I just finished reading a book called "Mistaken Identity" about the two women pictured above, Laura VanRyn and Whitney Cerak. My sister got the book for Christmas, but I borrowed it last night and couldn't put it down. Laura and Whitney were involved in a car crash on their way home from a school banquet. Authorities contacted the VanRyn family and told them that Laura had survived but was in critical condition ... they told the Cerak family that Whitney had been instantly killed. For months, the VanRyn family stayed by Laura's side in the hospital, caring for her and nurturing her. As she began to regain her strength, the family noticed that something wasn't right. One day, during a physio-therapy session, the therapist asked Laura to write her name. She wrote: WHITNEY.
This true story is absolutely incredible. The families of both women are such strong, devoted Christians and the book outlines how their faith and their belief in the goodness of God is what got them through such a horrible ordeal. I put the book down and was filled with so much admiration for both the VanRyn and the Cerak families, they are such an inspiration to me.
There were two parts in the book that really touched me. The first was when Whitney's sister, Carly, is told that her sister was instantly killed in the crash. Her immediate reaction is to tell her friends: "God is still good. He is still good. This doesn't change that at all." The second was when Lisa, Laura's sister, discovers that the girl she thought was Laura is actually Whitney. She kneels down next to Whitney's wheelchair and whispers: "you're doing great Whitney, you're doing great." I was deeply moved by the genuine grace these two sisters had in the midst of all their sorrow. We could all learn a lot from them.
If you have a chance to read the book I really recommend it ... it is a powerful story of hope and faith, and it will move you.