“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
Romans 8:11

After seven years, Vince was able to stand on his feet for the first time. We received his long leg braces! There is so much joy in my heart for this day has arrived! I immediately had a picture taken of Vince with me standing behind him, so I can see what a tall son I have. Can you imagine the feeling I have to see him standing up, and I don’t have to hold him anywhere? I only put my hands on his shoulders lightly as I smile into the camera the orthopedic technician is holding in his hands. Of course we have to hold him when we have him standing for a longer period of time. He is so excited he starts swaying himself, and we have to watch him so he won’t fall. But those few seconds while he stands calmly and I let him go and he stands there on his own… That feeling is indescribable… Only God knows how grateful I am, how much joy there is in my heart that wants to spill over. Only Him!

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ’Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’”
John 9:1-3

The orthopedic technician left, and I started singing and dancing from all this joy. God’s act has become evident in Vince’s body! I started kissing him all over, I told him how proud I am! He kept saying “Dad, Dad,” which means once Dad is home, we will tell him the big news too! I suspected that we could put Vince into the long leg braces somehow with the help of the orthopedic technician, but what I didn’t know was that Vince would enjoy it this much and wouldn’t want to get out of it! It must have pressed against his body as there was no padding in it at first (so we could see if any adjustment was needed). He was swaying his body so much, I had the feeling he wanted to swing his leg and start moving forward. Huh, it was a big moment!

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”
Hebrews 12:11-13

While I was feeling this immense happiness, I looked back on our lives and tried to understand why this moment could come right now. After the joy subsided in me a little, I started thinking what I had done to get a gigantic gift like this now. I received a very interesting teaching from God! Human love works within the laws of give and take, but God’s love is filled with grace, mercy and presents not deserved. You may think I got this gift of seeing Vince stand because I tirelessly care for him, I don’t give up, because I encourage others, because I pray with other moms, because even though I have joint pain I keep lifting his body, because I travel across the globe so doctors can treat him, because I read the Bible, because I give money to the homeless, because I take on volunteer film making, because, because, because… NO! I got this gift, because I believe in the redemption of Jesus! This thing alone is enough to belong to God’s family, and as such, I could also receive the inheritance of the joy.

Do you know how I know this? I will tell you: when my happiness subsided a little after standing Vince up, I remembered an ugly thing. I got a gift, and I didn’t even deserve it! They took the measurements for the long leg braces back in January, and they told us the first version would be ready in two months. I called them after two months, and they just stammered and stuttered. I asked them if they hadn’t even started, but they didn’t give me a straight answer. There was anger in my heart, because when we were in the USA in December, all the orthopedic doctors told us Vince should have been standing up for a long time. These doctors knew the illness very well and had experience with it already. Here at home we didn’t see a single doctor who would have told us to stand him up, rather, they held us back, because they were afraid the strange position of Vince’s hips couldn’t support him. I know they told this to us rightfully, because they didn’t have any examples in front of them treating someone with AMC. So I was angry and I lied to the orthopedic technician, saying that I had already arranged with a physiotherapist an intensive exercise
therapy for the two weeks of the spring break, and I really needed the long leg braces. They apologized and assured me that they would hurry up and the first prototype would arrive in two weeks.

“For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”
Romans 7:22-25

The orthopedic technician left. I was singing and dancing, kissing Vince, I was giving thanks to God. Then it hit me that I didn’t even deserve this present, because I lied just a minute ago. But the present was already here, it was mine, I received it, out of mercy. God taught me something again: I didn’t get it because I was good, and I didn’t not get it until now, because I had been bad. Only one thing matters to Him: I believe in God, and in His Son, Jesus the Savior! He knew very well I would sin, He also knows this was not the last time, and this is why He gave us such a precious gift that would give us eternal salvation. Easter for me is not the holiday of a bunny anymore, but the redeeming gift of Jesus!

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”
Romans 8:1-4