Short Stories

The Girl with Cold Coffee

Words kept her up late at night. Words and coffee that had grown cold. She really only drank coffee for the smell. She sat mulling over her life in intimate detail. She had a notebook on her lap, and her pen poised above the leftover school notebook paper. She was just home for a visit. Time was short as it always is. So, she silently thought the minutes away.

She thought of all the people who told her that life after high school would be so different than planned. She thought of all the dream-slayers who shot down her dreams before she could finish explaining them. She thought of the well-meaning women who preached at her to stay pure, and to never be sucked in by the world.

She thought of all the ladies who assumed Ever After had to include a man. She thought of all the critics of life. She thought of every woman who ever told her never to read a romance novel…because those books weren’t reality. Those books would paint a false picture of love and marriage. She thought of all the things that people say.

Then the girl with cold coffee thought of all the things that people didn’t say.

Because people don’t tell you that life after high school is actually better than you can imagine. It’s harder. It’s different. It’s a transition…but it’s a vital part of who you become. Different isn’t terrible, but adults don’t tell you that. They just say, “Oh you wait and see! It gets harder from here. You have no idea.”

Because the dream-slayers don’t share their whole story. What made them fail? How was achieving the dream difficult? What made them stagger? What forced them to give up? What did they learn from the journey? But dream-slayers don’t tell you those things. They just roll their eyes and say, “Your dreams will never happen. Big dreams are usually just big failures.”

Because women don’t explain the ways that helped them stay pure. And the women who fell don’t share how God’s forgiveness embraced them after they lost the fight. Most women don’t candidly share their story, so young girls are left in the dark thinking they are the only ones.

And people don’t tell you that it’s good to be single.

And people don’t talk about the joys in life, instead they breathe out problems in complaints, arguments, and misguided passion.

And women don’t tell you that love is better than a romance novel. Real life love is more ordinary, more strained, more needed, more fulfilling, and more lovely than a cheap romance novel. But wives don’t share that side.

So the girl with cold coffee sits cross-legged in the dark at 12:38 am, and she is upset by these thoughts. People only tell part of the story. They tell the side of the story that is easiest to tell, and hardest to hear. After all, criticism and scorn is easier to come by than candid encouragement laced with truth.

She finally writes,

“Tell me that adulthood is hard, but show me what you have learned. Tell me that dreams are lofty, but give me ways to achieve them. Tell me that doing right is difficult, but rally around to help me.

Tell me that a husband is wonderful, but explain to me that singleness is valuable. Tell me that living is tough, but remind me to count my blessings one by one and over again. Tell me that romance novels are vain, but describe to me the real romance of life.


Please listen. Your audience is impressionable. Your audience is vulnerable. Your audience is passionate. Each and every one of them is in need of you. How will you speak to them?”

Awaiting Your Response,

The Girl with Cold Coffee.

She has scrawled her words across the page. The letters are mostly legible. Tears are falling and her passion has had its say.  People shout so many things, and they are often silently harmful. She folds the paper and slips it in a miscellaneous envelope. For now she needs to sleep, and she isn’t sure if her words will impact anyone at all. But the girl released these words from the cobwebs of her thoughts, and now she can succumb to rest.

Somehow these words made it to you, and the girl with cold coffee is asleep somewhere. She needs you today, and she’ll need you tomorrow.

Because youth is everywhere that you look.

And she is awaiting your response.

Previous Posts:

My House, Your Heart

She Called it Love

It’s OK to Break Down

2 thoughts on “The Girl with Cold Coffee

  1. Dear Girl with Cold Coffee,

    I began a lengthy letter to you which seemed not the right thing, so here I try again.

    Tonight I am the woman who looks past flu chills, neediness of a teething toddler, tired cry of an infant, ache of a strained back, and fatigue that tells a story in dark bags under my eyes. I look past it to wonder where the time went? How did I come from another dreaming Girl, to this: a mama of 9 hoodlums, married to my beloved, and parked squarely in the smack-dab middle of living a crazy-full and incredibly favored life?!

