It's 9 p.m., and a busy hotel isn't the best place to conduct an interview. So Patricia Raybon has a simple idea: "Let's call it a day and try again later," she says. "We'll find a better time."
Patricia's learned a thing or two about the importance of timing. She knows waiting can be a good thing, even when it involves waiting for answers to prayer. But her wisdom on this subject is hard-earned; just a few years ago, at age 50, Patricia was at the end of her rope. A wife, mother to two adult daughters, journalism professor at the University of Colorado, and author of the celebrated memoir about forgiveness, My First White Friend, Patricia found herself fumbling spiritually. "In Matthew 17, Jesus says we can tell our mountain to move with even the smallest amount of faith. But my prayers weren't moving my mountain. And I didn't have just one mountain; I had a whole range," she says.
Her eldest daughter had announced she was pregnant out of wedlock. Her youngest daughter had donned a headscarf and converted to Islam. Patricia's mother, in her 80s, needed her care. Meanwhile, her marriage of 25 years was fraught with tension. And her prayers weren't changing any of it.
"I'd grown up in the church and had a relationship with Christ, but for the first time, I asked God to change me instead of my circumstances. I asked him to teach me how to pray," remembers Patricia. "That's when things got interesting."1