Six months ago, on July 3, 2008, I started covering full time. I actually forgot about it being the anniversary on the 3rd this month, and when I did remember, I had a time figuring out what I wanted to say. I've been thinking about it for a few days, so hopefully this will come out coherent in some fashion.
For me, the command to cover came personally. It was something like being hit in the chest. I can't even really remember specifically what I was reading at the time, though I know it was something online, when I was still trying to figure out whether or not I would be converting to Catholicism. It was something that I stumbled across, but I believe it was obviously what I was meant to find.
After that, I went looking for things about headcovering on the net. A great resource I found, for articles and blogposts and other information is Those Headcoverings. But here's the thing...I know, now, that I was looking to be un-convinced of this need I felt to cover. I was reading these articles, these posts, so that I could read their arguments and go 'eh, unconvincing', or 'stupid'. Something like that. I didn't find anything, and I read posts arguing against covering, and I didn't find them convincing either. So.
Six months later, six months of covering full time. What's it done? Have I changed at all?
I believe that I have. I'm moving, not just to cover, but to dress more modestly, to embrace my femininity. Which is not to say that women who don't dress like me, etc., aren't feminine. Just that I, personally, had rejected that part of myself. I didn't want to be a woman. Women, in the house I grew up in, were weak and useless. We lived in fear, and the men had all the power. There's a lot tangled up in all that, but the end result is that I grew up hating myself in some twisted fashion, and even after we no longer lived in that house, I knew that being a woman was some horrible flaw. I had a lot of anger. It drove me away from men, it drove me away from religion, because it was obviously invented by men, designed to lord it over women, and hold us down. Now, I'd worked through most of this by the time I embraced religion again, and some more of it when I felt called to cover, I don't want to give the impression that I was super-feminist and then all of a sudden I did a 180. No, it was a gradual thing.
When I started to cover, when I finally allowed myself to obey, I still had a lot of anger and resentment toward men. I'd accepted that they weren't all abusive jerks (with the exception of my Grandfather, who has always been a saint in my eyes), but I still thought that the world would be better off if they were put in their places. And their places were most definately beneath women, we just had to re-educate them, so they went willingly. Why, when I thought like this, did I cover? Well, I knew that it was from God, and God was above all of this 'him' and 'her' crap. Why did God want me to cover? *shrug* Who knew? It wasn't important, at the time. Just that I had decided to obey God, and I knew that this was something He wanted me to do. Now, I believe that the reason God 'smacked' me with this was because while I had resolved to obey, He knew that it was not going to be as easy as I thought it was. God used this to lead me in the direction I needed to go, to get rid of so much more of the anger and hatred that I was holding on to, even when I didn't realize it.
I cover, and I know in my heart that this means I am embracing a counter-cultural point of view. I believe, in my heart, even though I don't always manage to show it yet, that there is an order to the world, instituted by God, and that everyone has their place in it. The differences between men and women exist for a reason, and we both have our roles to play. One is not better than the other, which is what the world would like us to see this as, but rather, we compliment one another - where one is weak, the other is strong. And there's no shame in that, no reason to fight and stab at one another, and degrade each other.
I still have anger, my temper is not something that I'm proud of, and the urge to rip into people who aren't doing things the way I think they should be done, or not as efficiently as I would do them, or doing something 'stupid' hasn't magically dissipated. I have the vocabulary of a sailor, and I can curse in five languages, four of which I can't say anything polite in. But the covering makes me hesitate. It's a visible sign of an invisible change, a charge that I have willingly taken upon myself. Alana over at Free to Cover posted a link to a woman who says it so much better than I can, her post is In Your Anger.
I cover, and it makes me hesitate to give into my first rude impulse. I cover and it reminds me to follow God's Law. It reminds me to love others, to treat them as I would want them to treat me, even when they're treating me badly. It reminds me that, lacking a husband, the authority in our house belongs to my Dad, so even when I don't want to get up off my butt and help when he asks, I should, because he does deserve my respect. He's not unreasonable, he loves my mother and myself and my sister, and he is doing his best to lead our family and keep us happy and comfortable and together. I cover and it reminds me that someone forgetting to put their dishes away is some subtle inference that I'm the house-maid, but just a sign that they're human too, and that they forgot to pick up their coffee mug. I cover and it is a physical reminder that I am surrounded, always, by God and the angels, and while they know what I do, even in secret, I want to do things God's way, even when that's not my first impulse.
I'm adding two links to the bottom. The first is an article I came across, one of the last that I read before I made up my mind to obey in regard to covering.
On Account of the Angels by Elisabet - I came across many articles on covering, but this one has stuck with me for some reason.
The second link is a site that I just found, through Titus 2 Wife and Mommy's blog. I've just started going through the articles on the website, but so far, I'm loving it. I, of course, started poking through the section 'Especially for the Unmarried', but I've decided to read through the whole site - Ladies Against Feminism.
So that's it for the six month anniversary. I wish I was like some, with deep thoughts about this subject, but I'm not. I'm still learning, still trying to be the woman that I believe God wants me to be. It's an ongoing struggle, and all I can do is keep at it, and learn what I can along the way.