Monday, November 18, 2013
I thought of another reason why I feel called to cover, a nuance of the humility reason. Today I feel a little discouraged. My heart yearns to have a spouse who I can share every aspect of my life with, especially faith. Who loves and accepts me as I am now: a Catholic woman. My husband loves me in spite of my conversion. But he would never choose me this way.
I keep coming up against that same longing again and again. Maybe my need to feel accepted by him has become an idol in my life. Covering my head in humility at Mass reminds me that ultimately my life is not my own, I was bought at a price. Despite the struggle it entails, I have to surrender my plans and go with His. Ultimately it's an acknowledgment that He is the Lord of my life. My husband might never come to faith or accept my faith. I have to do my duties without resentment in abandonment to His will, trusting that Jesus will give me the grace to be patient, kind and forgiving. I also need to honor and respect my husband now and love him for who he is, recognizing his limitations and also recognizing every positive thing about him without letting this one deficiency cause me to lose hope.
The veil has come to symbolize my efforts to give up my controlling ways. To this end, I do sometimes cover when I'm at home when I need an extra reminder of that resolution. I love how Quaker Jane sums up her reasons to cover as I found the exact same thing was true with me. As I give up control and allow my husband to lead, he feels respected and more powerful and secure in the relationship. If I let him have a voice in my faith, then he feels less threatened by it. As I witness Oliver judiciously making good decisions for our family I begin to have more trust, respect and esteem for him. We all benefit from my surrender.
This puts me in mind of the obedience required by nuns to their Mother Superior. I have sometimes thought of my home as my cloister. It makes sense that I learn to submit to my husband in light of St. Paul's exhortation to wives in Ephesians 5:22-24. I have come to realize that it's my responsibility to do as God asks me. I have to faithfully submit to my husband regardless of whether my husband holds up his end of the bargain. I have to leave his faith between him and God, even though sometimes it pains me to keep my mouth shut.
In being obedient to my vocation I am surrendering myself to God's will as laid out in Scripture. Part of that surrender has been relinquishing my vision of what my life as a Catholic woman would look like. I have treasured in my heart the idea of welcoming children as they come, staying at home to raise them and possibly even homeschooling. I am now starting to let go of those preconceived notions. My husband wants me to work outside the home so that we can get debt free. He wants only 2 or 3 children. Ultimately I can express my desires to him, but I have to be open to the possibility that he will say "no". I have to accept that answer as though it comes from God himself, and trust that if God has other plans then He will work on my husband's heart.
In these difficult moments I must choose to be joyful and look to Mary and admire her courage and quiet strength despite the sword that pierces her heart. And just look at that humble veil, too.