Covering Testimony: Irina Glazkova
|Name: Irina Glazkova||Age: 25||Location: St. John's, NL, Canada||Started Covering: October 2010|
1) Introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi, my name is Irina Glazkova and I’m a single, Christian woman who is originally from Russia. I’ve been in Canada since September 2007. Before that, I lived in the USA for 11 months as an exchange student. I accepted Lord Jesus as savior at the age of 12 after searching through many different philosophies. During my childhood and early teens I had been bullied a lot mostly because I was born with deformed limbs and I have had seven surgeries. When I was born, doctors tried to convince my mom to leave me at the hospital because I was very sick and had physical deformities. Sadly, this is a common practice in Russia and in most post-Soviet countries. My mom refused. She sacrificed so much for my well-being. My biggest dream is to see my family come to Salvation. Bullying led me to search for the truth. I just couldn’t come to terms that there was no justice. I used to go with my mom to a Russian Orthodox church. However, I was conflicted by praying to saints, kneeling in front of icons and many other things. While in the United States I lived in Baptist pastor’s family. This is where my faith began to grow. I was seventeen years old at this point. While living in the United States I considered studying in Canada. A lady from my current church (Faith Bible Chapel) came to the USA for her son’s graduation. In addition, Memorial University of Newfoundland gave me an entrance scholarship. The Lord lead me here to Newfoundland. I enjoy hikes, outdoors, crafts, reading, writing, singing and watching clouds.
2) Where do you attend church? Tell us a little bit about it.
I attend Faith Bible Chapel, which is non-denominational. The church is fairly small. It was a big shock after attending Cornerstone Bible Church in Roseville, Michigan, USA which has a congregation of about 3,000 people. My current church has many missionaries all over the world as well as cooperation with various ministries.. We sing together before and after services. I enjoy the sermons. They always are applicable and strike a chord. We also have multiple bible study groups throughout the week and prayer breakfast every Friday morning at 7 am.
3) What led you to start covering?
I was born in Russia and lived there until seventeen years of age. From time to time my family used to go to a Russian Orthodox Church. It’s required that women who are married have to cover their heads with headscarves. Many priests insist that girls above five should also cover their heads. In 2006 I went to the USA as an exchange student. Some people there told me that head covering was cultural so I dismissed the idea of head covering. Then in 2007 I moved to Canada and started attending Faith Bible Chapel. On my first day there, I noticed a few women were wearing lace veils during service. I had a scarf in my purse in case the pastor, elders or deacons would have asked me to cover my head. Nobody did. People told me that some women consider head covering as a symbol of wife’s submission to her husband. I dismissed put off the subject for some time, but it was tugging on my heart. Later on, I read many articles and watched many videos on the topic. After re-reading 1 Corinthians multiple times and praying, I decided to start covering my head. Creation order, authority, and angels watching applies to everyone. The Apostle Paul talks about covering before he talks about our hair length. A woman’s hair length doesn’t change during worship or prayer and Paul tells us that she needs to have that symbol on her head specifically during those times. After talking to the elders and deacons, they told me I should cover only if God leads me that way. After starting to wear head covering, I felt so much joy. Today I cover my head during church services, Bible study and while praying (whether in a group or individually).
4) What would you say is the best and the most difficult aspect about head covering?
I feel so much closer to God since starting covering. I’m much less distracted while worshiping, praying and reading the Word. I gives me so much more humility and boldness to approach the Lord. Realizing that head covering is applicable to women makes me feel more special. Just to think that we can minister and serve the Savior by the way we dress—mind blowing. In addition, I’m getting way more from reading Bible and sermons. It also gives a great opportunity to share the reasons for covering, because some people ask questions.
Sometimes I visit different churches with the International Gospel Choir of Newfoundland which I am part of. In those churches head covering is not practiced and I feel judged by some people well as being labelled ‘legalistic’. A few years ago I was taking care of a woman who told me that head covering was oppressing and by doing this I diminish the sacrifice of Christ.
5) What counsel can you give to women that do not cover out of fear?
Fear paralyzes us causing in some instance to not stand up for our faith. In many cases fear caused many people to take matter in their own hands which could have destroyed God’s plans. Abraham gave away his wife. Peter rejected Jesus three times. Adam and Eve tried to hide away from God. Remember that Jesus told us to rely on Him. He sad “Do not be afraid.” As Christians we ought to fear God not man. Also, remember the power of prayer and that we are conquerors through Jesus. God is the source of our strength. In addition, there are many options for head covering. For example, hats will do the job as well as scarves. You can wear the one which is more culturally acceptable like hat or beret. The Bible doesn’t specify a specific fabric, color, or style.
6) What kind of covering(s) do you use? Where did you get them?
I use various head coverings: most of the time it’s a square scarf fold in half and tied either underneath my chin (traditional Russian, Belarus and Ukranian way) or bandana style. Sometimes I wear pashmina and rectangular scarves in hijab styles, with the exception that not all of my hair is covered. During summer I wear hats. Sometimes I just put a sweater hood on, during Bible studies and prayer breakfast. One of my friends introduced me to Garlands of Grace. I buy my scarves at various stores and my friends give them to me also for Christmas and Birthday. I have well over ten. In addition, I try to match my head coverings with the outfits.