I jogged along the beach, hoping some early morning exercise would help clear my head. My flight had arrived in Pattaya, Thailand just hours earlier, and I still wasn’t sure if I’d made the right decision in coming here. Maybe Mom was right. I wasn’t here for a higher purpose. I was running away.
I’d been a missionary in Taiwan for the past four years, ever since I graduated college. It was a chance to see the world and do what I loved. But I’d also left behind a tumultuous relationship in Kansas. One that had wreaked havoc on my personal and family life.
My work in Asia had been healing, though. I’d finally let go of my relationship hang-ups and was content with being single. My parents, however, wanted me back in Kansas. Hadn’t I spent enough time wandering the globe?
“Please come home,” my mom pleaded. But a quiet voice inside me kept insisting: Go to Thailand.
Now, as I ran past the beach bungalows and souvenir stands, I couldn’t help but feel guilty. I was excited about my work in Pattaya. But I’d gone against my family’s wishes, all because I’d decided to listen to some silly voice in my head. What was I thinking?
Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a rickety old coffee cart in front of my hotel. I could certainly use the caffeine before my worship meeting. I ran up to the cart, so lost in my thoughts that I almost bumped into a young man waiting for his coffee.
We made eye contact, but he didn’t say a word, just stared at me, as if stunned. That’s when I realized I‘d left my wallet in my room. I headed into the hotel.
After a shower and a quick change, I walked down the street for my worship meeting. I found a spot at the front of the conference room, scanning the crowd for any familiar faces. A young man entered the room–our eyes locked. The same guy from the coffee cart! He ran up to me. This time he actually spoke.
“I’m Casey,” he said. “Sorry I didn’t say hello earlier.” He was from Tennessee and on his first long-term mission trip. We spent the next week working side-by-side, talking until sundown and–of course–drinking coffee.
Eight months later, it became clear why I’d been called to Thailand. With my parents, family and friends as witnesses, the man I ran into at the coffee cart became my husband.