Sunday, December 27, 2009


Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English betst; akin to Old English bōt remedy
Date: before 12th century
superlative of good

1 : excelling all others
2 : most productive of good : offering or producing the greatest advantage, utility, or satisfaction

Still, after seven years of growing and changing, I know I can count on and trust them. Being at home for a month without them here would be miserable.

Tonight I watched a chick flick and ate ice-cream with three of my best friends. We've been doing it for years and I plan to continue the tradition for a long time to come.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Being home for the holidays is weird. Don't get me wrong—it's awesome and I love it, but it's really strange to pause my life at college and spend a month in the house I grew up in hanging out with the friends I used to spend every day with. Seriously—nostalgia overload. As cliché as it is, there are reminders of the "good ol' days" everywhere and I can't help but think back over how much my life has changed since I started college. I'm tempted to get really sad over how complicated my life feels right now and to dwell on how easy the world was when I was in the 10th grade and the only things I was worried about were making the school musical (which was Seussical the Musical that year), deciding whether to sneak off campus for lunch (I promise I never did), and telling as many people as I could that Coach Little listens to showtunes (it's true).

But then I think about all of the things I know now about life and God and relationships and sin and... well, lots of other things and I realize that while the "good ol' days" of high school were simple and fun and beautiful, I'm glad that I'm growing up. Things might feel messy sometimes, but I'm learning a lot. Really, a lot. Serious growing pains. I wouldn't be surprised if my brain had whatever the inner organ equivalent of stretch marks are.

And now I'm tempted to explain how and why I've grown so much; to try and justify my life and the choices I've made by going into great detail about what it is that makes me do what I do. Sometimes that's appropriate, but lately I've been thinking about when it's more appropriate to simply hold my tongue (or in this case, my fingers). We've all grown up hearing that "honesty is the best policy" and if you grew up going to Sunday school, you might be familiar with a little song about liars ("Revelation, Revelation, 21:8, 21:8..." you know the rest), but is there a point where we can become too honest?

I often feel the need to explain myself because I worry that if I don't, everyone who isn't "in" on the way I reason through whatever I do will wrongly assume the worst of me. Make sense? Well, that's how my mind works. If I think someone is angry at me, I immediately go to them and explain what I'm feeling about the situation. If I'm doing poorly in a class, I email my teacher and explain why I haven't been able to focus. If I'm having a bad day and someone asks me how I'm doing, I explain, "Well, not very good." You get the idea; I like explaining things. It's like I'm constantly sending out this explanation to the world: "I promise I'm normal! Please understand me! Accept me, accept me!"

But I'm just being honest.

I don't think it's a good honest, though. It's an honesty lacking simplicity and faith. After all of my explaining I'm left feeling like I do when I o.d. on junk food—nauseatingly full but still unsatisfied. I spend so much time agonizing over what I need to say to get people to understand me, I lose faith that God is going to communicate whatever he wants to through the words I speak.

How awesome is that?
The pressure's off.
I don't always have to explain myself.

When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Proverbs 10:19
Yes, I need to be truthful, but it's pointless for me to worry about whether people understand who I am or what I do. I'm here to glorify God, and all that explaining—it takes away from His glory and puts the spotlight on me. I have to trust Him to take care of everything.
It seems so simple, but if I'm following Jesus as closely as I can, I won't need to explain myself. Jesus hardly ever offered explanations for the things He did and still managed to become "irrevocably the very center of history."

I'm done explaining to others what's going on in my life; it's time to look upward and outward.

Oh, and merry Christmas. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Carbon Leaf really is an amazing band. I've been listening to their album Indian Summer for the past few days and every time I get in my car I crank up the volume as loud as I can stand it and sing along. Really loud.

I'm sure that the people next to me laugh when I pull up to stoplights bouncing to the beat and belting as hard as I can. I don't care. If the music makes me feel good, then I'll enjoy it however I pleaseeven if I do look a little ridiculous at a red light.

I opened up the music box; I wish you would have changed the locks to keep me from replaying all the feelings I've been saving. I did not keep them locked up inside, I did not take my steps in stride—thought you were bluffing, trampled on you, went from friends to nothing.

Radio turns to gold and paves the way to find my home when I'm alone.

Overeager and underway, I risked it all, I had to say what opened me up for the beating, but the heart is for bleeding. With scraps of songs I paste along the seams of my clumsy tongue in hopes of creating the golden notes that might bring you back to me.

Radio turns to gold and paves the way to find my home when I'm alone.

Like phantoms on the highway after holiday, gritting their teeth, racing to find a place for their soul—or at least a place that's less familiar, we offer up our heart before the heart's invited or asked for—Oh no, here I go my friend, I'm repeating, but the heart is for bleeding.

