On Wednesdays we are thrilled to fling open the doors to all of YOU! We love hearing your stories…the lessons you’ve learned, the roads you’ve walked, the dreams He’s planted in your hearts! Today we are excited to welcome Janae Mercier to God-sized Dreams. She reminds us that, though life can often bring challenges, our Creator has a special purpose for each of us. Thanks for sharing your story here today, Janae!
Long ago, there was a little butterfly who had emerged from her cocoon. She found that she was not like the rest of the world. There were obstacles that threatened to bring her down. She prevailed and grew to become beautiful in the eyes of her Creator…
My name is Janae, which means a gift from God. I was born almost thirty years ago to parents who had no idea how they would be changed and transformed by the challenges it has taken to raise me to the woman I am today.
There were complications right from the beginning. Before I was born, the doctors knew that something was not right.
I was born with a kidney that was not functioning the way that it was supposed to and was hospitalized many times because of this as an infant and as a child. At the age of two, I had surgery to remove the kidney that had failed. I can still remember the popsicle that I received after the surgery was finished. Prior to the surgery, I can recall seeing a little girl who was fighting a very different battle than my own. At the time, I had no understanding of what illness she had, but I now recognize it as leukemia. I could not comprehend why I was in the hospital. This was the beginning of the life that God had created for me alone to walk.
Many years went by until I was nine years old and in grade four. My parents started to notice that I could not keep up with the other children at school as we learned new concepts. Grade four was a pivotal age…I started to fall through the cracks. My parents had seen me fall behind before but had not thought anything of it.
I had trouble learning to speak. My mom and brother were the only ones who could understand me when I talked, and I was referred to a speech therapist for a few years before kindergarten.
I also had difficulty catching a ball, learning to ride my bike without the training wheels and understanding the concept of basketball when my parents thought I should try a team sport activity.
At precisely the right time on December 31, 1997; my mom made an appointment with a receptionist to see a children’s psychologist. She had only come to briefly clean her desk and decided to answer the phone during the holiday season.
Shortly after, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome by the psychologist.
Fast forward to today; I have had many ups and downs. I am still facing the trials that come with a higher functioning disability that is not understood by the general population of the world. It is a disability not attributed to be physically seen and uncommon in girls. I am learning that I do have barriers as an adult with Asperger’s Syndrome which include anxiety and fear when facing changes in my life.
I have learned to drive, traveled the world, attended Capernwray Hall Bible school in England and been on mission trips to Zambia, Italy and Mexico. I have found community in my church and lifelong friends who strengthen my faith in Jesus. I have become a prayer warrior, learned to serve and seen healing take place in my own life.
I used to be ashamed that God created me with Asperger’s Syndrome but He has transformed my life to accept what I cannot change. I desire to share my story and to create a ministry that will go beyond what I can imagine as I step into the calling that God has created for me.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit…”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)