Covering Testimony: Alison Chapman
|Name: Alison Chapman||Age: 44||Location: Oxford, UK||Started Covering: 2010|
1) Introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Alison and I come from a missionary background, growing up as a child in the Seychelles in the early 70s. I have known the Lord from an early age but perhaps with more head knowledge rather than heart. I really encountered the love of the Lord whilst training at bible college in my late 20s. That’s where the Lord radically changed me and developed within me a desire for truth and to know Him in a deeper way and to make Him known. I have been challenged by the cost of following Jesus in everyday life and I seek to love Him wholeheartedly and somehow share the good news of Jesus. I have especially enjoyed various work opportunities overseas including time spent in Israel, a nation that the Lord has put on my heart. I married at the age of 41, after what seemed like an arduous, sometimes painful and long wait, to a prayerful and righteous man that God had been preparing me for. I have learned much from my husband and I have joy and appreciation in being his wife.
2) Where do you attend church? Tell us a little bit about it.
We have been attending a small pentecostal church in Oxford which is where we got married. I had worked in a large church in Oxford previous to going overseas and then I returned to Oxford and got married. The Lord led us to this smaller church where the pastor and his wife seek to love and serve the Lord.
3) What led you to start covering?
When my family returned to England in the late 70s, we attended a brethren church where many of the women wore hats. It all seemed rather legalistic at the time and I picked up some scornful habits towards headcovering in church. I went to bible college in my late 20s where we were taught only an egalitarian point of view in regard to women in the church and I wrote a paper regarding this and mentioned headcovering. I dismissed it as cultural and irrelevant using only my own thinking and was not open to another point of view of what the scriptures said as I had never really heard another view point taught before.
Up to the age of 30, I was influenced by the world and feminism which had unknowingly affected me. In my 30s, I drew closer to the Lord and desired to love and serve Him more. Later I worked in Israel for a season and observing women with headcoverings both within the church and in society. On returning to England I met a man (later to become my husband) and he briefly mentioned the subject of headcovering. The Lord had been humbling me over portions of scripture which I had previously misinterpreted so I was immediately open to believe that I could also have got this portion of scripture wrong. I was ready to look again at it and to also look at other reading materials on it such as writings by Derek Prince, Watchman Nee and W Henderson. I was convicted that contrary to what I had thought, the passage was not ‘difficult’ to understand, it was there in the bible for a reason and that ‘because of the angels’ was not cultural but relevant for today.
4) What was that first Sunday like when you showed up in a covering?
The first time I covered my head was with a friend praying. It was powerful because we both received revelation of feminism that had taken root in our lives and were able to repent. At the moment, I cover my head for prayer or prophecy both inside and outside the church.
It was hard and still often is hard but I’m adjusting more to the challenge! My main worry is what other people will think as I am usually the lone one doing it and it is harder if I am with friends that knew me before I covered but because of my inner conviction of the truth and rightness of the scripture and my desire to follow God’s word, I do it and seek to please the Lord and trust that He knows best in His word. When I find it especially hard, the bottom line is, that I remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for me on the cross in His suffering and death, and covering my head seems of small significance to His giving up His life for me. What did help very much was that after some time at the church, the pastor’s wife began to cover her head and was much bolder than me, and that made things easier!
5) What kind of covering(s) do you use? Where did you get them?
The useful thing at the moment, is that women can buy scarves almost anywhere in clothes shops in the UK. I noticed at a church we went to the other day, that most women were wearing scarves, so it is definitely not difficult to incorporate them into your dress style. I started buying inexpensive scarves to wear around my neck and then use them to cover my head when I need to. A lot of the time I wear long scarves and then at home I usually select a smaller triangular one for praying.