Tainted: Concrete Words {Guest-Host}

 I'd love for y'all to welcome the ever-lovely Ruth Povey, whom I call friend, to this space today. I am indebted to her for her loyalty, her support, cheerleading, and excitement over Concrete Words and my writing. She's been a true source of encouragement. Y'all give her some lovin' for her vulnerable heart poured out here and share her words!

                                                   photo credit 

I can see her, fourteen and shirt cut too low, flirting outrageous.  Longing for some affirmation, drawing it out of them the only way she’s ever known. From toddling age, she learned her worth lies in sex and now fourteen and contaminated, her worth lies in tatters.  Love’s understanding tainted by lust, shows a little more skin.  As if their wandering eyes might justify her.

And hardened, the tears never come, so frustrated she cuts her wrists through with a blade. Punctured, she bleeds and the pressure releases.

She’s grown up in church and been filled with knowledge of the God who judges harshly, the distant Jesus with his thorny crown. Condemned, she’ll never measure up to the Sunday School Girls, so she hides in the hallway and melts into walls.

A decade on and the songs kept calling to me, singing me home and into the church. And tears came one day as I mouthed broken lyrics, telling how he loves me. A dam collapsed as I suddenly knew it - that he’d bled out to purify me - and week in, week out this heart cried, grateful.

They taught on Isaiah, stood before the throne and how he’d called out:

I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips.

Yet I have seen the King!

Isaiah 6:5

Yet I have seen the king - my spirit was quickened and I read about seraphim who cleansed lips with burning coals and asked who would be a messenger for the Lord?  Isaiah, though he’d thought himself filthy, he’d responded all the same:

Here I am. Send me.

Isaiah 6:8

When mud clings to your soul and love has left you choking. When your worth is scattered, filthy rags about your feet - know this. You are loved with a pure love - the daughter of The King. 
I could tell you I'd felt that truth wash right through, cleansing my inside out, but I'd be telling you lies.  I wish I could say how I walk now, daily holding on to this.  I forget to, so often.  It's a glimmer of understanding, fanned flaming some days and I hope that one day it'll consume me.


It began with a response:

Here I am - I whispered it first and I sang it out, hopeful: Send me.


I'm Christian, mummy of two, wife to one, SAHM, and registered nurse. Once upon a time I was a teen mum too and my beautiful daughter is now nine years old. I love notebooks to near inappropriate levels, as well as music and buttery toast. My life has been by no means white-picket fenced but I'm working on my future, one scribbled-down page at a time.      
 Author Website  :      follow on facebook

This post shared with Jennifer for #TellHisStory Emily for Imperfect ProseMichelle DeRusha

***Friends, this is the only Concrete Words post for July. I'm still on break, but will be guest-posting on the 19th of this month (more on that later), and I will also still be writing for Bibledude, so don't miss out on those. I'll be back the first week of August for Concrete Words! We will get right back on that horse and have fun doing it! Writing like we can fly, like balloons floating free to the sky, ever, ever higher. I love you all and thanks for sticking with me! Happy summer to you. May you be filled with grace, sunshine, love, rest, the exhileration of adventure, and deep, deep exhales, my friend.

What this link-up is about: We "write out spirit" by practicing writing about the invisible using concrete words. In case you are going "what in the world is a concrete word?!"--this just means (using the prompt to inspire) write out what's around us--concrete words make the senses come alive, gives place. In every story, there is always an above and beneath, a beside, something tucked away, aromas in the air, something calling in the trees or from the street, notes in our pocket, rocks in our shoes, sand between our toes. Go here to see Amber's take on this. It was very helpful to me--I think it will be beneficial for you, too.

A few simple guidelines:       1. Be sure you link up the URL to your Concrete Words
                                             post and not just your blog home page URL.
                                         2. Put a link to this post on your blog so that others
                                             can find their way back here.
                                         3. Try to visit one or two others and encourage their efforts
                                         4. Please write along with us, using concrete words--
                                             and the prompt--Please no entries with how-to's, advertising,
                                             or sponsored posts
                                         5. We connect on twitter with the hashtag #concretewords--
                                               please share so others can join!

