayer is amazing. Best of luck to you in your future

Tina Lucchetti

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

welcome home!!!!!!!

2:38 PM  
Blogger James lee Hamilton said...

Father keeps us encased in His undeniable love, that we might endure the overcoming forces against us …if not for His love…
We are a living testimony to
Adoni's grace, mercy and love, ... Forever and a day


In the Service of Abba, Father.
Jim & Terry Lee Hamilton @
ShekinahLifeCenter.com

A day does not end
without my looking up
and praising Adonai'
for the great tapestry of His love.
Painted before you,
blazoned across the canvas of eternity,
is pure creation, pure love
Enjoy your journey...

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome home Whitney I am so glad to see a message from you and feel that God has done a true miracle for you and your family. I hope all goes well for you from here out and remember (Always keep God first in your life.)

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney and family,
I followed your story in utter disbelief and shock. I am glad you are back with your family and good luck to you and everything you do.
Your friend in Sault Ste. Marie~
Jess

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney,
Im so glade that your home. It must feel good to go home and sleep in you own bed. good luck back at Taylor.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney,

Congrats on your recovery. I've been following your blog and taking inspiration in your story. You're like a dear friend and very much part of my day. It'll be odd not being able to check in on you! But parting is sweet sorrow as this signifies your being able to return to your "normal" life.

Take Care!

A. Jaronowski

2:55 PM  

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