My Plain Testimony
The plain dress witness was not a
place of arrival for me but a process of evolvement that spanned
many, many years. It would be difficult not to recognize that
my midwifery work among the Amish and Old Order
How did it happen? That is difficult to put into words but I am led to try. To start, it is frankly a perfect wonder that one as stubborn as I could be drawn out of a haughty sense of self to visibly live apart from the ideals of a material world. But, God wills what He wills and though unworthy, I am greatly blessed by His patience. The transition took a long time but it was a steady evolvement that started when I was still a young woman and felt deeply led, even back then, to set aside fashion for simplicity.
Following those early inner
leadings, my clothing choices (and lifestyle) became increasingly
plain as the stylish contents of my closet were gradually given away
and replaced with modest, discreet clothing - much of it handmade or
second hand. Simplicity of lifestyle in general just made me
feel more true to my innately conservative nature. Because I
was never really flamboyant in the first place, those changes were
easily accepted by my family and peers as the taken for granted
eccentricity of my character "type" being a
Yet, this was not an issue of clothing or becoming plain for plain sake. It was a spiritual beckoning of the Holy Spirit to align with Christ and God's purpose for my life which manifested as a serious concern needing to be worked out. Being a woman's activist and educator, my profession demanded a primary focus on issues of worldly significance with spirituality being a close but peripheral consideration. However, God would not be denied and Christ continued to knock on the door of my heart offering His lead if only I would follow. How proud and independent could a person be? This person truly knew.
Therefore, my plain dress witness
was more than just a yearning for simplicity, it was the turning
over of my will to God and submitting to His call - following an
inner direction that could no longer be denied or set aside. I
didn't understand it for a long time and was often frustrated to
tears over it. More than once I found myself utterly annoyed
by the fact that the leading in my heart would not just GO AWAY and
pass as a novelty.
I often found myself dwelling on
that scripture. This leading was so different that my black
and white perception of reality could hardly make sense of it.
So, I prayed - more often than not begging for the
With a heart condition more submissive and open, I was led to conservative, plain Quakerism and all the pieces then fell into place. When I opened the door to Christ, He led me through to the narrow way that He spoke of in Matthew 7:14 with the direction of being called apart as spoken of by Paul - "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Titus 2:12-14)
As a plain Quaker, I endeavour to walk worthy of that calling every single day and try with all of my heart to be sensitive to the leadings of the Holy Spirit in my life while accepting that I have a very great deal to learn. Being now different in a visible way certainly does not make me better than anyone else - far, far from it. It simply keeps me aware of my place - submissive and obedient to God and also checks that treacherous stumbling block, pride. This has resulted in many blessings. One such blessing, unexpectedly realized, has been the opening opportunities of encouragement through Christian conversation with people I meet who inquire of my faith wherefore explaining, the love and salvation of Christ is witnessed to. This is one part of my Christian ministry, (my Internet hosted children's stories another), as directed and defined by God and I look to Him to reveal more ways in which to use me for His glory. As Saint Therese of the Child Jesus (the Little Flower) said - "I want to spend my heaven doing good on earth."
What took time to adjust to has now
become normal; what I felt so utterly unworthy of, I now surrender
to in faith and obedience to God's will for me, and He has given me
the strength and resources to overcome doubts and obstacles.
Being called to be apart and following as Christ leads has brought a
measure of inner joy, peace to my soul, and meaning to my life that
I never thought possible in this world and is truly beyond any
practical explanation by human or worldly standards. My joy is
like that of the ancient songwriter whose song of praise he counted
more worthy to be remembered than his name:
It must suffice to say that I
follow as my Saviour leads and endeavour to hearken as God calls
with childlike trust and faith. I don't ask why anymore, but seek
only to serve God, through His Son Christ Jesus, and
- Kimberly Anne Makela