Today's prompt is the Tainted

{Ruth will highlight a beautiful post from this link-up on Friday (and announce it on social media), so visit her place, or her facebook page (link above) to see whose post is highlighted and encourage them!}

Now let's have some fun with Concrete words! {Please be sure you've used the prompt before linking}


  1. oh, Ruth. you have shared such an intimate story. thank you for telling this part of your journey, for indeed, i relate to you well.

    Love gentles us into that 'here am I, send me', doesn't He? going that other road - that 'God who judges harshly' road - never ends in free and willing surrender, i think. perhaps submission, perhaps obligation, but not the same thing as joyful yielding.

    beautiful work, friend. beautiful.

  2. I know some young ladies in the same position, and I pray for them to know for themselves the overwhelming depth of God's love. I pray truth will banish the lie of the God who judges harshly. Thank you for reminding me today how deep their need is, how deep my need is. :)

  3. I think you are so right and there's something so exciting about that willing surrender! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, Kelli, I really appreciate your encouragement!

  4. Oh Jen, I pray along with you - so many broken girls in the world. So glad you stopped by and thank you for your comment, lovely to hear from you

  5. A beautiful story of redemption, Ruth. And that turning back toward Him? Yes, I get that. I was there. I am always there.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  6. Dear Ruth, this is a searingly honest post that reveals a tender, vulnerable heart which is gaining strength to live as an overcomer by God's grace. So much here resonates with me. The sense of unworhiness can seep so deep into our souls that we truly need an Isaiah type revelation of grace to change it.

    Redemption and forgiveness are secured at the cross, paid in blood. But sanctification takes a lifetime and involves daily surrender. We may never feel good inside, yet God reassures us that He sees us that way - whole, healed and beautiful in His sight.

    And He is already sending you, my friend, via your beautiful transparency, your open prose, to reach others who need to hear about His saving grace. Keep on keeping on! Bless you :) xxx

  7. The beauty of getting to know someone one post at a time is that you get to really look at each piece of the puzzle that is them. Ruth, this part of you was handed over to us with such raw vulnerability and trust, and your courage keeps stirring my willingness to keep pursuing healing. And thank you, thank you, thank you for your very real, very honest end. Thank you for not polishing the conclusion. I needed that today when my surrender is more the mouthing of words than the willingness to turn my heart in full trust.

  8. This is so amazing I literally could not hold back the tears. I have seen you come a long way from the girl you used to be and I am so proud to know the woman you are today. Love you Mrs Povey! xx

  9. Thank you for introducing me to Ruth, Nacole. She shares such a deep heart-story. Isn't it amazing how God uses these broken places in us to reach out to others? Thank you.

  10. I'm so glad to meet you Laura, thank you for reading. All we can do sometimes is give God those broken pieces and trust him to create something good out of them - and it blows me away when he does

  11. Ah I love it when I make you cry! Love you lots Mrs, thank you xx

  12. Thank you so much Karin.. polishing the ending didn't feel right, when I am so very unpolished myself! Healing is a long road, isn't it? And I know those days when all you can do is mouth the words. Lots of love to you Karin, it's so lovely to get to know you x

  13. Isn't is so tough when you don't feel it? It's the holding on to how God sees us.. but it's so easy to lose sight of that. Thank you for reading, Joy and I'm so glad you linked up. God is certainly sending you, with your honest and courageous writing. That's why it feels so frightening :-) xx

  14. Aren't we just always, always there? Thank you for reading and for taking the time to comment, I truly appreciate your words :-)

  15. Ashley Tolins LarkinJuly 9, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Ruth, thank you for your tender vulnerability. For sharing this piece of your story and of the God who loves you, calls you, hears you and sees you. And the way you've woven your story with that of Isaiah is powerful...I've never understood it this way before. Bless you on your journey of continuing to receive his love. This was so beautiful, Ruth.

  16. this is so beautifully expressed~ so perfectly visualized



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