Narrative Summary Interview with Tish Hedger by Kayla Ream

Narrative Summary
Interview with Tish Hedger by Kayla Ream
When I left the interview with Tish Hedger, I felt encouraged and empowered from her
outlook of her faith and her position as a woman in her faith. We spent the interview in the new
church that she and her husband started pastoring about a year and a half ago. I was excited to do
the interview with Tish because, not only did she grow up in the Ozarks, but she has a faith that
is very admirable and inspiring.
Tish was born in Oklahoma in the 1980s, and lived with her grandparents until she was
four and a half years old. Her mother grew up on an American Indian reservation, but she was
never really involved in her life. Her dad was involved with drugs when she was born, and he
didn’t get cleaned up until she was four and a half years old; at that time, she moved in with him
in his home at Missouri. Unfortunately, at the age of 12, she had to move back in with her
grandparents because her father was using drugs again. Although this seemed like a dark time,
Tish’s grandparents had a huge influence on her life during these six years. They took her to
church and encouraged her to have a relationship with the Lord.
Tish made a decision to follow the Lord when she was 12 years old, but she admits that
she didn’t really have the knowledge or faith to understand what it really meant to follow him.
She was trying to fill herself up with “worldly things,” like parties, boys, and popularity. She
describes this time saying, “Time after time, after feeling empty, I thought this was not working
anymore. And [it] was when I was 18 that really I learned ‘Wow, I cannot live my life this way
and follow Jesus Christ.’” This was when she decided to pursue the Lord with all her heart. She
committed to a year-long internship with a leadership and mentorship program in Eastern Texas,
and states that it was a great experience that showed her a lot about the Lord and who he is.
Afterward, Tish moved back to Missouri to get to know her dad and her other family members
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who she never really got to know while she was growing up. At this time, her dad had recently
become a Christian and had been completely rehabilitated.
She decided to pursue a degree in biblical studies at Midwestern Baptist Seminary, in
which she learned even more about the Bible. It was there that she met her husband. They have
been married since 2005, and have already influenced and encouraged other people in their faith.
They currently are serving in Missouri at Freshwater Church. Although it has been a challenging
year, they are glad that the Lord called them to the Ozarks, and they see so much fruit from their
While talking to Tish, a few words kept sticking out to me: grace, passion, and hope.
Tish’s life shows the grace of God. It is amazing to see the beautiful woman she is now,
especially considering what she has dealt with, and what she has come from to get here. She
could have easily had a totally different life, but by the grace of God, she has overcome so much.
Passion also flows out of her. Multiple times during the interview, Tish’s face was full of joy,
and at times there were even tears in her eyes when she spoke of her love for the Lord. She has a
heart for other people to come and find the joy that she has found in the Lord and to experience
his love in their lives. Hope is another word that I would use to define Tish’s life. Her family
does not believe the same way she does, but she still loves them and hopes for them to come to
the Lord. She describes the hope she has found in the Lord. When referring to her past struggles,
she states, “but not only in areas in my life where I felt helpless: depression or an eating
disorder—things where I felt like I was trapped in, I learned that God could actually give me the
strength and the power to overcome.” She has full confidence in the Lord, especially in his
ability to heal her past issues.
When talking about her religious experiences as a woman, Tish said she loves being a
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woman and she never feels limited by her gender. In part of her interview, she stated, “so both
man [. . .] and women [. . .] were made in his image, and so man and woman both represent the
different aspects of the character and the personality of God and how he is wired.” Although
there are different roles for men and women, they both come together to represent Christ and the
church by the way they work together. Tish has many important roles in the church. She mentors
many young women, teaches at different events in town directed towards women, leads a small
Bible study with woman in their 20’s, and serves on the worship team at church by singing. In all
these things, and in her job at a clothing store, her goal is to serve the Lord by loving people.
Tish finds her purpose and identity within Christ, no matter where she is or who she is
with. In the interview, she states the goal in life should be “to be showing who God is to anyone
around you. Whether that encouraging someone who believes already as you do or whether
that’s giving a representation of who God is to someone who is not familiar with God.”
I want to conclude with another quotation from Tish. It shows the trust and the love she
has for the Lord and shows her belief that he can use anyone, including her. When asked if she
ever regretted picking her religion, she replied:
I never have regret. I remember what it was like to not have hope and I remember what it
was like to be helpless. Now I know what it’s like to have hope, and I know what it’s like
to feel broken and now feel whole. And I would never trade that for anything in the
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