WHOLEHEARTED LADY : Elizabeth Cox

Hi y’all! I’m Elizabeth Cox, but feel free to call me Liz – all my friends do, & if you’re reading this then I already consider you a friend. :) I’m a 24 year old Lexington, Kentucky native. I’ve lived in this beautiful city all my life and really couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. From the rolling hills of horse country to the lively downtown scene, Lexington has my heart through and through. I’ve worked in the wedding industry since I was a junior in college. I started out as a wedding photographer/videographer, but I now manage and own two local bridal shops, Twirl Boutique (manager & marketing director) and Meant To Be Boutique (co-owner), and am a regional representative for a national wedding online & print publication called Baubles & Bowties. Never in a million years did I foresee myself being in the positions that I am today, but goodness, I wouldn’t trade where I am for anything. The story of my career is one that reminds me of the Lord’s faithfulness and sovereignty every single day.

When I’m not surrounded by pretty white dresses, you can find me either curled up with a glass of wine and a good book or Netflix, with good friends enjoying a delicious meal, constant laughs & a good craft beer, or attempting to live a healthy lifestyle by shaking like a leaf at Pure Barre or begrudgingly running through my neighborhood.

This season of my life has been quite bittersweet if I’m honest. It feels as though my life is centered around weddings, and yet my own seems no where in sight. Don’t get my wrong, I adore my career and celebrating my friends’ love stories is one of the greatest joys of my life. But ladies, we’d all be lying if we said it was easy. If you asked me five years ago if I could see myself being where I am today I would’ve laughed in your face. Five years ago I was in love and constantly imagining my life as the wife to my prince charming at the time. My Pinterest board was full of gorgeous dresses, dreamy tablescapes, and lovely floral bouquets. My plans after college involved becoming a bride and adventuring through life with my handsome groom. However, the Lord had other plans. Plans that still to this day seem hard to understand, but they are plans that I trust wholeheartedly.

This season isn’t at all what I expected it to look like, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have purpose. The Lord is not one to play games with us for the fun of it. The Lord is in the business of doing what is best for Himself, and what is best for Him is what is best for us. So regardless of if we’re married, single, engaged, or recently heartbroken – we are living within His beautiful and perfect plan. Beth Moore once said, “He is ever after proving us genuine,” and those words have carried me through the last several years of my life. The genuineness of our love for Jesus is all that matters. Seriously. It is ALL that matters. If you’re like me, that truth may be hard to believe all the time, but we have to fight to preach that to ourselves daily. Our love story with Jesus is the greatest love story of all. It is the story that rules all other stories. It is the story that gives our lives, and the seasons within them, worth and purpose.

Sweet friends, savor this season. Do not waste it. He is writing a beautiful story of grace and redemption, and he is entrusting it to you to tell it well. You are His beloved and that means your story matters.


SHE IS ADVENTUROUS:
What has been the most exciting thing you have done throughout your single years?

The summer after college graduation, three of my best friends and I loaded into my Subaru and traveled across the country for two weeks. It was the trip of a lifetime. We did everything from seeing  James Taylor at Red Rocks in Colorado, sitting on the couch in Central Perk, while pretending we were getting served coffee from Gunther and listening to Phoebe’s latest rendition of Smelly Cat, at Warner Brothers Studios in L.A., to hiking the Grand Canyon. It will forever be one of my favorite memories of my life. Entering into my adult life with a grand adventure seems like a great foreshadowing for what’s in store in the years to come, or so I hope at least. “Adulting” is an adventure that we just have to embrace and travel through with grace and whimsy.


SHE CELEBRATES WITH OTHERS:
How many weddings have you celebrated with friends?

Ha! Too many to count. Between photographing, filming, attending, and being a bridesmaid I’ve celebrated well over 30 weddings in the last five years. Yep, I wasn’t kidding when I said my life is pretty centered around weddings. I wouldn’t change it for the world though, because it means my life is rich with relationships. Celebrating people and the covenant they are making to proclaim the gospel through their marriage is always something I want to celebrate and celebrate well.


SHE IS GRATEFUL:
What are you most grateful for/has been the biggest blessing of singleness?

I’m so grateful for the time and space God’s given me to get to know who I am. I look back and laugh at myself during the season when I thought I was going to become a wife and I praise God for giving me the space to step back and really have Him chisel away at me so that I could get a clearer picture of who he has made me to be. By no means do I perfectly know myself, nor do I think I ever fully will, but I sure as heck know who I am more today than ever before. That’s not to say that I couldn’t have learned things about my identity if I had ended up getting married, but I truly believe that my break up, as painful as it was, was God’s mercy on my life. Within my single years the Lord has graciously pulled back the curtain on a lot of wounds from early years of my life. It’s been in this season of healing that I have grown to understand myself more. And that’s not thanks to Myers-Briggs personality tests or counseling sessions, although I do love both of those things a lot, but it’s thanks to having the time and space to really get to know my sweet Jesus in a way I never have before. Getting to know the character of my Savior has allowed me the grace to know myself and the woman He has designed me to be all the more. For that, I am incredibly grateful.


SHE IS INDEPENDENT:
What have you done on your own that you are most proud of?

I have chased dreams, taken risks, and have seen the fruit of obedience to His calls. At the age of 24 I’ve owned two successful businesses and have watched God bless them tremendously. My success is not mine to claim, it is His alone. I never imaged myself to be a “business woman” but when you’re doing something that you love work doesn’t always feel like work and that is a tremendous gift. Taking risks, dreaming big, listening to your gut (which I’m convinced is 99% of the time His Spirit) is so worth it. Don’t be scared, go for it! If you fail, don’t sweat it. You tried & sometimes that’s the greatest victory of all. Have a willing & adventurous spirit, it could take you places you never thought were possible!