And I've said all I can say. I am retreating, on my way. Music box, play my song; I'll sing along to that bitterly sweet tone when I'm alone.

Monday, December 14, 2009


It's been a very revealing week in the life of Taylor Cox.

I have a lot of reservations about writing this blog
(a) because it will reveal a lot about the person I am and I'm honestly afraid that when my friends read it they will all realize (if they hadn't already) that I am incredibly prideful and shallow,
(b) because I'm afraid that people will think that by writing it, I am trying to look humble, which is really quite prideful,
(c) because I know that as I write, I will be tempted to make it seem like even though I am admitting fault, I'm okay now and I have it all together (I don't.), and
(d) because I have an ancient history exam tomorrow at 1:00. (Mom, I promise I've studied and I'll study more after I finish writing this!)

Well, this post has nothing to do with transportation. I know you were looking forward to a cute little story about the trip I took to my Grandma's house on Saturday, but I'm just not feeling the whole object-lesson route tonight. I want to get right to the point.

Here it is: I am a deeply sinful person.

When you read that you thought one of two things.
(a)"Gosh, Taylor, no! You're such a sweet and loving girl! You're a good girl." or,
(b) "I know you are. We all are, no need to beat yourself up about it."
Thanks, but you're wrong. Neither of those thoughts are true. I have been fooled by those lies for 20 years and I will not let Satan continue to tell me that I'm the "good girl" or that I'm not as bad as "most people." I am worse. I am a self-righteous and prideful hypocrite; speaking the words of a believer but doing nothing to keep my soul pure (Matthew 23:25-26)
. I have been acting like I have it all together; I've gotten really good at the act, but that's all it is—an act.

I've learned how to have deep conversations without really letting anyone know what is going on in my heart. I've learned how to talk about the struggles in my life without letting anyone convict me of my sin. I have even learned how to confess my sin without being bothered by it.
How blind I've become to my own pride!

Thursday night, God opened my eyes and I was horrified. It is really amazing how the Holy Spirit can reveal something to you about yourself that you never saw; especially when so many others have been seeing it for a really long time. Now, it's not like all of the sudden I was like, "Gee, I'm a really prideful person; didn't see that coming." I have always known that I struggle with pride—mostly because that's what my parents have always told me. I've grown up knowing that pride is a sin and that I should try to not be prideful, but until Thursday I just didn't see why my pride was such a big deal. It's not like I was doing drugs, not like I was stealing, or even spreading rumors about people. My pride was my deal. I wasn't hurting anyone, right?

Ha, I wish.

The reason I was so convicted on Thursday night was that I finally saw what I had been ignoring my whole life. My
prideful heart has hurt people, people that I really care about; my family and my friends. I was so caught up in my fake humility, saying that I was sorry without really meaning it, that I didn't see the damage I was doing.

This is very depressing, I know, but it's biblical.

Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners,
and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Be wretched and mourn and weep.
Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
James 4:7
I have seen my sin and I don't want to forget how ugly it is. I have wept over my sin, mourned how far it has lured me from my God. I have been not humbled, but humiliated, and goodness knows I am ready for the joy that comes with repentance.

My prayer is that this confession will be something that you might relate to or be encouraged by. God has opened my eyes and I praise him for sight, even if what I see at the moment isn't so pretty. The amazing thing is that I have seen my darkness and I still have hope. I know that God is constantly guiding me. I have messed up. A lot. But the Spirit is at work.

I am still in transit.
(Tied it in after all, didn't I?)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I'm tired of defending myself.
I know that the case against me is far too strong.

I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
1 Corinthians 4:3-5

Monday, December 7, 2009


As you may (or may not) have guessed by the title of my blog, in transit, I was kind of hoping that I'd be able to tie some element of transition or transportation into all of my posts. To you it may seem lame, but I'm convinced that the successful blogs are the ones with themes. No one wants to read a blog that's about all kinds of random things that don't have anything to do with each other—unless of course, the theme of the blog is random things.

But my theme is transportation, not random stuff.

I chose transit for several reasons; mostly because I think I do my best contemplation when I'm travelingwhether I'm on the bus to school or in my car running errands around Raleigh. I like being mobile, going places, having a destination. No matter where I'm going, as I'm on my way there I frequently find myself mulling over many complexities of the universe—or sometimes I'm just praying that Nadine will get me where I'm trying to go. (Yes, I named my GPS after a character from Arthur; my car's name is D.W. the VW. If you've never seen Arthur, (a) you probably were one of those privileged children with cable growing up and (b) you missed out on all kinds of life-lessons like how to spell aardvark in a rap—A-A-R-D-VARK.)

