Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Feel Like Going On...

This past weekend met me with difficult points. Ashunoah came clean with me and told me about some things he is not happy with about me: areas where I really need improvement. He further explained that my headcovering seems not to impact certain areas that pertain to him; this headcovering thing, he said, came rather out of the blue, and that it is a change that mostly affects me. Moreover, I did it in spite of our pastor's disapproval (that hurt). He also said that my vegetarianism is another decision that mostly affects and is for me. Others may reap some secondary benefit, but it mostly affects me, he said.

Ashunoah was kind in his delivery of those words, but it still hurt. I was completely discouraged and heavy of heart. Still, I appreciated his honesty and told him that I want him to continue to be honest with me about areas I need to make improvements in --- otherwise, I might not know that anything needed to be changed. He was agreeable.

My sharing this with you, dear sisters, is a lesson for me in humility. I was so hurt. I felt I was being a really good wife and I was so conscientious --- I wanted to make sure that I was giving right attention to every area. I was in prayer to God about my behavior and thoughts; I wanted to honor God and my husband and children in every way. My efforts have not been as successful as I'd hoped, and this is hugely disappointing and discouraging.

But I share these things with you, dear ones, so that you may be vigilant. Our covering means precious little if it doesn't change us for the better. We are to become more gentle, more loving, more attentive, less selfish. We are Christians, yes, but the cloth is just one small thing that should take us farther and deeper in our walk with Christ, and that in and of itself should show in our relationships with others. Let's have a keen eye to recognize the greatest needs of our spouse and family, and let's hurry to meet those needs. Let us hurry to be full of forgiveness when we are hurt or offended. Let's not let that hurt turn into the venom of bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. Let's concern ourselves less with being understood and concern ourselves more with being understanding (St. Francis of Assisi said that). Besides, there is no one who can understand us (on this and the other side of eternity) quite the way God can.

Part of my problem, I think, is that I want my husband and others to see my positive changes in my life as acts of obedience, not just something I do for my fun and pleasure. To be sure, covering up and going against the grain of the culture is neither fun or pleasurable. It's so much easier to walk the path of least resistance. I expect (perhaps too much) for people to understand the pure motives of my heart: to honor God and to walk in obedience to Him. I'm not perfect in this, but I want to be temperate and do not want to just go tossing anything into my mouth without conscience or care for the body God gave me. I am misunderstood if people think that I do this for fun, to draw attention to myself or to flagrantly disregard my pastor's thoughts on headcovering. But then, I am in good company. Jesus was misunderstood. So were His disciples. And so shall be many of His followers. But my hope is in Jesus. I need to lower my expectations a bit, perhaps, and realize that people are not made to understand me through and through --- sin is just too prevalent in our culture for even those close to us to not suspect us of impure intentions.

When Ashunoah said those words to me, I wanted to toss away the cloth. "What difference does it make?" I thought, "if even the one closest to me doesn't see any change in me?" I wanted to toss away the cloth, but I didn't. And I don't even really know how I didn't, except for the grace of God. And somehow, oddly, I feel like going on...

Peace to you, beloved of God.


Lucy said...

You poor soul!

LisaM at ThoseHeadcoverings said...

Oh, Sweet Sister, I'm praying for you right now to keep on doing well, as the LORD has called you. Lowering our standards - meaning that we don't expect of people what we can expect of God. But that does not mean we stop "pressing on" toward the goal. I just wish I had better words of encouragement for you. God bless you!

Rosheeda said...

You've been on my mind. And I understand this on a real level. I know that it is hard for the people closest to you to see your obedience as everything but... but keep goin...The Lord told me at the beginning of my intimate wlk with Him that it is not for me to change the hearts of man.It is simply for me to be obedient. Any changing that needs to happen,He will bring about. And that has been true. What was mocked or called any number of things before is now respected, and if thy can say nothing else of me, it has been said that my commitment to God is real and my relationship with Him is intimate...Not because I did something special, but because by His grace, I kept focusing on Him first.

It is alo commendable that you went against the grain and even against the pastor in order to be in line with God. That is what we are called to do and speaks to a life being lived for Him and Him alone.

Expect people to be human. Be compassionate (understanding,sensitive toward Ashunoah) and honor as many of his desires as possible.

As to your vegetarianism, it impacts. It has impacted me. I was just gonna ask you for some good simple recipes.

Hang in there, M.

Obedience is better than sacrifice and God will move to make things as He desires in His time.

Love you

Anonymous said...

Don't be discouraged... just be obedient to God even your pastor thinks differently... just allow God to form you as He wants and He will make you beautiful pot in His hand to be useful for His purpose

Muhala Akamau said...

Dear ones,
I can't say enough about your kind words and your very dear encouragement...indeed, I have longed for all of these, and know you are always praying and interceding for me. That means the world to me.

As I'd mentioned, Ashunoah never asked me to stop covering (it would be sort of out of his nature to do so; he's not a "you-better-do-what- I-tell-you-and-I'm-telling-you-no" sort of guy, if that makes sense), so I am indeed pressing on. It would be easy at this point to throw in the towel, so I'm seeking to guard against that. I know hubby's heart is in the right place, but as I've learned from the blogs of other coverers, it's sometimes hard for hubbies because it's new, different and against the grain. It's almost never preached about from pulpits, either, which doesn't help matters. BTW, my pastor is a good man with a heart for God. In fact, he's nearly a vegetarian himself, so staunch is he about healthful eating (he preaches about it from the pulpit quite a lot); unfortunately, he happens to share a differing opinion on headcovering. But the Lord may yet touch his heart; there have been so many things that my pastor was not necessarily an advocate of previously, but ladies, I'm telling you I prayed for that man, and he started not only to change, but to talk about that change from the pulpit! I'm not concerned about my pastor...he's tuned in with God enough to jump on at any point in the journey. But even if he doesn't, I'll still love him. But I'll love him while my head is covered!:-)

Love you all!

Azalea Lilac said...

I know it hurts to be told by our dear one where we need to change but oh the blessing that awaits! Keep up your courage and be faithful.

Mrs. M. said...

What a heart-felt post! We all want to know that we are doing our best for those we love and care for. But God does use our loving spouses to refine us and sharpen us in those areas that we just don't see...Blessings to you Mrs. M

Muhala Akamau said...

Azalia and Mrs. M,
Such dears you both are...thank you!

Thandi said...

Wow, I really feel blessed. My husband (whenw e were dating) is the one who introduced me to vegetarianism, then a few years ago I was the one who'moved us' into being vegan.You'v eshown me how I shouldn't take certain things for granted. Thank you. And thank you for your honesty too.