Covering Testimony: Ashley Brown
|Name: Ashley Brown||Age: 22||Location: Long Island, New York||Started Covering: September 2013|
1) Introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m 22 years old, born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Long Island.
My hobbies are writing music, playing piano, playing basketball, and doing anything fun. I’m an outgoing person- extremely open and maybe too friendly. I’m the kinda girl who basically knows everybody in the area I’m residing, but my actual friends are few. I really love The Lord so much and I’ve grown to the point where all I want to do is please Him and serve Him.
My family is absolutely awesome! We are a homeschooling family, my mom is super smart and super on fire for The Lord. My step dad is currently the worship leader at our church and he is loving, kind, gentle, and generous. I’m the middle child of seven and my siblings are my best friends.
I’ve always had a heart for missions, so this year I dedicated my time to doing my Father’s business out in China. It’s nothing special, just sharing the Word everywhere I go, leading by example, being set apart from worldly things and being ready to give an answer to all who ask of the faith I have. Nevertheless I know God has moved and changed me the most and I thank Him for that.
2) Where do you attend church? Tell us a little bit about it.
I attend a non-denominational church in Long Island. My church is pretty big–its got to be more than 500-600 people. It’s filled with many kind, loving and supportive people. I also like listening to sermons by Voddie Baucham, Paul Washer, and Bill Gothard.
3) What led you to start covering?
My story begins on a long term missions trip to China. God had been convicting me on my modesty for a couple of months but I didn’t know where to start at all. Everyone in my church, school, and family all dressed the same. Nevertheless, God finally changed my dress once and for all. It was timely, because my mission field apart from the Chinese were mostly practicers of Islam. I believe modesty played a big role in being effective. Admittedly, when the Holy Spirit first convicted me, I couldn’t leave my room until I was dressed in complete modesty. For me, it came in the form of a long skirt and a scarf over my chest area as to not attract onlookers to the shape of my body. It was scary at first because I was afraid to be different, but my Spirit wouldn’t allow me to wear anything other than that.
This submission to God was one big step in the right decision. I was ready to surrender more of myself to Him. I was ready to separate myself more from the pagan culture I grew up in. One day when I was deep in prayer and meditation on the scriptures I fell upon 1 Corinthians 11. I’d fallen upon it before and when I went to my elders about it, they just told me that it didn’t apply to us today. Even though as a little girl, I felt as though it did, I was influenced by those in authority of me, and decided to leave it alone. But this time when reading it, I couldn’t ignore it. I felt like I was going crazy. Clearly the scripture was speaking of two coverings. One for prayer and prophesy and then of course the end where God says that we should also not cut our hair short like men’s.
I emailed my family, my close friends, and asked peoples opinion. Clearly, God was saying that NOT wearing a covering while praying was as shameful as having our heads shaved off, which was a symbol of dishonor in that time. This was serious business! Of course, my Christian friends found ways to justify and interpret the verse to free themselves from having to wear a covering. But I wasn’t convinced.
Then I got the idea… Why not just pray and ask God myself? At this time I was already wearing the covering because the Holy Spirit had already convicted me. I prayed and asked God, “Yo, do I really have to wear this?” The Holy Spirit spoke, ” If I told you to do it, would you?”
From then on, I knew what I had to do. A lot of Christians looked at me funny. I bet you a lot of them thought I converted to Islam or something. Some of them made fun of me and laughed, but I knew what God had told me, and I knew it was right.
God revealed to me that the reason for covering my head wasn’t just for show or for modesty, but it was to remind me that I’m under God’s authority and when I marry I will be under my husband’s. It reminds me that I need to be submissive not only to my future husband, but to everything that God calls me to do.
4) What was that first Sunday like when you showed up in a covering?
In China, when I first showed up to the international church, people just thought I was weird. However after seeing me week after week, they realized it was something much deeper than just being a weirdo. Many people stepped up and asked me why I cover myself and I told them. After a while, many women in the church were inspired and although they haven’t taken on covering yet, they’ve also opened themselves up to the idea that maybe this is how God intended it to be.
Since its an international church, some cultures already uphold head covering. All the Indians also had their head covered. They take that verse that Paul wrote very seriously. Some parts of Ghana do too.
When I returned back to the states on vacation, I was so afraid to go to the church at first. If I didn’t wear it, I would feel bad and something in my Spirit wouldn’t sit right. If I did wear it, I know that a lot of people would notice because HELLO this is America we are talking about! For some reason when I started covering my head, I was led do so in a “Middle Eastern” kind of way (if that makes any sense) and so it wasn’t something that I could hide. On top of that, I am on the worship team so I had to play piano ON STAGE! Anyhow I went… and it was perfectly fine. People actually appreciated it and thought it was cool. I believe everyone deep down feels that dressing modestly and wearing a scarf has a certain reverence and modesty to it that is appealing to the Spirit.
5) What counsel can you give to women that do not cover out of fear?
Just do it. If you feel God calling you to it, if your Spirit is convicting you on it, don’t be afraid, just do it. Jesus said that unless you lose your life for Him, only then will we find it. Jesus says that we should deny ourselves daily. Jesus says that until we die to ourselves we won’t produce fruit. Jesus says that following Him means denying father and mother and family. This is a great step of faith that will make your relationship with God so much more intimate and personal. If we can surrender this little bit to Him, then we can learn to surrender a whole lot. Our life in Christ will get better as we surrender more. Let this be a symbol of surrender and trust in Him.
6) What kind of covering(s) do you use? Where did you get them?
I use scarves and I cover myself in a “Middle Eastern” kind of way, which just means that the scarf goes around my head and over my chest. I get them from side shops and scarf stores. I use this kind because when I do my hair many times I will casually wear hats and headbands and even tie scarves around my head in a kind of African way. This being said, I knew that covering my head in that fashion wasn’t going to symbolize much, if I already normally wear stuff like that. Anyway, the Spirit lead me to wear it this way and so I just obeyed. I’ve receive so much joy from it. I feel closer to God. It symbolizes and reminds us that we are under the authority of God and man. This being said, I need to be submissive, obedient, and respectful to my father and then when I’m married my husband. It has changed my attitude towards submission and has encouraged me to be a Holy temple and living sacrifice to my Heavenly Father.