Covering Testimony: Laura I.
|Name: Laura I.||Age: 30||Location: Vancouver, WA||Started Covering: February 2012|
1) Introduce yourself to our readers.
My husband and I grew up as home missionary/pastor’s kids. My father has a Deaf church (although there are no Deaf in my family) and I gleaned much from his Bible knowledge throughout the years. I became a Christian at age 6 and started praying and reading the Bible on my own as a teen. Everyone who knows me agrees I am fully a “Type B” personality. This means that I have a mild personality, tend to go with the flow, and am very much a follower. I must give all the credit to God for empowering me go against the norm on head coverings.
2) Where do you attend church? Tell us a little bit about it.
We attend Evergreen Bible Church. There are three worship services of 100 to 200 members attending each. I am a part of the Deaf ministry by interpreting for the sermon twice a month. When I interpret, I’m on stage in front of everyone and they all know me as the young lady who wears hats and interprets.
3) What led you to start covering?
In February of 2012, I came across a fascinating blog written by a married woman in her 40’s about why she had chosen as an adult to wear a veil to church. As I read her reasons, I was stunned to finally hear the other side of 1 Corinthians 11 for the first time. I’d only heard one story before: that the whole thing was just written for women in the first century for cultural reasons, and it has nothing to do with us today.
I sat down and really looked at the passage myself. I was convicted so much on that Saturday morning that the next day I wore hat to church. I figured I’d have time to do more research later. When I had the chance, I studied the culture and the original Greek, and I read as many commentaries as I could find. Those for head coverings used every verse in the passage to prove their point, while those against only used bits and pieces then ignored the rest. God proved faithful in providing these resources so I could live by His Word even more boldly.
It’s fascinating to me how many times I had read 1 Corinthians 11 and every time I always thought it really sounded like women are supposed to cover our heads when we pray in church. Yet everyone who discussed the passage acted so certain that it can’t possibly apply to us.
I started studying history of women wearing head coverings throughout church history. It made me frustrated that no one had ever pointed out to me the fact that Christian women have always covered their heads (not to mention Jewish women before Christianity). They knew what 1 Corinthians 11 taught, and they followed it. I started searching for images of women throughout the Dark Ages, Medieval Times, Renaissance, early America, and so on. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I used to think the only reason women wore veils, bonnets, and hats was to cover up their hair. After all, they didn’t have modern shampoos with which to wash. Rather, they were really honoring the Lord and men.
In my church of several hundred, I’m the only woman who covers. I now enjoy prayer at church and Bible study in a totally new way–under the authority which God has established and with an obedient heart that has lead to other wonderful changes in my life.
4) What’s it like being the only person in church who covers? Has there been any comments or conversations about your covering?
My most deep emotion is a sense of longing for every woman to wear coverings so they can experience joy from God in this area. I do end up feeling a little isolated, but I don’t notice it much anymore. It didn’t take too long to figure out that everyone seems to assume I wear hats and scarves for fashion’s sake. There have been plenty of comments on how cute my hats are (they’re really nothing fancy), but no one has ever asked why. I also wear hats to the small Bible study group we attend, and again, no questions. As much as I want to share, God has not brought up that opportunity yet. The only place where God has opened the door for conversation was with some individuals at a camp.
5) What counsel can you give to women that do not cover out of fear?
God is so incredibly faithful that if you obey him, He will bless you. It helps to remember you have the greatest Helper in the universe with you now. Christ gave His life for us, so giving up a little comfort in order to obey is a wonderful way to live for Him.
Also, since there’s no fashion advice in 1 Corinthians for what you must use to cover, you may consider wearing something that doesn’t stand out.
7) You changed your mind on head covering in just one day and then the next day you were practicing. With that in mind, what was the conversation with your husband like?
My sudden change of mind is related to an experience years ago. There was a passage of scripture that I had been told could not be taken literally for a number of reasons. Every time I read that passage, I always thought it sounded like God did want us to take it literally. When I finally discovered apologetics, I felt like Mary near the tomb when she realized that she wasn’t talking to a gardener, but Jesus to himself. I’m also reminded of Peter, James and John who dropped their fishing nets to follow Jesus. It’s like suddenly God opens your eyes.
The same sort of experience changed me with 1 Corinthians 11. I was told there was no way head coverings could possibly apply to us today. Once I learned why we must take it literally and its modern application, it felt much like before. As I studied further, I ended up feeling frustrated that no one had told me this interpretation. I was disappointed looking back on all those years without covering.
My middle-aged friend who had just recently decided to cover had sent several friends the email about head coverings. I was encouraged when she told me one of her friends showed up at church the next day with a hat on just as I did. I confess that a month later, I was beginning to waver and I skipped a week. I sat down and read 1 Corinthians 11 again, and I have stayed strong in my conviction since.
As for my husband’s reaction, his first response was concern that people would think he was an oppressive husband. I do understand how this could affect his reputation in ministry. He wants to make sure that if anyone knows I’m wearing a covering for the sake of 1 Corinthians 11, I was the first to have the conviction.
His second response was genuine respect that I had discovered this truth. He had never been taught women should wear head coverings. After I explained what I had studied, he agreed with my findings and continues to support me. I do remind him that wearing a covering is partially to honor him.
8) You said that head covering has changed the way you worship at church in a “totally new way” and that it’s led to other “wonderful changes” in your life. Can you explain more fully what’s changed and why you feel that covering was the catalyst?
My prayer at church changed because now I am worshipping through prayer with an outward symbol and reminder of submission to God and to my husband. The devil makes it tempting not to submit to either, but when I wear the symbol of authority, I can’t help but remember and be humbled. This attitude of trusting and obeying to wear head coverings has grown my faith in other areas of my life where I needed to let go and trust.
Also, I started looking back historically at why the act of covering almost disappeared—because of the feminist movement. I studied the progression of women gaining independence and its damage to the Church, marriages, children, and for us as women. Covering has led me to dig deeper into God’s will for Christian woman and wives. For example, Proverbs 31 and studying the many examples of wives in the Bible show me how a godly wife should live each day.
9) What kind of covering(s) do you use? Where did you get them?
I have accumulated quite a variety of coverings—mostly all are from Goodwill Outlet. In the winter, I wear crocheted hats, modern hats, and some styles from the 1950s. During the summer, I wear mostly small sun hats and scarves.