A Nursing Assistant’s Calling: Doing Small Things With Great Love

Below is the winning essay written by nursing assistant Dalia Davis for the first of two $1,000 Graduation Month scholarships. The essay responds to the question: What is your dream career, and why? 

There came a point in high school when I felt like my whole world was falling apart.

When I was 14, I was eating lunch at a restaurant with my family when my mom passed out and was rushed to the hospital. She had had a spontaneous ascending aortic dissection (a rare condition where blood surges through a tear in the aorta’s inner layer, ripping the layers of the aorta apart).

Dalia Davis
Dalia Davis dreams of becoming a nurse. Here she is as a volunteer in Malawi.

My mom was taken into immediate emergency surgery lasting over 13 hours. She barely survived the surgery and was in a coma for two weeks, during which she was diagnosed with a connective tissue disease called Loeys-Dietz syndrome. My two siblings were diagnosed with the same disease. This rocked my world. Everything that I had known was shattered, all feeling of security and safety was gone.

We spent many weeks in the hospital during which I watched very closely the care that the medical team provided, how they cared for not only the physical ailments and for the patient, but also the emotional impact of the diagnoses and sickness. They supported the whole family during these times. I gazed on as the nurses delicately cradled my mother’s physical and emotional wounds. I was so touched by their grace. They poured out love into their patients through their care and compassion.

Throughout the past few years of my life, I have truly learned how important it is to wake up every day and consciously make a choice to bring hope and God’s love to the world even if it’s in the smallest way. I cannot heal others’ pain, but I can bring hope, joy, and compassion each day I have with them.

I strive by a quote from Mother Teresa that says, “In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

My mom passed away two years ago from her disease, but I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to care for her during her last few years of life, and to have learned how to do so with love and compassion instead of worry and fear.

I have come to realize that the past few years have been preparing me for my calling in life: to be a nurse. To have the opportunity to serve people daily through my career brings me such joy. Through my work as a nursing assistant, I have learned that the stress in my life is healed as I care for others. The ability to care for people and to be able to show them the love of Jesus is what brings me the greatest happiness.

I think back so often on the care team that took care of my mother when she first became ill, and I am so inspired to live my life striving to give that care and compassion to the mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons of others. I want to be a light in the darkness just as those providers were to me and my family.

Want to win a $1,000 scholarship? Create a profile on FindYourCalling.com and then submit a 300-500-word essay answering the question: What is your dream career, and why? Email the essay to me at gwen@findyourcalling.com. Get tips on how to write a winning essay here. Deadline is Sunday, June 26. 

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