SHE IS CONTENT:
How do you pursue contentment and joy?

I try my best to just delight in where I am. I’m a recovering control freak, and this whole singleness thing has really thrown me for a loop. God has used it for such deep refinement in my life and for that I am so thankful. I can’t control my singleness. Sure, I can say yes & no to dates, but ultimately I can’t dictate God’s timing or manipulate his plan. It’s so easy for me to fixate on the past or freak out over the future but doing that doesn’t serve anyone well. So I’m simply trying to delight in where the Lord has me. Because, Lord willing, one day I won’t have all this free time or the ability to fly by the seat of my pants because I’ll have a husband to check in with or a baby’s feeding schedule to work around. But for now, my life is my own, so I’m going to say yes to as many dinner dates with friends or random, spontaneous road trips as I want. This is where God has me right now and choosing to delight in it, to be present in this season, is what fuels my contentment & joy.


SHE SHARES ADVICE:
What have you learned through singleness that you wish you could tell your younger self?

Sister friend, you’re going to be okay. I know this heaviness feels inescapable but this too shall pass. In His good and perfect timing, you will breathe again. He has promised you a life of abundance, and He will not fall short on that promise. He loves you. He loves you more than any man ever will. His love is perfect. His love is safe. His love is worthy of trust. His love will not fail you. So lean into it. Lean in deep to the love of your precious Savior. Go on. You are protected there. He has not given up on you, I promise. He believes you are worth the pursuit and He cherishes your heart. Do not be discouraged or fearful. The story isn’t finished yet. Redemption has been promised to you, and you are not out of its reach. You are okay. You are His beloved. He chose you. Rest in that, sweet girl. YOU. ARE. LOVED.


SHE LAUGHS:
What is your craziest, funniest, most awkward dating experience?

For a hot minute I dated a guy in North Carolina. One weekend I went to visit him and have our first official date. Well, we went on our date, everything was fine, and then later in the night we had our first kiss. Not long after the kiss I politely excused myself for a brief moment, ran to the nearest bush and threw up. Yep. That’s real life. Talk about romantic! ;) At the time I thought I had food poisoning from the Thai restaurant we ate dinner at earlier in the evening, but come to find out I was just riddled with anxiety. Oops! Needless to say, the relationship didn’t last long after that, and Thai food and I are no longer friends. Ha!


SHE CLINGS TO TRUTH:
What is your favorite truth/bible verse to combat the lies of the world?

Lamentations 3 is sweet to my soul. It’s the story of a redeemed heart. A heart that went from being angry towards the Lord to being captivated by the Lord. It reminds me that the Lord is ever after the good of His people and He will stop at nothing to love them. I am humbled by His goodness time & time again when I read that scripture. It creates in me a heart of thanksgiving, regardless of my life’s circumstances, and that alone is proof enough that redemption is real and is happening.


SHE SEEKS WISDOM:
What is your favorite resource for singles?

Community. I am a firm believer that having a community that carries your burdens and cheers you on is so essential in this life. Whether that’s having a small group with other singles or back porch life chats with your married bestie over a glass of wine, we need it all. We are not meant to live this life on our own so don’t do it. Let people into your life. Don’t lie to yourself that you’re “too much of a mess,” “no one will understand,” or “they won’t like me if they really know me,” because trust me, that’s all a load of bull. We are all a mess and that’s what makes us understand each other all the more and makes us more likeable people. Be real. Be vulnerable. Be yourself. It’s a beautiful thing what happens when we live life with people and love each other well. It’s a beautiful thing because it’s a glimmer of heaven and that, my friends, is what it’s all about.


SHE MAKES PLANS:
Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s one thing you’d like to do?

I would absolutely LOVE to visit Ireland and New Zealand some day. I think it’s a combination of my love for the movies “P.S. I Love You” and “Lord of the Rings” that sparked this interest, but either way, those rolling green hills and amazing accents are calling my name!


SHE IS BEAUTIFUL:
When do you feel the most confident & beautiful?

When I know I’m doing something within my giftings. I love the way the Lord has uniquely gifted each of us for different things – it’s the beauty of the body of Christ. Figuring out where you thrive and what fires you up is so empowering to me. When I’m working in my wheelhouse I feel so energized and full of life. Not only is that when I feel most confident and beautiful but I think that’s when all women shine. It’s as if we all have this glow that happens within us when we really live out who we are and the ways God wired us to glorify Him best.


SHE BUYS THE FINE CHINA:
What is something you like to splurge on?

I am a complete sucker for a cute pair of shoes. I’m not sure when this obsession began but man oh man, a cute pair of shoes is my kryptonite.


SHE EQUIPS THOSE COMING BEHIND HER:
What encouragement do you have for those girls who are struggling and not yet thriving in their singleness?

Do not be ashamed about where you are. Hiding behind shame can be your biggest enemy in all of this. Trust me, I hid behind my shame for far too long. John 1:4-5 says, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Do not let your loneliness, bitterness, sadness, or shame stay in the darkness. Bring it to the light. Freedom is yours to have, Jesus promised you that. Exposing your darkness – being honest about where you are – can feel absolutely crippling. Again, trust me, I know. But take it from me, the richness of the light far outweighs the fear of letting it in. Fight for freedom. You are not a slave to your heartache. Do not let it rule your life. “The darkness has not overcome it.” Freedom happens when we expose it all. It feels scary and impossible, but let me fill in you on a little secret – you are braver than you think you are. So go ahead, let the light in. Freedom is going to feel so sweet, sister – so so sweet.


Name : Liz Cox

Instagram : @_elizabethcox

Website : www.twirlboutique.com // www.meanttobeboutique.com // www.baublesandbowties.com

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