I got Nadine from my parents for my birthday this year after several rather frightening instances in which I got very lost on my way up to Camp Willow Run in Littleton, NC. Not knowing where you are and being literally smack dab in the middle of nowhere is both humiliating and very scary. I don't think I've ever been so thankful for my cell phone. I guess my parents got tired of bailing me out of sketchy situations with MapQuested directions, so they bought me a Global Positioning System. Really it's probably one of the coolest inventions in the history of modern technology. I can hop into my car whenever I want, punch in an address and go there. I don't have the address? Not even an issue; I can type in the name of my destination and Nadine will find it for me. I want to know where the closest Starbucks is? I just ask Nadine, she'll tell me. I'm running low on gas? Nadine will find the closest gas station and tell me how to get there. With my handy little GPS, I have the freedom to go anywhere I want at any time I want. Honestly, I think one of the reasons I've spent so much money on gas this semester is because I have Nadine to rely on. If I want to go somewhere, I go.

Needless to say, I've started to depend on Nadine for everything. Last night I even used her to get to a friend's house in Cary that I've been to a million times—you know, just to make sure the way I've always gotten there is really the fastest way. (Surprise! It's not.)

There are times, however, that Nadine has failed me miserably. Most recently, I was supposed to pick up a few lovely young ladies from basketball practice and take them out to dinner. I told Nadine where they were practicing, New Community Church, and set off for a fun evening of hanging out and catching up. I arrived at the address Nadine gave me right on time, but there was a problem. There was nothing there. I mean, it wasn't like it was the wrong church or the church had moved; there wasn't even a turn off of Falls of Neuse Road where the church was supposed to be. I was lost and embarrassed, but after a few phone calls I managed to meet up with my girls.

Through this mini-ordeal that lasted a good 20 minutes, I realized something.
(I know you were wondering when I was going to make my point; I was too—I think I'll do it now.)

I can't depend on the outside world for guidance. I do it all the time, but no matter what or who I look to, I can never fully trust the direction I'm given. Gadgets and people are flawed—it's the curse of the fall (Romans 5:12). No one is perfect and anything that isn't God will fail you. When I look for help from other human beings crippled by sin, I have to expect that eventually I'll be misled, intentionally or not. The Lord is the only one I can always count on to guide my feet or, in this case, my tire treads.

Maybe even more importantly than telling me how to get where I'm headed, my Father will tell me where I need to go.

This semester I've found a new stress reliever; when I'm especially upset about something I get in my car and drive. I never thought that I'd ever admit to "going for a drive," but I've done it a couple of times since school started and it's a great way for me to compose myself, gather my thoughts, and talk to (and sometimes yell at) God without my roommates thinking I'm a crazy person.

About a month ago on the night of Leonid's meteor shower I had an "I'm going for a drive" moment. I pulled out of our parking lot with no idea where I was going. All I knew was that I was angry and hurting and that I had a few things to say to my God who claims to have a plan for my life. All of my plans had been turned upside down; why did He let this ending that I had been working towards disappear? I didn't understand it, so I drove. I thought that I might be able to find a place in Raleigh dark enough to watch some of the shower. I turned on Nadine, but she couldn't tell me how to get somewhere without knowing where I wanted to go. All she could do was take me home when I was ready to go back.

I had no clue where to go and Nadine was useless, so I drove around the greater Raleigh area for an hour without finding a single spot dark enough to pull over and look at the stars. I spent that whole hour wrestling with my anger and telling God what I was thinking. I cried and sang praises. I asked for wisdom that I don't deserve.

Much like the wrong direction situation, I realized something about the plan I have for my life.
(Yes, I'm about to make another point.)

I have no say in what my life will look like in 10 years, 5 years, or even tomorrow. God is providing my destination. I can plan all I want, but ultimately God will choose where he wants me to end up and he'll tell me how to get there. There are so many verses in the Bible that testify to the Lord's perfect plan for each of us and the fragility of my own plans, but the most fresh on my mind is James 4:13-17. Just like the terms and conditions of my phone bill, my plans are subject to change. If God gives me an opportunity to make much of Him, I must take it. If the Spirit leads me, I must follow. My life goals are dust if they are not saturated with the continual prayer that I am doing the will of God.

Ultimately it's Jesus who determines my destination because he began my journey. I was dead in my sin before his grace raised me to new life (Ephesians 2:1-5). That grace demands my allegiance, so my plan is to follow Jesus; He'll get me where I need to be.

Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.
I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.
I have suffered much; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word.
Accept, O LORD, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws.
Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law.
The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts.
Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.
My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.
Psalm 119:105-112