I was almost to graduation. All I had to do was pass my dental hygiene board exams. I had always done well academically, but in this program I struggled like I never had before, both clinically and in the classroom, and my professors were concerned. One day, they pulled me aside and shared that they were worried I would not pass my clinical board exam. Dental hygiene programs require students to sit for a clinical board exam in addition to a national written board exam.
This expensive exam is approximately six hours long and the student must prove they can identify and successfully remove hardened dental plaque build-up on the teeth and is byop – bring your own patient. I was a month out from the exam. I had not been able to find a board-level patient. I was struggling in clinic, and my professors thought I was going to fail. They recommended that I postpone my exam and take it over the summer after a remediation course. I understood and respected their concerns and recommendations, but I had already committed to working at a summer camp before getting a job in the dental field, and the camp would conflict with the remediation course and new exam date.
All my professors knew I was a Christian, but I had never made a big deal of it before. I said a quick prayer and shared that I felt called to work at summer camp and that I believed God would provide a way for me to be there. I requested that they let me take my exam if I could find an appropriate board patient the next week. Surprisingly, they agreed, but made it clear they still had doubts about me passing the exam. I grew up in the church and had always felt like I had a relationship with Christ, but it was not a super strong faith relationship. This was one of the first times I really stepped out in faith; I said I believed that He would move in big ways, but inside, I was still slightly doubtful. I asked God to help me to trust Him more, and He was so faithful! He brought me a perfect patient, and I was allowed to sit for my board exam without remediation. As I sat in the exam, I prayed for a 75%, a just-passing score. Our God is not a bare minimum God. He is an exceed all expectations God – I passed with a 98%! “Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds” (Psalms 36:5, NLT).