Proud of herself and thankful to God
Not many young people would willingly spend their summer cleaning dishes or mopping bathroom floors.
Then again, Tiahna Wild isn't your average teen.
The Saltus Grammar School student has been involved in ministry activities with her church, Cornerstone Bible Fellowship, for the past four years.
Her positive attitude and dedication to hard work recently landed her two nominations in Teen Services' Outstanding Teen Awards, one for “spiritual leadership” and the other for “community service”.
“I never thought I'd be nominated for the Outstanding Teen Awards,” Tiahna said. “At first, I was surprised that my name would even be put forth. Then I learnt what the categories were and it made more sense.
“After that I felt so awesome that my teachers had put my name forward for this. I was proud of myself, and thankful to God.”
Teen Services last week hosted its 36th annual Bermuda Outstanding Teen Awards ceremony at the Greater Heritage Worship Centre in Hamilton.
Tiahna didn't walk away with the top awards for her categories however just being nominated meant a great deal to the 17-year-old.
“It means that people around me notice the passion I have for serving my community and serving God,” she said. “The fact that these qualities were recognised in me made me feel proud, and so thankful for a God who gives me the chance to serve Him in so many ways.
“I was also grateful for the people around me, including my parents and extended family, who always show me love and support.”
Over the years Tiahna has been involved in various church ministries including helping out at Sunday school, volunteering as a junior counsellor at faith-based summer camps and as part of the dance and drama ministries.
Her walk with God began gradually, after she turned 11.
She had only gone to church on the odd occasion until then. Once her family found a church home they loved, they began attending regularly.
Tiahna consequently moved from being a casual believer to someone with a strong desire to grow in her walk with Christ.
“Around age 11 is when I learnt that being a Christian was so much more than just believing in God,” she said. “It was about having a deep relationship with Him.
“I attended Cornerstone Kids' Camp the following year and learnt so much more about who God was — that He loved and valued me and wanted a close relationship with me. It was in that one week, while camping on Grace Island, that I decided to fully accept God into my life.”
Within two years she was a member of the camp's student work team.
Tidying the kitchen after meals, cleaning the bathrooms, helping with games were all on her to-do list, along with other behind-the-scenes work.
“I remember being nervous about serving at first, but it ended up being the start of many years of ministry work,” she said. “I loved being able to help and get things done all for God. I learnt that when you do hard work for God's glory, you forget that it's hard work.
“I made so many new friends and was able to learn a lot about my personal relationship with God.
“After that summer, God continued to give me a heart for serving and provided me with so many opportunities to serve. Overall, it's involved long hours and hard work but it's been extremely rewarding.”
As part of that Tiahna has had to learn how to surrender control of her life and plans to God.
Things began to click for her one day while reading 1 Peter 5:7 which states: “Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
“I had spent so many years worrying or stressing about things,” she said. “I felt like I needed to be in control of my life but after finding this verse and other similar verses in the Bible, I began trying to let those issues go and let God provide me with the answers and direction I needed.
“It was hard but I finally began to give Him control of all areas of my life.”
In September she heads off to Word of Life Bible Institute in New York.
Until last year she had no clue what or where she wanted to study after high school and then God started revealing the answer to her.
“I started really considering my options last June or July and started looking into Word of Life more seriously,” she said. “Automatically, while reading about the college online and talking to my other friends, I began to feel like this was where God wanted me to be; that this was His will for me.
“I chose to obey God and immediately began my application. This is definitely an exciting new chapter in my life.”