Do you believe that God is still in the miracle business? Do you believe that the God who led the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land can lead you out of bondage now? Do you believe that the God who healed the blind and the lame can heal your hurt in 2018? Is it even possible that the same God who multiplied the loaves of bread and the basket of fish can multiply your blessings today? If not—believe it. God is still in the business of working miracles and the story of how Soul Sister began is evidence of that fact!
In the fall of 2015 Missy Washam began a prayer journey. More specifically, she began 40 Days of Prayer by Kit Cummings. This book led her through a series of scriptures and devotions that allowed her to see God in ways she had never seen Him before; it challenged her to look for His every day miracles in her life. About 7 days in to this study, Missy knew that this was a book she wanted to share with people she loved. One of those people, Missy's childhood best friend, Dayna Moseley, had a birthday coming up. Missy sent Dayna this book as a birthday present with a note that said, "This book has changed my relationship with God in ways I can't quite explain. I can't wait to see how He shows up and out in your life as you go through this journey with Him."
Dayna began her journey and every few days, even though they weren't on the same page, the friends would connect and talk about how God had revealed Himself to each of them in miraculous ways. They decided when Dayna finished her journey, they would do it again, together.
This second time through the pages of the 40 Days of Prayer was no less miraculous than the first. God revealed Himself time and time again to the duo in both small and big ways. A few weeks into the second round of this prayer journey, Missy and Dayna were both convicted to do it again, but to ask others to travel the pages of the both them.
In the weeks leading up to 2016, Dayna and Missy shared this small yet powerful book with some of the people they loved and invited them to start off the new year with a trip through the 40 Days of Prayer. One quandary...how would they all communicate about their individual journeys? The friends decided to create a private Facebook Group, to take turns posting each day about the daily devotional, and to encourage others to comment on how God was moving in their life.
On January 1, 2016 the 40 Days of Prayer page was officially launched and the journey began! What a journey it was! It was awe inspiring to hear how God was revealing Himself to the women of this group. Day after day women were sharing their heart and their growth journey with our Heavenly Father. And, day after day, the women of the group would add to the group the people they loved, to walk the journey too. It wasn't long before our group of about 20 grew to three times that amount.
As the end of the journey approached, everyone was wondering what would be next. All wanting to keep the momentum going in the walk with God, but not knowing what that would look like; enter Anne Ayres and Chris Baxter. Anne was Dayna's long time Lenten Accountability Partner and Chris was the author of The Heartbeat of God and the mom of Dayna's son's best friend.
Dayna and Anne were planning out what they would do for Lent. They had decided to focus their Lenten study on the verse from Psalm 51:10-11, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me." It was right about the time that Chris gifted Dayna with her new book, The Heartbeat of God. Coincidence? No way! This was divine intervention. Missy and Dayna KNEW that this was the next step for our 40 Days of Prayer ladies. So, Dayna reached out to Anne and Chris and asked them to join in and take the study "on-line" with the group. They said yes, and Chapter Two of the 40 Days of Prayer Group had been decided. Anne and Chris agreed to join in the daily post writing and the ladies of the group, invited more of the women in their life to join us in learning about the Heartbeat of God during the 40 days of Lent.
This is when the story really gets good! In the spring, near to Easter, Missy made a trip from Clinton, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee to see her friend. Dayna suggested that Chris meet she and Missy for brunch. Already feeling as if they knew each other, the ladies were excited to meet face to face. And it was there, at the Puffy Muffin, over coffee and quiche that God revealed himself in a BIG WAY! The ladies were chatting about how great it was to be interacting with people on Facebook about Jesus when Missy said, “I feel like God is calling us to do more. Maybe we are being called to host a retreat and come together face-to-face.” The Holy Spirit’s presence was palpable around that table there in the middle of this quaint restaurant in Brentwood, Tennessee and that moment became the moment that changed it everything!
The ladies said their goodbyes knowing that they would be together again, along with other women of faith, sooner rather than later. And week after week, over video chat, the ladies met and prayed about what God was calling them to do. A retreat! Yes, that was it! But when, where, how? They didn’t have any answers but moved forward in faith each week trusting God for the direction. They decided that the name of the group must be changed. Although Kit’s little devotional book brought us all together, 40 Days of Prayer didn’t accurately describe our group. The group was a group of women who loved God as illustrated in Mark 12:30, “with all their heart, and soul, and mind, and strength.” Heart and Soul – that was it… Women with a heart and soul for Christ – Soul Sisters! YES!
Time passed and week by week, the first Soul Sisters’ retreat was planned, The Heartbeat Retreat. It would be held in October 2016, only months since that meeting at The Puffy Muffin. Chris offered to open up her beautiful home in Nashville for the retreat and even for the ladies who attended the retreat to lodge. God was faithful and provided answers for each obstacle and question the ladies faced over the months of planning and preparation. Finally, on October 14, 2016 about 25 women came to rest and retreat together in Christ.
The weekend was nothing short of incredible. This is where another key player enters the scene, Madelaine Singleton. Madelaine was Chris’s walking/prayer partner. Three days a week, Madelaine and Chris walked “The Hollow” and prayed. Madelaine offered up her home for anything we might need that weekend and Chris took her up on that. The fact that Madelaine is the consummate hostess and her historical home is not only beautiful and relaxing but also incredibly interesting, created the perfect combination for an amazing Saturday night session and dinner.
That Sunday when everyone said their goodbyes, tears flowed. We knew we were witnessing a miracle from God. He showed up and showed out in the lives of the women who attended. Everyone who had participated in the weekend was already asking when the next retreat would be. So, plans began for the 2ndAnnual Soul Sisters Retreat!
Segue through several “studies” and a year later, to October 13th– 15thfor that second retreat, Passionately Pursing Him. Missy’s friend, Amy Rogers, is asked to be the guest speaker. She taught from her book, Move!, and shared her testimony and before the weekend is through, she is asked to join the Soul Sisters’ Leadership Team. The weekend brought more women, more glory to God, and the feeling that God was calling Soul Sisters to do more!
And so, here it is…the launch of the website, Soul Sisters Ministry. The group that began with less than 20 women located within a 3 or 4 state area is, at the time of the launch, nearly 1200 strong with women from all over the world. The Soul Sisters’ Facebook page, the yearly retreats, and the formation of the on-land groups have become a place for women to grow, pray, confess, confide, celebrate, cheer up, cheer on, and fellowship all in the sweet name of Jesus!
What is next for Soul Sisters? Only God knows, but the leaders are confident that they are called to continue to lead a Christ-centered ministry that encourages women through God’s word and in prayer both on-line and on-land. Their hearts’ desire is that every woman will know Christ in such a way that His light will shine in them and through them for the world to see. (John 8:12 and Matthew 5:16). Please invite any women that you know who could use a group of like minded and like hearted women of faith to join our Facebook group or to subscribe online.