Failure. Often failure is viewed as the "end-all-be-all" on the journey to success. Imagine studying hard for a board exam or a final in your most difficult course. You are sleep deprived. You have denied yourself free time and social activities. You have delayed gratification by focusing on your studies entirely and now it is time to perform.
You are nervous. You are scared about the potential of failing, but hopeful for the possibility of passing. You pray that you may pass this test without incident. You take the exam. You are feeling great. These questions are easy. You know the information. You leave with unshakable confidence that you have obtained an excellent score. You are on top of the world. Results are in. You click the button. You open that envelope. You have failed. Failed. After making so many sacrifices. After dedicating extensive time and effort to obtain your goal. Failed. After trusting and believing that faith without works is dead. Failed! Where is God now? How did He let this happen? What did you do to deserve this? Why do people who do not even acknowledge or serve Him have so much success, yet you are the one forced to endure humiliation and embarrassment? You stepped out on faith. You proclaimed His word. How could He forsake you? The Word of God says in Romans 8:28 NIV that "ALL things work for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." In Jeremiah 29:11 NIV it states that He "knows the plans [He] has for you. Plans to give you hope and a future." His Word also says that "we are more than conquerors" (Romans 8:37 NIV). Is the Bible nothing more than a mere book filled with false promises providing hope without tangible results? To you I say, how can we be more than conquerors if we have never had to do more than JUST conquer? You see, if we excelled in all things without trial, we would never know that we have enough strength in Christ Jesus to push past disappointment, fear, and shame. Through Christ, we have enough strength to try again for the mark we press towards. In us, that failure will not only provide ammunition to conquer, but it also builds patience, unshaken faith, resilience, endurance, perseverance, and a testimony of how trials and failure are ultimately working for your good. The next time, after you obtain that which you seek, your praise is greater, your worship is heartfelt and genuine, your faith is restored, and your hope is renewed. Then, and only then, can you truly be MORE THAN just a mere conqueror. You are now the face of a resilient success story in overcoming the odds. You will be more than a conqueror indeed!
Dr. Jessica Brereton Peterkin received her undergraduate degree from Bethune-Cookman University where she studied Chemistry, graduating from the honors program as a member of the Dean’s List. Upon graduation she completed her Master’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences at Midwestern University – Arizona. She then went on to receive her Doctor of Dental Medicine from Midwestern University-Illinois.
Currently, Dr. Peterkin practices dentistry in Surprise, AZ. She is a member of multiple professional organizations including the American Dental Association, the Arizona Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry as well as the National Council of Negro Women. When not practicing dentistry, Dr. Peterkin enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her husband, son, and their puppy, Reeses. They enjoy traveling the world, exploring the outdoors, and the performing arts.