    I think you know there isn’t a recipe. No formula to follow, no pattern to piece which will result in a predictable outcome if only you follow the instructions perfectly.
    That said, good seed usually bears fruit in kind and so I think your ponderings valuable.

    First let me say I remember clearly standing in shoes like yours. It was an amazing, hopeful, tumultuous, frustrating, confusing, incredible season.
    The girl in me looks backward and remembers it a very precious time.
    The Woman I am now, wouldn’t go back to relive it for anything.
    I don’t know how your story will read, but I can tell you that mine turned out better than I dreamed (and I dreamed up a great story for myself!!) 😀 I just want to say imagine big, Sierra, and withhold not the desires of your heart, because sometimes it is the Lord’s delight to say yes and yes again.

    One day I would love to tell you my story because it is wonderfulness 🙂 No prayer is too outlandish. You are HIS girl with cold coffee!

    If I were going to choose a couple bits of wisdom to succinctly impart to my younger self and any young woman with an ear, it would be these:

    Practice contentment in singleness. It is a rare opportunity to do anything you want for and with the Lord which will not be clouded by the obligations of life taking care of your family.

    When looking for the man of your dreams, remember to BE the woman THAT MAN would be looking for (I think we know what that means) 🙂

    I think possibly the most important quality to look for in a prospective spouse is a life habit of putting the needs of others first. Considering how his words and actions affect those around him. Is he a flirt? Does he only pay special attention to pretty girls, or does he treat all people with grace and respect? Is he a servant? How does he respond to those who grate on him most? How does he react to stress and difficult people?

    When spending time with that best fella you ever knew, I think my favorite practice would be to treat him like he already belongs to somebody. Don’t behave in any ways that you wouldn’t if he were married. I always hoped that some girl somewhere else was taking care of “my” boy so that he and I could enter marriage without a lot of baggage or scars. AJ was really my first go-around in the boy department, but I thought he was wonderful and he had my respect. I didn’t want his future wife wondering if I’d been using up what was hers (and secretly I hoped his future wife would be me) 😉
    That was my plan for purity. AJ and I have discussed many times since then, that uttering tender words and being physical all leads to one end. It is God’s design and it’s a good design. However it’s nearly impossible to slow down a snowball effect once you’re being physical. That said, if you two know you’re going to get married and have already decided as much, get married.
    Long engagements are not helpful.
    I never considered how our relationship might morph once we made the decision to get married. If you find yourself there, formulate a plan specific to maintaining purity during your engagement (though personally I root for getting hitched without delay) 😀

    Most valuable (if I had to narrow it down to one) lesson learned in marriage, is that pretty much every difficulty you’ll run up against pertains to differing expectations. Learn real quick to listen to the other persons expectations and to clearly communicate yours. It was a long hard lesson to learn so if you know this secret beforehand, I hope you’ll have quicker success in communication. 🙂
    AJ and I talk expectations for things as minute as where to eat out, to larger ones like: What do you expect this trip to be and what are you hoping to accomplish? Just remember that one word: Expectations.

    Last bits for you~

    I love your heart, your perspective, your transparency… You are doing great Sierra. Please please don’t stop dreaming in brilliant color and detail that will be considered outlandish! Never forget that the world will call us fools. God’s wisdom is not man’s wisdom. I had a wonderful childhood and fun youth, but it is nothing to the wonders of today. I know I am favored, and I realize that God’s favor won’t look the same on everyone He calls precious, but throw out those big requests to Him and ask for His will and glory to be revealed.
    He will reveal His glory.
    He always does.

    Love you little sister.


    P.S. It would be good if you tried adding chocolate to your coffee. Top with whipping cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Mine never gets cold that way! 😀


    1. Thank you, Analene, for taking the time to write out advice & do it in a loving way.:) I wrote for so many of the young adults who need the help of wiser elders! I am amazed at God and while I have dreams, I am just thrilled to be taking this journey with God Almighty & as He directs my path!! I loved your P.S., twas the perfect way to end your letter.


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